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  • Mother with her baby in a car (globalmoments/Getty Images)
    australia

    Social responsibility means care for all of the vulnerable

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 02 April 2020
    1 Comment

    While there have been endless social media posts, political campaigns and the like about staying safe by staying at home, I have been concerned about the many people who are not safe at home and what this may mean to them. What will this mean for the woman who’s been living with a domestic violence perpetrator for years?

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  • People lining outside Centrelink in Melbourne (Getty Images/Quinn Rooney)
    australia

    Government needs to freeze rent and mortgages

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 31 March 2020
    5 Comments

    The long queues outside Centrelink and the crashes on the website have fuelled the fears of many people, including myself, that one wrong sentence in the application means we will be denied relief, or worse, that even if we are eligible, the money could take weeks to come in, way past the point of financial solvency.

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  • Computers sitting empty at a library (Getty images/Andersen Ross Photography Inc)
    education

    Digital divide made even wider in COVID-19 times

    • Nicola Heath
    • 27 March 2020
    9 Comments

    A laptop or tablet and the internet are not universally available to Australian students. In 2016-17, 1.25 million Australian households lacked the internet home connection that’s required to make full use of online learning platforms like Class Dojo, where my daughter’s class is congregating during the coronavirus lockdown.

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  • Exterior Sisterhood Community Centre (Warsan Weedhsame)

    Education can uplift refugee women in Indonesia

    • Warsan Weedhsame
    • 25 March 2020
    3 Comments

    For the last two years I have been an advocate for the refugee community in Jakarta. I have seen how women’s education is the first and most important need for women to secure their rights. Each week, I meet many refugee women who can’t speak up for their rights.

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  • A demonstrator waves a Chilean flag atop a monument (Getty images/Marcelo Hernandez)

    Reclaiming and protecting Chile’s public spaces

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 18 March 2020

    For the Mapuche people, as well as Chileans, the tearing down of colonial and military relics is a statement reflecting the determination to take an active part in the memory process of Chile. It is time, in other words, for the narrative of the oppressed to come from oppressed voices.

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  • Photo taken by Ishikawa Kōyō March, 1945 (Wikimedia Commons)

    Commemorating the Bombing of Tokyo

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 March 2020
    9 Comments

    In March we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Tokyo in which over 300 planes stacked with incendiary weapons followed each other at regular intervals for three hours and killed an estimated 100,000 people — as many as those killed by either of the nuclear weapons in Japan.

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  • People vote at Queensland elections (Getty Images/Jono Searle)

    COVID-19, democracy and voting

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 31 March 2020
    4 Comments

    In Australia, every politician from Canberra to the Northern Territory is insisting on isolation measures and avoiding close contact, keeping to distances of 1.5 to 2 metres. When it comes to the very practice of democracy and political representation, the social distancing imperative has been approached with confusing inconsistency.

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  • Two teddy bears hugging in window (Getty images/AnnaElizabethPhotography)

    Social connectivity in a pandemic

    • Jane Britt
    • 30 March 2020
    4 Comments

    It’s a stressful and anxious time for many people. Yet, the expression to ‘look for the helpers’ whenever a crisis occurs is an apt one in this situation. People are looking for social connectivity and ways to express kindness to others in practising social distancing under direction of medical experts.

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  • Out of stock sign (Getty images/Naomi Baker)

    The odd heroism of doing nothing

    • Joel Hodge
    • 27 March 2020
    6 Comments

    We are living in a time of pandemic but it seems so many people have been more focused on panic buying or flouting restrictions on social distancing and public gatherings. Why is it that many are less concerned about the virus than what they can buy or do?

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  • Woman videochatting with grandson (Getty images/Jose Luis Pelaez )

    Present from afar

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 April 2020
    1 Comment

    One of the challenges posed by social distancing is how to reconcile personal presence with distance. Presence is tactile and up close. Measuring out the prescribed separation as people walk around the park in the early morning tends to turn familiars into strangers and greetings into distancings.

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  • Ernesto Cardenal writing at desk (Jimelovski Platano Macho/Flickr)

    Farewell to a revolutionary

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 22 March 2020
    12 Comments

    Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal, Catholic priest, poet and revolutionary, was an essential figure of Latin American liberation theology. He died on March 1. He was 95. Cardenal’s spiritual life was the unyielding foundations of his country’s social and political struggle.

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  • Richard Dawkins in Sydney promoting his book (Getty Images/Don Arnold)

    Dawkins delusion: the legacy of New Atheism

    • Tim Robertson
    • 27 February 2020
    14 Comments

    Contrary to their claims, the New Atheists do have a creation myth. It goes something like this: emerging from darkness into the light, Enlightenment thinkers cast off the shackles of religion and, in so doing, ushered in an age of reason. For the likes of Richard Dawkins, a founding member of the movement, this is an article of faith, and he’s spent recent years casting himself not just as an heir of this tradition, but also as its modern day guardian.

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  • In this Fiona Katauskas cartoon, An alien asks, 'Take me to your best hope for avoiding a climate catastrophe'. Someone comments, 'Guess that rules out our leader'. Cartoon Fiona Katauskas

    Future technology won't solve our climate crisis

    • Jacinta Bowler
    • 19 March 2020
    2 Comments

    Unfortunately, when it comes to limiting our emissions there’s no silver bullet, and there’s unlikely to be one before we hit an increase of 1.5 degrees. However, scientists do say that we already have all the technology we need to get to net-zero. What we don’t have is the political willpower.

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  • Children on a train with their mother look at children in a house. Illustration by Chris Johnston

    Climate justice includes secure public housing

    • Andrew Jackson
    • 21 February 2020
    6 Comments

    As the bushfires raged and air quality worsened, we were constantly told to stay indoors, keep cool and be alert for emergency orders on our phones. But with each public service announcement, we continued to leave some of our most vulnerable behind.

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  • Quokka on Basin Beach at Rottnest Island (Getty Images/bennymarty)

    Call to revive Australian tourism

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 20 February 2020
    3 Comments

    This communal outpouring during the bushfires has an opportunity to perpetuate itself indefinitely, even though the embers have been extinguished and those not directly affected by the fires have gotten on with their workaday lives. For even as the fires burned, Tourism Australia was mounting a campaign to encourage Australians to holiday locally instead of taking their patronage abroad, and to persuade international tourists to visit, too.

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

    An echo of silence

    • Rory Harris
    • 30 March 2020
    1 Comment

    Melbourne in summer & the weather is grand & blazing, proof that global warming is real. At my age I allow myself to be surprised.

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  • Man sitting in yoga pose on a porch (Illustration by Chris Johnston)

    Morning reflections

    • Robert Whalley
    • 30 March 2020
    4 Comments

    All this is pleasant and unremarkable, except that we were just briefly discussing which future events are likely cancelled in light of the announced pandemic. It’s an unexpected morning topic for conversation before coffee. But it’s appropriate with the increasing concerns on flattening the curve of contagion, illness, infections, acute complications and death. 

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  • Floodplains NT (Flickr/Geoff Whalan)

    The earth we are made of

    • Lucy Alexander
    • 23 March 2020

    The floodplain is full of the black earth we are made of. All of the world’s particles pass through this zone: yours, too. Have them arranged so your heart can weigh in. Have them in order, crystallised and formatted. The light frothing up will hold your new name.

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