• Feature Article

    Operation Fortitude aftershocks

    Andrew Hamilton |  Actions taken in the Immigration Detention Centre after the 28 August aborted Border Force operation involved the use of force and intimidation on people who are being detained. Not for their misdeeds or any threat they pose, but for the convenience of the Department. And they disclose what happens when ABF officers are permitted to to use any force they think necessary without proper accountability.
  • Feature Article

    Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell

    1 Comment
    Madeleine Hamilton |  While at Melbourne's Winlaton Youth Training Centre, many became victims of sexual and physical assaults by staff and other girls. This was how the state of Victoria looked after its most vulnerable girls, who following their incarceration were simply expected to get on with their lives. Except many didn't. As the list of witnesses for the Royal Commission hearing was being finalised, I was told: 'There's going to be a lot of very angry and re-traumatised mothers and grandmothers.'
  • Feature Article

    The seven Dadly sins

    6 Comments
    Barry Gittins |  As Father's Day looms, I embrace zen introspection. My beloved Keeper and I have two offspring, a daughter — a sweetheart aged 12, turning 30 — and a son — boisterously nine. Life changed unrecognisably with their arrival, and overwhelmingly for the better. This Sunday I will join the ranks of sleepy paters, gingerly drinking dubious coffee, eyeing off culinary abominations and graciously acknowledging new socks.
  • Feature Article

    Untangling Abbott from Santamaria

    8 Comments
    John Warhurst |  There is always an appetite for anything linking Tony Abbott and Bob Santamaria. The journalist in Abbott has encouraged observers to play up the links, even though it has never been entirely clear what he is saying. He has explained that he was impressed as a young man by Santamaria’s courage as an 'advocate for unfashionable truths’, but he also pays his public dues to a number of prominent figures including John Howard, Cardinal George Pell, John Hewson, Bronwyn Bishop and even Pope Benedict XVI.

Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell

Madeleine Hamilton | 07 September 2015

Winlaton Youth Training CentreWhile at Melbourne's Winlaton Youth Training Centre, many became victims of sexual and physical assaults by staff and other girls. This was how the state of Victoria looked after its most vulnerable girls, who following their incarceration were simply expected to get on with their lives. Except many didn't. As the list of witnesses for the Royal Commission hearing was being finalised, I was told: 'There's going to be a lot of very angry and re-traumatised mothers and grandmothers.'

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  • Operation Fortitude aftershocks

    Andrew Hamilton | 07 September 2015

    Maribyrnong Immigration Detention CentreActions taken in the Immigration Detention Centre after the 28 August aborted Border Force operation involved the use of force and intimidation on people who are being detained. Not for their misdeeds or any threat they pose, but for the convenience of the Department. And they disclose what happens when ABF officers are permitted to to use any force they think necessary without proper accountability.

  • Border Force Keystone Cops no laughing matter

    15 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 04 September 2015

    Keystone CopsWhile we can shake our heads and laugh at last week's farce in Melbourne, we should be more concerned about the many ways this government is punishing refugees in the law, using language to demonise people and and setting up systems geared to rejecting applications. We don't need black uniforms and guns, or any form of militarisation and politicisation of Immigration.

  • The seven Dadly sins

    6 Comments
    Barry Gittins | 04 September 2015

    'Happy Father's Day' imageAs Father's Day looms, I embrace zen introspection. My beloved Keeper and I have two offspring, a daughter — a sweetheart aged 12, turning 30 — and a son — boisterously nine. Life changed unrecognisably with their arrival, and overwhelmingly for the better. This Sunday I will join the ranks of sleepy paters, gingerly drinking dubious coffee, eyeing off culinary abominations and graciously acknowledging new socks.

  • Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process

    6 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 03 September 2015

    Australian Border Force officer from behindLast week the Reform Summit and the Australian Border Force's aborted Operation Fortitude were responses to the the perceived paralysis in Australian politics and public life. The Summit was a commendable initiative demonstrating that organisations with diverging agendas can talk together and reach consensus. It offered a chastening example to the political parties that currently emphasise their areas of disagreement and prefer to smash through — rather than think through — the obstacles to Australia’s prosperity.

  • Spiritual enlightenment on the transplant waitlist

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert | 03 September 2015

    In part, these hallucinogenic, metaphysical digressions are a product of Robert's medically-altered state of consciousness. Chemotherapy brings a sense of disorientation, which often leads patients' minds to wander in directions they wouldn't have otherwise. Through this, Robert discovers an Eastern spiritual and cultural approach to death that informs his own confrontation of mortality.


  • Untangling Abbott from Santamaria

    8 Comments
    John Warhurst | 01 September 2015

    Abbott and his so-called mentors, by Chris JohnstonThere is always an appetite for anything linking Tony Abbott and Bob Santamaria. The journalist in Abbott has encouraged observers to play up the links, even though it has never been entirely clear  what he is saying. He has explained that he was impressed as a young man by Santamaria’s courage as an 'advocate for unfashionable truths’, but he also pays his public dues to a number of prominent figures including John Howard, Cardinal George Pell, John Hewson, Bronwyn Bishop and even Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Traditional marriage needs fixing

    18 Comments
    Gail Grossman Freyne | 02 September 2015

    Conflicted coupleTraditional marriage is on very shaky ground because we are continually trying to extract equality out of inequality. While parenting and housework are the essence of family life, her caring work within the home is not considered of primary value. Feminism confronts not only sexism but also racism and classism, indeed, the interweaving of all forms of oppression. Marriage changes its shape as we change our culture — and we are.  

  • Remembering Veronica Brady

    8 Comments
    Morag Fraser | 02 September 2015

    Veronica BradyVeronica was one of Phillip Adams' 'favourite Catholics'. He likes larrikins, mavericks, with a mind of their own. Last week I sat in my car and listened to the replay of an interview Phillip did with Veronica some years back. I could not predict what she was going to say next, even as I recognised certain characteristic speech habits. There is the touch of the nun-teacher there, but don't mistake it for complacency.

  • Redesign my soul

    4 Comments
    Rodney Wetherell | 01 September 2015

    Todd SampsonMy soul's antennae are TV-tested for searching power, speed, vibrations — sluggishness is found, and some corrosion, but not a power of deep delusion. I pass, but barely — could do better. Empathy is down, the next test finds, neighbours more passed by than loved. And do I love myself?

  • Don't fence me in

    5 Comments
    Catherine Marshall | 28 August 2015

    White picket fenceAs immigrants settling in Australia, the relative lack of fences and security measures was a sign that we'd chosen a safe and respectful country. This erasing of margins implied at once both mutual trust and an innate respect for the invisible boundaries that demarcated people's personal space. But 13 year later, I'm noticing the emergence of fortified residences boasting shiny black fences and firmly shut gates.


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