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  • RELIGION

    Evaluating plenary: One journey ends, another begins

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 October 2021
    11 Comments

    Ten days after the conclusion of the first Assembly of the Plenary Council each member was sent an Evaluation Form to complete. As well as reflecting on our experience we were asked to consider how we would complete the phrase ‘It would have been good if…’. The authorities told us that our responses would help to plan the second Assembly. 

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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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  • 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Climactic events in Royal Park

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 October 2021
    2 Comments

    These weekday mornings all is quiet. / I stroll across the highway, / a piddle of cars in the outbound lane, / a puddle at the distant lights. / Along the parkland trail / cowled figures walk alone, / measuring their distance. / From the rise above the railway cutting / Macedon stands burly in the smoke-free air.

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  • RELIGION

    The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 25 October 2021
    15 Comments

    The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council held few surprises. The program made sure of it. Proceedings were carefully choreographed and the agenda was deliberately anodyne. It took several days before participants found their feet. The upshot was a week devoid of strategic focus.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The right to a healthy environment

    • Cristy Clark
    • 21 October 2021
    2 Comments

    On 8 October, at its 48th session, the United Nations Human Rights Council formally adopted a resolution recognising the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It emphasises that ‘environmental degradation, climate change and unsustainable development constitute some of the most pressing and serious threats to the ability of present and future generations to enjoy human rights, including the right to life’.

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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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  • 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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  • RELIGION

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    26 Comments

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What we talk about when we talk about mental health

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 19 October 2021
    2 Comments

     Millions of Australians are slowly emerging from another lockdown and it’s again reported our mental health has suffered. The Victorian Government recently announced 93,000 hours for mental health clinicians to work across the state, and the delivery of 20 pop-up community mental health sites.

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  • CARTOON

    Missing in opposition

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 19 October 2021
    2 Comments

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