Multiculturalism

The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree: A picture book about deafness

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I love Angeliki Pedersen, author of The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree. We attend the same parish, and I think I must have met her the first time we visited here. She’s the kind of person that reaches out to strangers at coffee hour and makes them feel welcome. © Charlotte Riggle As Angeliki and I got to know each other, we learned that we’re more than just members of the same parish. We’re also ... Read More »

Is this the Australia we want?

Australia is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to tackling growing incarceration and suicide rates, charitible giving, and sustainability levels, according to… Maggie Coggan PRObonoAustralia The Community Council for Australia’s (CCA) Australia We Want report, released on Tuesday, provides a benchmark of how the nation and each state and territory is performing against values determined by 60… The values, which were outlined in detail in the first report on this topic in 2016, include just, fair, safe, inclusive, ... Read More »

Federal election 2019: Could these 15 ideas restore faith in politics?

Should Australia have fixed parliamentary terms? Or real-time disclosure of political donations? How about a “citizen jury” that can decide on issues of national importance? ABC News Breakfast By Patrick Wood These are just three of 15 ideas outlined in a new report aimed at improving our democracy, which has been pitched to our federal politicians this election. “Australia’s democracy … is frayed and public confidence in our system of governance is in worrying decline,” the Reforming Our Democracy report ... Read More »

The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival – 2019 Program Guide

Whether you love romance, want to be inspired or see something with all the feels, HRAFF Co-Founder and Chairperson, Evelyn Tadros has the perfect set of festival recommendations just for you! Published May 7, 2019 by Guest in Human Rights Arts & Film Festival Leave a comment Castan Centre The annual Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off in just two days, and there are dozens of great films to see. Here’s a list to suit everyone’s tastes. For those of you who feel overwhelmed about ... Read More »

I Will Not Stay Silent. Our Leaders Are Failing Human Rights.

I spent four years defending human rights at the U.N. — and they’ve never been more at risk. By Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The New York Times In the video Op-Ed above, a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that world leaders are weak, shortsighted and mediocre, and no longer willing or able to defend human rights. Abuses used to be called out and stopped, and human rights offenders had something to fear. Today, they ... Read More »

Germany’s refugee intake begins to boost economy as settlers soothe country’s worker shortage

To maintain economic well-being, country ‘needs about half a million immigrants every year’ In his native Syria, Mohammed Kassim worked as an electrician. Luisa Beck, Griff Witte The Inependent But having learned the trade informally, he lacked the credentials to show for it. Now, in his adopted homeland, the 30-year-old is receiving the training he never had and he is getting paid to do it by a company dangling the promise of a job that could vault him from struggling refugee ... Read More »

The European Union Can Barely Hold Itself Together—and Putin Knows It | Opinion

Brexit and similar populist movements in Europe have prompted Brussels to question itself and its policies. Theodore Karasik Newsweek Whatever happens to these insurgencies, there must be a wholesale re-examination of how the EU treats states and economies dependent on it —both inside and outside its borders. Since the founding of the European Union, it has almost by default become associated with international solidarity, open trade, and rights for citizens. This is a natural consequence of any union between countries ... Read More »

Why are so few hate crimes prosecuted in Australia?

Imam Wadood Janud was just wrapping-up a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch shootings — a day after the massacre — when a ute smashed into the gate of his mosque in South Brisbane. Background Briefing By Hagar Cohen, Meryem Aydogan and Scott Mitchell, ABC “He shouted profanity and abuse,” Imam Janud told Background Briefing. “Then he rammed his ute twice at the gate.” Children, who had gathered on the lawn outside the Baitul Masroor Mosque, ran in every ... Read More »

How the European Union’s eastern expansion created Brexit and made an enemy of Russia

Fifteen years on from the EU’s enlargement, the extension arguably sabotaged more than just the quest for an ever-closer union Mary Dejevsky Independent Fifteen years ago this week, the European Union grew overnight from 15 members to 25 in the biggest and most ambitious enlargement it had ever ventured. The new members, eight of them former Soviet-bloc states, were ablaze with celebratory fireworks; there was ecstatic waving of blue and gold flags; Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” played on a seemingly eternal ... Read More »

All you need to know about the European Parliament elections

The European Parliament vote is often considered mundane but with Brexit and rising populism, this year could surprise. Stephane Faure Al Jazeera Between May 23 and 26, millions will choose who represents them at the European Parliament (EP), the European Union‘s (EU) parliamentary institution directly elected by citizens aged 18 or… The EU is often considered an obscure and technocratic body – somewhere between a nation-state and an international organisation such as the United Nations. Many have lost faith in its… ... Read More »

Voting Capacity

Why European Parliament elections matter A citizen’s relationship with the voting process is contingent on their understanding of their country’s history and of the state of its politics. Above all, however, it is founded on the citizen’s notion of how they can affect change. Nicholas Karides * Citizens who vote in national parliamentary elections usually have a good grasp of their legislature’s role and work, but what prompts them to actually make the trip to the polling station is that ... Read More »

Three months on from the medivac bill, refugee and journalist says ‘nothing has changed’

Iranian-Kurdish refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani has criticised the federal government’s medivac bill three months after it came into effect, saying a list of sick refugees he… Hannah Barry The Age Speaking at Perth’s Curtin University’s fourth annual human rights lecture on Monday, Boochani delivered the keynote address via video link and spoke about colonialism’s impact on… Boochani spoke from Port Moresby, where he is temporarily based for an interview with United States officials, and said it was important for ... Read More »

Family of Aboriginal woman who died in custody want coroner to consider ‘systemic racism’

If application accepted, Tanya Day’s case will be first time in Australia that systemic racism has been considered as a contributing factor to a death in custody Calla Wahlquist The Guardian The family of an Aboriginal woman who died in custody in Victoria have applied for the coroner to consider systemic racism as a factor in her death. If Victorian deputy state coroner Caitlin English accepts their application, it will be the first time in Australia that systemic racism has been considered ... Read More »

“There’s Always Hope!”

Since 1989, the West has become stuck in the “politics of eternity,” failing to think either about the past or the future, argues historian TIMOTHY SNYDER in an interview. Timothy Snyder Berlin Policy Journal It’s high time this changed. Is this the end of the West as we know it? It might be. But it’s up to us. Over the last 25 years or so, we have contributed to the Western decline because we have failed to actually think about ... Read More »

Migrants to the rescue of Victoria’s economy as housing slump digs in

Victoria’s population boom, with nearly 85,000 overseas migrants settling here in the 12 months to September 2018, is keeping the state’s economy out of trouble as the property market… Noel Towell The Age More than a third of Australia’s 240,000 overseas migrants last year made their way to Victoria, with most of the new arrivals settling in Melbourne and keeping the state’s economic engines… But there are worrying signs that the housing slump is eating away at consumer confidence, according ... Read More »

No Ever Closer Union

Pro-Europeans have long avoided a debate on the end goal of EU integration. Heinrich August Winkler Berlin Policy Journal It’s time for honesty: ever closer cooperation between member states is the only realistic way forward. In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, none of the German political parties has shown quite as much ambition as the Free Democratic Party (FDP). In its election program, adopted at the end of January 2019, the pro-business liberal party calls for the convening ... Read More »