keywords: St Andrew

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why 71% of Australians want boats pushed back

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 June 2014
    47 Comments

    In the lead up to Refugee Week the attitudes of Australians to people who come by boat to seek protection made sober reading. 71 per cent of Australians believed Australia should turn back asylum seeker boats. That is far higher even than the Prime Minister's disapproval rating. Some might say that 71 per cent of Australians can't be wrong. At Eureka Street we have never been persuaded that majorities always have truth on their side.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Understanding the climate change battle of attitudes

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 June 2014
    20 Comments

    As Obama took steps to deal with carbon emissions, Abbott walked away from them. Beneath the complex political considerations in these responses stir deep passions. Human flourishing requires that we recognise the interdependence of human beings and our common interdependence with the environment. That recognition marks out the boundaries of the field within which our autonomy and initiative should play.

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  • RELIGION

    Vatican perspective on Australia's refugee brutality

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 June 2014
    3 Comments

    Very few Vatican documents on world events are exciting. But some can be helpful when local response to these events is febrile and anxious. The Vatican guidelines on ministry to forcibly displaced persons provide a helpful mirror to reflect the public Australian response to asylum seekers. It offers a long view of Catholic reflection on refugees and a broad perspective on the human reality of having to seek protection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Love creates space for restorative justice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 May 2014
    12 Comments

    For the good of victims and the community prisoners need to find the space in which they can feel remorse for the harm they have done, reflect on and change the patterns of life that contributed to the crime, and come to act accountably. To include love in penal justice may seem impossible. But recently in court a man was sentenced to jail for dangerous driving that led to the death of a young woman. Her father then embraced the driver.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Move over Lance Armstrong, the Budget is coming

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 May 2014
    13 Comments

    Heightened competitiveness does not foster interest in the common good but creates a narrow focus on the interests of the individual. The use of drugs in cycling illustrates the point. Doing what it takes meant taking competition out of the game by excluding competitors from the possibility of winning. In Australian politics the cult of competitiveness has led to a rigged competition in which the national interest will not be served.

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  • RELIGION

    Lessons from Christian camp's gay discrimination

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 01 May 2014
    29 Comments

    In April the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that a youth camp run by the Christian Brethren had discriminated illegally against same-sex attracted persons by refusing a booking from a community health service for an event for young gay and lesbian people. This is not an isolated case. It is sobering that churches often seem to need the courts to give them lessons, if not about sex, then about hospitality and fairness.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Workplace safety issues in South Korean ferry disaster

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 April 2014
    6 Comments

    It would be unfeeling and presumptuous to speculate on the causes of the disaster. But it may be helpful to enumerate the questions that have been asked, as they disclose a pattern. In travel by ship, as in many other enterprises, there are two sets of interests: the operational interests of those who provide the service, and the interests of those who benefit from the service. Companies ideally take both seriously, but they stand in tension.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter memory loss makes plastic of the present

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 April 2014
    16 Comments

    Both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter are exercises in memory. The Jewish child who asks why this day is remembered is told a story of slavery in Egypt followed by deliverance by God. He stands in line with other children who asked the same question during the Holocaust. The devaluation of history and memory has a deeply corrosive effect on society. In our society we can see this in our treatment of asylum seekers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 April 2014
    18 Comments

    The great Tasmanian Catholic warrior Brian Harradine did wonderful work in the Senate, the chamber Paul Keating described as 'unrepresentative swill'. He successfully negotiated significant improvements to the lamentable Howard Aboriginal land rights package. Seven years after the Wik debate, Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said: 'The agreement he reached on the Wik legislation was one of the few cases I would point to where John Howard was bested in negotiations'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 04 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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