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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The true quiet Australians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 June 2021
    5 Comments

    Red gum, this ‘smooth-barked large tree that gives watercourses all over Australia their Australian feel’, seemed intent on bobbing up in my life one way or another, sometimes as a result of sheer luck or coincidence.

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  • RELIGION

    Synods on synods

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2021
    28 Comments

    At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years.

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  • CARTOON

    No country for (grumpy) old men

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 June 2021
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Slow Train Coming: Bob Dylan’s spiritual journey

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 01 June 2021
    9 Comments

    Like the best religious poetry, Dylan’s works resists easy interpretation and remains open to endless meditation. Dylan’s overtly political songs — ‘Hurricane’, ‘Political World’ — and love songs — ‘Idiot Wind’, ‘Tangled up in Blue’ — have often been challenging. It’s the same with his religious output.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rule of lucre

    • Martin Pike
    • 01 June 2021
    13 Comments

    The fact is that money still buys a better service from the legal system, and to claim otherwise is to throw out the most basic principles of an economy. After all, if there were no benefit to be gained from backing up a truck full of money and tipping 30 or 40 grand a day into a team of silks, junior barristers and top tier solicitors, why would those with the means do it? To argue the contrary beggars belief. And if the observation is accepted, what does that tell us about the rule of law?

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  • RELIGION

    Rediscovering the communal joy of Eid

    • Najma Sambul
    • 27 May 2021
    15 Comments

    The celebration of Eid Al-Fitr (the feast of breaking the fast) marks the end of Ramadan fasting. And this year, it has been a relief more than anything. It feels ‘normal’ again.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Interrogating the past

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 May 2021
    20 Comments

    A wry satisfaction to be enjoyed in reading histories of events of your youth is that it uncovers your prejudices at that time. It reassures you that you have grown wiser but also makes you wonder whether your present attitudes will need revisiting. Save Our Sons, Carolyn Collins’ detailed and even-handed study of women’s campaign against conscription during the Vietnam War, offered such pleasures.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australians are holidaying at home, for now

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 May 2021
    1 Comment

    The emptiness is dispelled as I pull into Broome, a frontier city located on Western Australia’s Kimberley coast. The city centre, currently undergoing a major revamp, buzzes with pedestrians. Restaurants require booking. Down on Cable Beach, cameleers are lining up their charges for sunset rides and road-trippers are driving onto the wet sand and setting up camping chairs and cracking beers as they settle in for the show of a lifetime.

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  • CARTOON

    Not facing the facts

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 26 May 2021
    2 Comments

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dying and the question of dignity

    • Annmarie Hosie
    • 25 May 2021
    20 Comments

    Peace, laughter and lightness during dying might seem unlikely, but such experiences are common, not rare. Seeing and sharing in these sudden, strengthening consolations (and receiving them in my own griefs) have taught me about our awesome potential to transcend suffering, and confirmed why we don’t need euthanasia or assisted suicide.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    It's the end of the world as we know it

    • Sandra Renew
    • 25 May 2021
    3 Comments

    On the day of the millionth case and half million deaths I drink coffee in a warm, morning living room, walk a small dog at our national Arboretum, eat lunch of seafood and avocado at a local outdoor café, buy two likely looking books on Amazon, tune into a Zoom poetry reading and listen to podcasts from America. I realise it’s the end of the world, as we know it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to be more careful about using politically charged language

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 May 2021
    38 Comments

    Modern Australian society is infected with imported terms. The list includes political correctness, identity politics, culture wars, woke and virtue signalling. They are often not used in a neutral fashion, but to denigrate the legitimate views and opinions of others.

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