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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Outgrowing apartheid: FW de Klerk

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 November 2021
    29 Comments

    The passing of South Africa’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, raises pressing questions about a complex historical character who, according to his brother, Willem de Klerk, slowly outgrew apartheid. In a critical sense, he was bound, understandably, by both time and context: race, the need to defend a racial hierarchy, the historical role of a segregationist system that saw his all-white National Party retain power for decades. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wipeout

    • Les Wicks
    • 22 November 2021

    The largest wave is friendship. / Heard stories about seamlessness / that sleepy beast of an upsurge that carries you in / until your fin cuts a channel in the sand. / There are dumpers that leave you gasping. / Will & persistence, how a cold current / can race to your head.

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  • RELIGION

    More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equity

    • Andrea Dean
    • 18 November 2021
    34 Comments

    It’s good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See. In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican’s governorate. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Look back at who we’ve left behind

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 November 2021
    4 Comments

    The abrupt change in public attitudes to the threat of COVID calls to mind an earthy Cambodian proverb. It describes someone who has begged a boat ride across a river and then goes on his way without thanking or paying the boatman. Roughly translated the proverb says, ‘Flash your bum and say good-bye’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How the illicit drug trade helped the spread of Covid

    • Stephen Lawrence
    • 16 November 2021
    1 Comment

    A truth that virtually dares not speak its name is that the spread of Covid 19 into regional New South Wales was largely a product of the illicit drug trade. Understanding why and how this occurred points in the direction of much needed social policy. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Inequality in a time of pandemic

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 15 November 2021
    5 Comments

    The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been like the aerosol used in those heist movies, where the cat burglar breaks into the museum and sprays the air to reveal the invisible lines of power that criss-cross the space between the door and cabinet where the treasure is kept.  

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    63 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gone to graveyards every one

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 November 2021
    11 Comments

    Aficionados of United Nations Days and Weeks will know that this is the Week of Science and Peace. In the middle of it, perhaps deliberately and certainly paradoxically, sits Remembrance Day. Initially called Armistice Day, it marked the end of the First World War and of the industrial scale killing involved in it. The events of 1918 and what they might say about the relationship between war and science merit reflection today.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    TikTok Tourettes: The rise of social media-induced illness

    • Jarryd Bartle
    • 04 November 2021
    2 Comments

    For the past two years, there has been a dramatic uptick in young people (almost exclusively females) presenting with tic-like behaviours indicative of Tourette Syndrome to specialist clinics in Canada, the United States, the UK, Germany and Australia. The phenomena of tic-like behaviours developed rapidly over a course of hours or days, coined ‘rapid onset tic-like behaviours’ in one paper, appears to be a form of functional neurological disorder with an unusual cause: social media.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Your poetry questions, answered

    • Philip Harvey
    • 04 November 2021
    8 Comments

      Although I teach poetry and do occasional workshops, the following is written in response to one such workshopper, new to writing poetry, who in lockdown would message me on social media with fairly open-ended questions about poetry. My answers are written after the wry manner of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska; wry, but generally helpful. They are not the launch pad for a new poetics. I have stopped for now at 12 questions, but the questions keep rolling in.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When love raises its head on the shop floor

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 November 2021
    6 Comments

    In large organisations love hardly rates a mention. Mission statements highlight care, duty, responsibility and friendliness, but not love. Love is generally seen as an interrupter, combustible, something to fence in with protocols and professional standards, and for HR to monitor. When Pope Benedict XVI devoted an Encyclical to the place of love in public relationships, people were surprised. His argument is worth revisiting.

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