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  • AUSTRALIA

    What a good Australia Day might look like

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2019
    19 Comments

    The sound of the didgeridoo would be heard throughout the land. On each street corners buskers would mark out their patch, playing violins, oud, piano accordion, berimbau, nyatiti, cello, mouth organ, zither, anklung or daduk singing the love songs and epic poems from the many civilisations that have enriched Australia.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Passport paradox at the Israel-Jordan border

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 January 2019
    5 Comments

    As you couldn't enter Jordan with a passport in which there were Israeli stamps, officials in the Australian Embassy advised us to arrange a second, 'clean' passport. This was a weird business because we would be entering Jordan from Israel — our physical presence in Israel would deny the cleanliness of our passports.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year hope and hijinks

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 18 January 2019
    10 Comments

    Entering an election year is like coming home for the holiday season. It's full of hope and hijinks but also promises and pain. And like every family, each party has its quirks. Hopefully a post-election Parliament will green light some meaningful reform to improve people's lives rather than always culture warring. But don't hold your breath.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's Christmas cognitive dissonance

    • Amy Thunig
    • 13 December 2018
    6 Comments

    I cannot help but think about the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe you hold not only the rights to an entire holiday, but also the moral high ground, all while occupying buildings built on stolen lands. The migration of this celebration to this continent did not happen in isolation from the violence of invasion and colonisation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Modern day hearts of darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 12 December 2018
    14 Comments

    A commentator recently described most politicians as being professional liars, and it can be argued that they tend to deceive themselves as well. Many can be compared with Heart of Darkness's Kurtz, who hid 'in the magnificent folds of his eloquence the barren darkness of his heart'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    12 Comments

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Two sides to Morrison's Rohingya tears

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 November 2018
    7 Comments

    Many who are appalled by the sufferings inflicted on people who seek protection in Australia under a policy for whose design and administration Morrison was responsible, saw his tears over the plight of Rohingya refugees as hypocritical. Both Morrison's tears and his critics' varying responses to them merit reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Movember lessons about being men

    • Tim Hutton
    • 27 November 2018
    2 Comments

    Movember has a clear goal: stop men dying too young. The foundation aims, in particular, to reduce preventable deaths resulting from prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide. While the goal is noble, Movember is also a sad reminder of a truth not universally acknowledged: men are often our own worst enemies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    America's new hope found in diversity

    • Jim McDermott
    • 09 November 2018
    3 Comments

    The chaos of the last two years will almost certainly continue in the next two (see: current occupant, White House). So will the deep divides between parties and between regional and urban America. But this week Americans seemed to remind themselves that even when the light grows dim, the possibility of a better day never fully disappears.

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  • RELIGION

    Christianity tells stories; Islam finds designs

    • Michael McGirr
    • 31 October 2018
    21 Comments

    My year ten class studies Islam, one of the most formative influences in the world that my students will inhabit and hopefully improve. I have a profound respect for Islam. Westerners often fail to acknowledge the debt they owe to Islam, a tradition that had a huge role in bringing Europe through the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Fronts of distortion in the Khashoggi affair

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 19 October 2018
    4 Comments

    Trump finds facts distasteful and prefers to avoid engaging them; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia finds them in need of censorship, possibly of the most extreme type; and Turkey, with one of the world's most sullied records in treating journalists, retains a reserve discordant with its own findings.

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  • EDUCATION

    How our universities are failing new teachers

    • Tim Hutton
    • 12 October 2018
    8 Comments

    Data published by the ABC has revealed the shockingly low threshold for entry into tertiary teaching programs. On one hand, there are some legitimate concerns here. But the problem isn't with who gets accepted to university; it's with what happens to them while they are there.

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