Australasia

Ken Wyatt sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians in historic first

In a historic first, an Aboriginal man has been sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Source : AAP – SBS Noongar man Ken Wyatt has made history by being the first Aboriginal person to be sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Mr Wyatt, the member for the West Australian seat of Hasluck, received a rapturous applause as he was sworn in on Wednesday as the first Aboriginal person to take on the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in cabinet. “Can ... Read More »

‘A lot of wrongs to repair’: Justice Michael Kirby calls for national bill of rights

As a high court judge for more than 30 years Michael Kirby knows the law – and he’s using his expertise to call for a national bill of rights. Gloria Kalache SBS A former high court judge has called for Australia to adopt a national bill of human rights. Michael Kirby argues the country has a less than perfect record in protecting the rights of minorities and believes a national bill of rights could make the difference. “We’ve had a lot ... Read More »

Homelessness soars in our biggest cities, driven by rising inequality since 2001

Homelessness has increased greatly in Australian capital cities since 2001. Almost two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness are in these cities, with much of the growth associated with severely crowded dwellings and rough sleeping. Authors: The Conversation Homelessness in major cities, especially severe crowding, has risen disproportionately in areas with a shortage of affordable private rental housing and higher median rents. Severe crowding is also strongly associated with weak labour markets and poorer areas with a… These are some of the ... Read More »

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions up for four years in a row

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 rose for a fourth year in a row, an increase at odds with the country’s Paris climate pledge, according to a government submission to the… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald The National Inventory Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change showed emissions last year were 537 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (which include… That tally, which includes changes to land-use and forestry, was up 0.4 per cent from 2017’s 534.7 million tonnes ... Read More »

Carelessly linking crime to being homeless adds to the harmful stigma

The news of Courtney Herron’s death has shocked Melburnians. While full details are yet to emerge, both she and the man charged with murdering her have been widely reported as being homeless. Authors: The Conversation It’s revealing how news media use this information in framing their coverage of what happened. Media use of the term “homeless” is rarely neutral. This is not to say someone’s housing status should never be included in reporting such events. However, we should be wary ... Read More »

Malaysia to send plastic waste back to Australia and other developed nations

Malaysia will send back some 3,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries such as Australia, the US, the UK and Canada to avoid becoming a dumping ground for rich nations. ABC Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia and many developing countries had become new targets after China banned the import of plastic waste last year, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a… Last week, the Philippines announced it would ship back dozens of ... Read More »

WA police stations to fly Aboriginal flag permanently

Aboriginal flags will be raised at all WA police stations and remain there permanently to symbolise the force’s commitment to reconciliation, Chris Dawson says. AAP – SBS Aboriginal flags will be flown permanently at all West Australian police stations as part the force’s Reconciliation Action Plan to improve relations with indigenous people. Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was an important symbolic move to show “we mean what we say”. “I want them to see respect, I want them to know ... Read More »

Why an Indigenous Voice would not be ‘third chamber’ of Parliament

At Uluru in 2017, Indigenous Australians made clear that the kind of constitutional recognition they wanted was a living and continuing recognition, rather than mere words on a page of a… Anne Twomey The Sydney Morning Herald They called for recognition through an ongoing voice to Parliament about the laws and policies that affect them. In rejecting this proposal, one claim by the government was that this would be discriminatory and contrary to principles of equality because it would give ... Read More »

‘I’m not Tony Abbott’: Albanese offers to work with Morrison on climate, Uluru Statement

Anthony Albanese has offered to work with the Coalition government on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians and a bipartisan approach to climate change in his first major outing as incoming federal Labor leader. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times The offer came as Mr Albanese’s incoming deputy, Richard Marles, made a mea culpa over his role in tarnishing Labor’s brand in coal-rich Queensland through “tone deaf” remarks welcoming the demise of the coal industry. Mr Albanese vowed to hold the re-elected Coalition ... Read More »

A night at the opera: art comes alive in a modern twist on Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims

In 1864, four years before his death, Italian composer Gioachino Rossini recalled to his biographer Alexis Azevedo that he would probably have ended up a “chemist or an olive oil salesman” had it not been for the French invasion of Italy. Peter Tregear The Conversation That invasion had begun in 1792, the year of Rossini’s birth. By 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte had established the short-lived Cisalpine Republic in Northern Italy, in turn raising hopes a unified Italian state might soon emerge. ... Read More »

Review: Patricia Cornelius’ Love reprises in double bill

THEATRE LOVE ★★★★ Patricia Cornelius, fortyfivedownstairs, until June 9 Patricia Cornelius’ award-winning play Love is currently reprising in a double bill – together with her play Shit – at fortyfivedownstairs, before heading to the Venice Biennale in July. Cameron Woodhead The Sydney Morning Herald It has been a stand-out year for Cornelius, who back in March won the lucrative Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama in the US, and it’s pleasing to see this most decorated of Australian playwrights finally attracting the… There’s something savage and protean ... Read More »

Voice will end cycle of instability

The process that led to the Uluru Statement From the Heart and the proposal to amend the Australian constitution to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament was a watershed moment in Australian history. Megan Davis The Sydney Morning Herald For the first time in our living memory, a representative group of Australia’s First Nations people met in the heart of Australia at Uluru on May 26, 2017, and agreed to endorse a sequence of reforms aimed at doing what ... Read More »

Sorry Day is about empathy

OPINION: On this National Day of Healing, let’s recognise that starting point of ‘sorry’. Empathy is a virtue vital for Australians to reach reconciliation, writes Luke Briscoe. By Luke Briscoe Source:NITV News SBS Unless you were a complete angel as a child, all of us have memories of being told to apologise to someone at some point. But sometimes, saying ‘sorry’ just wasn’t enough. I realised this one day when I looked a schoolmate straight in the eye, internalising how he ... Read More »

Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for… Ofer Raban The Conversation The new indictment expands an earlier one charging Assange with conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to… Assange is responsible for the dissemination of troves of classified American documents, including hundreds of thousands of military reports, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic ... Read More »

‘This is about men’s behaviour’, says top police officer after another woman’s murder

One of Victoria’s most senior police has urged men to take responsibility for violence against women after what appears to be the fourth killing of a lone woman in public in Melbourne in less than a year. Michael Fowler The Age Speaking hours after the discovery of a woman’s body in Royal Park on Saturday, Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius was at pains to tell the public that Melbourne remained a very safe place. “Melbourne remains one of the safest cities ... Read More »

‘Unrelentingly partisan’: Did the Murdoch press sway the election?

The day after the election, a fuming Kevin Rudd took to Twitter. “In all the election commentary last night, not a single word on the elephant in the room,” the former prime minister wrote. Bianca Hall The Sydney Morning Herald “Murdoch, with 70 per cent control of Australia’s print media, ran the single most biased campaign in Australian political history. Reason for the silence? People are in fear of Murdoch’s power.” Rupert Murdoch’s papers, which actually account for about 60 per ... Read More »