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    Operation Fortitude aftershocks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 September 2015

    Actions taken in the Immigration Detention Centre after the 28 August aborted Border Force operation involved the use of force and intimidation on people who are being detained. Not for their misdeeds or any threat they pose, but for the convenience of the Department. And they disclose what happens when ABF officers are permitted to to use any force they think necessary without proper accountability.


    Don't fence me in

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 August 2015

    As immigrants settling in Australia, the relative lack of fences and security measures was a sign that we'd chosen a safe and respectful country. This erasing of margins implied at once both mutual trust and an innate respect for the invisible boundaries that demarcated people's personal space. But 13 year later, I'm noticing the emergence of fortified residences boasting shiny black fences and firmly shut gates.

  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.


    What might have been for the toddler in the suitcase

    • Jen Vuk
    • 07 August 2015

    Behind scrub on a nondescript South Australian highway lay a battered suitcase. It had been abandoned and largely forgotten, yet its presence was incongruous in this vast, unforgiving landscape. Last month, one passer-by was so disturbed by what he found after peering inside that he contacted police. Just off the Karoonda Highway in Wynarka, in South Australia's Murray Mallee region, a terrible secret had lain in wait.

  • A trinity of questions about Laudato Si’

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2015

    Pope Francis is not the first pope to address a social encyclical to everyone. But in comparison with his predecessors, Francis has been more inclusive in the process of writing the encyclical and in the final content of the document. He quotes from 17 different conferences of Catholic bishops. He is at pains to indicate that he is collaborative and that he takes the principle of subsidiarity very seriously. Being the final redactor of the text, he has felt free to interpolate some very folksy advice from time to time. He has also taken the liberty of inserting some very blunt, evocative images of environmental and economic devastation.

  • Social activist will be sadly missed

    • John Falzon
    • 23 July 2015

    Tony Thornton, former National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, was a great lover of humanity and fighter for social justice. The persistence of poverty and homelessness in prosperous Australia affected him deeply. He was never willing to accept a status quo that included the wholesale rejection of people who were made to feel the sharp edge of inequality.


    Zen and the art of wealth amassment

    • Ellena Savage
    • 17 July 2015

    There is a suburban myth about migrant families. The first generation toil, the second become professionals, and the third artists. Like all dynasties, the Rineharts are destined to one day represent the crusty relics of former glory. That's fine. I mean, why would the beneficiaries of other people's obsessive toils and struggle work, if they didn't have to?

  • The reconciling power of our common experience of 'mother' land

    • Andrew McAlister
    • 10 July 2015
    1 Comment

    The past week's meeting at Kirribilli House between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and politicians decided on the establishment of a Referendum Council. We should not overlook the power of the land itself to reconcile us. Theologian, archaeologist, and biblical scholar Eugene Stockton, along with artist Terence O'Donnell, has just produced a timely booklet titled This Land, Our Mother.



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