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  • Main image: Baker shaping dough (Thomas Barwick/Getty Images)
    faith doing justice

    The value of the worker

    • Ursula Stephens
    • 25 February 2021
    5 Comments

    'It's the value of the work, not the worker.' So said a government backbencher to me last week while I was speaking to him about the omnibus industrial relations (IR) Bill that has just passed the House of Representatives.

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  • Main image: Men hugging (Dimitar Belchev/Unsplash)
    australia

    Property has a social license, too

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2021
    3 Comments

    Discussion of housing usually focuses exclusively on its relationship to the economy. Housing is seen as property, and the most important questions are seen as having to do with buying and selling. This transactional aspect is important. It needs, however, to be seen in the light of the larger human good. From that perspective housing in all the various forms it takes in different cultures is not a possession but a human need.

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  • Main image: Hands forming a heart (Tim Marshall/Unsplash)
    faith doing justice

    Keeping the common good after COVID

    • Anthony Albanese
    • 23 February 2021
    16 Comments

    What we have is a rare opportunity — in all likelihood a once-in-a-lifetime chance — to shape the future and emerge from the pandemic as a better, fairer nation.

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  • Main image:  child runs alongside a military armored vehicle moving along a street on February 14, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar (Hkun Lat/Getty Images)

    Democracy in shadow: Myanmar coup escalates

    • Anonymous
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    Now, for a few days it seems something new is happening. Can we name it? Thousands, even millions of people have come to the streets in almost a hundred townships and cities across Myanmar. They reject the coup. The young have glimpsed a new light.

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  • Main image: Woman receiving vaccine (Unsplash)

    The politics of vaccines

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 04 February 2021
    8 Comments

    Despite talk against ‘vaccine nationalism’ the pharmaceutical companies are ultimately beholden to investors and shareholders. Their effectiveness percentages are pitches. They will sell to those who can afford to buy. And naturally that’s wealthy countries.

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  • Main image: Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman (Getty Pool)

    On the beach, in the storm

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 February 2021
    15 Comments

    It was all very quiet, and the waterfront was practically deserted. But I suddenly noticed a sole woman right at the water’s edge. She had her back to me, but I saw her lift what was clearly an icon, which she then venerated. I couldn’t hear her precise words, but it seemed obvious she was repeating the forms of the liturgy to herself.

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  • Main image:  Minister Scott Morrison (L) and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg during Question Time in the House of Representatives on February 22, 2021 in Canberra, Australia. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

    Fear of sexual violence pervades from our government to our homes

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 25 February 2021
    9 Comments

    The two most incisive statements relating to the allegations of sexual assault currently miring the Liberal party have come from opposite ends of its hierarchy: the junior employee allegedly raped in a defence ministry office two years ago, and the head of government who denies any prior knowledge of her ordeal.

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  • Illustration Chris Johnston

    The digital divide in a new normal

    • Nicola Heath
    • 23 February 2021
    3 Comments

    For those of us who already regularly shopped, banked, studied and worked via the Internet, it was easy to adapt to telehealth appointments with doctors and video calls with friends and family. Of course, these activities require access to the Internet — something 2.5 million Australians are without. A further 4 million access the Internet solely using a mobile connection. For these citizens, the pandemic exacerbated the existing digital divide.

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  • Main image: Flinders Street station under Stage Four lockdowns (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

    Living with lockdown

    • Julian Butler
    • 18 February 2021
    7 Comments

    Each of us has our own experience of the first COVID year. We do all share some of the best results in supressing the virus anywhere in the world. Talk, though, of social cohesion and government competency is loaded here in Melbourne.

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  •  Empty pews (x1klima/Flickr)

    The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2021
    20 Comments

    Two documents from and about the church in Australia issued in December last year should be compulsory reading for all Plenary Council (PC) delegates. They offer crucial insights into the state of the church in Australia, and taken together they paint a picture of church inertia and decline.

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  • Main image: Zinedine Zidane, FRA and David Beckham / ENG (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    Commending faith

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2021
    30 Comments

    The exchanges within churches echo trends in national life that heighten disagreements, lessen respect, and tend to confine conversation circles to people of similar views. People become annoyed if those opposing their views gatecrash their forums. This trend creates problems for Church sponsored publications.

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  • Main image: Steeple of church (Akira Hojo/Unsplash)

    Making space for conversation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 February 2021
    40 Comments

    The exchanges within churches echo trends in national life that heighten disagreements, lessen respect, and tend to confine conversation circles to people of similar views. People become annoyed if those opposing their views gatecrash their forums. This trend creates problems for Church sponsored publications.

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

    Halki Summit highlights care for creation amid pandemic

    • Stephen Minas
    • 18 February 2021
    2 Comments

    The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked difficult questions about the links between the simultaneous health and ecological crises. These questions were examined in late January at the virtual Halki Summit, the latest in a long series of environment-focused events convened by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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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)

    Not just climate adaptation, but genuine transformation

    • Cristy Clark
    • 10 February 2021
    4 Comments

    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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  • Toni Scott, Sue Woolford, Kellie Hunt - No Radioactive Waste On Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA, Jason Bilney - Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson, Dawn Taylor, BDAC Board Member with One Nation Advisor Jennifer Game. Photo courtesy of Kellie Hunt with the permission of Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation.

    A new stage in fight against radioactive waste bill

    • Michele Madigan
    • 17 November 2020
    9 Comments

    So in the long journey of nearly five years since the Australian federal government's renewed search for a national radioactive waste facility, it seems a new stage has been reached.

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  • Turkey (Bill B/Flickr)

    Crossing borders in a Kombi van

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    The border-obsessed times we live in reminded me of some really tough borders I encountered in years past. It is October 1961, the place: rural Turkey. Where you would have expected to roll on down the deserted dusty road, there is a boom gate and four sentries. This can’t be a border, however.

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  • Clothes on the line in the yard (Rosalie Needham/Unsplash)

    Long conversations over low fences

    • Jamie Dawe
    • 16 February 2021
    1 Comment

    In a stilted, modest Queenslander in Cumming Street we lived. Pets, organic alimentation and perishable bartering. Egg producing Cackling Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns and Bantams. Freedom to explore the countryside without fear or anxiety. Long conversations over low fences.

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  • Two friends looking out onto a lake (Eric Ward/Unsplash)

    True friendship

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 February 2021
    2 Comments

    All three of us are parents, we’ve all been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and prior to that we’ve shared the usual rough and tumble dynamics of male friendships and bridal party affiliations. We have been in and out of each other’s good books, hard conversations, interpersonal dynamics and orbits. We’ve been through a lot as mates. COVID-wise, though, that affinity has been at a remove.

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