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  • AUSTRALIA

    Local governments are being pushed out of aged care. But at what cost?

    • Zacharias Szumer
    • 05 April 2022

    Like the aged care sector more broadly, home care is in the process of transition as the federal government implements a system designed around the principles of consumer choice and efficiency. The push is driven by expectations that the number of Australians accessing aged care services will more than triple by 2050.

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  • RELIGION

    Forward to the Second Plenary Council Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 April 2022

    The 280 Plenary Council (PC) Members have just taken another major step towards the Second Assembly in Sydney on 3-9 July. Yet it is difficult to have a proper public conversation about this step because it has taken place behind closed doors. Towards the Second Assembly comes a long way under the guidance of the four writing groups, whose membership has not been made public. Though it is a mixed bag, it is probably the best document emerging from the PC, making it even more frustrating that it is not in the public domain. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    For every silver lining there’s a cloud for refugees in Australia

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 05 April 2022

    Recently the Government announced a special visa program for Ukrainians fleeing the war in their home country. The desperate situation in the Ukraine has dominated news for the last month, and already many tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled their country seeking safety in nearby countries like Poland, Hungary and Rumania. Whilst Ukrainian migration to Australia is relatively small numerically, the response was quick and seemingly generous — a three-year visa with Medicare and work rights.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Power but no glory

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 March 2022

    People who understand more about international affairs than I do tell me that the Ukrainian/Russian matter is complex, but to me the matter seems simple enough, involving the obsessions of a powerful man, and the suffering of an innocent population. As usual, it is the women and the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, while President Putin remains supremely indifferent to their fate. And, as so often, I wonder what makes him tick.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Supply to survive

    • Julian Butler
    • 31 March 2022

    In 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic raged globally, as Australia shut its borders and some states shut in their people, massive government income support was introduced. The government was a little slow coming to recognise the need for such measures. Once they had, they wanted the support rolled out as quickly as possible. Frydenberg, Scott Morrison and their colleagues recognised that a demand side boost was absolutely necessary to sustain economic activity. The government was uncomfortable, though, with this approach.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Heigh-ho, it’s time for the election show

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 March 2022

    By attending to the faces of people who are seen as props to the election campaign, and developing an interest in the background of social change in different parts of Australia, we gain a deeper understanding of Australia and its needs. At one level election campaigns are all showbiz and make believe, but at another the humanity that they can never quite stifle also punctures the images that the contesting partners project of Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Reforming the Roman Curia

    • Brian Lucas
    • 29 March 2022

    Prior to the conclave that elected Pope Francis, the Cardinals who met together identified the need for a reform of the Vatican finances and a broader reform of the Roman Curia. Shortly after Francis was elected, work began on the reform of the Roman Curia. There was wide consultation including with the various bishops’ conferences around the world.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Carrying the weight of the daily news

    • Cherie Gilmour
    • 29 March 2022

    A house bursts into flames as it’s submerged in floodwaters. A doctor tells a cameraman filming a dying Ukrainian child to send the footage to Putin. A newspaper delves into the murder of a young woman. It’s like a fever dream: a pandemic bleeds into the edges of a global war. The news presents information, and it has no moral duty to tell us how we should feel about it or help us untangle the knot of feelings which emerge. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Winging it

    • Julian Wood
    • 28 March 2022

    Beyond, the Hampstead houses / dipped their heads in the water / and drank long and slow / as if in companionship. At last the pond darkened / beneath evening clouds / And we rose to go, / Leaving behind the precious crumbs / The birds had waited all day for.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine requires inclusive humanitarian response

    • David Treanor
    • 28 March 2022

    As this conflict unfolds, many governments commit necessary life-saving support for vulnerable people. However, these measures may not reach all citizens and groups, at least equitably. These include frail aged persons, children traveling without parents and those who live an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).

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  • RELIGION

    What is to be done?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2022

    Any program of church reform will have soon to ask Chernyshevsky’s question, What is to be done? It is a dangerous question — he wrote his novel from jail and spent much of his life in exile or imprisonment. Discussion of Church matters is mercifully less perilous today, but the question does invite a radical repiecing of the connections and tradition and energies that constitute Catholic life.

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  • ECONOMICS

    How will Russia sanctions impact the global economy?

    • David James
    • 22 March 2022

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to severe financial sanctions being imposed on the country that are likely to have lasting consequences. Problem is, they may not be the ones the sanctioners are expecting. They may even come to regret what they have done.

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