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Keywords: Childhood

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Daniel Mendelsohn lectures in classics at Bard College, a liberal arts institution in New York State. His retired father, aged 81 in 2011, regrets gaps in his own education, and asks to sit in on his son’s course of seminars on Homer’s The Odyssey. Professor Mendelsohn agrees, and Jay Mendelsohn joins a class of 18-19 year-olds. Later, father and son go on a cruise that retraces The Odyssey where they discover: is home a physical place, or something you carry around with you or within you? 

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Born to rule and crowned in prison

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 July 2022
    1 Comment

    The leaders of the past are often referred to as a measuring stick for evaluating the present. Australian prime ministers are routinely compared to John Curtin or Robert Menzies. This coming week calls to mind another leader against whom we might measure others. July 18 marks Mandela Day, an annual international day in honour of  Nelson Mandela, the first Black President of South Africa. Mandela had the quality, rare today, of being born to rule.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Retracing the tracks

    • Arnold Zable
    • 26 May 2022
    3 Comments

    Election day. Mid-afternoon. 21 May 2022. I make my way to Canning Street, Carlton North. Stop by my childhood home, a single-fronted terrace, the neighbourhood of my youth. In the 1950s election day was a happy day in that rented house, conveniently close to the factories of Brunswick, and the Victoria Market where my father was a stallholder.  My parents loved the three-block walk to the polling booths, located in Lee Street, our local primary school. They were elated at having the right to vote. From where they came, this right had been brutally taken from them.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A felicitous career

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 April 2022
    3 Comments

    The quality of Niall’s writing is evident in An Accidental Career, though easily unnoticed. It lies in the clarity of her thought, her exact choice of words, the alternation of anecdote and reflection and the self-effacement that creates a direct link between the reader and the work itself. Her writing has the rare gift of simplicity. The precision of the title is characteristic of the book as a whole.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why aren't rates of domestic violence going down?

    • Ulrike Marwitz
    • 27 April 2022
    8 Comments

    Recent research by the NSW bureau of crime and statistics and research has found that rates of intimate partner violence have remained relatively stable over the past 15 years. These rates are still alarmingly high. If we care about the welfare of those most impacted by domestic violence, predominantly women and children, we must ask ourselves: why are we failing to make headway on this issue, and what should we be doing differently?

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Distinguishing communities

    • Julian Butler
    • 22 March 2022

    Part of what makes community is what distinguishes community, what sets it apart. It might be an interest in music, or sport, a neighbourhood or a set of values or practices. Initially, at least, the extent to which we identify with the community will depend upon the extent to which those things that define or characterise it are important to us.   

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    From before the flood

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 January 2022
    8 Comments

    I’m not sure that my Greek grandchildren know the word antediluvian or whether they have heard of Methuselah, but they certainly consider me an ancient relic who occasionally tells tall tales and true from the legendary past, and from another land. Of course they are unable to conceive of life or domestic space without screens: even my youngest grandchild, who has just had her first birthday, knows when a Skype call is imminent, and coos accordingly.

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  • RELIGION

    The makings of a saint

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 January 2022
    4 Comments

    On the fifteenth anniversary of Rutilio Grande’s death, I went to a memorial celebration in Aguilares. This crossroads town was the centre of the Jesuit local mission of which Grande had been part. I had already been struck by the affection with which everyone spoke of Rutilio Grande. In a society where any ministry to people who were poor exposed one to constant danger, it was natural to become hardened in order to survive. Rutilio Grande, however, was remembered and treasured for his vulnerability.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Best of 2021: The hollow meritocracy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 January 2022

    The debate about quotas based on gender has been well canvassed. The wider issues raised about merit and meritocracy, however, merit further reflection. Far in the background to both conversations lies a sophisticated body of reflection on merit among Christian theologians. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Best of 2021: Homelessness is caused not by poverty but by wealth

    • John Falzon
    • 04 January 2022

    When you put rising housing costs alongside stagnating wages, an alarming trend in normalising insecure work, persistent unemployment and underemployment, and statutory incomes that are going backwards in real terms, there’s good reason to be deeply worried about an increase in homelessness.

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