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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2017: ATSI custody needs action not just inquiry

    • Kate Galloway
    • 08 January 2018

    The inquiry into Indigenous incarceration in Australia recognises and validates widely held concerns. On the other hand, it also represents the abject failure of successive governments around the country to pay heed to what we do know about the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Bishop Long at the Royal Commission

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 January 2018
    7 Comments

    Vincent Long's testimony was notable for its directness, honesty and the awareness it displayed of the importance of church culture. Long grew up in the Vietnamese Catholic Church and was afterwards chosen to lead the Australian Church. In his responses he focused on clericalism and its role in giving license and cover to clerical abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: The abuse commission 'damp squib'

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 January 2018
    2 Comments

    This royal commission has changed the public response of religious institutions, not their culture. Nor has it altered the culture at the political pointy ends of state, territory or national government. The cause of the misuse of power over children was our refusal to take a child's world view as seriously as our own adult priorities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My recurring nightmare before Christmas

    • Megan Graham
    • 18 December 2017
    7 Comments

    I look at those who can't get enough Christmas sentiment and stimulation. They crave them to the same degree I crave a quiet night on the couch. I wish I could be like them, feeling, well, like 'all their Christmases have come at once'. [God no, please, never]

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Actively bending the moral arc of time

    • Fatima Measham
    • 18 December 2017
    11 Comments

    What we know from resistance to social justice is that the conception of time as a single direction, like an arrow, is favoured by those in power. It does not pierce the realities of those who are historically oppressed. Where the linear past demands reparation, it is something to leave behind, but the powerful revert to it in haste at the prospect of change, saying the line is what it is.

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  • CARTOON

    All I want for Christmas

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 18 December 2017
    2 Comments

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  • RELIGION

    Lay lead the way in child abuse lament

    • Helena Kadmos
    • 18 December 2017
    24 Comments

    A small group of lay Christians in Perth, including myself, were so worried that our institutions might not wholeheartedly embrace the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that we decided not to wait to find out.

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  • RELIGION

    Pondering Palestine at a Tokyo Christmas Mass

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 13 December 2017
    4 Comments

    Last year I spent Christmas at St Andrew's. There was incense, holy communion and a whole heap of stuff that would horrify many Sydney Anglicans. Which is their bad luck because this St Andrew's was the Cathedral Church of the Tokyo Diocese of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai. I doubt Henry VIII imagined a diocese with a name like that!

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Reckoning with abuse in the Australian arts

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 12 December 2017
    2 Comments

    The results of recent surveys concerning sexual assault and harassment in the Australian arts are appalling. Post-Weinstein, this feels like a reckoning of the creative industries. Despite the increased awareness, many are asking how we can possibly change the entrenched culture of harassment and discrimination.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Society pays a heavy price for jailing children

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2017
    3 Comments

    We may feel momentary relief that a dangerous little villain is being dealt with. But the cost of imprisonment is heavy: a malleable child whose path might have changed is stunted in their development and sent to a preparatory school likely to graduate to a lifetime in adult prisons.

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  • RELIGION

    Food for imagination in Christmas stories and art

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2017
    7 Comments

    The embroidery on the Gospel stories shows that, like the painter and the refugees treading through the dust and heat of the road to Egypt, God dreams of a peaceful world in which people and nature live at peace, villages are well watered, trees cared for, grapes hang in bunches, refugee children are fed, and angels help make art.

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