keywords: Our Girls

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse survivor reflects on Cardinal Pell's 'sad story'

    • Paul Coghlan
    • 07 March 2016
    42 Comments

    'It was a sad story and it wasn't of much interest to me.' Pell's brutal response to a question from the royal commission has provided an important point of organisational, personal and cultural reflection. As a survivor of child sexual abuse I understand the disbelief, shock and outrage that such a comment has provoked. And having conducted many organisational reviews, I know that in trying to find the origins of such responses, our understanding of how the world works expands exponentially.

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  • RELIGION

    Year of Mercy's opportunity for Aboriginal reconciliation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 March 2016

    'On his last two visits to Latin America, Pope Francis has focused on past and present relationships between indigenous peoples and their colonisers. This Jubilee Year of Mercy perhaps it could be a blessed moment for Aboriginal Australians and descendants of their colonisers to walk together through the Door of Mercy at the St Francis Xavier Cathedral, calling to mind the sins and endeavours of the past, the achievements and commitments of the present, and the hopes and aspirations of the future.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Lenten Talk, Norwood Parish, 3 March 2016

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell, Safe Schools and the personhood of children

    • Moira Rayner
    • 04 March 2016
    40 Comments

    A feeding frenzy is afoot over the review of Safe Schools program. At the same time poor old George Pell is under attack for failing to observe that his Ballarat colleagues were prolifically enabling Ridsdale and other pedophiles to sexually abuse little boys. The prurient desire to control the sexual interests of others on the one hand, and on the other the gross failures by institutions to protect vulnerable children in their care, are sadly linked to an unwillingness to face the truth about human sexuality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ending family violence in culturally diverse Australia

    • Jasmeet Sahi
    • 22 February 2016
    8 Comments

    All cultures have different ways of addressing family violence. What might be suitable for an Anglo population may not be appropriate for other groups. I was raised in India, where women learn early in life that it is paramount to maintain calm and peace in a family home - nobody wants to be that family that airs its dirty laundry in public. Local community-based programs can provide solutions tailored to diverse cultural groups. Sadly many such programs are badly under-resourced.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    2015 in review: Maintaining youthful rage

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 January 2016
    1 Comment

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and the face of mercy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2015
    2 Comments

    'I joined the Jesuits in 1975 just as the previous 32nd General Congregation (GC32) was concluding. Pedro Arrupe was at the height of his powers. That Congregation asked the question: 'What is it to be a companion of Jesus today?' and answered unequivocally, 'It is to engage, under the standard of the Cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes.' I have always regarded myself as a GC32 Jesuit. Many of those who gathered for GC33 thought that the GC32 mission was a little too one-dimensional. I suspect Bergoglio was one of those.' Frank Brennan on the eve of the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The long haul

    • Lisa Brockwell
    • 08 December 2015
    3 Comments

    There is another life where we end up together. We wake in the same bed, startled but not sorry; the timber frame is warm, hand-caulked with the day-to-day dedication of the long haul. The air between us no longer electric, all now sanded smooth. But whose dog jumps on the end of that bed: yours or mine? I don't plan to think about my husband or your wife; let's leave my son right out of it. Fantasy, no more dangerous than eating gelato and dreaming of Mark Ruffalo.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Heroes of Victoria's juvenile justice reform

    • Tom Keating
    • 17 November 2015
    2 Comments

    The case studies given during the Royal Commission's dealings with Victoria's state run institutions were heartrending for anyone like myself who worked within that system in the 1960s and '70s. It must have been harder still for those who were trying desperately to reform the system at that time. By the mid-'80s Victoria came to have the most progressive and effective juvenile justice system in the country and was a leader internationally. Much has been lost in the intervening years.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    School reunion cracks the amber of middle age

    • Barry Gittins
    • 06 November 2015
    6 Comments

    I never thought I'd do the whole high school reunion thing. Yet here I am, nametagged and ready to face the music, along with 50 of my fellow 1985 alumni. I recognise some straight off. Others mystify. Teenagers trapped in the amber of middle age. High school was genuinely hard for many of us. Some have died. Some entered Boggo Road's then-penal walls. Some are still paying for decisions made back in those mid-80s. Memory propels the sail of our union and we've left safe harbours.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Taliban bullet didn't keep her down

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 November 2015
    2 Comments

    Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai came to international prominence in 2012 after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, for her advocacy for girls' education. He Named Me Malala ponders whether her father shares indirect responsibility for the shooting, as he encouraged her advocacy. The question of exploitation is relevant whenever a child enters the public gaze, but here it threatens to undermine Malala's own agency, as a young woman who can think, speak and act powerfully on her own behalf.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Building gender equality from the playground up

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 23 October 2015
    15 Comments

    Sissies are on their way out on British playgrounds. Guidelines produced by the Institute of Physics for the Department of Education recommend that teachers strongly discourage sexist language at school. While internet forums are replete with admonitions from members of the public furious at the erosion of so-called free speech, the guidelines are a welcome tool in the long and exhausting fight for female equality, and Australia would do well to consider adopting such procedures too.

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