Latest articles

  • Man with briefcase (Marten Bjork/Unsplash)
    economics

    The gift of work

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 August 2020
    4 Comments

    Amid the disruption of predictable life wrought by the coronavirus, governments have focused on jobs. Jobs lost in the response to the virus, and jobs created as we emerge from the crisis. The focus is worthy — behind each job lost is a person whose life has become anxious and uncertain. The language, however, is concerning. Defining the challenge as one of creating jobs expresses an understanding of work, the inadequacy of which the coronavirus has laid bare.

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  • Woman on street (Kanawa_Studio/Getty Images)
    australia

    Harassment doesn't stop for a pandemic

    • Mark Yin
    • 11 August 2020
    3 Comments

    In response to an ABC call out, ‘hundreds of people from across the country’ shared similar experiences of coronavirus-related racism. All these stories illustrate that a wide range of public spaces — indeed the few spaces we are allowed to frequent in lockdown like supermarkets, roads and parks — are not safe for everyone.

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  • Sam in his garden, while politicians dismantle ABC sign (Chris Johnston)
    arts and culture

    Our neighbour Sam

    • Brian Matthews
    • 04 August 2020
    18 Comments

    Our neighbor Sam is in his mid-seventies. He takes things quietly, enjoys a chat where our two gardens converge at a corner of the lambing paddock that unfolds beyond our shared wire fence and, regularly in summer, Sam is partial to a few cooling drinks.

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  • Main image: Erdogan at Friday prayers in Hagia Sophia (Turkish Presidential press office/Getty Images)

    The reconquest of Hagia Sophia?

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 28 July 2020
    7 Comments

    Erdogan’s announcement in relation to the Hagia Sophia is one that is heavily influenced and panders to his Islamist sentiments and supporters. Hagia Sophia, often touted as the pinnacle of Byzantine church architecture and design, was reverted to a museum in 1935 by the founder of the modern Turkish republic, Kemal Ataturk. Altering its status to a mosque is clearly about propping up Erdogan’s Islamist credentials and base, which have slowly been eroding civil freedoms in the Turkish nation.

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  • Main image: Mahmoud Abbas speaks at United Nations (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Annexation exposes the political isolation of Palestinians

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 14 July 2020
    4 Comments

    For decades, the UN issued non-binding resolutions and condemnations regarding Israel’s colonial expansion over Palestinian territory. As Israel gears towards implementing its annexation plans, which will see around 30 per cent of territory from the occupied West Bank falling under Israeli sovereignty, Palestinians stand to continue the cycle of territorial loss, internally forced displacement, and a deterioration of what remains of their rights.

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  • Rear view of woman on Hong Kong street (d3sign/Getty Images)

    Trauma and displacement are no time for profit

    • Salina Cheung
    • 13 July 2020
    4 Comments

    There is a trend of liberals calling for the West to open its borders to fleeing Hongkongers for economic benefit. It is commendable that these individuals want the West to offer Hongkongers refuge. But to frame this philanthropy in such mercenary terms makes this goodwill suspect: these voices want to capitalise on a traumatic moment of displacement.

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  • Crying woman image credit: Arman Zhenikeyev / Getty

    Why COVID's got me crying in the shower

    • Fernanda Fain-Binda
    • 06 August 2020
    3 Comments

    The Stage Four lockdown announced by Daniel Andrews on Sunday shows how precarious it is for working mothers. When the going gets tough; our jobs outside the home are expendable.

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  • Woman putting on mask (courtneyk/Getty Images)

    An age of communal and civic responsibility?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 August 2020
    11 Comments

    If they are to enlist the support of their people in acting responsibly in the face of coronavirus, governments must themselves practice responsibility. They must look to the good of the whole community, and especially to disadvantaged people who are at the greatest risk of contracting the coronavirus.

