section: Australia

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' Catholic background

    • Ray Cassin
    • 16 October 2013
    31 Comments

    It may be that the press gallery sees no significance in Shorten’s 'Catholic background' because he supports same-sex marriage and perhaps also some other things that bishops don’t like. Is the gallery’s view that his 'background' somehow didn’t 'take'? The truth is that these days even being a practising Catholic, rather than the nebulous 'of Catholic background', conveys nothing about the course a politician will choose on issues of conscience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prioritising homelessness

    • Cec Shevels
    • 15 October 2013
    7 Comments

    In the 2006 Census, the number of homeless exceeded 100,000 for the first time. Kevin Rudd described this as a national disgrace and promised to cut the number in half by 2020. His Labor Government did make some progress — there was a fall in the number of rough sleepers and there was a welcome reduction in homelessness among Aboriginal people. Yet by 2011, the homeless numbers had risen again.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Canada shames Australia on CHOGM boycott

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 October 2013
    16 Comments

    Tony Abbott has explained Canada's decision to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting over human rights concerns by saying that 'different countries have different national priorities'. In other words, securing Sri Lanka's cooperation in 'stopping the boats' is more important to Australia than putting an end to human rights abuse in Sri Lanka.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    So much for Labor values

    • Brian Toohey
    • 14 October 2013
    9 Comments

    Amid all the post-election talk about Labor values, no one within the party has explained how the appalling behaviour exposed by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption could have occurred if senior figures took any notice of these supposedly cherished values. It is not credible that most NSW state and federal Labor MPs, and key officials, had no inkling of Obeid's behaviour while a backbencher or minister.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 11 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Since the election there has been much discussion of the idea that, because democracy means respecting the will of the people, elected members have a duty to support the government's 'mandate'. Accordingly, they need not inform themselves and act on their own judgment because the people have spoken. Edmund Burke, the father of conservative political philosophy, would argue that this betrays, rather than serves, constituents.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The boy scout guide to mental illness

    • Michael Lockwood
    • 10 October 2013
    12 Comments

    In the 1970s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the mental health 'bible', listed homosexuality as a mental illness. Many disagreed, and so in the stroke of an editorial pen hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, were cured. The DSM is a socially constructed manual, put together by those with a vested interest in mental health.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Relationships key to mental illness treatment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 October 2013
    9 Comments

    Although medical and psychological discoveries and better regulation have improved the treatment of mental illness in Australia, the need still outweighs the resources available. People with mental illnesses need others to help them build and develop relationships if they are to thrive. But the same trends that help the better treatment of people also tell against the crucial building of relationships.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote Australia's renal refugees

    • John Adams
    • 09 October 2013
    11 Comments

    Kiwirrkurra is 700km of bad roads west of Alice Springs. Renal failure forces many Indigenous community elders from important roles such as presiding over ceremonies and passing down knowledge to future generations. Many choose not to make the long journey into town for dialysis, seeing life away from country and family to be a fate worse than death.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2013

    After a successful federal election the Nationals are nestled in a comfortable governing relationship as the junior partner of the Liberals. They can laugh at all those critics who for so long have predicted their demise. But they are out of sight. They could make an important contribution to the diversity of the Australian party system, but although the surface picture looks rosy it is at the cost of greatly diminished independence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tolerating corruption will destroy Australia's brand

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 October 2013
    6 Comments

    Australia tied with Denmark, Finland and Japan for the title of the world's least bribe-ridden country in 2013. Our cultural resistance to corruption has long been a major contributor to Australia's reputation as a good global citizen, not to mention economic prosperity. Pope Francis said last week that we all have our own idea of good and evil, and each of us fighting against evil as we conceive it makes the world a better place. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Invisible Icarus and asylum seekers

    • Maureen O'Brien
    • 07 October 2013
    13 Comments

    With his back to the sea, the ploughman negotiates the wooden plough drawn by his horse. If he heard Icarus falling from the heavens it didn't interrupt his routine. The crew of a ship close enough to rescue the drowning boy instead takes advantage of a favourable breeze and sails away. The shepherd daydreams, the angler continues fishing. To all intents and purposes Icarus is invisible to those in his immediate vicinity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Getting serious about asylum seeker ethics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 October 2013
    16 Comments

    In his recent article my Jesuit colleague Frank Brennan asked whether there is any ethical discussion to be had about stopping the boats. He proposed seven points that would give greater ethical coherence to the Government's 'shock and awe response'. The corollary of this position is that pressing for legal and practical changes to policy will not redeem the policy but will be a necessary and worthwhile exercise in harm minimisation.

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