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  • Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg at question time (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)
    australia

    JobSeeker and reflecting on government responsibilities

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 July 2020
    2 Comments

    Government must respect the human dignity of people who are often regarded as a burden on society. Seen from this perspective the JobSeeker allowance is deceptively named. It conflates two distinct though related responsibilities of government: to promote participation in the workforce by matching jobs available to people seeking them, and to provide for those who cannot work.

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  • Cover Daddy Cool Allen and Unwin
    arts and culture

    Finding fragments of a father

    • Brian Matthews
    • 02 July 2020
    2 Comments

    Daddy Cool is a thoroughly absorbing biography, witty, astonishing, often intensely moving, effortlessly in charge of a crowded and potentially confusing canvas (readers of a certain age will recognise names like Jack Davey, Roy Rene, Dick Bentley, Willie Fennell).

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  • Main image: People wearing masks (Laura Makaltses/UN)
    economics

    Looking back, looking forward

    • David James
    • 30 June 2020
    3 Comments

    A commonly heard phrase, or rather media cliché, is that after the COVID-19 crisis ‘things will never be the same.’ It is an understandable sentiment, given the seemingly unprecedented nature of recent events. But how novel is what happened, and how much will actually change? 

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  • Syrian refugee camp (Burak Kara/Getty Images)

    Caesar Act ushers in a new phase of suffering for Syrians

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 25 June 2020
    3 Comments

    America has lost the proxy war in Syria and is now looking at punishing ordinary Syrians for the actions of the Syrian government. The so called ‘Caesar Act’, officially known as the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act, aims to cut off multilateral or direct commerce with Syria’s ruling Baath party, effectively inducing record inflation, poverty and market exclusion.

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  • Main image: Protestor holding sign reading 'João Pedro Presente' at Black Lives Matter rally (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

    Brazil's Black lives matter too

    • Julian Cola
    • 11 June 2020
    4 Comments

    While the streets of America burn in the wake of George Floyd’s public lynching, a lesser known tragedy is playing out in Brazil. As COVID-19 ravishes the South American behemoth, home to the second largest number of infections worldwide, police and military forces continue spilling the blood of Black youths.

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  • In this Fiona Katauskas cartoon, under the title, 'Social isolation'. Three figures sit in a prison on an island. One of them says, 'And they thought six weeks was hard'.

    Reflecting on this Refugee Week

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 June 2020
    10 Comments

    This year Refugee Week has been swallowed by the disruption caused by COVID-19, and by the fracturing of society in the United States. In a world where people naturally turn inwards, those who seek protection from persecution receive little public attention or sympathy. It becomes all the more important to reflect on the world of which refugees are part and why their lives matter to us.

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  • Aerial shot Melbourne suburb (Tom Rumble/Unsplash)

    Reimagining our housing

    • Cristy Clark
    • 02 July 2020
    2 Comments

    The significance of having a sanctuary has been heightened during the last months of living with the threat of COVID-19, which starkly highlights the experience of those Australians who do not have a sanctuary, who do not have a home to shelter in.

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  • Perth Black Lives Matter Protest (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Saving lives means saving culture

    • Brent Riley
    • 25 June 2020
    6 Comments

    People ask why it took the death of George Floyd to make so many Australians stand up. His experience mirrored that of so many Aboriginal people who have died while in custody. His dying words ‘I can’t breathe’ echo through our hearts, because this isn’t the first time a Bla(c)k man has uttered those words while being brutally arrested for a crime most white people would get a slap on the wrist for.

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  • Woman sitting on couch with head leaning on crossed arms (bymuratdeniz/Getty images)

    We're not all in this together, yet

    • David Manne and Laura John
    • 18 June 2020
    5 Comments

    This Refugee Week, many asylum seekers and refugees are struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are trapped in immigration detention centres across the country in cramped and overcrowded conditions that make physical distancing impossible. Others are living in our community on temporary visas or no visas at all, struggling to make ends meet.

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  •  St Peter's Cathedral in North Adelaide. Photo by moisseyev via Getty

    Who speaks for the Catholic church?

    • John Warhurst
    • 18 June 2020
    25 Comments

    Discussion of church life in Australia is incomplete without consideration of who speaks for the church at the national level. The answer to the question 'Who presides over the Catholic church in Australia?’ is more complicated than you might think.

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  • Pope Francis with Eastern Churches and Ecclesial Communities (Franco Origlia/Getty images)

    Ecumenical history offers lessons

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 June 2020
    18 Comments

    With churches closed throughout much of the world, many events and dedicated weeks have passed us by. One of those weeks was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Catholics who paid attention to Pope Francis’ engagements may have noticed it through his references to the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul’s Encyclical on Christian Unity, Ut Unum Sint.

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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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  • 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
    12 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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  • Protestors outside Captain Cook statue (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

    Felling statues raises deeper questions

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 June 2020
    11 Comments

    The larger questions posed by the destruction of the statues, and indeed of reputations, that they symbolise, concern how to handle complexity.

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  • Atlas holding up world and breaking it, while several people hold up the world together. Illustration Chris Johnston

    Reimagining standards of masculinity

    • Dejan Jotanovic
    • 23 June 2020
    13 Comments

    Public mask wearing — including ‘a piece of cloth, a scarf, bandana, t-shirt, or paper towel’ — was hot on the global public health agenda. One major demographic, however, had trouble fashioning this expert advice: men. 

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  • Cemetery

    Everything that ends

    • David Adès
    • 23 June 2020
    2 Comments

    Moment by moment the numbers are rising, tables of the infected and the dead on websites updated every five minutes, the relentless clicking over of lives, like so many fallen leaves in this country.

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