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  • Protestor is arrested at Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

    Human rights in a pandemic

    • Cristy Clark
    • 30 July 2020
    9 Comments

    The need to contain the spread of COVID-19 has led to a raft of emergency laws that have challenged us to deeply consider the appropriate balance between community and individual rights. 

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  • Woman in ocean (Douglas Bagg/Unsplash)

    Rediscovering sacred spaces in a pandemic

    • Eliza Spencer
    • 13 August 2020
    2 Comments

    Throughout the summer I risked smoke, storms and sickness to escape into the embrace of the sea, until, one day after that final swim, places of worship were effectively closed, along with beaches, pools, and national parks across NSW.

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  • Main image: Social distancing foot shake (elvira boix gomez/Getty Images)

    Friendship and Ignatius Loyola in isolation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 July 2020
    7 Comments

    Ordinarily the last two days of July would for me be occasions of celebration. July 30 is the International Day of Friendship and July 31 is the feast day of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. This July, in Victoria, at least, it is hard to summon energy to celebrate. We are in a time of endurance.

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

    For the Life of the World: savvy and radically Christian

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 July 2020
    15 Comments

    For the Life of the World is recent document prepared by Orthodox clerical and lay scholars and ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople that challenges perceptions. Based strongly in the faith of the church and addressed primarily to members of the Orthodox churches, it is confident and independent in its voice and radical in many of its conclusions.

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  • Trees cut down in Amazon (Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

    Solidarity with land and environmental defenders

    • Bree Alexander
    • 06 August 2020
    1 Comment

    While the world is largely focused on COVID-19, a recent report from Global Witness revealed that murders of land and environmental defenders, defined as people who take a stand for land and environment in a peaceful manner, reached a high in 2019.

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  • Main image: The Australian Parliament house is hardly visible behind a dense smog. (Photo by Daniiielc/Getty Images)

    Lawsuits over climate crisis risk

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 July 2020
    2 Comments

    On July 22, Katta O'Donnell filed an action in the Federal Court in Victoria hoping to make good her promise to put the government on trial for ‘misconduct’. The action notes that, ‘At all material times there has existed a significant likelihood that the climate is changing, and will continue to change, as the result of anthropogenic influences.’ Australia was ‘materially exposed and susceptible’ to the risks posed by climate change.

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  • Main image: Town of Kimba (Kim Mavromatis)

    Much at stake for Barngarla Country

    • Michele Madigan
    • 28 July 2020
    8 Comments

    There’s a long way to go for the Coalition to change from ‘its business as usual’ performance in this as in many other matters. We can all play our part, however, in encouraging Senators to stop another sizable wind back in the nation’s democratic processes. If the Senate defeats this Radioactive Waste Management Bill then the Barngarla and others can, as in any democratic country, take to court the minister’s processes.

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  •  Couple kissing behind bouqet (Thomas Barwick/Getty Images)

    Autistic representation and Love on the Spectrum

    • Alex Creece
    • 11 August 2020
    6 Comments

    With all its good intentions and charming participants, Love on the Spectrum is for the neurotypical eye. Just like The Undateables, a similar show from the UK, it takes the inner machinations of disabled lives and creates entertainment for non-disabled viewers. Autistic representation on television is rare, which makes it all the more alienating when these few depictions exist purely for everyone else’s warm-n-fuzzies.

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  • Leaves in flower dome (Lisa Pratley/Pixabay)

    Language made physical in gardens

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 04 August 2020
    2 Comments

    Since I'm the bloke who needs the out-of-doors. With our language made physical in gardens, those marvellous pink barred clouds and angled rays can be nothing more than merely genuine.

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  • Main image: Man wearing mask (Bruna Araujo/Unsplash)

    Born free

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 28 July 2020
    20 Comments

    During times of crisis concepts such as power and liberty are often brought into the light and re-examined, and it is a sad fact that during those same times, people in power often try to chip away at liberty, at democracy’s most basic freedoms: several current world leaders immediately spring to mind.

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