Latest articles

  • Hospital bed (Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash)
    economics

    The flawed ideology of healthcare as business

    • David James
    • 28 May 2020
    3 Comments

    Calling healthcare a business was always logically flawed. Money is involved, but it is unlike any consumer product businesses. For one thing, the ‘customer’ in health does not decide what represents value, the provider (the doctor or equivalent) does. Patients may have a say, but usually only on the margin.

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  • Members of the Catholic delegation to PNG pictured with Behrouz Boochani (centre). Boochani can be seen presenting a copy of his book No Friend but the Mountains to Bishop Vincent Long of the Diocese of Parramatta.
    faith doing justice

    Social services, Laudato Si’ and Jack Mundey’s legacy

    • Joshua Lourensz
    • 22 May 2020
    5 Comments

    In thinking through how social services can contribute to what society or the economy needs in light of the ramifications of COVID-19, Catholicism and communism are not two traditions that probably come to the mind for most. But for the kind of thinking that governance and leaders require to make good decisions in and beyond a time of crisis, there are people and concepts from each tradition that we can learn from.

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  • Mother and daughter walking in embrace (Photo by Robert Lang Photography/Getty Images)
    arts and culture

    The girls are exaggerating

    • Jennifer Zeven
    • 22 May 2020
    12 Comments

    I spent the first six or seven years of my life spellbound by my mum’s stories of her childhood in Far North Queensland. Herstory came from warm, outback and subtropical places. She and her sisters wrote on slates at school, played in custard apple trees, kept their own bees.

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  • Illustration Chris Johnston

    Blaming and buying

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 18 May 2020
    12 Comments

    Nothing in the world is single, as Shelley said, and we have proof of this in the general reaction to COVID-19. That spirit, however, seems to have its limitations. For some politicians are set on dividing people, rather than on uniting them.

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  • Woman carrying pot in Islamabad (Pixabay/Samina Kousar)

    Lockdown not the same for the vulnerable in Pakistan

    • Annam Lodhi
    • 01 May 2020

    Many women and children in Pakistan might not be safe within their own houses. They are being forced to be locked in with their abusers, with little to no hope of intervention from authorities or the outside world, as everyone is engaged in fighting with the virus. 

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  • Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO speaks at a press conference (Getty images/Handout)

    NATO is sanitising its intentions

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 30 April 2020

    After building a reputation for foreign intervention and collateral damage — the most recent example being Libya — the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is asserting its influence during the COVID-19 pandemic, this time by exploiting the humanitarian paradigm. 

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  • Woman silhouetted in Aboriginal flag (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

    Seeing the con in reconciliation

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 28 May 2020
    11 Comments

    Reconciliation week itself begins on the 27th May, the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, which granted Aboriginal people the right to be counted in the census. The anniversary of the Mabo ruling in the High Court rounds out the week. Yet every year, I would swear that this week means nothing more to most people in this country than to call on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their workplaces and community to do more work.

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  • Illustration Chris Johnston

    Insecurity in a COVID world

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 May 2020
    4 Comments

    But insecurity breeds insecurity. In the face of insecurity we can feel insecure. Our identity as persons can be shaken by the insecurity of our circumstances. This is not inevitable. Nor is it necessarily lasting. Some people will be temporarily or lastingly paralysed by anxiety; others will be more resilient.

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  • COVIDSafe app on phone (Credit:  Quinn Rooney/ Getty)

    Navigating the COVIDSafe app rhetoric

    • Samantha Floreani
    • 21 May 2020
    8 Comments

    Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the government pull out all the stops in an attempt to convince the Australian public to download the COVIDSafe App. There are plenty of issues with the app itself, including its technical flaws, and valid concerns around data privacy, security and the normalisation of surveillance. But the other fascinating aspect of COVIDSafe has been the commentary surrounding the app. 

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  • Illuminated stage (Getty Images/ Nattapong Wongloungud)

    Behind the COVID curtain

    • Sally Cloke
    • 07 May 2020
    9 Comments

    Another biblical motif or metaphor may prove more fruitful in the long run: the apocalypse. No, not the end of the world, however appropriate this may feel. It’s the apocalypse but not as we know it.

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  • Palm tree in desert (Getty images/Jose Luis Pelaez )

    Easter as an enduring story of loss and hope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 April 2020
    15 Comments

    In Christian churches the celebration of Easter this year will look more like Lent or Passion week. All Australians, too, will be without football, concerts, interstate and international travel and family gatherings. The atmosphere, too, will be one of constraint, not freedom. Instead of celebrating the present, we may be weighed down by fear and anxiety about the future. We are all captive to COVID-19.

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  • Man praying at home with cat (Getty Images/Nazra Zahri)

    Prayer and community during COVID-19

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 April 2020
    17 Comments

    For millions of Australians of varying degrees of religiosity, prayer will play a key role in dealing with the novel stresses associated with this novel virus. Religions bring us not just closer to our creator but also to each other, especially in times of crisis. And you don’t have to be devout to feel the blessing.

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  • Sign reads No business on a dead planet (Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

    Demanding more sustainable businesses

    • Alana Schetzer
    • 19 May 2020
    3 Comments

    Multiple media reports have focused on individuals and households moving away from sustainability — mostly because of understandable concerns about contamination — and yet, the conversation about the impacts of our biggest businesses and corporations hasn’t been as loud.

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  • Woman approaching forked path (Photo by Einar Storsul on Unsplash)

    Re-imagining a better kind of society

    • Cristy Clark
    • 12 May 2020
    11 Comments

    But just as the frighteningly precarious nature of our lives has been thoroughly exposed, so too has the inequality of it all. Even in a pandemic, we aren't all suffering equally. Even in a pandemic, structures of privilege continue to operate.

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  • Albany WA wind farm (Flickr/Lawrence Murray)

    Opportunities for action on renewables

    • Bree Alexander
    • 11 May 2020
    3 Comments

    While the federal government has set a zero net emissions target by 2050, along with the states and territories and local councils in some areas, the steps that are taken to get there are vitally important. Yet there seems to be no signs of a rapid move away from fossil fuels.

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  • Heavy clouds. Photo by Łukasz Łada on Unsplash

    How they floated in the clouds

    • Geoff Page
    • 25 May 2020
    4 Comments

    Ah, how they floated in the clouds, back before the first world war, those decent heady phrases: the common good, the living wage and how they came across the seas, those writers and professors, to study what we’d done down here.  

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  • Malcolm Turnbull at conference (Chairmamn of the joint chiefs of staff/Flickr)

    Going big picture with Malcolm Turnbull

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 May 2020
    6 Comments

    As the small-l Liberal who attempted unsuccessfully to stare down the right-wing of the Liberal Party, known to his enemies as ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion’ or as the best Labour Prime Minister to ever lead the Liberal Party (2015-2018), Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was a man who dreamed, spoke and spent big.

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  • Woman holding phone in bed

    The bone attic

    • Paul Williamson
    • 19 May 2020
    1 Comment

    The dweller in the bone attic holds countryside as home; thinks of food, safety, health and warmth for family, self and group. Frenetic scuffles rage in the brick canyons where the hunt is commerce and food constructed.

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