section: Australia

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

  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Maintaining the rage beyond the golden rhythm of youth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 14 August 2015
    7 Comments

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family violence more complex than sexual abuse

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Childhood experience of violence is associated with many other aspects of disadvantage which, as a recent study shows, interact with and intensify one another. Violence at the home is likely to be linked to irregular eating habits, poor educational achievement, mental illness, contact with the justice system, and substance abuse. The challenge of responding to family violence is even more complex than that of protecting children from sexual abuse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Four preconditions for supporting marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 August 2015
    142 Comments

    I readily accept that the Commonwealth Parliament will legislate for same sex marriage in the foreseeable future. When Parliament does, I will be fully accepting of that decision. If asked by politicians how they should exercise their conscience vote, there is no way that I would say that they should not support civil recognition of same sex marriage. But neither would I say that they must support it NOW. If I were a member of parliament, I would want four assurances before I voted for same sex marriage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' cognitive dissonance over blaming the system

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Words like rorter, bludger and leaner only ever seem to apply to those who apply for welfare. A politician who draws down unreasonably on entitlements or a banker who earns stratospheric bonuses are seen as passive beneficiaries of the system. It seems the case that only those with power or capital are allowed to blame systems. The rest of us get to be individuals who make choices.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Applaud the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 August 2015
    15 Comments

    Last week the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) sank without trace. Ordinarily we might lament the failure to reach international agreements. Free trade is a benefit when it serves the common good, especially that of the most vulnerable. But the failure of the TPP is a cause for great joy. It was not about free trade, nor was the process by which it would have been carried through a proper one.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What might have been for the toddler in the suitcase

    • Jen Vuk
    • 07 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Behind scrub on a nondescript South Australian highway lay a battered suitcase. It had been abandoned and largely forgotten, yet its presence was incongruous in this vast, unforgiving landscape. Last month, one passer-by was so disturbed by what he found after peering inside that he contacted police. Just off the Karoonda Highway in Wynarka, in South Australia's Murray Mallee region, a terrible secret had lain in wait.

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