keywords: Spotlight

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Social injustice in international sport

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 25 March 2014
    6 Comments

    The Olympics and World Cup were once seen as a triumph of corporate and athletic enterprise, but today we count the cost. Previous events left countries with decaying venues and huge bills. Government funds line the pockets of corporations but do little for local industry. The Olympics have caused the evictions of more than two million people over the past two decades. It's time to re-think what these events are actually trying to achieve.

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  • RELIGION

    Faiths fight forced marriage

    • Ashleigh Green
    • 21 March 2014
    7 Comments

    This week's inauguration of Twiggy Forrest's Global Freedom Network — a large-scale interfaith initiative to end slavery — publicly recognises the importance of interfaith collaboration as a means of understanding and addressing social issues. Its launch comes not long after an Australian-first interfaith forum about the issue of forced marriage. It included Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and discovered that forced marriage is not a Muslim issue.

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  • RELIGION

    No copping out of abuse blame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2013
    32 Comments

    The Catholic Church hierarchy now seems more prepared to admit institutional and personal failures prior to 1996. They are yet to admit the pervasive, closed clericalist culture which infected the Church until at least 1996, but that will come. Let's hope that the Victorian police can also now move forward admitting past mistakes without manufacturing excuses which do not withstand the contemporary spotlight.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War fires should be left to smoulder

    • David Stephens
    • 11 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Remembrance Day has always been for Australians a quieter affair than Anzac Day, particularly as Anzac Day in recent years has taken on a brassy, bragging style. The historian Ken Inglis described Anzac as Australia's civil religion. Although we were the first country anywhere to come together under a national constitution after a mass popular vote, we downplay Federation and venerate instead a failed military campaign in Turkey in 1915.

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  • RELIGION

    Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 October 2013
    2 Comments

    'The Church should not give any appearance of hiding behind the corporate veil. Justice demands that present church leaders agree to satisfy any judgment debt against their predecessors or their deceased predecessors' estates when there is an allegation of past failure to supervise or adequately investigate a sexual predator in the ranks. Any damages should be paid from church assets.' Frank Brennan addresses the Australian Lawyers Alliance Conference, Rydges Lakeside, Canberra, 26 October 2013.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Creation stories from inferno Australia

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 18 October 2013
    1 Comment

    The Garden is populated by the larger-than-strife figures who follow their lust of life and self. Kaos the crocodile, who becomes the first man, and Hades the platypus, the first thief. Orpheus the lyrebird, the first actor, and the first healer, possum Prometheus. The giant red kangaroo, Knuckles, the first ruler. This is storytelling that exults in pain and primordial uncertainty, passion and purpose.

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  • RELIGION

    Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 September 2013
    2 Comments

    'The Towards Healing protocol is not a substitute for criminal prosecution of sex abusers. Nor is it a cheap alternative to civil liability for damages. It is a procedure available by choice to victims in addition to criminal prosecution of perpetrators or pursuit of civil damages for negligence by church authorities.' Full text from Frank Brennan's address to the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand 47th Annual Conference, 4 September 2013 at Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide on Hindley.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's performance enhancing drug

    • Michael Mullins
    • 29 July 2013
    14 Comments

    Australian cycling great Stuart O'Grady says using drugs was the only way he could be competitive at the 1998 Tour de France. Graham Richardson — famed for his 'whatever it takes' approach to politics — says Labor's PNG solution is cruel but 'politically brilliant' and has given the party a competitive edge. In years to come, Labor party elders will realise the cost of this competitiveness.

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  • RELIGION

    Clobbering religious gay prejudice

    • Michael Kirby
    • 22 May 2013
    32 Comments

    The 2011 book Five Uneasy Pieces offered an alternative reading of the so-called 'clobber passages' that are at the core of religious unease about homosexuality. A follow-up volume pushes the envelope further by examining the biblical recognition of the variety of human love beyond traditional marriage.

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  • RELIGION

    Malaysia Solution is dead in the water

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 April 2013
    11 Comments

    It is time for each side of politics to stop blaming the other for the increasing wave of boats and for Gillard to cease invoking the unreal prospect of a revised Malaysia Solution. A revised arrangement consistent with the recommendations of the Expert Panel is an impossibility before the election.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Roman Polanski and the chain of abuse

    • Lyn Bender
    • 12 March 2013
    15 Comments

    In 2009 I wrote an article examining the suffering of Polanski, the acclaimed filmmaker who was wanted on a rape charge he'd pled guilty to 30 years ago. I soon discovered how cruel an online lynch mob can be. Some commentators wished rape upon me, so that I might know how bad it was. The truth is I was already 'in the club'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vegemite interrogation on the Prague night train

    • Anne M. Carson
    • 19 February 2013

    Cash-strapped, post midnight. Transport police rifle our rucksacks, suspicious of backpackers. One prises open my Kodak canister, sniffs, says 'ach!', fires Czech questions at me. 'Vegemite fur frustuck,' I say, trying to convince Vegemite is not hash resin. I smile the smile of someone who doesn't know how bad it can get.

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