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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remember those in permanent quarantine

    • Andra Jackson
    • 15 December 2020
    5 Comments

    With all the congratulations that have been going around following Melbourne achieving zero COVID-19 cases there is one group that has been entirely overlooked. These particular people remain in a prolonged form of hotel quarantine, unable to mix with the general public. They are refugees and asylum seekers brought to Australia under the now defunct Medevac legislation from Nauru and Manus Island.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Language as an open door

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2020
    13 Comments

    If we want to renew religious language and images we must begin with attention to the words we currently use, noticing their resonance as well as their meaning. It is then important for the language of prayer and reflection to be grounded in deep contemporary experience.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    My halted journey toward freedom

    • JN Joniad and Ashfaq Hussain
    • 10 December 2020
    3 Comments

    I was just fifteen years old when I was forced to run for my life. I dreamed of seeking a better education in Australia and becoming a pilot. Instead, I became a refugee in Indonesia, which does not recognize my existence and basic rights. I am even refused an education in this country. I have been in limbo for the last eight years.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The shadow of responsibility: Australian war crimes allegations in Afghanistan

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 November 2020
    21 Comments

    The discussion in Australia as to how such atrocities are to be approached is telling. The call for responsibility has varied by degrees. Most tend to some variant of the rotten apple theory: a few particularly fruits that may be isolated and extruded from the barrel. Culpability can thereby be confined, preserving the integrity of other military personnel and, importantly, political decision makers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Biden's middle class in a divided America

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 November 2020
    9 Comments

    The priority given to the middle class was not new — Biden stressed it in speeches through the primaries and again as a candidate. And it is no doubt important. But when seen in the light of the passionate polarisation of the campaign, the closeness of the results, and the continuing mutual antipathy of the supporters of each party, rebuilding the middle class seems an unlikely source of healing.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    We don't have the luxury of dealing with one crisis at a time

    • Marnie Vinall
    • 12 November 2020
    4 Comments

    Since the pandemic started to show its teeth on our shores in March, there’s been a trend to wave away any other matter other than COVID-19 with an examination of, ‘Just one crisis at a time — we’ll get to climate change after we’ve got the economy back on its feet.’ The only problem is we don’t have the luxury as a nation to solely focus on one crisis at a time.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics and the future of American politics

    • Robert Christian
    • 12 November 2020
    31 Comments

    Now the question is: will the Republican Party revert back to its pre-Trump days, continue down the path of Trumpian populism, or seek an alternative to both? No matter which path is pursued, American Catholics will likely play a key role in shaping the party’s future direction.

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  • RELIGION

    Patchwork quilt church inhibits national action

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 November 2020
    67 Comments

    There is a good reason why the term Australian Catholic Church is frowned upon in official circles. It does not exist. Instead, it is a patchwork quilt of fiefdoms called dioceses. It lacks an energising central authority which, when it needs to, can generate and shape a national church response.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugees are the canaries in the mine

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2020
    8 Comments

    If society were a mine, refugees would be the canaries in it. Their condition reveals whether the currents of public air are pure or toxic. By that standard the present currents in Australia are noxious. They mark a change from the first generous response to the coronavirus to the meaner reconstruction of the economy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rulers in crisis

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2020
    11 Comments

    In the choppy waters of public conversation, rulers have recently attracted much attention as they have bobbed along on its surface. This is not unusual, but in these months the attention has been more frenetic and perhaps harder to read. Whether it be Trump, Johnson, Andrews, Ardern, Berejiklian or Pope Francis, there have been unusual eddies about them that merit reflection.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    One-off funding not enough for the aid budget

    • Kirsty Robertson
    • 20 October 2020
    7 Comments

    This Budget is a missed opportunity. It was a chance for the government to do something radical, to make real and defined impacts. Instead, we’ve increased funding for some regions, but at the cost of some of the most marginalised populations in the world, who have experienced years of discrimination, poverty and displacement.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fair enough?

    • Seetha Nambiar Dodd
    • 20 October 2020
    3 Comments

    The story of colourism has roots that go back many generations; it has trickled relentlessly through time and is still evident in many ways today. In many countries with a colonial history, light skin was perceived, for a long time, as belonging to the upper classes, constituting power and wealth.

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