• Chris Johnston cartoon has people conversing in a clearing amid noisy social media devices.
    media

    Mindfulness in an age of Twitter noise

    • Emily van der Nagel
    • 21 September 2018
    1 Comment

    Instead of following platform prompts to connect more, or logging out entirely, it could be time to get mindful of our audience and develop ways to nourish the online relationships we enjoy. After all, intimacy is still important in the age of the high follower count.

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  • Chris Johnston cartoon
    australia

    A parent's guide to reward and punishment

    • Barry Gittins
    • 20 September 2018
    6 Comments

    How best to extract them from their cozy dens? Whispering endearments and professions of love does not produce the desired results. Nor does opening curtains, turning on the lights, singing annoying songs, turning on a television or radio, or serenading them on a tuba. These strategies have all been unsuccessfully trialled.

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  • Holding the hand of an old person
    australia

    The trials of finding a good nursing home

    • Rachel Woodlock
    • 20 September 2018
    5 Comments

    While we worked to find him a permanent place, he was put in a temporary one, far away from us. The decision-makers gave no thought to Mum's battling public transport and traffic, but it seemed like a nice place. We thought Dad was just being difficult when he begged us to take him home.

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  • Supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad protest the US-led coalition attack in Syria, on 14 April 14 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

    Bad habits die hard in Australia and Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 18 September 2018
    3 Comments

    What do the Liberal leadership spill and the Syrian War have in common? Both demonstrate how force of habit, like any other force built up over a long period of time, is very difficult to stop, even when the results are plainly self destructive.

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  • church of St John the Baptist Heraklion

    The present history of Greek religious tension

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 11 September 2018
    1 Comment

    The Venetians came to power in this part of the world after the fourth crusade, during which Constantinople was sacked: this episode is still spoken bitterly of in Greece. The Venetians made many attempts to suppress Orthodoxy, so that prejudice lingers.

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  • Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras arrives ahead of roundtable discussions in the Europa Building on the final day of the European Council leaders' summit on March 23, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

    Dress sense or political statement? It's a tie

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 September 2018
    10 Comments

    Collars and ties, or lack of them, can have a specific political application. In 2007 Robert Mugabe, fearsome Zimbabwean dictator, was invited to an EU summit in Lisbon. The Anglican Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, cut up his clerical collar on television and vowed to replace it only after Mugabe had gone.

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  • Protestors against refugee policy on June 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. The rally was organised as a show of public support for the closure the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, and the safe resettlement of detained refugees in Australia. Refugee Week runs from 19 to 25 June. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

    How we decide if asylum seekers lie

    • Douglas McDonald-Norman
    • 14 September 2018
    6 Comments

    In the five years I worked in refugee law, some of the most complicated challenges I encountered were questions regarding the 'truthfulness' or 'credibility' of an asylum seeker's claims. These subjective findings of credibility can make the difference between a person being granted asylum or being turned away.

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  • Smoking ceremony is held on the steps of Parliament house on 6 July 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

    Finding myself through First Peoples' stories

    • François Kunc
    • 14 September 2018
    10 Comments

    Place and identity are fundamental for each of us. They are what our First Peoples had taken from them. In thinking about who I am, I have come to the conclusion that without understanding our First Peoples and their story as told by them I really can't understand myself as an Australian.

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  • Melbournians rally for the rights of asylum seekers. (Chris Hopkins/Getty Images)

    Keep fighting for the children on Nauru

    • Jana Favero
    • 12 September 2018
    7 Comments

    It's hard to reconcile the reality for children on Nauru with our comfortable lives, especially when politicians repeatedly tell us that there aren't kids on Nauru or that medical professionals are exaggerating the problem or asserting it's just behavioural issues with the children. Would our leaders really deceive us?

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  • Heart-shaped stain

    My faith is a remnant of empire

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 September 2018
    8 Comments

    In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu, put up a cross and claimed the Philippine islands for Spain. The cross and crown interlock. I grew up conditioned to think religion was a gift. When I moved to Australia, I found a timid Church seemingly more preoccupied with conserving power than speaking truth to it.

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  • Pope Francis at St. Patrick�s Hall in Dublin Castle. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

    Disturbing the sound of the Pope's silence

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 September 2018
    21 Comments

    Many commentators have claimed Pope Francis' sustained silence in response to accusations made by Vatican official Archbishop Viganò has been catastrophic for his reputation and popularity. In a recent article, Francis' biographer claims his response is not intended to be politically strategic but is made at a deeper religious level.

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  • A black and white flashback to the last Plenary Council in 1937 (Archbishop Mannix, Archbishop Kelly, Apostolic Delegate, Panico).

    A help to the world: the 1937 Plenary Council

    • Nick Brodie
    • 11 September 2018
    3 Comments

    Catholics gathered in the wake of a time of great hardship, and in Christ's name sought the common good. Aware of continuity with the Apostles, the bishops recognised that the church changed through history. It was both progressive and conservative in parts, but not regressive.

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  • Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    Drivers, not phones, are pedestrians' main threat

    • Amelia Paxman
    • 07 September 2018
    5 Comments

    Older people are among the most vulnerable pedestrian groups, and people over 85 are eight times more likely to be hit by a car in a car park, on a footpath or in a driveway than people aged 13-64. This is likely because they are less agile in terms of moving out of the path of a car — not because they're addicted to Pokemon Go.

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  • Scott Morrison

    Christian PM should have a heart for climate

    • Cristy Clark
    • 30 August 2018
    12 Comments

    When Parliament resumes on 10 September, I hope Morrison leaves his lump of coal at home and takes his Christian values to work. He could start by adopting a 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels and ensuring that environmental considerations are central to all future development approvals.

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  • Farm workers in South Africa

    Truths for Trump on South African farmers

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 August 2018
    2 Comments

    In the 17 years since, farm murders have dropped dramatically. At face value, this is a triumph in the fight against violent crime, and a resounding riposte to people like President Donald Trump and our own Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott, who have seized on the issue in order to sow racial hatred among their own constituents.

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  • Cello

    Three musicians and a dog

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 17 September 2018
    1 Comment

    Bach Chaconnes, Chopin Preludes and high pitched whines joining cello duets ... has me thinking though, about the repositories of silence, because it's been here and waiting, in the 45 degrees of stairwell, the angle providing harbour, a balloon of silence, the colour of healing.

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  • Edinburgh Tattoo

    Against the dark

    • Jenny Blackford
    • 10 September 2018

    These days, the military tattoo is just too sad for words, the soldier-children twirling, dancing, fluting, prancing, singing, some with rightful Maori marks, or cheekbones high as Indian hills, thin teenage girls in kilts and fancy Argyle socks ... What have they to do with war or death? Yet men strap bombs on ten-year-olds.

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  • Walt Whitman

    Walt Whitman on Donald Trump

    • Wally Swist
    • 03 September 2018
    5 Comments

    Oh, you snake oil selling provocateur, you faux gilded imposter, selling authoritarianism for American democracy; may you choke on your own phlegm-filled speeches, your conspiratorial rants, your endless quiver of lies, whose equivocal insults you brandish and shoot like arrows at those whose integrity you should quaver beneath.

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