Australasia

Blind Victorians illegally denied service because of guide dogs

Chris Gould has been accosted by staff at his local supermarket at least five times because of his guide dog Simba. Rachel Eddie The Age Instead of walking the block from his Malvern East home to that store, the Melbourne man who is legally blind once walked 1.5 kilometres to buy groceries in peace. Mr Gould, 30, was born with a degenerative genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, which ultimately led to his diagnosis as legally blind in 2017 – though ... Read More »

‘In Put/Print Out’ achieves a very high standard

In Put/Print Out: Cicada Press. Megalo Print Gallery, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston. Until May 18. Of all of the traditional art forms, printmaking has been the one that has most depended on collaboration. Sasha Grishin The Canberra Times Printing presses are generally large, heavy and expensive, and the technical expertise required in many printmaking techniques is highly specialised. This has frequently resulted in the pooling of facilities and knowledge. Although many printmakers insist on complete ownership of the process in ... Read More »

Anzacs witnessed the Armenian genocide – that shouldn’t be forgotten in our mythologising

We have a chance to build a more honest and genuine tradition James Robins The Guardians ”It is universally admitted,” the great psychologist Sigmund Freud wrote as the 19th century turned to the 20th, “that in the origins of the traditions and folklore of a people, care must be taken to eliminate from the memory such a motive as would be painful to the national feeling.” In Australia and New Zealand, the most popular tradition of all is Anzac Day, ... Read More »

Ethnic media are essential for new migrants and should be better funded

The fact that the community ethnic and multicultural broadcasting sector didn’t receive additional funding in the latest budget reflects a misunderstanding of the important role of ethnic media in Australian society. John Budarick The Conversation Ethnic print and broadcasting have a long history in Australia, dating back to at least 1848 with the publication of Die Deutsche Post. Early foreign language broadcasting featured on commercial radio in the 1930s, and throughout the middle of the 20th century. This was before ... Read More »

The government and tech companies can’t prevent ‘fake news’ during the election – only the public can

We’re only days into the federal election campaign and already the first instances of “fake news” have surfaced online. Michael Jensen The Conversation Over the weekend, Labor demanded that Facebook remove posts it says are “fake news” about the party’s plans to introduce a “death tax” on inheritances. Labor also called on the Coalition to publicly disavow the misinformation campaign. An inauthentic tweet purportedly sent from the account of Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus also made the ... Read More »

Logged native forests mostly end up in landfill, not in buildings and furniture

Victoria has some of the most carbon-dense native forests in the world. Advocates for logging these forests often argue that wood products in buildings and furniture become long-term storage for carbon. Authors: The Conversation However, these claims are misleading. Most native trees cut down in Victoria become woodchips, pulp and pallets, which have short lifespans before going to landfill. In landfill, the wood breaks down and releases carbon back into the atmosphere. On the other hand, our evolving carbon market means Australia’s native ... Read More »

‘A beacon of tolerance, love and peace’: Jacinda Ardern mural to be painted on Brunswick silos

A silo in Brunswick will feature a large mural of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Tom Cowie The Age More than $11,000 was crowdfunded in just over a day for a street artist to paint the Tinning Street silos with a photo of the leader wearing a hijab and the Arabic word for peace written underneath. The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the sustainable Nightingale ... Read More »

Michael Nelson Jagamara’s huge mosaic Possum and Wallaby Dreaming at Parliament House was hard to photograph

Photographing a 14-square-metre artwork would be difficult at the best of times. Ron Cerabona The Canberra Times When that work is a mosaic on the forecourt of Parliament House, a busy thoroughfare with a huge building and a lake close by, and placing heavy equipment on the artwork is impossible, it’s even harder. But David Hempenstall was up to the task. The senior photographer in the Department of Parliamentary Services is about halfway through digitising the nearly 7000 artworks in ... Read More »

Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank

Billionaire’s company gave significant donations to the Institute of Public Affairs in 2016 and 2017 Graham Readfearn The Guardian Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the rightwing thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs – a consistent promoter of climate science scepticism. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales supreme court. As part of a long-running legal ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »

The Geoffrey Rush trial shows defamation can make victims become victims all over again

Geoffrey Rush greeted his vindication with a look of anguish. His demeanor outside the Federal Court last week was decidedly grim. So too, his wife Jane Menelaus. Richard Ackland The Guardian If an $850,000 award of damages, with the promise of lots more to come, isn’t going to put a spring in your step, what sort of vindication is this? Rush said: “There are no winners in this case, it has been extremely distressing for everyone involved.” The main defence witness ... Read More »

New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

We learned this month that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$10 million in the federal budget for couples counselling and mediation for families impacted by domestic violence. Authors: The Conversation But the proposed policy runs counter to expert advice and evidence, which indicates that encouraging women to stay in relationships with an abuser exposes them to higher risk of harm. The announcement was swiftly condemned by family and domestic violence (FDV) advocates. Commentators have noted that an emphasis on ... Read More »

Corporate crime inquiry reference terms released

The terms of reference for the corporate crime inquiry being held by the Australian Law Reform Commission have been released by the Attorney-General. Grace Ormsby Corporate Counsel The ALRC has been tasked with the review, which will look into Australia’s corporate criminal responsibility regime. The inquiry, led by ALRC president, the Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington, will review part 2.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and consider options for regime reform, according to a statement from the Attorney-General Christian Porter to ... Read More »

Mythbusting with the Grand Mufti: Australia’s Muslim leader answers your questions

You asked, he answered. The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Islam, including views on homosexuality and Jihad. Fares Hassan SBS Reporter Fares Hassan sat down with the Grand Mufti to address what he calls “misconceptions” associated with the religion of Islam. The questions were some of the most commonly asked by commenters on the… Q: You are the Mufti of Australia, why don’t you speak English? ... Read More »

‘Now your life can start again’: Sharrouf children finally reunited with Sydney grandma

The orphaned children of notorious Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have been reunited with their grandma Karen Nettleton. SBS A harrowing five-year journey came to an end when a Sydney grandma was finally reunited with her surviving grandchildren and great-grandchildren – the children of former IS fighter Khaled Sharrouf. ABC’s Four Corners captured the moment Karen Nettleton saw Zaynab, Hoda and Humzeh Sharrouf and her two great-grandchildren for the first time since they were taken by their mother, Tara Nettleton, to… ‘Now ... Read More »

Poverty as a moral question: do we have the collective will to end it?

How did we get here, and why does Australia, allegedly the land of the fair go, fail to make progress on lifting the bottom 10% out of poverty? Gay Alcorn The Guardian Ronald Henderson, the chair of Australia’s only comprehensive inquiry into poverty, had what a friend called “an offended conscience”. His inquiry, whose main report was released a few months before the Whitlam government was dismissed in 1975, did as much as any single act before or after it ... Read More »