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  • RELIGION

    When does news become a distraction?

    • Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2024

    There's a fine line between consuming news as a numbing distraction, and engaging with news that reminds me of human community. Even with the best of intentions to be informed and engaged, too often I find myself if not despairing, then at least lost in the volume. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What does the Cass Report mean for gender medicine in Australia?

    • Andrew Amos
    • 14 June 2024

    The response to the Cass Review by gender medicine specialists and medical authorities in Australia has been deafening silence. Regardless of your position on gender-affirming care, it is unconscionable to stand in the way of a review that would allow for systemic problems to be addressed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump, convicted

    • David Halliday
    • 11 June 2024

    When Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records, it represented a long-awaited triumph of the rule of law in the United States. But the verdict may not mean much in the long run, and has not affected Trump's popularity among voters. Watching Trump’s conviction from afar prompts us to consider how good we have it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Justice and Hope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 June 2024

    Raimond Gaita insists that there is something precious in each human being. He does not rest this conviction on a particular religious or philosophical grounding. It flows, rather, from a rich reading of human possibilities and questioning of the meaning of life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When safetyism leads

    • Julie Szego
    • 07 June 2024

    In response to campus protests, universities erred on the side of free speech when every other day, the prevailing ethos is one of ‘safetyism’, namely suppressing speech or inquiry if an identity group frames it as ‘harmful’ to them. Universities should strive to be uncomfortable and ‘unsafe’ for all, with no identity immune from robust scrutiny.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Are boot camps a solution or a symptom?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2024

    Children should certainly be protected from many experiences that they might enter more safely as adults. But should we not also ask if adults should also be shared these harmful experiences? If social media, nicotine and alcohol are harmful to children, should they be allowed for anyone? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In praise of the human kind

    • Ken Haley
    • 31 May 2024

    Social psychologist Hugh Mackay has been people-watching for more than 60 years. At 86 he has published The Way We Are: Lessons from a lifetime of listening, a compendium of his choicest insights on Australian life quarter-way through the new century.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Walking in two worlds

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 May 2024

    When US-based Catholic Jason Evert was due to speak to Catholic schools across NSW,  there was a backlash, sparked by online activists. The controversies around Evert’s visit highlights just how difficult it is becoming to walk that line between the values and demands of the Church we represent, and the society in which we live.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Punisher

    • Barry Gittins
    • 24 May 2024

    In the latest Quarterly Essay profile of Peter Dutton, author Lech Blaine may well describe his work as character delineation, rather than character assassination. But we seem to be at an impasse in Australian market of ideas, and scorn gives greater bang for the buck than dialogue.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The strange case of Australian noir

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 May 2024

    What's the appeal in Australian noir crime fiction? The genre has always been popular in Australia, and Australian writers of crime fiction have always had plenty of material to draw on. Led by authors like Garry Disher and Jane Harper, it has experienced something of a renaissance during the last decade.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nursing our health carers

    • Michele Frankeni
    • 21 May 2024

    As someone who lately has been closer to witnessing the work of nurses and medical professionals than I’ve really wanted to be, I do not need persuading of their benefit to society. Perhaps every day should be ‘Hug a nurse day’. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Please, not Bridgerton again

    • Juliette Hughes
    • 17 May 2024

    What can you say when faced by another season of Bridgerton – that posing, poncing, irony-defying travesty of all history, literature and human relationships? Bridgerton took the Barbara Cartland romance/mild erotica ethos and dumbed it down to fifty shades of fluorescent polyester.

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