Arts & Culture

50 years on, what The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper teaches us about music

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It was 50 years ago today. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. Andy Walton Christian Today Arguably the Beatles’ most celebrated album, it was unleashed onto an unsuspecting world in June 1967. Though there had been hints of the thousand new directions the band was about to take on previous records, Sgt. Pepper was a quantum leap. The orchestral grandeur of A Day In The… 50 years on… Read More »

Top universities with the best student-to-staff ratio 2017

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Data from the World University Rankings reveal the top universities with the best student-to-staff ratios Seeta Bhardwa The World University Rankings A lower student-to-staff ratio can help students to cultivate closer relationships with their lecturers, have quicker access to essay feedback, and get involved in… Times Higher Education has created this table to show which universities have the best student-to-staff ratios in the world as a… Top universities with… Read More »

Christianity does not play a significant role in Australian politics, but cultural conservatism does

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Debates about same-sex marriage and Catholic school funding suggest that religion plays an important role in Australian… Geoffrey Robinson The Conversation But Australian political religion functions largely as an expression of a general cultural conservatism and institutional self-interest, rather than as an expression of personal religious… For many Australians religion is about truth: Jesus was the son of God who… Christianity does not… Read More »

Labour has started a welcome debate on higher education funding

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Sally Hunt of the UCU, Norman Gowar, Jonathan Hunt, and 218 university staff on the effects of the Conservatives’ market-led education policies and Labour’s plan to scrap tuition fees, and… Letters The Guardian You are right to highlight how our universities are under threat from Brexit, creeping privatisation and the… Higher education makes an invaluable contribution to our economy and… Labour has started… Read More »

More than the N-word: how a ‘tense’ Paul Beatty interview raises bigger questions

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A controversial discussion at Sydney writers’ festival illustrates a broader truth: when it comes to conversations about race, Australia still has work to do Steph Harmon The Guardian Every writers’ festival seems to have a flashpoint of controversy, and in Sydney at the weekend it was all about race. On the one hand, the hour-long discussion between the Booker prize-winning African-American author Paul… More than the… Read More »

Religious scholars issue unanimous fatwa declaring suicide attacks Haram

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ISLAMABAD: Religious scholars from all schools of thought on Saturday issued a fatwa (religious decree) that declared suicide attacks, armed… TheNews The fatwa carrying signatures of 31 noted scholars was released at a seminar “’Reconstruction of Pakistani society in the light of ‘Mithaq-e-Madina’ (Charter of… The event was organised by the Islamic Research Institute of the International… Religious scholars issue… Read More »

Father of abuse victims Anthony Foster

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Tributes are pouring in for Anthony Foster who became a tireless and high-profile advocate for child sexual abuse victims after his daughters were raped by a priest. Melissa Cunningham The Age Mr Foster, 64, died after suffering a stroke on Friday evening. He rose to national prominence after he publicly accused Cardinal George Pell of stalling the family’s compensation claim against the Catholic Church when he… Father of abuse… Read More »

Constitutional recognition still open for discussion, Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson says

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Aboriginal leader and federal Labor frontbencher Pat Dodson has cautioned the Government not to “abandon” the work it has already done on constitutional recognition after yesterday’s Uluru… By political reporters Dan Conifer and Stephen Dziedzic  ABC After three days of talks in central Australia, indigenous leaders yesterday released the Uluru Statement of the… The delegates rejected “simple acknowledgement” in the constitution, instead calling for a… Constitutional recognition still… Read More »

Listening to the heart: what now for Indigenous recognition after the Uluru summit?

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Delegates at the First Nations Constitutional Convention at Uluru have issued a powerful “statement from the heart”. Harry Hobbs The Conversation They called for the establishment of a “First Nations Voice” enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and a commission to progress treaty-making between governments and Indigenous people. The Uluru statement reflects long-held Indigenous aspirations. But, in… Listening to the… Read More »

Belgrade authorities demolish illegal mosque ahead of Ramadan

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BELGRADE: Local authorities demolished an illegal mosque on the outskirts of Belgrade after Serbian police secured the area in a pre-dawn action on Friday, ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, despite protests by local Muslims and… Reuters Arab News The construction of a two-story mosque without a minaret in the Zemun Polje neighborhood started in 2014 even though the authorities had refused to grant it a… On Thursday, the authorities attempted the… Belgrade authorities demolish… Read More »

Defying Empire: National Gallery of Australia’s Indigenous Triennial paints unvarnished history

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“It just says it all on the bottle. Not to be taken. Power to remove.” A portrait of his grandmother, whom he never met, sits between depictions of cleaning products White King and Vanish in Blak Douglas’ triptych. Debbie Cuthbertson The Age On the floor in front of them lies a series of highly polished stickers scanned from a tin of floor polish, bearing the name “Piccaninny” and… Defying Empire: National… Read More »

Empowering Children to Lead Positive Social Change

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Children have great capacity to affect the lives of those around them, writes Dr Andrea Lemon, CEO and founding co-director of Kids… Andrea Lemon Pb When children are given the skills, responsibility and opportunity to think and act creatively and independently, spectacular things can happen  –  to them, and to their whole… I have just returned from the National Rural Health Conference in Cairns, where Kids Thrive was invited to present the… Empowering Children to… Read More »

Quality journalism is about more than just unearthing scandals and injustice

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With the demise of ABC presenter Mark Colvin a fortnight ago – a journalist of exceptional intelligence and integrity – it’s difficult not to feel that his death marks the… Sarah Gill The Age The end of an era, perhaps. There’s no doubt that the week of Colvin’s passing was a pretty bleak one for Australian journalism. His final days were foreshadowed by a week-long Fairfax strike and the launch of an Australian Senate inquiry into the future of public… ... Read More »

Poet Tony Walsh Delivers Stunning Ode To Manchester At Vigil For Bombing Victims

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‘The songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands, set the whole planet shaking’. Graeme Demianyk HuffPost Poet Tony Walsh became an instant symbol of Manchester’s defiance in the face of terror after reading his powerful ode to the city at a… Addressing thousands gathered at Manchester’s central Albert Square, the poet – known as ‘Longfella’ – gave a recital of his poem This Is The Place that paid tribute to the city’s rich history as an… Poet ... Read More »

Death by design

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More people than ever are choosing to be cremated, yet crematoriums are often grim places. Dominic Nicholls The Economist Dominic Nicholls talks to the architects trying to change that. The Crematorium Hofheide is situated in the middle of a lake in Holsbeek, Belgium. An elongated core of earth-coloured stone wrapped in a layer of rusty steel, it… Death by… Read More »

Lou Reed Creates a List of the 10 Best Records of All Time

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If you want to write, most every writer will tell you, you’ve got to read, read, read, and read. OpenCulture “Read more than you write,” advises Teju Cole. Even great filmmakers like Werner Herzog and Akira Kurasawa cite copious reading as a prerequisite for their primarily visual medium. But what about music? What advice might we hope to receive about the art of writing catchy, memorable, culturally significant… Lou Reed Creates… Read More »