Australasia

Australian pro-democracy activist ‘detained’ in Vietnam

Vietnamese-Australian pro democracy activist Chau Van Kham was on a “fact-finding” mission in his home country when he is said to have been detained. AFP – SBS A prominent Vietnamese-Australian pro-democracy activist has been detained by security services on his return to Ho Chi Minh city, colleagues in Australia told AFP on Friday. Just days after an Australian blogger and author was arrested in China, Australian citizen Chau Van Kham is said to have been detained by Vietnamese authorities. The retired ... Read More »

How political Islam is shifting Indonesia’s relations with us

Jakarta: On paper, the two men couldn’t be much more different. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, is an ethnically-Chinese Christian former governor of Jakarta who was released from jail on Thursday after serving nearly two years for blasphemy. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald The other man, Abu Bakar Bashir, is an 81-year-old firebrand cleric and spiritual leader of the Bali bombers who is much better known to Australians. Bashir was set for a shock early release from jail ... Read More »

Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia

January 26 is redneck Christmas and white supremacist festivus rolled into one Scott Trindall for IndigenousX The Guardian When you think about it you realise that Australia’s only really got a couple of holidays that aren’t religion-based or coincide with the local show. And, given that Aussies love taking a day off – we lead the world in chucking sickies – you can start to appreciate why so many white people have such a strong affinity with January 26 and ... Read More »

My Australia: The woman tackling workplace ignorance about Indigenous Australians

Djiribul woman Shelley Reys has spent her career trying to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Today she counts Microsoft, Qantas and Telstra as clients. Matt Connellan SBS My Australia is a special series exploring cultural heritage and identity, and asking what it means to be Australian in 2019. When Shelley Reys was a little girl, she watched her father win ‘the race that stops a nation’. Frank Reys became the only Aboriginal jockey to win the Melbourne ... Read More »

Three Charts on who uses illicit drugs in Australia

To demonstrate the failure of the war on drugs, NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann came out this week about her own drug use: Since my 20s, I’ve occasionally taken MDMA [ecstasy] at dance parties and music festivals. I know journalists, tradies, lawyers, public servants, doctors, police and yes, politicians (most well into their forties), who have done the same. Nicole Lee The Conversation When asked by journalists on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’d never taken illicit drugs, while ... Read More »

Love thy neighbour? Just 4 per cent of Canberrans socialise in their street

When was the last time you caught up with your neighbours? Or borrowed a cup of sugar? Could you even recognise them out in public? Serena Coady The Canberra Times New research suggests most Canberrans wouldn’t, with just four per cent of ACT residents currently socialising with their neighbours. The study – undertaken by Mastercard and the Happiness Institute – found that 55 per cent of Canberrans didn’t know their neighbour’s name, and 25 per cent didn’t know what they looked ... Read More »

Fleeing family violence to another country and taking your child is not ‘abduction’, but that’s how the law sees it

Fiona (not her real name) came to Australia from New Zealand as a 19-year-old backpacker. Gina Masterton The Conversation Here, she met a man, got married and had two boys. The domestic violence began after her first son’s birth, and Fiona endured it for several years. In 2017, when her children were eight and ten, Fiona summoned the strength to leave her husband. Not being an Australian citizen, she found she wasn’t eligible for government assistance, so Fiona fled back ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

Nauru doctor wins global free speech award for speaking out on offshore immigration

Nick Martin’s medical attention and advocacy saw asylum seekers transferred to Australia for treatment, but ultimately cost him his job Ben Doherty The Guardian A doctor on Nauru who blew the whistle on the deliberate medical neglect of refugees and asylum seekers on the island has been awarded a global award for free speech. Dr Nick Martin, the former senior medical officer for International Health and Medical Services on Nauru, spoke out publicly against what he described as Australia’s “inflexible, unswerving, and shameless” ... Read More »

Shocking video emerges after two women and child ‘racially abused’ on Melbourne train

Ugly footage has emerged after a woman allegedly verbally abused a mother and child over their religion on a Melbourne train before yanking the hijab off a passenger who tried to help. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Fahima Adan, 20, appeared on Nine News on Sunday night sporting bruises and scratches on her arm following the incident which occurred shortly after midday on Saturday on a train from Dandenong, ending in the arrest of a… Ms Adan, from Dandenong, said she ... Read More »

Family of ‘beautiful’ teen plead for pill testing after suspected festival drug overdose

The family of the latest young person to die of a suspected overdose at a music festival has pleaded with NSW Premer Gladys Berejiklian to show ”strong leadership” and introduce pill testing. Sarah Keoghan & Lucy Cormack The Age Central Coast teenager Alex Ross-King, 19, died after taking a suspected dose of pills at the FOMO festival in Parramatta at the weekend. Family members of the teenager have pleaded with the government to introduce pill testing in “legacy” of her death, ... Read More »

‘Real risk’ of refugees freezing to death in Syria after rains destroy shelters

As temperatures fall, aid workers warn of danger to at least 11,000 people across Idlib, with storms also battering camps in Lebanon Rebecca Ratcliffe The Guardian At least 11,000 child refugees and their families are facing a weekend of freezing temperatures with no shelter, after torrential rains across Syria’s Idlib province swept away tents and belongings. Aid workers warn there is a real risk people will simply freeze to death as temperatures have already dropped to -1C, amid a shortage of ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

Are women escaping family violence overseas considered refugees?

Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s story has travelled around the world this week, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s repressive treatment of women and that not only those who seek asylum by… Tamara Wood The Conversation For now, al-Qunun remains in Thailand, and it’s been reported the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has deemed her to be a refugee. Australia has said it will consider granting her asylum. Reports say al-Qunun fears, if she is returned to Saudi Arabia, she will be abused and ... Read More »

Australia’s 2018 Human Rights Performance Slammed

The Australian government’s human rights approach to refugees, Indigenous people and those with disability has been slammed by an annual review, which warns that Australia is at risk of … Luke Michael ProBono Australian Lawyers for Human Rights’ (ALHR) 2018 Human Rights Report Card scored Australia poorly on key areas including Indigenous rights (F-), refugees and people seeking asylum (F) and… While the federal government was praised for introducing a Modern Slavery Act, the review noted Australia faced persistent criticism by multiple United ... Read More »