Latest articles

                              • Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons
                                environment

                                Can we share our way out of climate mess?

                                • Cristy Clark
                                • 05 June 2019

                                These projects support a shift towards a circular economy — one that encourages us to reduce our consumption of resources and our waste by re-using, swapping, and growing our own. They also bring communities together, build resilience, and develop the kind of trust and reciprocity that is fundamental to meaningful action.

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                              • Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve, with grazes on her face and making a 'shushing' gesture.
                                media

                                Access to visual stories should be a right for all

                                • Jane Britt
                                • 05 June 2019

                                Without audio description, 357,000 Australians are excluded from a world of social interactions that are continuously evolving around a plethora of drama, comedy and romance; from a pop culture language that stems from fictional characters glorified in sweeping epics like Games of Thrones and a multitude of other popular series.

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                              • A Maori community leader performs a Haka near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch in March 2019. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
                                religion

                                New Zealand's model for public religion

                                • Andrew Hamilton
                                • 05 June 2019
                                1 Comment

                                The limitation of the Australian separation of religious language and symbols from those of the secular culture is that it leaves one poorly resourced for translation. The encounter of cultures is avoided in the interests of tolerance. Tolerance avoids bullying but can also discourage personal engagement in others' worlds.

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                              • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with Muslim community representatives in Christchurch on 16 March 2019. (Photo by the Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand via Getty Images)

                                The radical implications of 'they are us'

                                • Genevieve Lloyd
                                • 04 June 2019
                                3 Comments

                                When Jacinda Ardern uttered the words 'They are Us' in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, a powerful vision hovered over the impending debates on the meaning of what had happened. Something hitherto invisible came into view and was repudiated: a conceptual structure underlying the operations of social power.

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                              • Boris Johnson wearing a beanie and facing a TV camera in March 2019. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

                                Boris, Brexit and taking it up to political bull

                                • Binoy Kampmark
                                • 03 June 2019
                                1 Comment

                                An enduring memory of the 2016 Brexit campaign was the claim by pro-leavers that the EU was extracting some £350 million a week. The claim, ignoring EU subsidies, returns and contributions to Britain, was so outrageously proud and inaccurate, it stuck. Which leads us to a novel citizen's experiment on the issue of lying in politics.

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                              • Chinese Lanterns hang along the trees in Melbourne's Southbank for Chinese New Year (Nigel Killeen / Getty)

                                Bob Hawke's post Tiananmen legacy

                                • Jeremy Clarke
                                • 30 May 2019
                                4 Comments

                                The events of 4 June 1989 in Beijing were horrific, but then prime minister Hawke's leadership and the skills, passion and sacrifice of the generation of Chinese that stayed in Australia in Tiananmen Square's aftermath have consequently made Australia a more vibrant society.

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                              • Filipino-Australians celebrate Feast of Black Nazarene at St Mary Star of the Sea Church in West Melbourne. (Philtimes)

                                Reflections of a church tourist

                                • Gillian Bouras
                                • 05 June 2019

                                Architecture is not my strong suit, but I admire the beauty of walls and ceilings, the decorations, and the idiosyncrasies such as little sculptures invisible to congregations and visitors, but made in faith that God could see them. The history, the thought of generations of worshippers, the numerous associations: these are other things that fascinate.

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                              • A young woman's hand rests on the hand of an old woman who is lying sick in a hospital bed. (Katarzyna Bialasiewicz / Getty)

                                Mother Merle shows me how to die

                                • Barry Gittins
                                • 05 June 2019

                                At 4am on a cold morning, my brother phoned from the hospital. My final conversation with my mother, while harrowing, was not unexpected. My attempts to thank her for who she was and what she had given to me did not suffice. Mother Merle was in a hurry to leave this life, and the cancer that had drained her strength. She was over it.

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                              • Chris Johnston cartoon shows Scott Morrison with various angels on his shoulder vying for attention.

                                PM Morrison and 'split personality' Church

                                • John Warhurst
                                • 31 May 2019
                                7 Comments

                                The church has something in common with both sides of politics because the Catholic community has a split political personality. Its range of concerns is so broad that they are addressed in various ways by different political parties. It wants to make an impact on government, but it is always highly unlikely that it can have it all.

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                              • Young environment activists hold protest signs up in front of comedians dressed as Labor leader Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Scott Morrison as part of the anti-Adani convoy led by former Greens leader, Bob Brown. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

                                New ways forward for climate action

                                • Greg Foyster
                                • 24 May 2019
                                6 Comments

                                There's a lot to say about the election, and much nonsense doing the rounds. Here's a summary of what went wrong and some ideas for communicating climate change over the next three years. The first thing to note is that the election probably wasn't won or lost on climate.

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                              • Anthony Perkins, Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire in the 1959 dystopian movie On the Beach.

                                Living with dystopia

                                • Cristy Clark
                                • 09 May 2019
                                7 Comments

                                Researchers have been documenting the rise of 'eco-anxiety' or 'eco-angst' for some time, and these feelings of despair and powerlessness are common. But we need to become the heroes of this dystopic film plot. Somehow, in the face of all our anxiety and despair, we need to locate our capacity for hope and our courage to take action.

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                              • Pictured: Greg Bannon (centre), Chairperson of FLAG, with Kimba and Flinders Ranges community members, ready to present hundreds of postcard petitions to Rowan Ramsey, Coalition federal member for Grey. Photo credit: Mara Bonacci

                                Dump opponents meet on 'country in between'

                                • Michele Madigan
                                • 02 May 2019
                                6 Comments

                                'We are the joy, the sadness, the anger and the peace.' With these moving words, Elders Aunty Enice Marsh and Geraldine Anderson opened a significant gathering in Port Augusta, as people from the Flinders Ranges and the Kimba, still threatened by the federal government's plans to deposit the nation's radioactive waste, met again.

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                              • The major memorial at the Myall Creek massacre site.

                                After the massacre

                                • Colleen Keating
                                • 03 June 2019
                                4 Comments

                                One hundred and eighty years on, we walk the Myall Creek Memorial Way ... there's a quietness amidst our camaraderie ... murdering rage and gall are quieted, smell of gun powder spent, yet screams that cried that stark cold night still sigh amidst the sway ...

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                              • Suranne Jones as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack

                                Bringing to light queer people in history

                                • Neve Mahoney
                                • 30 May 2019

                                Even when established historical queer figures get their own biopics, their queer relationships are often straightwashed, and cisgender straight people are put at the centre of the narrative. While queer fictional characters can make up some of this gap, historical narratives are important too.

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                              • Winning for Women: A Personal Story, by Iola Mathews

                                Revisiting Iola Mathews' feminist battlegrounds

                                • Andrew Hamilton
                                • 28 May 2019
                                5 Comments

                                To anyone pressing for social change after the recent election, the Hawke years must seem as far removed as Camelot. Iola Mathews describes the personal and political struggle involved in pressing for any reform. It is a timely book.

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