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  • Dad coming inside to greet his kids. Illustration Chris Johnston
    arts and culture

    The year that turbocharged fatherhood

    • Mike Kelly
    • 21 January 2021
    5 Comments

    Men, it seems, have been looking for more opportunities to spend time with family. Research on young fathers, conducted by the Diversity Council of Australia a few years ago, reported that 79 per cent of new generation dads wanted the flexibility to improve their work and family life. For all its downsides, 2020 provided the opportunities.

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  • Main image: Man in mask (taiscaptures/Unsplash)
    international

    Masks save lives

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 21 January 2021
    8 Comments

    What will it take, I wonder, to change these people’s minds? In an era as politically divisive as the one Americans (and Australians, for that matter) are living through, nothing is likely to convince detractors that COVID is an omnipresent threat — except perhaps the only thing with tangible currency in this whole blasted catastrophe: the visceral consequences of the pandemic itself. 

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  • Photo (supplied)
    arts and culture

    A living memoir of my father

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 15 December 2020
    2 Comments

    I have stared at this photograph of me and Dad for more than five months. The picture was found in Mum’s drawer. After some calculations and contemplations, Mum said I was three years old in the photo. How much can I remember from age three? How far back in time can I go? What I could only do was stare, imagine, and ask questions.

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  • Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore)

    Trump impeachment trial risks further division

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 January 2021
    27 Comments

    I fear that as the process plays out, it will be seen by a divided nation to symbolise and embody the polarised politics of the previous years and of the incapacity of the organs of government to comprehend or address the causes of the anger and despair that foment division. It will hinder, not free, the new president.

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  • Ashfaq in Indonesia (Supplied)

    My halted journey toward freedom

    • JN Joniad and Ashfaq Hussain
    • 10 December 2020
    3 Comments

    I was just fifteen years old when I was forced to run for my life. I dreamed of seeking a better education in Australia and becoming a pilot. Instead, I became a refugee in Indonesia, which does not recognize my existence and basic rights. I am even refused an education in this country. I have been in limbo for the last eight years.

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  • Mural of Maryknolls sisters and Sr. Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan (Global Opportunity Garden/Flickr)

    Reflecting on the inalienable humanity of martyrs

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2020
    17 Comments

    This week is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Ita Ford and Maura Clarke in El Salvador. An event distant in place and time, but worth remembering and honouring in its distance. And also worth reflecting on for its significance for our own time.

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  • Refugee protest. Sign: 'Treating refugees as the problem is the problem.' (John Englart/Flickr)

    The continuing crisis in immigration detention

    • Nicola Heath
    • 17 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Many refugees in Australia live in conditions that the rest of the population would find unacceptable. Most of the 192 refugees who were transferred to Australia under the Medevac legislation between February and December 2019 are currently held at hotels in Melbourne and Brisbane, known as ‘alternative places of detention’ (APOD), where they have had no access to the outdoors or fresh air for more than 12 months.

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  • Main image: Daniel Andrews (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

    Solidarity and asking the right questions

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 17 December 2020
    7 Comments

    It’s usually January that white blindfold think pieces around Invasion Day start, but this year they’re getting in early. I cannot help but think this has a lot to do with the right in Victoria feeling completely dishevelled and disempowered at this point in time and lashing out.

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  •  Asylum seekers continue to watch from the balcony of the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel (Jono Searle/Getty Images)

    Remember those in permanent quarantine

    • Andra Jackson
    • 15 December 2020
    5 Comments

    With all the congratulations that have been going around following Melbourne achieving zero COVID-19 cases there is one group that has been entirely overlooked. These particular people remain in a prolonged form of hotel quarantine, unable to mix with the general public. They are refugees and asylum seekers brought to Australia under the now defunct Medevac legislation from Nauru and Manus Island.

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  • St Francis Xavier (Wikimedia Commons)

    St Francis Xavier, disability, and examining our limits

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 December 2020
    10 Comments

    3 December has a couple of interesting resonances for this blind Jesuit. It is the feast day of St Francis Xavier — Jesuit missionary extraordinaire. It is also the International Day of Persons with a Disability. It seems to me that the two anniversaries have more than a little in common — both in what they tell us about the limits and the promise of human life in the image of God.

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  • Lethal injection chamber (supplied)

    The seamless garment of life

    • Ross Jones
    • 01 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Approaching the walled and caged building where the sentence was carried out, our young fellows have always been struck by something of a paradox proclaimed in two signs at the door: ‘Bureau of Corrections’ alongside ‘Lethal Injection Chamber’. They were quick to seize upon it. ‘How can you correct and rehabilitate a person after you have killed him?’ they would ask.

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  • Halima Aden attends a premiere (Getty Images/Rich Fury)

    Halima Aden and shaping one's own hijab journey

    • Najma Sambul
    • 26 November 2020
    8 Comments

    Aden was a first and a trailblazer for a group of people who before her were long ignored in the mainstream fashion industry. She has many regrets and admits she made mistakes, but for a fresh-faced teenager who was given this huge responsibility, she says, she did good. I say different, she did bloody brilliant.

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  • Toni Scott, Sue Woolford, Kellie Hunt - No Radioactive Waste On Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA, Jason Bilney - Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson, Dawn Taylor, BDAC Board Member with One Nation Advisor Jennifer Game. Photo courtesy of Kellie Hunt with the permission of Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation.

    A new stage in fight against radioactive waste bill

    • Michele Madigan
    • 17 November 2020
    9 Comments

    So in the long journey of nearly five years since the Australian federal government's renewed search for a national radioactive waste facility, it seems a new stage has been reached.

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  • Illustration Chris Johnston

    We don't have the luxury of dealing with one crisis at a time

    • Marnie Vinall
    • 12 November 2020
    2 Comments

    Since the pandemic started to show its teeth on our shores in March, there’s been a trend to wave away any other matter other than COVID-19 with an examination of, ‘Just one crisis at a time — we’ll get to climate change after we’ve got the economy back on its feet.’ The only problem is we don’t have the luxury as a nation to solely focus on one crisis at a time.

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  • People walking in Carlton Gardens (Getty Images/ Robert Cianflone)

    If life were a walk in the park

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 November 2020
    17 Comments

    These last weeks the possible re-election of Donald Trump has been one of the dark birds that visit many of us in the night. As with other such epochal events, of course, how we might react internally to it is of vastly less weight than its effect on the world. Neither early morning wandering nor anything else we can do will change that. But it might shape our response.

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  • Parent and child looking at Christmas tree (S&B Vonlanthen)

    A very varied Christmas

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 December 2020
    5 Comments

    What does Christmas mean for you? What does it have in store? Preceding and in the midst of the annual celebration of life and hope that is Christmas, we will always have those, as H L Mencken noted, are obsessed with the ‘haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’.

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  • Greek hills (Despina Galani/Unsplash)

    The shepherd wife

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 17 December 2020
    3 Comments

    The shepherd wife has one word for her cosmos – isychia: here is isychia, she tells strangers. Without amenities — no water, electricity — her house clings to a small crease in the hills, a tortoise shell; sea forces strips of blue between the planks of outer walls that have no windows to admit the sky, the hills’ harsh beauty.

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  • A prayer, a plea, a bird cover (MediaCom)

    Language as an open door

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2020
    13 Comments

    If we want to renew religious language and images we must begin with attention to the words we currently use, noticing their resonance as well as their meaning. It is then important for the language of prayer and reflection to be grounded in deep contemporary experience.

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