section: Australia

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

  • AUSTRALIA

    Can speech be free in the Catholic Church?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 April 2015
    32 Comments

    Recently priests in England drafted a letter about this year's Synod on the Family. They invited other priests to sign it and made it public. In turn, Cardinal Vincent Nichols rebuked them even though Pope Francis has insisted participants in the Synod are free to express opinions. Free speech has long been tendentious topic for discussion in the Church. 60 year ago German theologian Karl Rahner was daring in the approach he took in his pamphlet Free Speech in the Church.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give sporting politicians a sporting chance

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 April 2015
    7 Comments

    Despite often treating sports people uncritically as celebrities, Australians are ambivalent about their place in public life. Former Howard government minister Peter Reith launched an unfair personal attack on former champion Canberra Raiders rugby league forward Senator Glenn Lazarus after he defected from the Palmer United Party. The general lesson from the example of Lazarus - who is actually quietly capable - is that he is as well suited as the parliamentarians who have been lawyers, blacksmiths, builders, business and army people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Funding cut signals the destruction of Aboriginal life in Australia

    • Michele Madigan
    • 07 April 2015
    30 Comments

    WA accepted the Federal Government's one off $90 million grant to transfer funding for remote Aboriginal communities, many of which will be closed down. Meanwhile in South Australia, the State Government is challenging the Federal Government to uphold the responsibilities it has held since 1973. But it is cutting the communities' funding by 90 per cent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Easter's April Fools

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 April 2015
    8 Comments

    Jokes are also part of the story of Jesus’ killing. They are not harmless, but are bitter mockery. After Jesus is sentenced he is mocked by the bored soldiers guarding him. As he hangs writhing on the cross, the bystanders and the local authorities also mock him because he claimed to be the Son of God. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 31 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Triumph over forced adoption practice

    • Kate Howarth
    • 30 March 2015
    12 Comments

    I was sent to St Margaret's Home for Unwed Girls, and when I didn’t buckle to pressure to surrender my son for adoption, I was tossed onto the street. I went from rock bottom to rise to the top of my field, only to have everything pulled from underneath me. I managed to get back up again and realise my childhood dream of one day becoming a writer, lending a voice to tens of thousands of young women who lost their children in what is now known as 'forced adoption'.   

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Netflix and Fairfax in an uncaring new media environment

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 March 2015
    4 Comments

    Netflix and the Daily Mail are not concerned about whether people in a local area get safer roads or a new cancer treatment centre. Nor, it seems, are Fairfax and Newscorp. There was a time when nearly all media outlets were independent of each other, and locally owned by proprietors who cared as much about the welfare of their regions and cities as they did their own bottom line.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How super hurts the poor and middle income earners

    • Brian Toohey
    • 27 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Although the age pension will cost about $49 billion in 2017-18, it is means tested. In contrast, superannuation concessions are heavily biased in favour of high income earners. Both sides of politics pander to the wealthy and the cosseted finance sector, which want certainty that nothing will stand in the way of their super bonanza.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 March 2015
    6 Comments

    It's a pity that Australia's ongoing emergency aid to other nations was tainted by the Prime Minister's suggestion Indonesia should grant clemency to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia had provided $1 billion after the 2004 tsunami. Now that Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam, its people and government might wonder what we expect in exchange for our $5 million initial commitment and promised follow up assistance in the form of medical staff and rescue personnel.

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