Australasia

Refugees treated with disrespect and having payments docked, report finds

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Refugees settled in Australia are being treated with disrespect by federal service providers and having their welfare payments unfairly docked, according to a new report by the Refugee Council of Australia. Stephanie Dalzell ABC The draft paper, obtained by the ABC, examines a number of issues affecting humanitarian arrivals who have been settled in Fairfield, in Sydney’s west. The report includes several examples of hostile treatment from staff at government service provider Jobactive, such as a case where a refugee ... Read More »

Australians waste $70m a year on unused gift cards

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When I was a teenager, I loved getting gift vouchers and using them in the sales. I usually spent them in either the winter sales soon after my birthday or the summer sales after Christmas. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times I didn’t have much money so each voucher was carefully stored in my wallet and avidly spent. There was no way I’d let a single dollar go to waste. I would’ve been astonished to hear that Australians in 2017 waste $70 ... Read More »

WA doctors warns falling morale could impact patient care

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Western Australia’s doctors are chafing at poor management and a workplace culture that discourages speaking out, according to the state’s medical lobby. David Allan-Petale WAtoday In the wake of a damning independent review of staff morale at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital, AMA WA is sending out surveys to its membership in the state to create a bigger picture look of morale in the state’s health system. Since the survey’s publication in June, AMA WA state president Omar Khorshid said the ... Read More »

Migrant farm workers take on one of Australia’s richest families, the Smorgons

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Migrant farm workers are taking on one of Australia’s richest families, the Smorgons, in what could be the first major strike in the farm sector for many decades. Ben Schneiders The Age The workers and a union are seeking better pay and conditions at giant glasshouses north of Adelaide at a company majority owned by a Smorgon-family investment company. Strikes are almost non-existent in the farm sector, which is overwhelmingly non-union. On Friday, three migrant workers appeared in the Fair ... Read More »

Turns Out ‘Fakes News’ Is Pretty Real, You Just Need To Know Where To Look

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Unsurprisingly, the best place to get your news on all things United States these days is not from the traditional news sources. It’s not that they’re ‘fake news’ in the way Donald Trump describes them. It’s just that they’re mainstream media …enough said. New Matilda So where does new Matilda get its US news? John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is an excellent source of news that we ‘ve profiled before. It’s particularly good for major stories that aren’t necessarily cracking ... Read More »

John Olsen says Archibald Prize win is ‘the worst decision I’ve ever seen’

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The Archibald Prize has once again sparked controversy with veteran artist John Olsen calling this year’s winner, Mitch Cairns’ colourful portrait of artist Agatha Gothe-Snape, “just so bad”. Garry Maddox The Canberra Times “I think it’s the worst decision I’ve ever seen,” the 89-year-old former winner and three-time judge of the country’s best-known portrait prize… Insisting that an outstanding portrait should give an insight into it’s subject, Olsen said Cairn’s painting lucked analysis… John Olsen says… Read More »

Why offshore processing of refugees bound for Europe is such a bad idea

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n the same day that a top UN official bravely called on Australia to end the harmful practice of processing asylum applications offshore in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, one of his colleagues announced his support for another proposed offshoring system – this time to prevent migrants reaching the… Daria Davitti  The Conversation On July 24, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that Australia’s policy to deny access to asylum in Australia for refugees arriving by sea “has caused extensive, ... Read More »

‘Drug pushers in suits’: Why the ACT’s bid to ‘legalise heroin’ failed

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It was the bold idea that began in the ACT Legislative Assembly, rattled the prime minister of the day, and raised the hackles of one of the… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times And almost 20 years since Prime Minister John Howard scuttled a scientific trial into the effectiveness of providing prescription heroin to addicts, former ACT independent MLA Michael Moore believes its time to start the… Mr Moore was the chair of an ACT parliamentary committee on HIV, illegal drugs ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

Why pop songs move us: it’s not about

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What was it that drove 600 generally sane men, women and children to don red dresses to swoop, leap and sway to the biggest Kate Bush hit of all time at Melbourne’s Edinburgh… Peter Martin The Sydney Morning Herald The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever was a fundraiser to help organisations dealing with domestic violence, as were satellite Most Wuthering Heights Days in Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney… But the devotees weren’t doing it primarily to fight domestic violence, and… Why ... Read More »

Australian dollar stung by RBA’s interest

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The Australian dollar slid back below US79¢ on Friday after Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle said there was no automatic reason for rates to rise after a recent outbreak of hawkishness by global… Eryk Bagshaw with Reuters and Bloomberg The Canberra Times The Australian dollar dropped about half a cent to US78.77¢ following the comments, having touched a high of US79.92¢ earlier in the week. “Just as the policy rate in Australia did not need to decline to the very ... Read More »

Eaten Fish receives Voltaire Empty Chair Award, Liberty Victoria

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Manus Island detainee and current CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning laureate Eaten Fish has received the Voltaire Empty Chair Award at Liberty Victoria‘s annual event celebrating free speech… Cartoonists Rights Eaten Fish’s staunchest allies, poet and human rights activist Janet Galbraith and cartoonist Andrew Marlton (aka First Dog on the Moon) attended on Eaten… Marlton read a message of goodwill and thanks from the young Iranian, still facing an uncertain future even as Australia’s facility in Papua New… Eaten Fish ... Read More »

We All Know What’s Happening: A remarkable insight into Nauru through the eyes of children

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THEATRE WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING ★★★½ Arts House, North Melbourne Until July 22​ That cherished axiom of the acting trade – “never work with children or animals” – is one we should be pleased some of our smartest theatre-makers have ignored. Cameron Woodhead The Age Adena Jacobs’ Fraught Outfit, for instance, has created an astonishing body of work with younger ensembles, continuing with a child’s eye view of The Book of... Likewise, Samara Hersch​ and Lara Thoms have devised theatre ... Read More »

Australia human history ‘rewritten by rock find’

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Archaeologists have found the first evidence to suggest that Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years. BBC The discovery indicates their arrival on the continent was up to 18,000 years earlier than previously thought. It was made after sophisticated artefacts were excavated from a rock shelter in the Northern Territory. Researchers unearthed what they say are the… Australia human history… Read More »

Workplace relationships: People’s private lives are their own affair

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The forced resignations of two male senior AFL executives, both married, for workplace affairs with younger women significantly lower in the organisation’s hierarchy has triggered much… Editorial The Age Broadly, there are two opposing views. One is that once the clandestine sexual liaisons had become public, the AFL was right to force the executives out, on the… The other is that… Workplace relationships: People’s… Read More »

Offshore detention cost taxpayers $5bn in four years – and asylum seekers remain in limbo

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Vigils to mark anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s banning of asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever settling in… Ben Doherty  The Guardian Four years since the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia”, offshore detention has cost Australian taxpayers almost $5bn and the future of those held on… On 19 July 2013, Rudd announced all boat-borne asylum seekers would be subject ... Read More »