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Keywords: Letter

  • 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    27 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Scott Morrison’s climate PFFT

    • Greg Foyster
    • 27 October 2021
    6 Comments

    After an excruciating few weeks of negotiations with the Nationals — and far too many hours subjected to Barnaby Joyce’s ramblings — the Morrison government has finally announced their predictably underwhelming plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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  • RELIGION

    In a state of synodality

    • Brian Lucas
    • 21 October 2021
    18 Comments

    One takeaway from the First Assembly of the Plenary Council that might come as no surprise is that the controlling elite in the Church, the bishops, are not dependent on popular support. They are appointed not elected. They are generally irremovable. They come from a culture that is about preserving ‘the tradition’ (which can easily be expanded to include historical novelties that are not really part of the tradition). Moving into the new world of synodality brings obvious challenges.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sacked professor Ridd's freedom of speech

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 October 2021
    5 Comments

    The High Court decision has been confusing for many people because it both upheld Ridd’s right to intellectual freedom and the university’s entitlement to sack him for breaches during disciplinary proceedings which had followed upon two wrongly argued censures. Basically, Ridd won on the point of intellectual freedom but he lost on the other aspects of his behaviour which had nothing to do with the exercise of intellectual freedom. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The satisfactions of homeliness

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2021
    2 Comments

    I’m reminded of George Orwell in smashed-up thoroughly locked-down, wartime London welcoming the first signs of spring amidst the ruins and winter’s lingering cold but wondering whether he should. ‘Is it wicked,’ he asks, ‘to take a pleasure in spring and other seasonal changes? To put it more precisely, is it politically reprehensible?’ 

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Restoring the Third Rite

    • Bill Uren
    • 05 October 2021
    14 Comments

    As a result of the pandemic, like other religious observances, the availability of the Sacrament of Penance has been drastically curtailed, and it is unlikely that recourse to the sacrament will be as frequent as previously even when the restrictions are lifted. Further, the confidence of the laity in the inviolability of the seal has, understandably, been undermined, a consequence of which may again be that recourse to the sacrament will be in decline. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is a just outcome for the Biloela family?

    • Paul Cutler
    • 24 August 2021
    21 Comments

    I believe in the rule of law and I appreciate that the proper application of the law does not always produce a fair or popular result. I also believe that Australia's refugee policy is too harsh and deeply flawed. However, that policy is bipartisan and appears to be inexplicably popular. The same 'fortress Australia' mentality is evident in our efforts to contain Covid-19.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dancer

    • Diane Fahey
    • 02 August 2021
    2 Comments

    I'm standing before the portrait of a woman with closed eyes, her hands delicately cupping, almost, her tilted head. In her face, in her composure, a flower-like serenity that speaks of care, reverence.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Embracing new arrivals helps Australia evolve

    • Vincent Long Van Nguyen
    • 24 June 2021
    15 Comments

    With the average length of detention in Australia now at an historic high, it is timely to review how immigration detention is used. It should be a last resort that is used for the shortest practicable time so that people who pose little risk to the community are not unnecessarily deprived of their liberty, and that they are able to contribute to the community.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rule of lucre

    • Martin Pike
    • 01 June 2021
    13 Comments

    The fact is that money still buys a better service from the legal system, and to claim otherwise is to throw out the most basic principles of an economy. After all, if there were no benefit to be gained from backing up a truck full of money and tipping 30 or 40 grand a day into a team of silks, junior barristers and top tier solicitors, why would those with the means do it? To argue the contrary beggars belief. And if the observation is accepted, what does that tell us about the rule of law?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Truth lies at the heart of communication

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 May 2021
    10 Comments

    There are larger and unchanging questions about why we communicate and about the effect of our communications on the way we live. World Communications Day is an opportunity to think about these basic questions.

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