Kerry Murphy | 29 May 2015
The Federal Government plans to legislate within weeks to strip certain dual nationals of their Australian citizenship. Extending the already existing draconian ministerial power to overturn review tribunal decisions into the area of citizenship is unwarranted. Such an important determination should require the testing of solid evidence, not merely a minister's assessment of the 'national interest'.
Andrew Hamilton | 28 May 2015
Tony Abbott's evocation of 'the tyranny of low expectations' invites more general reflection on education and public life. I believe that the Australian approach to education does indeed impose a tyranny of low expectations in the sense that the expectations are defined by economic achievement and its attendant wealth and status, and the goal for schools is success in enabling students to participate economically.
Tim Kroenert | 28 May 2015
Maria's aunt was the subject of one of Austria's most famous artworks, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, by the painter Gustav Klimt, which was stolen from Maria's family by the Nazis during the Second World War. Maria's story raises questions about the means and consequences of individuals and nations coming to terms with difficult histories, and of what constitutes 'ownership' of cultural artefacts with a high level of national significance.
Frank Brennan | 28 May 2015
We gather on the 48th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. All major political parties to an agreed referendum question when going into the next federal election, with the understanding that the new government and the new parliament would proceed to put a referendum to the people, perhaps on Saturday 27 May 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum.
Gerry O'Hanlon | 27 May 2015
Archbishop Martin voted no in the gay marriage referendum. But after the result, he says the Church needs ‘a reality check across the board’, and that means more than a new language. When Church teaching is invoked to bar women from office, to forbid contraception and condemn homosexual relations as intrinsically disordered in a way that conflicts with the ‘sense of the faithful’ of so many of the baptised, then the Church, despite the many wise things it has to say, loses credibility.
Isabella Fels | 27 May 2015
It was a place of torture, with great physical and mental pain. I remember being hit at with a hockey stick. I was forced to stoop, in all sorts of ways. All my efforts came to nothing, even when I gave the girls money to buy lollies, and lent them my Sweet Dreams teenage romance novels.
Various | 26 May 2015
Fifty years ago well after my baptism my first holy communion & my confirmation I would have likely said – practising Catholic. Most friday nights back then I’d find myself with Father kneeling before him on the carpeted step of the confessional box my little red face pressed upwards to the grille.
Fatima Measham | 26 May 2015
Most people think that the effects of climate change as dire but far off. I don't have that comfort. My seafarer father plays a role in generating wealth for miners who then use it as a means to influence politicians - coal, industrial salt, iron ore. I am deeply aware that my government is committed to doing as little as possible to address climate change and its lack of a coherent, internationalist policy in Australia costs countries that are climate change-vulnerable, including where my family lives back in the Philippines.
Tony Kevin | 25 May 2015
The week’s dreadful Rohingya asylum seeker tragedy prompted an eventual softened response from our neighbours, but not Australia. The current government’s record of stopping boat arrivals and deaths at sea stands in stark contrast to that of Labor during its period of office, when at least 1100 asylum seekers died at sea.
Michael Mullins | 25 May 2015
Tony Abbott has warned voters that Bill Shorten has his eye on their retirement savings. He once praised the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce as a 'uniquely gifted retail politician'. But more attention to wholesaling - i.e. policy resources - would help to get both pensions and super concessions on to a more sustainable footing.