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  • media

    Why bother about trying to communicate?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 May 2022

    It is unfortunate that World Communications Day is celebrated in the middle of an election campaign. We have seen the worst of partisan media coverage, of shouting as a preferred form of communication, of endless experts promising Armageddon if the result is not to their taste. And yet we have also seen the best of media informing us of the issues that concern people in different parts of Australia. Without such public communication, for all its defects and excesses, our society would be the poorer.

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  • australia

    Big ticket promises won't help our hidden millions

    • Claire Victory
    • 19 May 2022

    There is an Australia that many people seldom encounter and its citizens number in the millions. These citizens live in all cities and regional towns, often in sub-standard yet costly housing, and struggle to survive week to week on low wages or inadequate government assistance.

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  • religion

    I am unashamedly pro-life, but let me tell you what that means

    • Beth Doherty
    • 19 May 2022

    I have always considered myself pro-life. It’s not something I’ve felt a need to wear as a badge of honour, rather it has always been a default position. But terminology matters. Indeed, frequently, calling myself pro-life has drawn the derision or raised eyebrows of people around me, nuns and priests and radical ratbags alike, it has connotations.

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  • The challenges of self-assessment

    • Emma Wilkins
    • 17 May 2022
    3 Comments

    I’d been thinking about my own productivity as an employee, as a freelancer, as a parent; about what left me feeling satisfied, worthy, competent or guilty, unproductive, unfulfilled. I’m convinced we should value people for who they are, not what they do, or don’t or cannot do. And yet I catch myself, thinking about, talking about, how much I have or haven’t done on any given day; forgetting to reflect on how I have behaved, on the kind of parent, wife, colleague, friend that I’ve been.

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  • Trousered heroines: Women’s rights and the culture wars

    • Juliette Hughes 
    • 28 April 2022
    5 Comments

    The rights and wrongs of what has happened in recent years regarding the experience and sufferings of transgender people have ended up as a polarised and difficult area of discourse, affecting women’s lives and rights far more than men’s. In the current situation, Raymond is a clear voice about the erosion of women’s rights and safety in what should be the safest, most pluralistic arena of all: academia. 

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  • A felicitous career

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 April 2022
    3 Comments

    The quality of Niall’s writing is evident in An Accidental Career, though easily unnoticed. It lies in the clarity of her thought, her exact choice of words, the alternation of anecdote and reflection and the self-effacement that creates a direct link between the reader and the work itself. Her writing has the rare gift of simplicity. The precision of the title is characteristic of the book as a whole.

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  • An Australian Pacific tale: Climate security, sovereignty and neglect

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 10 May 2022
    3 Comments

    On May 3, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, vented his fury in parliament at ‘the continual demonstration of lack of trust by the concerned parties, and tacit warning of military intervention in Solomon Islands if their national interest is undermined in Solomon Islands.’ The targets of the speech — Australia and the United States — were clear enough.

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  • A Peloponnesian Anzac

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 April 2022
    3 Comments

    The lives of migrants often consist of divisions and collisions at the border between the old life and the new. But sometimes both lives come together in unexpected ways, and one such conjunction is about to happen to me. On Anzac Day my granddaughter will join the great flow of Orthodoxy, but I hope one day she will know about her little trickle of Australian blood. 

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  • Elon Musk’s Twitter bid exposes ‘financially strange’ media ecosystem

    • David James
    • 19 April 2022
    1 Comment

    Elon Musk’s proposed hostile takeover of Twitter will be a fascinating battle that will have consequences far beyond the stock market. It is exposing just how financially strange social media and conventional media have become. 

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  • When victory for the silent is defeat for the silenced

    • Anthony N Castle
    • 18 May 2022
    2 Comments

    I was invited to a party the night of the 2019 election. The night’s entertainment was invite-only, with long tables of bread and wine, and I stepped back from the sounds of celebration to hear the political coverage on my phone. Standing at the far window, I looked up to see people in the night below, out in the dark, silent. Behind me a party guest shouted over the noise ‘what happened?’ I looked away from those outside and answered: a loss.

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  • Why we need to talk about disadvantage this election

    • Sally Parnell
    • 18 May 2022
    1 Comment

    When millions of Australians look back on this Federal Election campaign, they will recall it as one dominated by ‘gotcha’ moments and scare campaigns. Personal attacks, loud and in-your-face advertising campaigns and so-called missteps by politicians have provided countless hours of talkback content. Regrettably, this has taken the focus of too many away from nuanced conversations about the kind of society in which we want to live, and the policies and vision needed to take us there.

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  • The ties that bind: How negative campaigns eclipse community focus

    • Julian Butler
    • 12 May 2022
    1 Comment

    Election campaigns can be defined by all sorts of things. Gaffes, negative ads, international incidents, public policy. It is trite but no less true to say that this federal election campaign has been much more about the first three rather than the last. The policy discussion has been edged into the election mix most seriously by various interest groups and by some of the macro party and independent candidates seeking election.  

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  • Elections and the Episcopal gaze

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 May 2022
    5 Comments

    We should not underestimate the difficulty that people who represent independent branches of the same organization face when drawing up an agreed statement on contentious issues. Even the widely applauded Uluru Statement from the Heart did not secure the support of all Indigenous groups. If the Bishops Statement was to be effective it had to be supported, or at least tolerated, by all members of the Conference, despite their differing views about political and church issues and the priority that should be given to them in advocacy. 

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  • Distinctive Catholic voices in the election campaign

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 April 2022
    9 Comments

    The Church must speak up to be relevant, but those who seek to ‘speak for the church’ must be brave. They risk exposing themselves to claims of bias unless they stick to a very narrow agenda and speak in extremely measured terms. Yet if they are too bland they risk being irrelevant to the sharp end of political debate and their intervention becomes little more than a symbolic ritual.   

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  • Losing certainty, keeping faith

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 April 2022
    1 Comment

    As a kid, all I wanted was answers. As soon as I’d get one, I’d chase the next. Nowadays, I’m happy with holding onto questions. Rephrasing, examining, thinking. The answers I have don’t always add up, and my mania for meaning, for definitive proof, is abating. I am increasingly aware that all of us, regardless of creed, creditworthiness, consciousness or credentials, lack definitive answers to life’s mysteries. 

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  • Debate escalates over controversial nuclear waste storage site

    • Michele Madigan
    • 15 March 2022
    6 Comments

    The long conflict between the federal government plan for a national radioactive waste facility in South Australia and the opponents of the plan has continued to escalate in the past months. On 19 November, Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula was declared South Australia’s Agricultural Town of the Year. Notwithstanding this significant honour, on 29 November the federal Minister for Resources Keith Pitt finally made the formal declaration that Napandee in the Kimba district was the chosen site for the proposed federal radioactive waste dump.

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  • Main image:  A man wearing the traditional dress of the Solomon Islands march on September 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

    Best of 2021: Not just climate adaptation, but genuine transformation

    • Cristy Clark
    • 11 January 2022
    1 Comment

    On a superficial level, it makes no sense to commit so strongly to managing the impacts of climate change (adaptation) on the one hand while refusing to significantly reduce emissions (mitigation) on the other. On the other hand, when you start to unpack the logic of so much adaptation policy, this contradiction fades away.

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