Author: Nicola Heath

  • AUSTRALIA

    The digital divide in a new normal

    • Nicola Heath
    • 23 February 2021
    3 Comments

    For those of us who already regularly shopped, banked, studied and worked via the Internet, it was easy to adapt to telehealth appointments with doctors and video calls with friends and family. Of course, these activities require access to the Internet — something 2.5 million Australians are without. A further 4 million access the Internet solely using a mobile connection. For these citizens, the pandemic exacerbated the existing digital divide.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The continuing crisis in immigration detention

    • Nicola Heath
    • 17 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Many refugees in Australia live in conditions that the rest of the population would find unacceptable. Most of the 192 refugees who were transferred to Australia under the Medevac legislation between February and December 2019 are currently held at hotels in Melbourne and Brisbane, known as ‘alternative places of detention’ (APOD), where they have had no access to the outdoors or fresh air for more than 12 months.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Women deserve a bigger role in our economic recovery

    • Nicola Heath
    • 30 June 2020
    2 Comments

    It turns out that the COVID-19 economic crisis is disproportionately affecting women — so much so that some have dubbed it a ‘pink-collar recession’. Unemployment figures show that since February, 457,517 women have lost their jobs compared to 380,737 men.

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  • EDUCATION

    Digital divide made even wider in COVID-19 times

    • Nicola Heath
    • 27 March 2020
    9 Comments

    A laptop or tablet and the internet are not universally available to Australian students. In 2016-17, 1.25 million Australian households lacked the internet home connection that’s required to make full use of online learning platforms like Class Dojo, where my daughter’s class is congregating during the coronavirus lockdown.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We need better care to relieve birth trauma

    • Nicola Heath
    • 06 November 2019
    2 Comments

    In our foetal-centric antenatal model, the health and wellbeing of the person giving birth are secondary considerations, stemming in part from a belief that suffering is a defining characteristic of childbirth. But what if a 'safe delivery' meant not just a healthy baby, but a healthy mother too?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Inmate internet access more than a prison perk

    • Nicola Heath
    • 10 October 2019
    7 Comments

    For a nation with such a significant convict history, Australians take a peculiarly puritanical approach to prisoner welfare. Punishment, not rehabilitation, is often viewed as the point of the justice system. We take a very dim view of anything that could be construed as a prisoner perk. One such perceived privilege is access to the internet.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The politics of domestic labour

    • Nicola Heath
    • 08 August 2019
    2 Comments

    It isn't just mothers and wives who bear the burden. Many households outsource domestic labour to nannies, housekeepers and cleaners. These workers are part of a vast global industry that employs 100 million people around the world. They are usually women from poor backgrounds who are rarely paid well for their labour.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why are we so soft on wage theft?

    • Nicola Heath
    • 05 August 2019
    14 Comments

    Cook and television presenter Adam Liaw attributed the widespread underpayment of hospitality workers to the complexity of the award system. In my experience, underpayment was simply part of the business model. The mentality was take it or leave it. There was always another uni student ready to take your place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Support men as equal parenting partners

    • Nicola Heath
    • 12 June 2019
    9 Comments

    Employer-led change is happening. But if we want men to take on a greater role in caregiving, what we need is structural change: universal, use-it-or-lose-it parental leave offered to both parents instead of the old primary/secondary caregiver model that entrenches existing gender roles.

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