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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    It's Christmas and I'll dance if I want to

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dance and music are as innate as breathing. Babies dance while in the womb, and the Yuletide can be prime time for 'playing music, singing and dancing [as a] healthy outlet for their emotions'. As William Stafford observed, kids dance 'before they learn there is anything that isn't music'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Coming to terms with Christmas grief

    • Katherine Richardson
    • 16 December 2019
    10 Comments

    Now that I'm grown I've realised that while Christmas felt that way for me, it isn't magical for everyone. For many people Christmas is a hollow reminder that there is someone missing from the table, and no matter whether it's the first year or the 50th, that chair will always remain empty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Disability RC must reckon with education

    • Jane Britt
    • 12 December 2019
    4 Comments

    From the minute we enter the education system, we experience barriers. We are segregated when we arrive at primary school, placed in 'special' units or classes. Here our needs are subsumed into the collective needs of the group. From the outset our educational outcomes are at the whim of the people who are in the position of power.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This delicious failure of common names

    • Paul Hetherington
    • 09 December 2019
    2 Comments

    You don't know the word for butter, so you spend seconds miming the way it froths in the pan. The owner of the shop says nothing. You want to buy their famous pesto, but it's nowhere on display. You speak to other customers, who nod and frown. Eventually you point at fragrant cheese and a melon that smells of ripest green.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Climate crisis spawns clowns not statesmen

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 December 2019
    29 Comments

    If the dark days of 1940 provided an opportunity for a chancer and publicity hound like Winston Churchill to emerge as an inspirational leader and reputed giant of the 20th century, why hasn't the catastrophic breakdown of the natural world done something similar for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    2019 Christmas Raffle winners

    • Staff
    • 09 December 2019

    The Society of Jesus in Victoria, Jesuit Communications Christmas Raffle 2019 Drawn on Thursday 5 December 2019 (Permit No 10590/19). Congratulations to the winners: 1st prize: L. Daphne, VIC; 2nd prize: A. Curran, Qld; 3rd prize: D. Sasse, Vic. All winners have been notified directly.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Common ground amid polarised China debate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2019
    5 Comments

    If China spies upon Australia, Australia spied on East Timor. If China detains Uighurs in harsh conditions, so has Australia detained people in brutal and demeaning conditions on Manus Island. If China lays out money to nations on our region to secure its national interests, so does Australia, most notably to Nauru and PNG.

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  • RELIGION

    Altyerre-Catholicism's sacred dancing ground

    • Mike Bowden
    • 03 December 2019
    11 Comments

    This would not be accepted by the extremist Catholics who threw an Amazonian indigenous icon of a pregnant indigenous woman into the Tiber River. But the Pope is right to honour the prior religious practises of the Amazonians, just as the Bishop of Darwin supports a process that has seen the development of Altyerre-Catholicism.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Two elegies for a vanished farm

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 02 December 2019

    After spirit-lamps were doused the house drew in upon itself; its clutch of dreamers moaned and tossed in stifling mosquito nets — each isolating sac of mesh a Magellanic cloud.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Wrestling Morrison's brand of Christianity

    • Toni Hassan
    • 29 November 2019
    31 Comments

    His government continues to support, with massive subsidies, extractive and exploitative industries that undeniably warm the planet and threaten the natural environment. How can this be a legitimate perspective as a publicly-confessing Christian? Why would this shepherd not want to move all of us to safer ground?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Patients' pain is real, and so is medical bias

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 28 November 2019
    1 Comment

    This bias continues to be so prevalent not only because medicine is a reflection of society, but because medicine was created with cisgender white neurotypical able-bodied men as the baseline. Those underlying assumptions are still baked into medical systems and filter down to all aspects of medicine.

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