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  • Main image: Detained asylum seeker watches protest (DAN PELED/AAP)
    australia

    Dreyfus redivivus

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 March 2021
    12 Comments

    Any government decision can cause hurt to some groups in society. There is a difference, however, between decisions that are only painful and those that are vindictive. The former may be regretted, but vindictiveness implies a satisfaction in causing pain that does not arise out of need. The reason for it must be sought in the minds and hearts and culture of those who devise the policies.

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  • Students in classroom (Getty)
    education

    Educating children about consent

    • Chris Middleton
    • 02 March 2021
    12 Comments

    We need to encourage parents to have these conversations with their children, and earlier, around Years 8 and 9, rather than later. And I suspect we need to encourage boys to talk more with sisters, girlfriends, friends who are girls and good mates about consent.

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  • Main image: Baker shaping dough (Thomas Barwick/Getty Images)
    faith doing justice

    The value of the worker

    • Ursula Stephens
    • 25 February 2021
    8 Comments

    'It's the value of the work, not the worker.' So said a government backbencher to me last week while I was speaking to him about the omnibus industrial relations (IR) Bill that has just passed the House of Representatives.

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  • Main image: Anti-coup protesters shout slogans on March 01, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar (Hkun Lat/Getty Images)

    New voices of protest in Myanmar

    • Anonymous
    • 02 March 2021
    5 Comments

    The young in Myanmar have no personal memory of those events of 1988 and 2007. They are Generation Z, raised on the internet and with new ways of communicating. Their emotions overcome fear. Gen Z meets the deadly threat with humour and creative protest.

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  • Main image:  child runs alongside a military armored vehicle moving along a street on February 14, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar (Hkun Lat/Getty Images)

    Democracy in shadow: Myanmar coup escalates

    • Anonymous
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    Now, for a few days it seems something new is happening. Can we name it? Thousands, even millions of people have come to the streets in almost a hundred townships and cities across Myanmar. They reject the coup. The young have glimpsed a new light.

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  • Main image: Woman receiving vaccine (Unsplash)

    The politics of vaccines

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 04 February 2021
    8 Comments

    Despite talk against ‘vaccine nationalism’ the pharmaceutical companies are ultimately beholden to investors and shareholders. Their effectiveness percentages are pitches. They will sell to those who can afford to buy. And naturally that’s wealthy countries.

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  • Main image: People lining outside Centrelink in Melbourne (Getty Images/Quinn Rooney)

    JobSeeker needs to provide a reasonable safety net

    • Joshua Lourensz
    • 04 March 2021
    4 Comments

    Many people are still doing it tough. And the many organisations who are tasked with trying to support them share a sense of dismay as we see Federal Government assistance being wound back fast. We need to increase decent work opportunities and ensure a reasonable safety net for those out of work if we want to get through this and still claim the ‘fair go’.

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  • Main image: Statue of blindfolded Lady Justice holding scales and a sword (William Cho/Pixabay)

    Disability RC hears how criminal justice system fails people with disabilities

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 March 2021

    Hearing 11 of the Commission has looked at how Australia’s justice system treats people with disabilities. The intersection between disability and the criminal justice system is, unfortunately, not a happy one.

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  • Main image: Men hugging (Dimitar Belchev/Unsplash)

    Property has a social license, too

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2021
    12 Comments

    Discussion of housing usually focuses exclusively on its relationship to the economy. Housing is seen as property, and the most important questions are seen as having to do with buying and selling. This transactional aspect is important. It needs, however, to be seen in the light of the larger human good. From that perspective housing in all the various forms it takes in different cultures is not a possession but a human need.

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  •  Empty pews (x1klima/Flickr)

    The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2021
    31 Comments

    Two documents from and about the church in Australia issued in December last year should be compulsory reading for all Plenary Council (PC) delegates. They offer crucial insights into the state of the church in Australia, and taken together they paint a picture of church inertia and decline.

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  • Main image: Zinedine Zidane, FRA and David Beckham / ENG (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    Commending faith

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2021
    33 Comments

    The exchanges within churches echo trends in national life that heighten disagreements, lessen respect, and tend to confine conversation circles to people of similar views. People become annoyed if those opposing their views gatecrash their forums. This trend creates problems for Church sponsored publications.

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  • Main image: Steeple of church (Akira Hojo/Unsplash)

    Making space for conversation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 February 2021
    54 Comments

    The exchanges within churches echo trends in national life that heighten disagreements, lessen respect, and tend to confine conversation circles to people of similar views. People become annoyed if those opposing their views gatecrash their forums. This trend creates problems for Church sponsored publications.

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  • Main image: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (Centre for American Progress/Flickr)

    Halki Summit highlights care for creation amid pandemic

    • Stephen Minas
    • 18 February 2021
    2 Comments

    The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked difficult questions about the links between the simultaneous health and ecological crises. These questions were examined in late January at the virtual Halki Summit, the latest in a long series of environment-focused events convened by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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  • Main image:  A man wearing the traditional dress of the Solomon Islands march on September 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

    Not just climate adaptation, but genuine transformation

    • Cristy Clark
    • 10 February 2021
    4 Comments

    On a superficial level, it makes no sense to commit so strongly to managing the impacts of climate change (adaptation) on the one hand while refusing to significantly reduce emissions (mitigation) on the other. On the other hand, when you start to unpack the logic of so much adaptation policy, this contradiction fades away.

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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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  • St Peter Healing the Sick with his Shadow Masaccio (Wikimedia Commons)

    No details known

    • Diane Fahey
    • 02 March 2021
    5 Comments

    Only Masaccio, the painter who first used light to sculpt the human form, portrayed this story. The disciple, Peter, walks through a Florentine street past three afflicted men.

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  • Turkey (Bill B/Flickr)

    Crossing borders in a Kombi van

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    The border-obsessed times we live in reminded me of some really tough borders I encountered in years past. It is October 1961, the place: rural Turkey. Where you would have expected to roll on down the deserted dusty road, there is a boom gate and four sentries. This can’t be a border, however.

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  • Clothes on the line in the yard (Rosalie Needham/Unsplash)

    Long conversations over low fences

    • Jamie Dawe
    • 16 February 2021
    2 Comments

    In a stilted, modest Queenslander in Cumming Street we lived. Pets, organic alimentation and perishable bartering. Egg producing Cackling Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns and Bantams. Freedom to explore the countryside without fear or anxiety. Long conversations over low fences.

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