section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Untangling Abbott from Santamaria

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 September 2015
    18 Comments

    There is always an appetite for anything linking Tony Abbott and Bob Santamaria. The journalist in Abbott has encouraged observers to play up the links, even though it has never been entirely clear  what he is saying. He has explained that he was impressed as a young man by Santamaria’s courage as an 'advocate for unfashionable truths’, but he also pays his public dues to a number of prominent figures including John Howard, Cardinal George Pell, John Hewson, Bronwyn Bishop and even Pope Benedict XVI.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Francis' day to pray underlines priority for environment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 August 2015
    5 Comments

    Pope Francis has named 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. There are many such days, and it will pass unnoticed in many local churches. But his naming of it - and its reception - will reveal much about the style with which he chooses to address environmental degradation, throwing his weight behind the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who had previously consecrated the day to the Environment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't fence me in

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 August 2015
    5 Comments

    As immigrants settling in Australia, the relative lack of fences and security measures was a sign that we'd chosen a safe and respectful country. This erasing of margins implied at once both mutual trust and an innate respect for the invisible boundaries that demarcated people's personal space. But 13 year later, I'm noticing the emergence of fortified residences boasting shiny black fences and firmly shut gates.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Does religion in schools go beyond branding?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Religious schools have emphasised the transmission of faith and an ethical way of life through a network of relationships, symbols and processes. But this is now being tested, with the dominant view that values and faith are a private matter best hosted inside the family. The operative goals of schools become the academic and economic advancement of individuals, with religious classes and rituals little more than decoration and rhetorical branding.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dyson Heydon and the PM's quest for political purity

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 25 August 2015
    14 Comments

    The spectacle is a strange one. Heydon has to rule on an application that directly concerns his own fitness to be in the position. It recalls the situation Lord Hoffmann found himself in after his links with Amnesty International perceptibly compromised his views on extraditing Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet. Even the best jurists can fall foul of the bias rule.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Vigilante' applies to the government more than environmentalists

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 August 2015
    10 Comments

    The epithets used against environment groups have been extraordinary after a judge of the Federal Court set aside Environment Minister Greg Hunt's approval of the Adani thermal coal mine. Perhaps legislation has always been an instrument for ideological agendas, but the compulsion and ease with which the Coalition has taken to the law to restrict scrutiny doesn't bode well for us. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's an older person's life worth?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 August 2015
    12 Comments

    NT Health Minister John Elferink recently argued that the money spend on the health of the elderly — a million dollars for each person — would be better spent on children. Many Australian politicians and health administrators would secretly sympathise. But underlying this is the twin assumption that the life of an older person is of less value than that of someone who is younger, and that people’s value is measured by their economic contribution.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nanny state Australia could learn from Europe

    • Cam Hassard
    • 21 August 2015
    17 Comments

    After almost two years living abroad in Germany, I have observed a stark difference in how European societies strike a balance between legislative oversight and individual freedom. More or less anything is tolerated here, as long as you respect the rights and freedoms of others. Tolerance and 'least intervention' thrive on personal responsibility and eschew knee-jerk intervention. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The gloriously flawed humanity of our federal politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Recent weeks' events in federal politics stretch the imagination. The search for historical parallels brought me to the start of the Burke and Wills Expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, and the race that saw Fine Cotton unravel. Each of these events was characteristically Australian. In Les Murray’s memorable phrase, they all had sprawl: the mingling of excess, overweening self-confidence, and the cutting of corners. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Silence won't make abuse go away

    • James Fry
    • 19 August 2015
    6 Comments

    We tell victims of of crimes including bullying, domestic violence and child abuse, that help will come their way if they are prepared to speak up. But on several occasions, I spoke to those responsible for my welfare and safety, only to have such pleas ignored. For others it can be worse, with Child Abuse Royal Commission revealing victims being blamed for the crimes against them, and sometimes being delivered into the hands of other pedophiles.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kickstart our dire democracy by giving teens the vote

    • Clancy Wright
    • 17 August 2015
    17 Comments

    Sixteen and 17-year-olds shape society and culture through language, music, sport, arts and fashion. They challenge boundaries and push cultural trends up through our social fabric. They engage with technology and future ideas in a way that many older generations would fine overwhelming and confusing. We need this enthusiasm, this creativity and proven inclination to take risks in order to question our society's established methods and bring colour and life back to the broader political debate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition tactics on marriage and climate change risk self-destruction

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 August 2015
    25 Comments

    The consequences of the present Coalition manipulation will be that the hostility between opponents and proponents of legalisation is likely to be intensified, and the proper way to resolve the issues involved seen to lie in the untrammelled exercise of power and not in reasoned conversation. In such a climate, any appeal to other values at stake in legislation, such as religious freedom, will be regarded simply as self-interest, and will be overridden by the principle of non-discrimination.

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