keywords: Senate Inquiry

  • AUSTRALIA

    Keep Islamophobia on the fringes where it belongs

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 October 2015
    22 Comments

    A series of protests against a mosque in Bendigo and the launch of an Islamophobic party in Perth may be cause for concern, but only if political leaders fail to invalidate fringe views. Under Tony Abbott, the conflation of Islam and extremism became mainstream. Corrections regarding racial vilification and incitement are most properly determined in the court, so it is not Muslims or lefties who are oppressing these views but the laws that operate in the secular democracy they purport to defend.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 September 2015
    7 Comments

    Senator Penny Wong moved a motion requesting the Governor-General to sack Dyson Heydon from the unions royal commission. This is a disgrace. It evokes memories of Governor General John Kerr sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam almost 40 years ago. The unions must appeal Heydon's decision to the courts, or abide by the umpire's decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we aren't more shocked by Nauru revelations

    • Tim Robertson
    • 05 August 2015
    13 Comments

    The politicians have an excuse: they have vested interests. But what about the rest of us? Has the rape and torture of asylum seekers, many of them children, in institutions established at the behest of Canberra, become so commonplace that it no longer shocks? It's not that empathy is an emotion particularly lacking in Australia. But there remains a disconnect between 'us' and asylum seekers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Speaking for others in the public square

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 June 2015
    4 Comments

    Walking towards the courthouse, I heard a cry, 'Hey, Father Frank, over here! You've got to support us mob.' I was torn. I was chairing a national consultation at the request of the Commonwealth Government. I did not want to politicise our presence in town.   But then again, I did not want to abandon Ben and his colleagues in their hour of need. They all stood in front of an Aboriginal flag.  Some were crying out for justice for their deceased loved one.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Neoliberal versus Christian notions of the public good

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 15 April 2015
    3 Comments

    Last week corporate heavyweights including Google, Apple and Microsoft were grilled about the practice of moving profits from Australia to lower tax jurisdictions. Rev Elenie Poulos, director of UnitingJustice, speaks about the public interest and social good as defined by neo-liberals, and how this is opposed to the Christian notion of the common good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis' public shaming strategy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 April 2015
    10 Comments

    Francis is always ready to criticise unbridled capitalism, but he makes a point of not shaming particular tax dodgers or profiteers. Targeting individuals has become a thing in the age of social media, but those who are left alone are more likely to come forward and join the public conversation. Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest persons, did this when he declared that he paid less tax than his employees, and that he and his wealthy friends have been 'coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Young people not supported after they leave care

    • Philip Mendes
    • 17 March 2015
    2 Comments

    There are currently two national inquiries into the experiences of children in out-of-home care. Yet neither is specifically exploring what happens to young people transitioning from care. This is like a football team putting in a good performance in the first half but neglecting the second, which decides the outcome.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • EDUCATION

    More to tertiary education shake-up than $100,000 degrees

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 25 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Christopher Pyne's proposed changes to tertiary education place many theological providers in an interesting situation. We have seen a number of theological colleges enter into relationships with universities to assist with their financial bottom line, in the face of falling support from their church constituencies. If private providers are to receive government funding directly, we could see some of these arrangements begin to fall apart.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Chronicle of an asylum seeker's death foretold

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 June 2014
    5 Comments

    As I take in the submissions presented to the Senate inquiry into the Manus Island riots, I am reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In it, nearly the entire town knew of Santiago Nasar's impending death; his assassins had made a point of divulging their intent to everyone they met over the course of the day. The prevailing impression from the Senate inquiry is one of similar inevitability and complicity.

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