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  • AUSTRALIA

    The cities strike back

    • John Warhurst
    • 24 May 2022
    5 Comments

    Governments lose elections, but Oppositions still must demonstrate that they are a capable alternative. Both the Morrison Coalition government and the Albanese Labor Opposition played their part last Saturday. There were many sub-plots in the pattern of voting, but this election was primarily lost and won in the four biggest mainland cities. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ties that bind: How negative campaigns eclipse community focus

    • Julian Butler
    • 12 May 2022
    2 Comments

    Election campaigns can be defined by all sorts of things. Gaffes, negative ads, international incidents, public policy. It is trite but no less true to say that this federal election campaign has been much more about the first three rather than the last. The policy discussion has been edged into the election mix most seriously by various interest groups and by some of the macro party and independent candidates seeking election.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Uluru Statement, the Constitution and the Election

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 May 2022
    3 Comments

    Whoever is Prime Minister after the election on May 21, he will need to address the question of Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution. This is the sixth election in a row when the question has been a live, unresolved issue during the election campaign. The patience of Indigenous leaders is understandably wearing thin. Trust is waning. There is still no clear path ahead. So where to from here?  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election 2022: The value of independents

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 April 2022
    3 Comments

    Few sights are more desperate than old political parties on the run. In this Australian federal election, the challenge from independents and smaller parties has sparked a nervous reaction, much of it negative and most of it misplaced.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Opening up the world: The Utopian vision of Cole’s Book Arcade

    • Cherie Gilmour
    • 19 April 2022

    Edward Cole understood that books encouraged community. The businessman could rub shoulders with the tramp in his Arcade. Now, in an age of division and isolation, more than ever we need spaces which facilitate community; light-filled cathedrals dedicated to the love of knowledge and stories, and their power to cross borders, politically, ideologically and culturally.

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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

    The fable of the frog and the federal election

    • Barry Gittins
    • 21 March 2022

    Like the trusting frog, voters have in the backs of their minds the inkling that when a government achieves power, they lavish time, energy and resources on staying in power. Promises are non-core, or open to interpretation, or de-prioritised as new issues bob up to the surface.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hope against hope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 March 2022

    Taken together the events of recent years suggest that we face a crisis, a time in which the working assumptions that have guided our personal and collective lives no longer hold. If we do not change we face increasing threats to the world that we shall hand on to our children. 

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Debate escalates over controversial nuclear waste storage site

    • Michele Madigan
    • 15 March 2022
    6 Comments

    The long conflict between the federal government plan for a national radioactive waste facility in South Australia and the opponents of the plan has continued to escalate in the past months. On 19 November, Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula was declared South Australia’s Agricultural Town of the Year. Notwithstanding this significant honour, on 29 November the federal Minister for Resources Keith Pitt finally made the formal declaration that Napandee in the Kimba district was the chosen site for the proposed federal radioactive waste dump.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is parliament locked in a crisis of representation?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 03 March 2022
    7 Comments

    Most of us accept that over the last twenty-odd years, something has shifted in the way politics in Australia is conducted, and not for the better. Notably, our government (and media) are seen by most voters as a dividing force within society rather than a uniting one.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Juvenile injustice

    • Julian Butler
    • 22 February 2022
    4 Comments

    Having previously spent time as lawyer working predominantly in the Children’s Court of Victoria, there isn’t too much about the State’s treatment of young people that shocks me. That is, until a few weeks ago when I was drawn to the final item of The Weekend Australian’s editorial column. Under the heading, ‘Hurt boy’s inhuman treatment’, was set out the details of a 15-year-old West Australian boy who had been ‘locked alone in a glass-walled observation cell of a juvenile detention centre in the southern suburbs of Perth for 79 days.’    

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