keywords: Friendship

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  • RELIGION

    Chords of community in a country church protest song

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The conflict began with falling church attendances and a decision by the Koroit parish priest to rationalise resources. Although Regina Lane describes in detail the battles to save St Brigid's, her book is far more than a protest song against the power of the Catholic Church. The larger stories embodied at St Brigid's, the immigrant groups who formed the first congregation and their relationship to the first Australians, have continuing importance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Transcendent ordeal of an outback pilgrim

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 March 2014
    3 Comments

    Robyn Davidson's trek in 1978, 2700km overland from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only four camels and a dog for company, is the stuff of legend. Her physical ordeal takes her also to the jagged ends of her emotional and mental being, as she is pestered by tourists, for whom 'the camel lady' is already a living legend, and by paparazzi, who assail her at her most frayed. There is no missing the spiritual dimensions of her journey.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    AIDS outlaw battles Big Pharma

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 February 2014
    3 Comments

    Homophobic Texan electrician Ron learns he has AIDS and may have only 30 days to live. Desperate for a cure, he heads to Mexico, where a disgraced doctor treats him with unapproved pharmaceutical drugs. Ron begins to smuggle the drugs into the US, to distribute to other AIDS sufferers, including Rayon, a trans woman who becomes Ron's friend, business partner, and ally against the Big Pharma interests that try to shut him down.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The empathy revolution

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 14 February 2014
    3 Comments

    While realpolitik can drive us beyond a healthy scepticism to cynicism and indifference, British cultural thinker Roman Krzaric contends that when we look beyond the real — through imagination, creativity, vulnerability and networking — we can bring about the ideal of 'empathy on a mass scale to create social change' and even go about 'extending our empathy skills to embrace the natural world'. Without dreamers like Krzaric, we're stuffed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abused kids meet with Grace

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 December 2013

    Grace is both a character and a state of being. As the lead supervisor of a foster care facility, she oversees her charges with a combination of firmness and friendship. She strictly enforces rules and protocols while remaining unerringly empathetic, easily glimpsing the pain and trauma that lies just beneath the hostile or eccentric facade. But her power of empathy has its roots in past experience that threaten to smother her present.

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  • RELIGION

    Restorative justice beyond the Royal Commission

    • Jane Anderson
    • 11 December 2013
    42 Comments

    Last week I went to the Royal Commission and had a private session, which means, in short, that I am a victim of sexual abuse. That history spanned nearly three decades. My encounters with one perpetrator prepared me for more harrowing experiences during adolescence, and later in a marriage that turned violent. While I commend the Royal Commission process for its sensitivity and professionalism, I would like to offer some alternative thinking.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Victoria's path to child sex abuse prosecution

    • Ray Cassin
    • 14 November 2013
    10 Comments

    If the Catholic Church is mentioned frequently in the report of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children, Catholics and their leaders can hardly complain. Among the churches scrutinised by the committee, only the Salvation Army has an even remotely comparable record of abuse. The Napthine Government should implement the inquiry's recommendations — with one exception.

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  • RELIGION

    Costello the great Jesuit teacher

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 October 2013
    1 Comment

    'With Em, we were only one handshake away from the great movers, shakers and events in the Church and the world. Those of us who lived with him were used to history lessons at breakfast when we would be schooled in the shortcomings of the popes, the modest breeding of papal nuncios, and the march of folly of great world leaders.' Frank Brennan's homily for the late Fr Emmet P. Costello SJ, St Mary's North Sydney, 21 October 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Chopper Read and other people like us

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 October 2013
    10 Comments

    Most people will not miss Mark 'Chopper' Read, because of his reckless attitude to human life and law and order. Yet his ability to remain master of his own destiny makes him in that sense a positive role model for today's prisoners. Other poor people and asylum seekers who are able to rise above their circumstances can contribute positively to public wellbeing.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of giving service

    • Alice Johnson
    • 09 October 2013
    3 Comments

    In a contemporary society where the focus lies amid a whirlpool of egocentricity, self-gain and self-improvement, one must question where the true motive for giving service lies. While the 'ethic of duty' is the ethic of the social gospel movements, Kant believed religion was only valuable because it caused one to lead a good moral life. Thus it is possible to argue that the habit of giving true service lies in the 'ethic of love'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Funny mummy slaps patriarchal Australia

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 20 September 2013
    5 Comments

    As a parent of a boy, I was concerned by Thomas' experiences doing 'sexual ethics theatre performances'. She recounts negative responses from teenage boys to one scenario dealing with pubic hair — the lads assuming that 'any girl with pubes would be so self-conscious about them that she'd avoid sex altogether', and that malekind is disgusted by non-exfoliated women.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human stories from Tim Winton's Australia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 September 2013
    3 Comments

    A boy plays a treacherous prank on his brother while visiting the beach. A domestic violence victim finds comfort in a bizarre distortion of Christian faith. A man sees a news report and follows his memories back to the day of a childhood tragedy. A woman, grieving for a broken marriage, paws through her husband's box of memories. The filmmakers put their stamp on each story while paying due reverance to Winton's sublime prose.

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