Vol 30 No 24

29 November 2020


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A very varied Christmas

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 December 2020
    5 Comments

    What does Christmas mean for you? What does it have in store? Preceding and in the midst of the annual celebration of life and hope that is Christmas, we will always have those, as H L Mencken noted, are obsessed with the ‘haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The continuing crisis in immigration detention

    • Nicola Heath
    • 17 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Many refugees in Australia live in conditions that the rest of the population would find unacceptable. Most of the 192 refugees who were transferred to Australia under the Medevac legislation between February and December 2019 are currently held at hotels in Melbourne and Brisbane, known as ‘alternative places of detention’ (APOD), where they have had no access to the outdoors or fresh air for more than 12 months.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Solidarity and asking the right questions

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 17 December 2020
    7 Comments

    It’s usually January that white blindfold think pieces around Invasion Day start, but this year they’re getting in early. I cannot help but think this has a lot to do with the right in Victoria feeling completely dishevelled and disempowered at this point in time and lashing out.

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  • INFORMATION

    Christmas Raffle 2020 winners

    • Staff
    • 17 December 2020

    Christmas Raffle 2020 Winners.Raffle drawn on Wednesday 16 December 2020 (VIC Permit No 10394/20). 1st prize: #5446 F Steen; 2nd prize: #3125 P Walker; 3rd prize: #1698 H Dyson. All winners have been notified. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who supported our Christmas raffle.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The shepherd wife

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 17 December 2020
    3 Comments

    The shepherd wife has one word for her cosmos – isychia: here is isychia, she tells strangers. Without amenities — no water, electricity — her house clings to a small crease in the hills, a tortoise shell; sea forces strips of blue between the planks of outer walls that have no windows to admit the sky, the hills’ harsh beauty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A living memoir of my father

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 15 December 2020
    2 Comments

    I have stared at this photograph of me and Dad for more than five months. The picture was found in Mum’s drawer. After some calculations and contemplations, Mum said I was three years old in the photo. How much can I remember from age three? How far back in time can I go? What I could only do was stare, imagine, and ask questions.

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  • CARTOON

    Scomohoho

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 December 2020
    1 Comment

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remember those in permanent quarantine

    • Andra Jackson
    • 15 December 2020
    5 Comments

    With all the congratulations that have been going around following Melbourne achieving zero COVID-19 cases there is one group that has been entirely overlooked. These particular people remain in a prolonged form of hotel quarantine, unable to mix with the general public. They are refugees and asylum seekers brought to Australia under the now defunct Medevac legislation from Nauru and Manus Island.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Spirituality, leadership and social service in the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 15 December 2020
    6 Comments

    The work of Catholic social service agencies should be celebrated within the church. Its peak body, Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), which has been savagely cut recently, has successfully matched wits with governments for over sixty years and its member agencies continue to serve the community selflessly.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Language as an open door

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2020
    13 Comments

    If we want to renew religious language and images we must begin with attention to the words we currently use, noticing their resonance as well as their meaning. It is then important for the language of prayer and reflection to be grounded in deep contemporary experience.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Finance needs common sense, not cleverness

    • David James
    • 10 December 2020
    1 Comment

    The world’s financial markets are afflicted by a deep irrationality that imperils their very existence. On the surface, finance looks logical enough with its numbers, charts, mathematics, forecasts, ‘modelling’ and so on. But this only masks the fact that the system itself has been working on underlying assumptions that are either contradictory — such as that you can ‘deregulate’ finance when finance consists of rules — narrow minded or absurd.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Discovering the world on our doorstep

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 10 December 2020
    4 Comments

    There’s not a spare parking spot to be had in the NSW central west town of Orange. Patrons spill from cafes onto pavements and queues trail in orderly ribbons from the gelato shop’s doorway. There’s no room at any inn, and restaurants are bursting at their (COVID-compliant) seams; forget about scoring a table if you haven’t booked ahead of time. Travel is back, and regional Australia is the big winner.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    My halted journey toward freedom

    • JN Joniad and Ashfaq Hussain
    • 10 December 2020
    3 Comments

    I was just fifteen years old when I was forced to run for my life. I dreamed of seeking a better education in Australia and becoming a pilot. Instead, I became a refugee in Indonesia, which does not recognize my existence and basic rights. I am even refused an education in this country. I have been in limbo for the last eight years.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The poem poised to be written

    • Thuy On
    • 08 December 2020

    Precipitation before thunder/anticipation in the dusty wings/ premonition & catalyst/excavation site unseen/the poem poised to be written/a treble clef before dancing notes/the dapple around the whisper/a story unbirthed & untold.

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  • CARTOON

    A muted response

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 08 December 2020

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    We gather to remember

    • Geoff Page
    • 08 December 2020
    1 Comment

    Twenty-five years from his death we gather to remember, swapping anecdotes like bank notes weathered in our wallets. The one on how as deputy he’d learn, while pausing in a doorway, the names of all three hundred new Year Sevens in a week. And how when actors failed to show for one of his rehearsals, he’d stride the stage himself.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The way we were at Christmas

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 December 2020
    18 Comments

    When I was small we spent Christmas camping by a river in NE Victoria. The festivities began on Christmas Eve, when campers and residents of the township of Bright gathered for carols by candlelight. During the singing of my favourite ‘Good King Wenceslas,’ I never wondered about the absence of snow ‘deep and crisp and even.’ I don’t imagine anyone else did, either

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Reflecting on the inalienable humanity of martyrs

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2020
    17 Comments

    This week is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Ita Ford and Maura Clarke in El Salvador. An event distant in place and time, but worth remembering and honouring in its distance. And also worth reflecting on for its significance for our own time.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cashless cards stymie self determination

    • Michele Madigan
    • 03 December 2020
    12 Comments

    Reading the government controlled Senate Committee recommendations regarding the current Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020 and then the dissenting reports is like reading about two parallel universes.

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  • RELIGION

    St Francis Xavier, disability, and examining our limits

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 December 2020
    10 Comments

    3 December has a couple of interesting resonances for this blind Jesuit. It is the feast day of St Francis Xavier — Jesuit missionary extraordinaire. It is also the International Day of Persons with a Disability. It seems to me that the two anniversaries have more than a little in common — both in what they tell us about the limits and the promise of human life in the image of God.

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  • CARTOON

    On the rocks

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 01 December 2020

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  • RELIGION

    The seamless garment of life

    • Ross Jones
    • 01 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Approaching the walled and caged building where the sentence was carried out, our young fellows have always been struck by something of a paradox proclaimed in two signs at the door: ‘Bureau of Corrections’ alongside ‘Lethal Injection Chamber’. They were quick to seize upon it. ‘How can you correct and rehabilitate a person after you have killed him?’ they would ask.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parallels between the military and the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 December 2020
    31 Comments

    The Australian community and its government are struggling to come to terms with the extremely serious allegations against members of the SAS for their alleged criminal misconduct during the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, we Catholics are experiencing a bad case of déjà as there are many echoes of how we felt when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC) began in 2013.

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