Australasia

Australian government’s citizenship test moves political, not practical

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No better than the old police gag: And when did you stop beating your wife, Sir? Editorial The Age There is consensus across the political spectrum that immigration has been a boon for this country. Australia is often, and rightly, held up as one of the most successful multicultural communities. We have long derived huge social and economic benefits from diversity. So the recent posturing, and… Australian government’s citizenship… Read More »

Why do we care so much about the left and right side of politics?

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THE world of politics has never been associated with furious agreement. Rachel Corbett The Advertiser Even a political novice could work out that the job of the “Opposition” is to oppose things and while it’s always important to make sure those in power are held to account, it feels like we’ve been slowly creeping towards a… I’m not naive enough to think this is a modern phenomenon. Frustration at government is… Why do we… Read More »

India blocks Australian bid to join Exercise Malabar naval war games

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India has declined an Australian request to take part in multilateral naval exercises in July over fears it could unnecessarily enflame diplomatic tensions with… Exclusive by defence reporter Andrew Greene ABC For a quarter of a century military assets from the United States and India, and more recently Japan, have come together for joint annual defence drills — known as Exercise Malabar — north of… In 2007, Australia participated in Exercise Malabar but the Rudd government then withdrew from the ... Read More »

Grandfathering the Australian dream

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House prices, insecure work and growing debts … Who can afford a stake in today’s society? Richard Denniss The Monthly The Liberal Party of Robert Menzies wanted all Australians to own their own home. The Liberal Party of Malcolm Turnbull wants us all to be landlords. The times, they are a-changin’. Australia’s longest-serving prime minister set out, quite deliberately, to give young people a physical and financial stake in the… Grandfathering the Australian… 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 »

How we can help refugee kids to thrive in Australia

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When we think about refugee children’s health, we tend to assume bad news. But refugee children are highly resilient. Karen Zwi The Conversation This means they can thrive, mature and develop despite poor circumstances, and can adapt despite severe and long-term hardship. Our newly published research is the first of its kind to track the long… How we can… Read More »

The ugly side of politics we rarely hear about

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You may think the media is full of the argy-bargy of politics, full to saturation point. There is, however, a level of politics we rarely hear about. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times You may not have noticed, but it raised its ugly head at the time of the budget earlier this month. One sign was the anger, almost outrage, of the big banks when, on budget night, Scott Morrison surprised them by announcing a small new tax on them. Why weren’t we… ... Read More »

When politicians bully, judges and journalists need to stand firm

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Donald Trump and Peter Dutton have both criticised the judiciary and the media. What does it say about their grasp of the functions of democracy? Richard Ackland The Guardian ”We had a very smooth roll out of the travel ban, but we had a bad court. We’ve had a bad decision.” That was Donald Trump at his White House press conference after the ninth circuit court of… When politicians bully… 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 »

Convicted pedophiles to lose travel rights

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Convicted pedophiles will be banned from travelling overseas and will have their passports cancelled under new measures to be introduced by the… Herald Sun Australian Associated Press The Herald Sun says new legislation, due to be introduced next month, will make it illegal for convicted child-sex offenders to leave or attempt to leave Australia, while dual… Victorian senator and anti… Convicted pedophiles to… Read More »

Meet Jessica Pearce, the woman buying houses for Melbourne’s homeless

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A woman has been so moved by the sight of Melbourne’s homeless people that she has started buying houses for them. ABC Radio Melbourne Simon Leo Brown Jessica Pearce was staying at a hotel in Flinders Street with her partner over the Christmas period when they came face to face with city’s homeless problem. “I guess we felt shocked and I suppose a bit guilty — we didn’t realise how bad the housing situation in Melbourne was,” she told… Meet ... Read More »

AMA calls for ‘mature conversation’ over decriminalising drugs to reduce harms

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The President of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association says he will continue to push the debate over decriminalisation of drugs for personal use, despite authorities taking a… By David Weber and Eliza Laschon  ABC Dr Andrew Miller said alternative solutions on how the state treated drug users needed to be… He called for a “mature conversation”. “The current situation’s not working, there’s a lot of harm from drugs and there’s a… AMA calls for… 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 »

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 »

Adelaide couple to live on the same food rations as a Syrian refugee

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An Adelaide couple has agreed to live on the same food rations as a Syrian refugee as part of a national fundraiser to highlight the plight of those in camps. Brett Williamson ABC Willunga’s Nic and Jarrad Newbold said the gravity of the situation hit them when their rations arrived. “When I opened the box and looked into it I thought, what on Earth have I got myself into?” Nic said. “I think we waste more food than that [in ... Read More »