Australasia

Liberals need to give up on the merit myth

Julia Banks announced her decision to quit the Australian Liberal Party yesterday. While unfortunate, it is hardly surprising. Shivani Gopal The Canberra Times It’s the result of what happens when parliament and politicians fail to represent the people they serve and cling to the myth of meritocracy. Banks is not buying it anymore and neither should the Australian people. Only a few months ago Banks announced that she would not recontest her Melbourne seat at the next election, citing a ... Read More »

Pauline Hanson praises immigration policy of pre-Neolithic tribe who killed American missionary

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has voiced support for the “strict zero-gross immigration policy” of the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Islands, who killed an American missionary with bows and arrows. ABC Senator Hanson lodged notice of a formal motion, which was denied by the Senate, calling for it to “support the desire of the Sentinelese people to protect their culture and way of life”. Thought to be the last remaining pre-Neolithic tribe, the Sentinelese people are known to attack ... Read More »

Twelve charts on race and racism in Australia

Australia’s population is growing fast, ticking over 25 million in August 2018. And as the population increases, it is also becoming more diverse. Emil Jeyaratnam The Conversation At the time of the 2016 Census, Australia’s population comprised people from more than 250 countries and 300 different ancestries. Almost half the population were either first- or second-generation Australian, and more than 300 different languages were spoken in homes. Ancestry The ten most commonly reported ancestries in 2016… But we are still ... Read More »

‘One of the greatest matriarchs’: Indigenous activist Bonita Mabo dies

She has been remembered as of the country’s most influential advocates for Indigenous Australians and South Sea Islanders. By NITV Staff Writer Source: NITV News SBS Bonita Mabo, the Indigenous rights activist and widow of Edward “Koiki” Mabo, has died aged 75 years.. Mrs Mabo was known for her advocacy work for Indigenous schooling and her campaigning for the rights of Indigenous Australians and Australian South Sea Islanders, and worked alongside her husband’s side throughout his struggle for land rights. Her daughter ... Read More »

Rio Tinto warns climate inaction poses ‘greatest long-term threat’

The new chairman of global mining giant Rio Tinto has described inaction on climate change as “perhaps the greatest long-term threat” facing the business and promised it would be part of the solution rather than the… Nick Toscano WAtoday Speaking at an investor meeting on Monday, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said society – particularly Millennials – were demanding higher standards from the companies they worked for and… He signalled a renewed emphasis from Rio Tinto’s board on environmental, social ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Asylum seeker student’s university dreams revived after offers flood in

A top year 12 graduate who feared she would never get to attend university because of her asylum seeker status says her dreams are now a reality after being inundated with offers of help and support. By Lily Nothling and Dea Clark ABC Soumi Gopalakrishnan, 19, was the dux of her inner-city Brisbane school who dreamed of becoming a doctor. But as a Sri Lankan Tamil who fled her home country with her family four years ago, her prospects of ... Read More »

Walkley Awards 2018: winners

Four Corners has dominated Television categories at the Walkley Awards last night. TVtonight It won Camerawork, Current Affairs (Long), Production and Public Service Journalism categories. ABC also won several other categories while SBS picked up a single award for Dateline. There were also awards for the Don Burke investigation for both ABC and Fairfax. The Australian’s Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson won the Gold Walkley for “The Teacher’s Pet.” Scoop of the Year went to Sharri Markson, Christopher Dore and Kylar Loussikian from ... Read More »

A bold exploration of the pursuit of sobriety

Sitting on Smith Street in Collingwood, actor Jack Charles and playwright Dan Lee are sharing horror stories from their days of addiction. Kylie Northover The Age Charles, as famously depicted in the 2008 documentary Bastardy, was a heroin addict and burglar and spent years sleeping on the streets where he’s now a community elder; Lee was an alcoholic who drank until he… He has come to in pub toilets after being punched out, in the lounge rooms of sympathetic strangers, and ... Read More »

Male, female or neither: the sky will not fall in

If you believe the outrage and panic over Tasmania’s move to make it optional to state your sex on your birth certificate, this is a communist conspiracy to transform Australia into a genderless utopia powered by wind and… Dale Sheridan Brisbane Times But please, spare me the outrage and panic. We are talking about basic human rights for the trans and gender-diverse community. As a transgender woman, I quietly rejoiced this week at the Tasmanian Parliament passing a bill in ... Read More »

Why Canada’s immigration system has been a success, and what Australia can learn from it

Immigration policy will be a critical issue in forthcoming state (Victoria, NSW) and federal elections. Jock Collins The Conversation The disproportionate impact of immigration on population growth and public infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne is the key issue. If we look to the example of another immigrant-friendly country, Canada, however, we can see how giving states and territories a greater role in immigration target setting and selection can help take the pressure off major cities without drastically… Immigration certainly impacts ... Read More »

How Australia’s NRA-inspired gun lobby is trying to chip away at gun control laws

The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia is reportedly taking notes from America’s NRA. By George Rennie, The Conversation SBS One of the more noticeable ad campaigns in the upcoming Victoria state election comes from a seemingly unlikely source. The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) seeks to unwind Australia’s gun regulations, and knows that state governments are as good a place as any to start. SIFA is a key part of Australia’s gun lobby, and uses the same tactics as ... Read More »

We need to talk about violence – to men and boys

At least 62 women have been killed this year from violence, according to the Counting Dead Women project run by the feminist organisation Destroy The Joint. Michael Salter Brisbane Times Eight more women have been murdered at this point in 2018 compared with  2017. The people charged with their deaths include their husbands, partners, ex-partners, sons, relatives, acquaintances and strangers. Sometimes their own children and grandchildren were killed with them. These murders are the tip of the iceberg of men’s ... Read More »

George Papadopoulos spreading disinformation to Australia

George Papadopoulos, a one-time adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, is promoting disinformation aimed at Australia, using tactics “in the same vein” as other public figures linked to… Chris Zappone WAtoday Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in a US court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian intermediary in September, has since initiated a public relations war against Australia’s former… After Papadopoulos told Downer in 2016 that Russia possessed damaging material about then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ... Read More »

81% of whistleblower cases end in negative repercussions, research says

New findings from Griffith University and Governance Institute have shown alarming levels of deleterious impacts of whistleblowing upon those who speak out, which the researchers say should… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly While professional organisations support having whistleblowing policies in place, the reality is that whistleblowers are often not well treated, according to Governance Institute. The Whistling While They Work 2: Improving Managerial Responses to Whistleblowing in Public and Private Organisations has found that found 42 per cent of whistleblowers are ... Read More »

Catholic bishops take up fight against government’s assisted dying plan

Western Australia’s Catholic bishops – including Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe – have released a joint statement outlining their opposition to state government plans to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Nathan Hondros WAtoday The statement, which will be distributed to hundreds of Catholic parishes throughout the state and signals the Church’s intention to campaign against the laws, challenges key elements of a parliamentary report that sparked the… “Voluntary assisted dying in either form [euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide] represents a radical breach ... Read More »