• Feature Article

    Paul Collins illuminates sectarian divide in Australian history

    4 Comments
    Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk |  The chasm between Catholics and Protestants is thankfully unknown to my children. Paul Collins' new book A Very Contrary Irishman - The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O'Flynn is a labour of love that presents a very driven man of the colonial era whose actions - and attributed actions - changed lives and helped shape our culture.
  • Feature Article

    An Aussie Muslim's Taiwan Christmas

    5 Comments
    Irfan Yusuf |  Christmas is a fabulous time to spend at home. Even those of us who aren’t terribly Christian can enjoy a free holiday with friends and family. And if you like choral music, you can always come along with me and a Jewish mate to St Mary's Cathedral. But last Christmas I found myself in Taiwan.
  • Feature Article

    #illridewithyou shows the kind of world that is possible

    29 Comments
    John Falzon |  While the horrible tragedy was underway in Martin Place, a remarkable thing happened. We saw, and continue to see, a powerful sense of compassion in the 'I'll ride with you' spontaneous pledges. One one level it was a simple offer of human support. But it was also a deeply profound declaration of a vision for a just and inclusive Australia.
  • Feature Article

    A messy birth and a vulnerable baby

    16 Comments
    Richard Leonard |  At a Christmas party, I met the charge nurse of the maternity ward. Pleading that because I was a celibate I would never be at a birth, I enquired if I might be allowed to come and see'. … Mary and I met six hours into her labor, which was an unusual circumstance within which to meet your birthing partner.' She had very little small talk, maybe because she had no breath at all.
  • Feature Article

    Ten films that will get you talking

    7 Comments
    Tim Kroenert |  It's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!
  • Feature Article

    Bad Christmases are nothing new

    13 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton |  Shady family members who turn up uninvited, unresolved sibling rivalries, end of working year pressures. In a way they recall the organisational disarray of the first Christmas... A rocky engagement, the man discovering that his fiancée was pregnant with a child that was not his, a long march to fill in tax forms, having to give birth in a paddock and suffer an invasion from disreputable shepherds and odd foreigners.

#illridewithyou shows the kind of world that is possible

John Falzon | 19 December 2014

'I'll ride with you' posterWhile the horrible tragedy was underway in Martin Place, a remarkable thing happened. We saw, and continue to see, a powerful sense of compassion in the 'I'll ride with you' spontaneous pledges. One one level it was a simple offer of human support. But it was also a deeply profound declaration of a vision for a just and inclusive Australia. 

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  • Paul Collins illuminates sectarian divide in Australian history

    4 Comments
    Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk | 19 December 2014

    'A Very Contrary Irishman – The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O’Flynn' coverThe chasm between Catholics and Protestants is thankfully unknown to my children. Paul Collins' new book A Very Contrary Irishman - The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O'Flynn is a labour of love that presents a very driven man of the colonial era whose actions - and attributed actions - changed lives and helped shape our culture.

  • An Aussie Muslim's Taiwan Christmas

    5 Comments
    Irfan Yusuf | 19 December 2014

    Tainan templeChristmas is a fabulous time to spend at home. Even those of us who aren’t terribly Christian can enjoy a free holiday with friends and family. And if you like choral music, you can always come along with me and a Jewish mate to St Mary's Cathedral. But last Christmas I found myself in Taiwan.

  • Ten films that will get you talking

    7 Comments
    Tim Kroenert | 18 December 2014

    Matthew McConaughey in InterstellarIt's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!

  • Bad Christmases are nothing new

    13 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 18 December 2014

    The first 'bad Christmas'Shady family members who turn up uninvited, unresolved sibling rivalries, end of working year pressures. In a way they recall the organisational disarray of the first Christmas... A rocky engagement, the man discovering that his fiancée was pregnant with a child that was not his, a long march to fill in tax forms, having to give birth in a paddock and suffer an invasion from disreputable shepherds and odd foreigners.

  • A messy birth and a vulnerable baby

    16 Comments
    Richard Leonard | 18 December 2014

    ‘What Are We Waiting For Finding Meaning in Advent and Christmas’ cover imageAt a Christmas party, I met the charge nurse of the maternity ward. Pleading that because I was a celibate I would never be at a birth, I enquired if I might be allowed to come and see'. … Mary and I met six hours into her labor, which was an unusual circumstance within which to meet your birthing partner.' She had very little small talk, maybe because she had no breath at all.

