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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Christmas through the ages

    • Jenny Blackford
    • 19 December 2018

    At twelve, halfway through too many stifling hours crammed in the Holden station wagon, three girls munch Mum's ham sandwiches in a Rotary park ... At thirty, waifs-and-strays Christmases with friends in our adopted southern city.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Melbourne punks are at the forefront of protest

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 18 December 2018
    1 Comment

    While Melbourne has long been the city of protest, it is also a major global centre for quality protest music. The songs are defiant, political, loud and proud; they're staunch, they're angry, they're educative, they're funny and they demand to be listened to. These local bands are full of women, queer-identifying people, or people of colour.

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  • CARTOON

    Three wise men

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 18 December 2018

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious freedom in secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 December 2018
    9 Comments

    Let's hope all members of parliament can agree to the insertion of such a clause in the legislation providing assurance to religious educators that they can continue to teach their doctrine in good faith while assuring all students and their families that they will not suffer any detriment while sitting at the feet of religious educators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Philistine invasion is cringe-worthy indeed

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 December 2018
    7 Comments

    Simon Birmingham's recent vetoing of 11 humanities research projects is a good example of cultural cringe's transmutation into populist philistinism. Scientific research projects are often more opaque to the uninitiated than humanities projects but are usually safe from ignorant criticism because their importance is assumed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The casual service industry is broken

    • Devana Senanayake
    • 14 December 2018
    1 Comment

    David Leyonhjelm recently thanked men from South Asian backgrounds for delivering his pizza, groceries and online purchases; for rolling up their sleeves for jobs others refused. This gesture is seriously problematic. The casual service industry is broken and exploitative and needs to be carefully regulated and constantly audited.

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  • RELIGION

    The saint and the sultan's model for peace

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 December 2018
    4 Comments

    Next year will mark the 800th anniversary of the future Saint Francis of Assisi's historic meeting with Malik-al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt, during the Fifth Crusade. As we hear or sing seasonal songs of peace and harmony, there are some lessons we can learn from that quirky piece of history.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's Christmas cognitive dissonance

    • Amy Thunig
    • 13 December 2018
    6 Comments

    I cannot help but think about the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe you hold not only the rights to an entire holiday, but also the moral high ground, all while occupying buildings built on stolen lands. The migration of this celebration to this continent did not happen in isolation from the violence of invasion and colonisation.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scenes from the Land of Frankincense

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 December 2018
    2 Comments

    How delightful to see this country's mosques suffused with the scent of frankincense — not just on celebratory days, but always. And what a surprise it is to find that this place in whose proximity Christianity unfolded smells exactly — precisely — like Christmas.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Modern day hearts of darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 December 2018
    13 Comments

    A commentator recently described most politicians as being professional liars, and it can be argued that they tend to deceive themselves as well. Many can be compared with Heart of Darkness's Kurtz, who hid 'in the magnificent folds of his eloquence the barren darkness of his heart'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confidentiality, Confession and the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2018
    14 Comments

    Victoria's government has promised legislation to force religious ministers to report information about child sexual abuse received in Confession, and called a royal commission after revelations a lawyer breached the professional duty of confidentiality to clients. The implications of these breaches of confidentiality deserve reflection.

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  • CARTOON

    ScoHoHo

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 11 December 2018

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