Multiculturalism

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

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Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

Indigenous suicide in custody: ‘How have lives just slipped away?’

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Guardian Australia has uncovered 20 suicides since 2008. Each death should have been prevented Jack Banister The Guardian Megan Williams was in her last year at school when the findings of the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody were released in 1991. The Wiradjuri woman, now an academic at the University of Technology, Sydney, remembers feeling “so confused that people could die in state care”. “I was a student grappling with that injustice, but never thinking that would be ... Read More »

China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness

A woman stands behind a pillar during the Eid al-Adha festival at Niujie mosque in Beijing, China September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee - D1BEUAVHGQAA

The country is putting Muslims in internment camps—and causing real psychological damage in the process. Sigal Samuel The Atlantic One million Muslims are being held right now in Chinese internment camps, according to estimates cited by the UN and U.S. officials. Former inmates—most of whom are Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority—have told reporters that over the course of an indoctrination process lasting several months, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, and recite Communist ... Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

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It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

Au revoir Mirka Mora, your joie de vivre will live on

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Mirka Mora has left us, at the age of 90. She will be missed by her family and friends, who recall her sunny personality and formidable appetite for life. Sabine Cotte The Conversation But for all art lovers, her work will continue to shine in the city she contributed so much to: in front of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station, at St Kilda Pier, on the walls of the Tolarno restaurant… In reflecting on Mirka’s life and work we should remember ... Read More »

Indigenous prisoner restrained by 14 officers before death in custody, footage shows

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Inquest shown ‘distressing’ images of Wayne Morrison, who was left braindead after altercation at Adelaide’s Yatala prison Lorena Allam The Guardian Shocking footage has been played to a coronial inquest of the lead-up to the death of an Indigenous man who died after being restrained while on remand in a South Australian jail. Wayne Fella Morrison, 29, died at Royal Adelaide hospital on 26 September2016, three days after the altercation with corrections staff at Adelaide’s Yatala prison left him braindead. At one ... Read More »

Much-loved Melbourne artist Mirka Mora dies aged 90

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Mirka Mora, one of Melbourne’s best-known and most-loved artists whose distinctive works have adorned the city like no other, has died at the age of 90. Debbie Cuthbertson The Sydney Morning Herald Mirka, one of Melbourne’s most famous bohemians, transformed the culture of her adopted home town since emigrating to Australia in the 1950s from war-torn France. Mirka’s son, William Mora, confirmed his mother’s death on Monday night. “It’s with great sadness that the Mora family announces the passing of ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit ‘could lead to break up of UK’

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Former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause the United Kingdom itself to collapse. Angus Howarth The Scotsman The ex-Belgian prime Minister told the Observer that crashing out without a deal was “an existential threat to the UK itself”. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she will decide whether to call for a second Scottish independence referendum by the end of this year. Van Rompuy believes a… No-deal Brexit… Read More »

People who see men and women as fundamentally different are more likely to accept workplace discrimination

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How should people who care about gender equality in the workplace argue their case? The most popular approach is to make the “business case” argument: that greater inclusion of women enhances profits and performance. Authors: The Conversation Unfortunately, the business case argument often draws on a “gender essentialist” view. This holds that women are fundamentally, immutably and naturally different from men. The inclusion of women benefits the organisation, it suggests, because women bring uniquely female skills and perspectives that complement ... Read More »

The important and humbling work of doing diversity

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Growing up in suburban Sydney, I broke bread with all kinds. The dismantling of the White Australia policy in the 1960s and 1970s had allowed my parents to bring me from South Africa, aspire to belong and buy a house on a quarter acre block. Toni Hassan Brisbane Times My father started a business. Schooled in Islam, he ensured we never ate pork. I went to a public school alongside Aboriginal, Slavic, Italian, Greek and Malay students, as well as ... Read More »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

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Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

The reasons behind Australia’s racism

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No matter how much we deny it, Australia can be a racist nation, but there are several factors causing this, writes Peter Wicks. IA WE MAY LIKE TO tell ourselves we are not a racist country in Australia, but let’s face it, a lot of Australians are racist. They may not all be neo-Nazis, but they are racist nonetheless. In New Zealand, our nearest neighbour, they celebrate Maori culture with the haka at major events such as the football. In ... Read More »

How a small American Indian tribe came to give an incredible gift to Irish famine sufferers

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In the winter of 1847, the people of Ireland were suffering from a devastating famine. Padraig Kirwan The Conversation Meanwhile, members of the Choctaw Nation of American Indians, one of the five great southern tribes of the United States, met in a small town in Indian Territory called Skullyville. There, members of the tribe discussed the experiences of the Irish poor. It was proposed that they would gather what monies they could spare. This wasn’t going to be much in ... Read More »

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker review – a feminist Iliad

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This brilliant retelling of Homer’s epic poem focuses on the cost of war to women through the story of Briseis, Achilles’ concubine Emily Wilson The Guardian In The Iliad, a poem about the terrible destruction caused by male aggression, the bodies and pretty faces of women are the objects through which men struggle with each other for status. The women are not entirely silent, and goddesses always have plenty to say, but mortal women speak primarily to lament. They grieve ... Read More »

Robin DiAngelo on why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism

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Robin DiAngelo riles up a lot of white people. The American anti-racism educator teaches about an insidious and damaging form of racism that lurks in progressive people like herself: white privilege. ABC – RN – By Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live She believes many white people are unconscious of their privilege, but — often — that’s a message they don’t want a bar of. “For many white people the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause ... Read More »

Q&A: John Marsden says he would not have written the Tomorrow series today

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A string of questions centred around race relations and immigration were directed at a panel of authors on Q&A’s panel on Monday night. ABC On the desk with host Tony Jones were John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Trent Dalton. Marsden was asked whether his Tomorrow series, starting with the 1993 novel Tomorrow When the War Began, helped raise a generation of Australians who feared foreign invasion. “I hope not,” Marsden said. “It was written ... Read More »