  • Aussie diggers' pen as mighty as their sword

    8 Comments
    Gillian Bouras | 17 December 2014

    Cartoon from 'Aussie'A soldier's life is usually one of bursts of brief action followed by extended periods of drudgery and boredom, and never was this more true than during this dreadful war of attrition that dragged on apparently interminably between 1914 and 1918. A book titled Aussie was published in 1920 as a bound collection of AIF soldiers’ own paper of the battlefield, wholly written, illustrated and printed in the field. 

  • Joe Hockey's prize orchid

    11 Comments
    Marcelle Mogg | 17 December 2014

    Prized orchidIn his Mid Year Financial Economic Outlook statements this week, Treasurer Joe Hockey construed 'The Economy' as a rare prized orchid, requiring careful nurturing. The orchid is to be admired, and the gardener more so for the skill, expertise and craft that gives rise to such a beautiful creation. The trouble with treating The Economy like a prized bloom is that we fail to recognise that the it exists to serve people. 

  • Wee Mary MacKillop minds the shop

    4 Comments
    Brian Doyle | 16 December 2014

    Young Mary MacKillop bronze statueI can tell you that Fitzroy always was and will be a wry wilderness; Every colour and ethnicity and language you can imagine lives there... And now I see wee quiet shy Mary MacKillop there, minding a shop. She is fourteen. Her people are Scottish. She will be legendary, later.

  • Martin Place terror belies quiet progress in relations between cultures

    24 Comments
    Zac Alstin | 16 December 2014

    Lindt chocolate shop seigeThe siege at the Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney's Martin Place is frightening for all Australians. It also obscures the progress of relations between Muslims and other Australians, as such events have such an unfortunate polarising 'us and them' effect.

  • Politics of mediocrity threaten Blake religious art prize

    9 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 15 December 2014

    'Richard' by Hedy RittermanOur fickle politics shows that the majority of Australians are prepared to gloss over serious issues such as how to answer the life and death needs of the refugees whose lives have been disrupted by the wars we wage. Politicians are driven by opinion polls, and most corporate sponsors are inclined to follow their lead. That is why Saturday's 63rd Blake religious art prize may be the last.

  • My Christmas cake friend

    9 Comments
    Catherine Marshall | 12 December 2014

    Naively decorated Christmas cakeOn Christmas Eve I will deliver, for the twelfth year in a row, an iced, naively decorated fruitcake to my oldest and dearest Australian friend, Enid. I will pull up into the driveway of her brick home. She will open the front door before I have even knocked, and before she’s even kissed me hello will tell me how beautiful the cake is and how she couldn’t possibly cut into it.


  • Drug mule's poo strike stymies bad cops

    Tim Kroenert | 11 December 2014

    Angus Sampson, The MuleDuring an end-of-season trip to Bangkok, impressionable country footy dork Ray is badgered by one of his teammates into turning drug mule. He is picked up in Melbourne, where a couple of nasty cops detain him under supervision for seven days, waiting for him to pass the heroin-filled balloons he ingested. Ray is beset on all sides by systemic corruption, which makes his refusal to poo — fuelled not by greed but by a kind of everyman nobility — seem truly heroic.

  • Lessons learned from Phillip Hughes grieving

    11 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 11 December 2014

    Phillip Hughes media coverageHughes' death became a media event. Media analysis of death and grieving makes it more difficult to respond simply and naturally because we are made self-conscious, aware of what we are doing and how it might be seen by others. It affects the intimate connections associated with grieving, as well as our ability to be touched by hope. A specificity that only exacerbates loss.

  • God's little twinkler

    Jordie Albiston | 09 December 2014

    Girl at window —trembly bubble of life —raindrop clinging still to cold window glass —illuminated deity —stunning —hosanna on heat —heaven in a melt —earth on its knees beneath serious sun

  • Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    23 Comments
    Frank Brennan | 09 December 2014

    Senator Bronwyn Bishop in Speaker's ChairWhat a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

  • Fighter who found community on the streets

    14 Comments
    Steve Sinn | 10 December 2014

    Sue will always be for me flesh and blood, her trust I will forever cherish. Hers was a wretched life from the beginning to the end. But for some reason I feel impelled to lift her name out of the anonymity narrative that includes the vast numbers of people who have gone before us. 


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Fiona Katauskas

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