keywords: University Of Melbourne

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The limits to private ownership of property

    • Samuel Tyrer
    • 08 July 2015
    10 Comments

    Private property rights are one of the few rights expressly protected under the Australian Constitution, but broader societal interests must be taken into consideration. Compulsory acquisition of land for the greater public good has always been a fact of life for property owners. France is currently enacting laws to force supermarkets to give their unsold consumable food 'property' to charities. 

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • Ambassador of conscience

    • Sean McManus
    • 25 June 2015
    4 Comments

    As much as any other religious figure in Australia, Frank Brennan has maintained a religious perspective while engaging in issues of ethics and justice in contemporary Australia. His book Amplifying that Still Small Voice emphasises the importance of the 'religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God', while speaking in the language and terms that are understandable to the public square.

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  • 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

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Australia out of step with Pope's climate action mission

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 27 January 2015
    33 Comments

    It is no coincidence that Pope Francis chose to visit the Philippines before he releases his encyclical on the environment, and that he made a point of visiting Tacloban, which was ground zero for super typhoon Haiyan. This follows the recent UN climate talks in Lima, where Australian negotiators so regularly blocked consensus that they won us the 'colossal fossil' award for 2014 from environmental observers.       

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  • RELIGION

    Fundamentalism in the land of Jesus

    • Lawrence Cross
    • 21 January 2015
    30 Comments

    Israel is demanding to be recognised as a Jewish state. The corollary is that they have an interest in getting Christians out. On the Palestinian side, the Islamic influence has been intensifying for decades. Fundamentalism creates the perfect audience for the disinformation and propaganda that masks the slaughter of some of the world's oldest Christian groups.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sleazy private lives should not affect our judgment of professionals

    • Paul Begley
    • 26 November 2014
    9 Comments

    It's easy to be swayed in our assessment of people's professional competency by whether we find their private opinions and behaviour to our liking. Individuals like Sydney University Professor of English Barry Spurr and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper have had their reputations as professionals trashed even though their performance in their job has been rated highly. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The challenge of a five-year Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 September 2014
    17 Comments

    All church members, and not just the victims who continue to suffer, need light, transparency and accountability if the opaque injustices of the past are to be rectified. Justice Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners have to do more to bring the states and territories to the table and to get real buy-in by all governments. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Imelda Marcos and the seduction of time

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 August 2014
    7 Comments

    As the world marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance on August 30, new generations of Filipinos find it hard to grasp what it meant to express dissent when Ferdinand Marcos was president. Some assert that, compared to the current standard of governance and politics, life must have been better under Marcos. Such perceptions are validated when trusted institutions invite Imelda Marcos as guest of honour.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 11 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bittersweet victory for the Mothers of Srebrenica

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 July 2014
    1 Comment

    Last week the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Netherlands was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Hercegovina in July 1995. They had been part of a group of 5000 refugees, who had been sheltering with Dutch UN peacekeepers known as Dutchbat and were handed over to Serb forces in exchange for 14 Dutch peacekeepers. A historical arrangement had been writ in blood.

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