Australasia

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

NT to pass new youth justice laws that contradict Don Dale findings

Northern Territory laws to clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and isolation on children Lorena Allam and Helen Davidson The Guardian The Northern Territory is set to pass controversial youth justice laws that clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and “separation” (isolation) on children in its two detention centres, Don Dale and Alice Springs. “This is about backing our frontline staff and their ability to make decisions under difficult circumstances,” the territory families minister, Dale Wakefield, ... Read More »

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

Huge fish found washed up along the Coorong near mouth of the Murray River

A sunfish has been found washed ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia over the weekend, and one expert believes it is the Mola mola species. By Camron Slessor ABC The gigantic fish is known for its sheer size and odd body shape, often distinguished by its flattened body and fins. A photo of the creature was posted on social media on Monday, with two fishermen standing over it on the sand. Linette Grzelak, who posted the ... Read More »

Anzac travel under review as Scott Morrison slams ‘insult’ by Turkish President Recep Erdogan

National security agencies are reviewing whether it is safe for Australians to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day services, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison considers expelling Turkey’s ambassador over “highly offensive and highly reckless” comments by Turkish President Recep… Max Koslowski The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison met the ambassador, Korhan Karakoc, at Parliament House on Wednesday morning and asked for Mr Erdogan to withdraw his remarks. Mr Morrison was wary of heightening tensions just one month out from Anzac Day, ... Read More »

“Dear Prime Minister …”: An Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern

Dear Prime Minister Ardern, I am a 13-year-old Muslim girl from Australia and I would like to publicly share my appreciation with you. Summer Joyan ABC I belong to the generation that was born after 11 September 2001. I have never really contemplated how dark the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language is that permeates Australian society, because it is all I have ever known. I guess I’ve become used to hearing political leaders use that same language. But then, after seeing ... Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth

Fifty innocent people lost their lives in last week’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan The Washington Post March 19 Recep Tayyip Erdogan is president of Turkey. Dozens of other Muslims, who had gathered at local mosques to perform the Friday prayer, survived the assault with injuries. There were many historical references on the murder weapons and in a manifesto that the suspected terrorist published online. The number of times he mentioned both Turkey and myself was both curious and worth ... Read More »

In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre hatemongers are having a field day

As there were Turkish victims of the attack, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu travelled to Christchurch to emphasize Turkey’s common resolve against Islamophobia and xenophobia. Samuel Huntington and the Christchurch Massacre Posted by Robert Ellis Furthermore, Fuat Oktay called on the entire world to stop promoting some kind of provocative language. Back home, Fuat Oktay’s call fell on deaf ears. The day after the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is not known to mince ... Read More »

Christchurch attacks provide a new ethics lesson for professional media

Two basic rules of media ethics apply to the coverage of terrorism: avoid giving unnecessary oxygen to the terrorist, and avoid unnecessarily violating standards of public decency. Denis Muller The Conversation The way to do this is to apply a test of necessity: what is necessary to publish to give the public a sufficiently comprehensive account of what has happened? Significant elements in the Australian media – mainly commercial television, the online platform of News Corp and that company’s… Christchurch ... Read More »

Political forces unite to reject far right and deny One Nation preferences

A series of powerful political campaigns will seek to defeat far-right candidates at the federal election as major parties and activist groups warn against the… David Crowe The Sydney Morning Herald Australians will be urged to reject Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and controversial Queensland senator Fraser Anning amid accusations they have inflamed… The fortunes of the far-right have depended in the past on preference deals with the major parties, but similar arrangements are now off the agenda ahead of the… ... Read More »

Ardern is a leader for our times, and we should follow her example

This nation needs more leadership, across all levels, in all parties, like that provided by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of Christchurch’s mosque massacres. Peter FitzSimons The Sydney Morning Herald With steely calm, with inclusive language, seeking to unite rather than divide, she told the world, “To the people who did this: you may have chosen us, but we UTTERLY reject and condemn you.” Ms Ardern is one out of the box, a leader for her ... Read More »

From Aramoana to Christchurch: A Shorthand of New Zealand’s Relationship With Guns

Nearly 30 years ago, a mass shooting in a small town reshaped how New Zealand regulates gun ownership. The attack in Christchurch could have a similar effect. Chris Fitch The Atlantic On a Tuesday in November 1990, the sleepy town of Aramoana was burned into New Zealand’s collective consciousness. The 13 residents killed in a gun rampage that shocked the nation were, until Friday’s attacks in Christchurch, victims of the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, one that opened a widespread reevaluation of New ... Read More »

The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

As an immigrant to New Zealand, I am saddened and outraged by the events in Christchurch. The apparent innocence of New Zealand has been stripped away by acts of cowardice and evil. Stephen Croucher The Conversation Police remain on high alert and authorities are still responding to events following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that took the lives of 50 people and seriously injured many more. Three people have been arrested, and one, an Australian living in New ... Read More »

A letter to our leaders: as Australian Muslims we live in fear, please remember our pain

How is it right that in our parliament it is OK to call Islam a ‘disease’, it is OK to refer to a ‘final solution’, it is OK to ridicule our religious attire? Anonymous The Guardian Dear Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten, I am an Australian Muslim woman. I am highly educated and hold a professional job. In fact, I spend a great deal of my working life with the Australian legal system. I am a wife. I am a ... Read More »

Sue Smith’s Hydra: how love, pain and sacrifice produced an Australian classic

Running through Hydra, the new play by Australian playwright Sue Smith, is the myth of Icarus, the boy who flew so high that his wings melted and he crashed to his death in the sea near the Greek island of Samos. Alastair Blanshard The Conversation It is an easy myth to misunderstand. Moralists think it is a story that reinforces the importance of listening to your parents and sticking to the safe middle path – not flying “too close to ... Read More »

Christchurch shootings, and the power that comes from denying killers their ‘fame’

You’re asking yourself why. Of course you are, it’s a normal and a human reaction. Especially when the images roll and blur and the numbers flash and the horror is beyond imagining. How could someone do this? Why would they? Glynn Greensmith WAtoday You scour websites, refresh social media, and flick the radio dial to try and find the latest news. How many people? What do we know? It’s completely understandable, and it’s why news outlets across Australia right now ... Read More »