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  • AUSTRALIA

    The constant remaking of a nation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 August 2022

    Few Australians of Irish descent will now be familiar with this history and the experience that accompanied it. They would see themselves as simply Australian. But the emphasis on social justice, the recognition of the value of community, and the concern for people who are marginal that are communicated through Catholic schools and the sympathy with the underdog owe much to the Irish heritage.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stray thoughts: Going doolally over a box of fluffies

    • Michele Frankeni
    • 16 August 2022

    Headlines in print (newspapers and magazines) have some heavy lifting to do. They need to convey the essence of the story in as few words as possible, be enticing and hopefully be funny, clever or both. In traditional news terms, you should know what the story says from the heading, intro and first paragraph. However, the funny thing about being funny (especially with word play) is you’re assuming your audience knows the same things you do.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: Beyond belief

    • Barry Gittins
    • 12 August 2022

    Journalist and author Elle Hardy spent 15 months researching and writing her 2021 work Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity is Taking Over the World. She notes the estimation that by 2050, one billion people around the world (one in 10 humans) will be a Pentecostal follower of Jesus (and their pastor).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Discovery or cover-up?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 August 2022
    9 Comments

    Much has recently written about the doctrine of discovery and its bearing on the treatment of Indigenous peoples, particularly in the United States where it grounded an early legal decision. The doctrine enshrined in law claims that the discovery of underpopulated and cultivated lands conferred on the discoverers the right to ownership, and was used to justify colonial occupation of territory in the Americas, Asia and Africa.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Home sweet home turns sour

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 August 2022
    8 Comments

    It is easy to view homelessness from a distance as only a failure of economic policy and of the political responsibility to deliver material goods. A home, however, is more than a house. It connotes connections that are central to humanity. Left without a home people are deprived of more than bricks and mortar; they are diminished in their humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stray thoughts: Alone

    • David Halliday
    • 01 August 2022
    1 Comment

    As the boat pulls away, a figure is left standing alone on the rocky beach beneath a thick wall of fir trees. The person stares out after the boat relishing the last morsel of human contact they will have for an indefinite time.    

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Then and now

    • John Honner
    • 28 July 2022
    4 Comments

    The ‘Land Rights Now’ banner is hoisted against the wind, and the marchers set off for the Embassy. A young Aboriginal woman walks ahead of the banner. She has dyed her hair red. She turns and leans into the wind to face the marchers, holding a megaphone to her mouth. ‘What do we want?’ she shouts, ‘When do we want it?’ And she keeps going, exhorting the marchers. We reply ‘Land Rights … Now!’ The crowd tires before she does.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pride and tolerance

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 July 2022
    15 Comments

    There has been much said in recent days about the refusal of a group of Manly Sea Eagles footballers to wear a special Pride jersey. The boycotting players have been labelled as hypocrites (for taking a stand on this issue and not, for example, gambling or domestic violence) and even hateful for their actions. Many say they would be happy to see them sacked from the club entirely. It seems to me, though, that the attitudes of the Manly players deserve more consideration than this.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the invisible worm

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 July 2022
    2 Comments

    Over recent weeks many people have expressed alarm and despondence at the rising number of infections and deaths from COVID. Just as we were enjoying freedom from restrictions we found ourselves encouraged to work from home if possible and to wear masks. The crisis and the recommendations recall the first onset of COVID in Australia. Yet the response of Governments is much less forceful. The differences between the responses and the reasons for them merit reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stray thoughts: Living by make-believe

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 July 2022
    1 Comment

    In some ways this habit of association of ordinary personal life with the epic figures of literature or history marks a return to childhood. In it admired figures have a mythical status. I used to imagine that if, in my hand I had a Don Bradman bat, on my cap a Neil Harvey badge, or Mopsy Fraser’s number on my back, their skills would become mine. They never seemed to.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In praise of complexity

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 July 2022

    One of the tests by which we can judge political maturity is whether it gives due weight to complexity. It is easy to reduce political conversation to opposed statements between which we must choose. That will sometimes be appropriate. Often, however, discussion of policy raises several different questions, each of which needs to be considered.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stray thoughts: A more powerful lens

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 18 July 2022

    If there is another civilisation out there peering into the skies like us, what would they see as they catch a glimpse of life on Earth in the 21st century? I wonder what they would make of our preoccupations, and what they might see through their powerful lenses that we ourselves cannot? 

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