The Most Important Relationship May Be the One Valentine’s Day Overlooks


“If you don’t have a significant other, you’re missing out on the best parts of life” is pretty much the message sent en masse when Valentine’s Day rolls around. But it’s not just on V-Day — all year long, it’s romantic relationships that get the spotlight. Rachel Grate Mic But what about friendships? From anniversaries and weddings to recognized milestones ... Read More »

The Question of Light: Tilda Swinton’s speech at the Rothko Chapel


Below is the only place to read Tilda Swinton’s moving and radiant speech at theRothko Chapel in Texas. Why do I have it?  A brief explanation. Last year, actress Tilda Swinton was presented with the Rothko Chapel Visionary Award at the The Rothko Chapel, which is home to fourteen of Mark Rothko’s paintings.  It’s also a spiritual and human rights ... Read More »

Tony Abbott’s ‘compassionate parents’ comments irritate and are presumptive

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Not having children doesn’t make you less compassionate The Age - Terry Barnes In his wider than expected ministerial reshuffle, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promoted his tough-as-an-old boot Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, into an expanded portfolio of Social Services. Even before Abbott’s press conference announcing the changes began, Twitter pundits were joking that Morrison’s mantra would change ... Read More »

Scott Morrison’s calculated cruelty is his legacy

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He proved to be a callous Immigration Minister, yet he is given another portfolio that requires compassion. The Canberra Times – Julian Burnside Scott Morrison’s performance as immigration minister will be assessed differently, depending on where you stand. For those who think boat people are criminals who should be locked up, his time in the immigration portfolio has been hailed ... Read More »

Detainees: the injustice remains, the vigil goes on


The Bladin and Wickham Point detention facilities are 35 kilometres south of Darwin. Every Sunday afternoon, 74-year-old Richard Davis conducts a lone vigil outside the centres. A tall, slim man, with a straggly white beard, he perches on a stool beside his white four-wheel drive. In front of him rests a knee-high placard, captioned: “Until we are all free, none ... Read More »

A Day of Great Moral Failure

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 The Uniting Church in Australia has expressed its dismay at changes passed to the Migration and Maritime Powers Acts which will cause greater suffering for those vulnerable people seeking refuge in Australia. “Today is a day of great moral failure for Australia,” said Uniting Church President, Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney, in response to the legislation which passed the Senate in ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: Sydney Peace Prize Lecture

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Law and Ethics ABC Big Ideas Sydney Peace Foundation He says he “grew up breathing liberal air.” He was born in the year Robert Menzies came to power and Menzies was still there when he finished school in Melbourne. Entire Talk watch now listen to audio [29.33 Mb] download video (mp4) [5.68 Mb] He’s Julian Burnside, barrister, human rights advocate, ... Read More »

Atul Gawande: The Smiling Angel of a Happy Death


It is said that victorious Roman generals, on city parades following battlefield triumphs, would be followed by a servant. “Memento Mori,” the servant would say over and over. “Remember that you have to die.” Later, still-life paintings were punctuated by symbols of the finite – rotting fruit, wilting flowers, bubbles – as reminders of life’s transience. Early self-help books, with ... Read More »