keywords: Pioneer

  • Call off the Cardinal Pell witch-hunt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 June 2015
    23 Comments

    As we await Cardinal Pell's appearance before the Royal Commission, many Australians are baying for his blood. It is time for those of us in the Church to stop paying undue deference to those who exercise ecclesiastical power in a fashion at odds with contemporary notions of transparency and equality. It's also time for all commentators to play the ball, and not the man.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote 'lifestyle choices' need careful consideration

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 13 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The PM's cavalier use of the term 'lifestyle choice' is totally inappropriate when referring to the people who will be affected by the proposed closures of remote Aboriginal communities. Undeniably it is expensive to sustain remote living, and effective schooling and health services are unfeasible. But we must avoid arbitrary decision-making, and implicit disparagement of people in remote communities.

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  • RELIGION

    Activists strike back against the Empire

    • Sally Cloke
    • 12 December 2014
    18 Comments

    On Wednesday, 53 Christian protesters were arrested staging 'pray-in' actions at politicians' offices around the country. Eight were allegedly strip searched before being formally charged with trespass after praying in the Perth office of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. There are echoes of martyrdom in the early church, which involved the refusal to worship the emperor. In contemporary Australia, the resistance is to the border protection regime.

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  • RELIGION

    Tonti-Filippini's intellectual quest undaunted by physical pain

    • Zac Alstin
    • 13 November 2014
    7 Comments

    Utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer paid tribute to his friend and intellectual nemesis Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, who died last Friday after suffering pain and discomfort for much of his life. The majority of Tonti-Filippini’s influence on bioethics in Australia took place out of the public spotlight, including has work as chair of a govenment committee on the care of people in an unresponsive or minimally responsive state.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott Government blind to social capital

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 July 2014
    8 Comments

    The Coalition glorifies business entrepreneurship, which is promoted as a good that trumps social inclusion. It is paradoxical that there is more appetite for social entrepreneurship in the USA, which is known as the land of the self made man. The explanation is that investing in social capital ultimately makes good business sense.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nailing Indonesia's next president

    • Pat Walsh
    • 24 June 2014
    9 Comments

    On 9 July, Indonesians will vote on their next president by punching a hole in a ballot paper with a large nail. Timor-Leste used the same system for its historic independence ballot in 1999. The issues differ of course but the choices to be made are equally stark. Democratic development and human rights in Indonesia will either advance or regress depending on who is nailed next month.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's mixed messages for Indonesia

    • Pat Walsh
    • 03 October 2013
    15 Comments

    I suspect that Abbott's visit has left Indonesians with a poor impression of Australia. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, political adviser to Indonesia's Vice President Boediono, described the Abbott asylum seeker policy as 'callous'. Abbott's heavy handedness also contrasts sharply with the sensitive way Jakarta's popular governor, Jokowi, is managing complex change, for which Indonesians feel genuine enthusiasm.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bookworm skinned by kin and Kindle

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 July 2013
    23 Comments

    Knowing I was going to spend six months in Greece, I arranged for a trunk of books to be sent over. My illiterate mother-in-law was stupefied: 'So many books! Can't you sell some of them?' I should have known she'd react like this, as during her one visit to Melbourne she'd told me roundly that too much reading was the cause of my prematurely grey hair and my need to wear glasses.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Catholic Church's toll on Aboriginal Australia

    • Mike Bowden
    • 25 June 2013
    33 Comments

    Present members of missionary orders, when writing up the story of their predecessors, tend to present these pioneer missionaries as enlightened men and women suffering hardship to spread the gospel. The destructive effect of the approaches taken by some missionaries does not negate the good work of many others. But it is part of the story and should be told.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    History repeats for powerful Australian women

    • Brian Matthews
    • 21 June 2013
    14 Comments

    On the face of it, life for a strong, talented and ambitious woman in 19th century Australia was much tougher than it is now. Yet even Louisa Lawson, a pioneer of women's rights who was grievously discriminated against and derided because she dared to excel, was never demeaned or personally debased to the extent Julia Gillard has been.

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