Keywords: Family

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Revisiting American Dirt

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 November 2021
    12 Comments

    Writers inevitably learn bitter lessons, including one about readers who will be wounded, hurt, or at least deeply offended by their work. There is usually more than one group of these, for people become upset for reasons that are many and varied. Such is the case in the reaction to Jeanine Cummins’ fourth book, American Dirt. Cummins has been variously accused of stereotyping, racism, narcissism, and of lacking in empathy.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Public faith and Perrottet

    • Julian Butler
    • 01 November 2021
    15 Comments

    The elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the Premiership of New South Wales caused a flurry of commentary about his religious faith. In many parts of the media his politics and personality were framed by his Catholicism. I watched on with a degree of discomfort, and with a sense of possibility. Could some of the bigoted characterisations invite a richer conversation about the ideals and deeper narratives that enliven our public leaders?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The promise of alchemy

    • David Rowland
    • 01 November 2021
    8 Comments

    Ben Jonson is one of the great English Renaissance playwrights but he can also be challenging for the modern reader. When I first came to Jonson some years ago, I attempted a comedy from 1610, The Alchemist. I soon felt out of my depth. Conceding defeat, I put the book aside and told myself that there would be some ‘other time’. This year in Melbourne, with the theatres closed, the streets largely deserted, and travel restrictions firmly in place, that ‘other time’ arrived.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    From persecution to protection and the purgatory in between

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 October 2021
    5 Comments

    Mark Twain is reported to have said ‘history does not repeat, it rhymes.’ Watching a US helicopter evacuating people from the US Embassy in Kabul, that was rhyming. Many have seen this picture before, 30 April 1975, but then it was Saigon. The massive confusion, mixed messages, terrified people, lack of human rights protection happened in 1975, and still happens in 2021.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Has the pandemic changed the way we work for good?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 26 October 2021
    1 Comment

    We are in the midst of what is being called the ‘the Great Resignation’, with millions of workers rethinking the place of work in their lives, and WFH is a huge part of this. According to a report by Microsoft, ‘over 40 per cent of the global workforce [is] considering leaving their employer this year’ and hybrid work — a combination of home and office work — is here to stay.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Poor-blaming lets governments off the hook

    • Claire Victory
    • 26 October 2021
    7 Comments

    We don’t need further commentary that gives people who are well off yet another excuse to demonise people living in poverty and to blame them for their circumstances. It lets governments off the hook – governments which should be addressing the structural causes of poverty.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Accepting uncertainty

    • Tim Hutton
    • 21 October 2021
    6 Comments

    The pandemic has been a clear demonstration that science is a method, not an endpoint. It is an ongoing process of hypothesising, testing, and interpreting the results of those tests through public policy. Though the hypothesis may be accepted or rejected, these interpretations are unlikely to be absolutely definitive statements or recommendations and are usually made with varying degrees of certainty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Poetry in lockdown: Recent work of Hermina Burns

    • Jennifer Gribble
    • 14 October 2021
    7 Comments

    Well before the pandemic, the future for poetry’s slim volumes was looking far from healthy.  Last November, the threatened closure of UWA Press, one of the largest publishers of poetry in Australia, drew attention to the narrowing opportunities for emerging poets to make their mark. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If life is not sacred...

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 October 2021
    35 Comments

    Some weeks ago I wrote about the taking of human life and of the loss of its sacred connotations.  I argued that the decisive consideration governing recent legislation in such issues as abortion and assisted dying has been the appeal to individual choice, supported by compassion for people who suffer from their denial. Whether we welcome this trend or regret it, as I do, we all have an interest in asking what effect it will have on society. In this article I would like to explore this question in a way that opens rather than closes conversation.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A dog's life

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 30 September 2021
    3 Comments

    For almost two years our pets have had us all to themselves. Everywhere I go now, the dogs follow: to the study, to the television, to the bathroom, to bed. I’m the recipient of that same loyal companionship sought out by so many during the pandemic: across the world, demand to adopt or foster animals — and dogs, in particular — has surged. 

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