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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning in a time of pestilence

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 May 2020
    15 Comments

    What turned out to be extraordinary was the familiarity of the subject matter, and the routines that Camus makes the authorities of the plague-ridden Algerian town Oran put in place: the quarantine, the isolation hospitals, the attempts to develop a vaccine, the volunteer health workers, and the way in which funerals were conducted in haste.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Friends and Rivals and the ocean in the shell

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 May 2020
    1 Comment

    In Friends and Rivals Brenda Niall brings together four significant Australian women writers. Between them they published works from the 1890s to the 1950s. Ethel Turner and Barbara Baynton were from NSW. Nettie Palmer and Henry Handel Richardson were from Victoria, both schooled at Presbyterian Ladies College.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    On friendship with China

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 30 April 2020
    13 Comments

    China will continue to become the dominant global player, perhaps joined by the USA if it retreats from its new isolationism. However, outbursts from President Trump, obfuscations from President Xi, threats of economic boycotts from China’s Ambassador to Australia and the recent muddied messaging from Australian political figures show that widespread uncertainty exists as to how to shape the relationship.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remember to be kind to yourself, too

    • Marnie Vinall
    • 27 April 2020
    2 Comments

    The notion that we’re stronger together and we all just need to be kind to each other is reinforced by our leaders, from celebrities and public figures, and broadcast widely across social media. Yet something is missing from this encouraging messaging set to keep our spirits up and that’s the need to offer kindness within, too.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The joy of one step after the other

    • Angela Costi
    • 14 April 2020
    4 Comments

    She is sitting on the edge of a mountain in the Annapurna, her face, away from the camera, her gaze, focused on the Lamjung peak, experiencing a moment of peace like many before and many after. The seconds could be hours could be days, the weather could be challenging or kind, she could be alone or surrounded by trekkers. It has taken careful hoarding of time and money to be sitting there framed by sky and snow.

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  • RELIGION

    Prayer and community during COVID-19

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 April 2020
    17 Comments

    For millions of Australians of varying degrees of religiosity, prayer will play a key role in dealing with the novel stresses associated with this novel virus. Religions bring us not just closer to our creator but also to each other, especially in times of crisis. And you don’t have to be devout to feel the blessing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Social connectivity in a pandemic

    • Jane Britt
    • 30 March 2020
    5 Comments

    It’s a stressful and anxious time for many people. Yet, the expression to ‘look for the helpers’ whenever a crisis occurs is an apt one in this situation. People are looking for social connectivity and ways to express kindness to others in practising social distancing under direction of medical experts.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Education can uplift refugee women in Indonesia

    • Warsan Weedhsame
    • 25 March 2020
    3 Comments

    For the last two years I have been an advocate for the refugee community in Jakarta. I have seen how women’s education is the first and most important need for women to secure their rights. Each week, I meet many refugee women who can’t speak up for their rights.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We need a robust democracy now more than ever

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 March 2020
    20 Comments

    COVID-19 brings many tests. Amid the health, economic and financial crises brought about by the pandemic, our greatest test is to conduct ourselves as a robust democracy and to demonstrate that we are a fair society. Neither test will be easy to pass, but we must aim to emerge at the other end as a better society.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The treachery of sand

    • Les Wicks
    • 16 March 2020

    Anchored in the treachery of sand, wearing waves until the snip of a certain comber shreds them landward. They call this weed. There are people here too busy in their pleasure. They stare further out across the stolid hungers of tankers queued to feed national necessity, rapacity.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Protecting civil liberties in a time of COVID-19

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 10 March 2020
    6 Comments

    Authorities can also be fearful, paranoid at the unruly nature of their subjects. Public health emergencies have been declared in various countries and while these are deemed necessary, they come with the exercise of broad, muscular powers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The rising corporatisation of queer identity

    • Dejan Jotanovic
    • 05 March 2020
    8 Comments

    Pride is politically messy. When you stir together an alphabet soup of people, all of which have other intersecting identities (race, class, religion, political allegiance), you will invariably plate up a political mess. And the 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras dished quite the menu. 

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