section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Education with higher expectations

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Tony Abbott's evocation of 'the tyranny of low expectations' invites more general reflection on education and public life. I believe that the Australian approach to education does indeed impose a tyranny of low expectations in the sense that the expectations are defined by economic achievement and its attendant wealth and status, and the goal for schools is success in enabling students to participate economically.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Irish Church accepts its teaching jars with the faithful

    • Gerry O'Hanlon
    • 27 May 2015
    56 Comments

    Archbishop Martin voted no in the gay marriage referendum. But after the result, he says the Church needs ‘a reality check across the board’, and that means more than a new language. When Church teaching is invoked to bar women from office, to forbid contraception and condemn homosexual relations as intrinsically disordered in  a way that conflicts with the ‘sense of the faithful’ of so many of the baptised, then the Church, despite the many wise things it has to say, loses credibility.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My personal climate change bind

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 May 2015
    16 Comments

    Most people think that the effects of climate change as dire but far off. I don't have that comfort. My seafarer father plays a role in generating wealth for miners who then use it as a means to influence politicians - coal, industrial salt, iron ore. I am deeply aware that my government is committed to doing as little as possible to address climate change and its lack of a coherent, internationalist policy in Australia costs countries that are climate change-vulnerable, including where my family lives back in the Philippines.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's Operation Sovereign Borders dilemma

    • Tony Kevin
    • 25 May 2015
    19 Comments

    The week’s dreadful Rohingya asylum seeker tragedy prompted an eventual softened response from our neighbours, but not Australia. The current government’s record of stopping boat arrivals and deaths at sea stands in stark contrast to that of Labor during its period of office, when at least 1100 asylum seekers died at sea.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PM's super pitch needs solid policy foundation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Tony Abbott has warned voters that Bill Shorten has his eye on their retirement savings. He once praised the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce as a 'uniquely gifted retail politician'. But more attention to wholesaling - i.e. policy resources - would help to get both pensions and super concessions on to a more sustainable footing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Neoliberal economics can't care for the disadvantaged

    • Paul Jensen
    • 22 May 2015
    9 Comments

    Neoliberal economics underlies the recent Federal Budget and the major parties’ welfare policies. It proclaims the end of the age of entitlement and speaks of small government, as it embraces the privatisation of 'service delivery'. Faith based organisations are involved as agencies of the government, often forced to impose punitive measures rather than the promise of the 'carrot' that is their purpose. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The tyranny of career

    • Ellena Savage
    • 22 May 2015
    3 Comments

    The expectation to enjoy the labouring part of your life, or find it 'rewarding', is a relatively new one. Australia's boon in tertiary education in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the post-industrial nature of postmodern work means that for many, labour is immaterial, and jobs are not necessarily protected or stable. 'Career management' is therefore a key concept that rules life decisions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 'stop the boats' policy as iconic

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 May 2015
    18 Comments

    The world is gazing with astonishment at our single-minded way of dealing with people who come to us for protection. It is iconic, now that nations in the region have adopted it. The modern understanding of icons as embodying qualities people desire differs from the Byzantine approach in which traditional religious icons do not impress us with their dominance over their environment, but draw us to their eyes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Xenophobia threatens Mandela's vision for a diverse South Africa

    • David Holdcroft
    • 20 May 2015
    3 Comments

    South Africa has again experienced the ravages of xenophobic violence. The official response reflects a fearful government that needs to resort populist scapegoating that stigmatises migrants. It has found itself incapable of creating the inclusive narrative that was evident 18 months ago when the country came together to mourn Nelson Mandela. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Slow progress in Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Our Constitution is premised on the outdated notions of terra nullius and assimilation. It is more than three years ago since the Gillard Government set up an Expert Panel, and the Abbott Government is waiting for consensus. Noel Pearson is right to insist that Aboriginal leaders need a place at the table.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Boston bomber sentence shows death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    11 Comments

    The lesson from the trials of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Bali nine is that the death penalty is always political and macabre. In the US, Justice Scalia was not at all minded to consider the merits of the argument about the effects of the drug Midazolam because he thought the case was all part of a long term political campaign to delegitimise the death penalty. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stopping the boats as a part of our national identity

    • John Warhurst
    • 18 May 2015
    17 Comments

    Recent polls reveal our pride in scientific, technological and sporting achievements. It is reassuring that many of us support the current and even increased immigration levels. But Australians overwhelmingly, 65 per cent in total, believe that stronger measures should be taken to 'exclude illegal immigrants'. 

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