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Vol 34 No 4

26 February 2024


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Decades of discovery: Robyn Williams and the evolution The Science Show

    • Michele Gierck
    • 08 March 2024

    If you made a list of top Australian scientists, who would make your top three? Robyn Williams, host of The Science Show since 1975,  discusses the rise of new scientific areas, incredible breakthroughs and thousands of Australian men and women pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    40 Days: Generosity

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2024

    Generosity is most heartwarming when it is a habit. We see it in people whose first inclination is to give something to a beggar, to stop and listen to a hard luck story, to think first of persons affected by war and economic crises and only secondly to policy, to welcome people into their homes and to go out of their way to help.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The economy is in worse shape than you think

    • David James
    • 07 March 2024
    1 Comment

    The aggregate picture of the economy may seem healthy enough after two years of heavy immigration, over 800,000, and the return of students and tourists. But the elephant in the room remains. Australia is a two-tiered society sharply divided between people who own homes and people who do not. The generational divide is worsening.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Gaza by day and night

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2024
    2 Comments

    By day, Gaza is news and images in the media. During the day, we nod as we see the plausibility of all the arguments. But sometimes at night, we may hear again the voice of lamentation, weeping and great mourning. 

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  • RELIGION

    Why did the Vatican take a new stance on blessing 'irregular' relationships?

    • Bill Uren
    • 07 March 2024
    1 Comment

    In December, the Vatican issued ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ (‘Supplicating Trust’), licensing priests to bless partners in same-sex and other ‘irregular’ relationships (divorced and remarried couples, couples ‘living in sin’, etc ) when they are approached in good faith.  

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  • EDUCATION

    Declining staff-to-student ratios reveal sorry state of higher ed

    • Erica Cervini
    • 06 March 2024

    By 2012, when the federal government first started reporting on staff-to-student ratios in universities, there was one academic for every 20 students. The most recent data, from 2021, shows that figure had increased to 23. As Australian students return for the new academic year, it will surely come as no surprise to find that ratio has worsened.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Charity begins at the microphone

    • Barry Divola
    • 06 March 2024

    A documentary about the making of 1985’s We Are The World holds many surprises, while raising questions about charity singles. These stars were rich and privileged and largely out of touch with how most of the public lived. But at least they were using their fame for something good, and wasn’t that something to be encouraged?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Rainbow and the Blue

    • Julian Butler
    • 04 March 2024

    Having first marched with the Mardi Gras Parade in 1998, the NSW Police will march this year, albeit out of uniform. This decision comes amidst community distress following a tragic double homicide, sparking calls for the police's absence. However, those seeking to keep the police out of Mardi Gras may have missed the complexity of this case and the more nuanced status of identities in our contemporary context.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The geography of loneliness

    • John Chesterman and Ilan Wiesel
    • 01 March 2024

    The key to combatting increasing levels of loneliness and social isolation will likely start in the way we think about cities, public spaces and social care to enable meaningful connections between people, and help to guard against harms caused by habitual loneliness. But we'll need to get creative.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is breaking the 'man box' the key to ending domestic violence?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 February 2024

    To encourage young men to adopt a more fully human understanding of what it means to be a man and to live by more expansive rules is an urgent task. It lies at the heart of reducing the level of domestic violence. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    40 Days: Dignity

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 February 2024

    In our more routine lives, most of us have people and groups whom we ignore, we instinctively look down on and we keep away from  and people whose beliefs we scorn. We need to be attentive to the people who are commonly regarded as second-class citizens.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the choice revolution let us down: In conversation with Mark Considine

    • David Halliday
    • 28 February 2024

    The main purpose of government is to promote the welfare of its people. And yet over the last few decades, through numerous inquiries, it’s become clear that the Australian government has failed to provide services for the Australian population as well as might be expected. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Priscilla and Elvis

    • Eddie Hampson
    • 28 February 2024

    Sofia Coppola's latest biopic Priscilla focuses on the King of Rock’n’Roll’s queen, turning the mythic pairing on its head. Since Elvis' death, Priscilla Presley has made numerous revelations about life inside Graceland, effectively demanding a public reappraisal of her relationship with Presley. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Russia-Ukraine war two years on

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 February 2024

    After two years, the attack on Ukraine by Russia on February 24 has left half-a-million dead, traumatised a generation, and promises little in the way of a halt to hostilities. The unpalatable reality to this conflict is that some diplomatic solution will have to be found in this war of murderous attrition.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When hope is not enough: Preparing for the next Black Saturday

    • Barry Gittins
    • 26 February 2024

    February marks 15 years since the Black Saturday fires in Victoria when some 400 fires raced through 78 locations, taking 173 lives, injuring hundreds more, destroying more than 2,020 homes and the entire township of Marysville. In a warming climate, that reality of loss is likely to be repeated ad infinitum.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Making sense of Taylor Swift

    • David Halliday
    • 26 February 2024

    Taylor Swift does something transformative to people like my sister that other pop stars don’t. Other musicians have fans, Taylor has disciples. So what is it about Swift that evokes a sort of conversion experience? Is it just the music?

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