Australasia

‘It doesn’t change a damn thing here or anywhere else’

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A few weeks ago, I was dawdling around my university campus when I stumbled upon a string of familiar posters. Eleanor Kirk Brisnane Times They were familiar because I had seen the same image and slogan posted, shared and re-tweeted by almost every left-wing American celebrity I follow on social media: March For Our Lives. This wasn’t the first time I had seen posters that focused on political issues far from home. A year and a half earlier, the same ... Read More »

Biloela residents bring fight to return ‘loved’ asylum seeker family home to Q&A panel

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At dawn on March 5, Nadesalingam and Priya and their two Australian born daughters were taken from their home in Biloela and placed into custody by Border Force officials. Rebeka Powell ABC Almost three months later, the family remains in a detention centre in Melbourne. Now Biloela locals Marie and Margot have made a public plea on Q&A to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, to allow the family to stay in Australia. “Our town loved this ... Read More »

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

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Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

High-flying lawyer for the ‘little guy’ says Australia needs to shake its ‘fearful’ outlook

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RACIAL taunts and injustices propelled a Sydney lawyer to become the champion of the “little guy”. Here’s the big problem Australia needs to fix. Ben Graham news.com.au JAHAN Kalantar is at the frontline of fighting injustice in Australia and some of what he sees on a day-to-day basis is disturbing. The high-flying Sydney lawyer from a firm which prides itself on standing up for the “little guy”, such as the desperately poor and people with mental illnesses, believes we have ... Read More »

Is abortion legal in Australia? It’s complicated

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Ireland has just voted on whether to lift the country’s controversial ban on abortion. Olivia Willis ABC But in Australia, whether or not abortion is legal depends on where you live — as does the cost and availability of the procedure. And that’s because abortion laws are made by state and territory governments, not the Federal Government. Abortion in Australia: A snapshot It is estimated between a quarter to a third of Australian women will choose to terminate a pregnancy ... Read More »

‘We are absolutely in a new culture war’: ‘Religious freedom’ next on the Liberal agenda

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On Monday night, former deputy prime minister John Anderson delivered a rousing and ominous speech to a gathering of religious educators in Parliament House. Michael Koziol WAtoday With a gusto more suited to the Great Hall in which the Christian Schools Australia gala dinner normally takes place, Anderson dared speak the name of a spectre which is often invoked but rarely acknowledged: the culture war. “We’re living in the age of enormous cultural disharmony, I put it to you,” he ... Read More »

Justice Connect Set to Develop National Guide for Volunteering

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Charity legal service Justice Connect will use a $250,000 government grant to produce a National Guide for Volunteering, containing legal resources to assist not for profits with volunteer management. Luke Michael ProBonoAustralia Announced on Wednesday to coincide with National Volunteer Week (21 to 27 May), Justice Connect will use $250,000 in funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) to develop a full suite of legal resources for NFPs to… Justice Connect CEO Chris Povey, said the organisation would create ... Read More »

If you think Australia has a racism problem, you’re the racist

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Senator Ian Macdonald is the Father of the Parliament, which is a nice way of saying he has been there longer than anyone else. Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times With experience, allegedly comes wisdom, and this week the Queensland senator shared some of his when he declared that racism doesn’t really exist in Australia. Not since Bob Katter asserted there were no homosexuals in his electorate has such a bold claim been made by a Queenslander. But, lest you think such ... Read More »

Why some migrants in abusive relationships don’t receive help, and are deported

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Earlier this month, Bernadette Romulo, a Philippine immigrant to Australia, made a desperate plea to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to allow her to stay in the… Marie Segrave The Conversation Bernadette came to Australia 11 years ago with her husband, who held a 457 visa (a temporary skilled-work visa), and two daughters. Following the breakdown of their marriage, Bernadette began a relationship with a Filipino-Australian man, with whom she later had a son. Her partner was abusive, and the ... Read More »

Tough new EU privacy regulations could lead to better protections in Australia

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Major personal data breaches, such as those that occurred recently at the Commonwealth Bank, Cambridge Analytica and Yahoo, have taught us how vulnerable our privacy is. Vincent Mitchell The Conversation Like the cigarette and alcohol markets, it took a long time to prove that poorly regulated data collection can do us harm. And as with passive smoking, we now know that data trading can harm those around us as well as ourselves. Regulators in the European Union are cracking down ... Read More »

Pacific Solution has become a mess for Coalition and a point of division for Labor

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It’s more than passingly ironic that the newly elected Member for Batman, Ged Kearney, espouses the principle of solidarity in her maiden speech to parliament. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times It’s no surprise that the accomplished former trade unionist would echo the rallying call of the Labor movement in her first formal utterances in the house, however she would do well to heed her own call in Labor’s approach to the vexed issue of border protection. Her speech, following the familiar ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

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In September 2003, an article in The Age reported the miserable conditions a group of Central Australian Aboriginal artists were enduring while housed in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges on the… Mitchell Rolls The Conversation Cold, hungry, ill and isolated, the artists were producing paintings for one of Melbourne’s Aboriginal art galleries. It is unknown whether these artists were aware of fellow Central Australian Aborigines frozen in time in a nearby sanctuary. The William Ricketts Sanctuary, or as the eccentric “Bill” Ricketts would have preferred ... Read More »

Victorian Labor urged to back calls for an end to offshore processing, bring Manus and Nauru detainees to Australia

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Victorian Labor delegates will be urged to end offshore processing and bring refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. Lucy Barbour ABC The “urgency motion” to be debated at a state ALP conference this weekend, obtained by the ABC, calls for Labor to “close the offshore detention centres, transit centres and other camps on Manus and Nauru within the first 90 days” of a Shorten government. It goes on to propose that Labor should “bring all ... Read More »

View from The Hill: Hastie and Turnbull – what you don’t know, you can’t stop

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There’s one logical reason why ambitious young Liberal backbencher Andrew Hastie didn’t tell Malcolm Turnbull he was about to drop a bombshell, with a parliamentary speech accusing a Chinese-Australian figure of involvement in the bribery of a… Michelle Grattan The Conversation If he had forewarned Turnbull, Hastie – who is head of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security – would have been firmly ordered to button his lips. Remember, Turnbull was angry when a backbencher defiantly produced a… ... Read More »

Domestic violence in the church: When women are believed, change will happen

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Tonight, hundreds of people are expected to gather in North Sydney to talk about how church communities can take action on domestic violence. Last year’s event, called Time to Listen, was organised by Northside Baptist and sold out. At this one, called Time to Act, survivors and… Julia Baird ABC The white Styrofoam heads stand on shelves in neat, solemn rows in a little-used backroom of the ABC. Their faces are devoid of colour; blank, anonymous, unknown. These mannequin skulls ... Read More »