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In memory of Leo

8 Comments
23 March 2015 | Diane Fahey

Leo Seemanpillai Geelong Advertiser cover'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.


Inside the head of an IS martyr

13 Comments
19 March 2015 | Ellena Savage

Jake BilardiThe language of martyrdom is being used to recruit young Australians to brutal stateless warfare. Because martyrs are morally superior to suburban burnouts. IS propagandist Abu Ismail described Melburnian Jake Bilardi as 'a lion on the battlefield although he was at a young age and with a weak body'. So, Bilardi was a weak young lion and therefore ripe for battle. How obscene!


In love with Sooty

10 Comments
17 March 2015 | Peta Edmonds

Generic cat imageShe waits for me to get home at night. She meows at the door, and when I return gets under my feet. Sooty has been one of the best things to come into my life. I get entranced by her eyes, and I'm in love with her softness. Now I don't talk to myself, I talk to her. One week, when I was so poor, I spent the last of my money on her, on cat toys and a can of cat food and chicken drumsticks.


Never forget the actual St Patrick

10 Comments
16 March 2015 | Brian Doyle

St Patrick stained glass window from St Thomas Aquinas Church, Brooklyn, New York.A courage that could not be crushed, an imagination That could not be imprisoned, a song sung anywhere Free people insist on telling their own wild holy tales.


How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time

5 Comments
10 March 2015 | Isabella Fels

Gym junkieHow I love sweating in the gym. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can. I can really feel myself spinning, almost like a spiritual awakening. My personal trainer is my motivator, and in many ways I feel like I have already won the battle of the bulge just by turning up.


In awe of David Gulpilil and his barramundi

1 Comment
09 March 2015 | Peter Gebhardt

David Gulpilil still from 'Charlie's Country' (2013), directed by Rolf de HeerI want to eat a piece of Charlie's fish, speared with a 'dangerous weapon' and coal-charred, in his country. Charlie talked to the fish, 'What a good fish'. Covenant. Better than the white man's supermarket stuff.


An ode to WOMAD

7 Comments
03 March 2015 | Michelle Coram

WOMADelaide 2014WOMAD – World of Music, Arts & Dance – and Adelaide go together in a portmanteau. Amidst the dirt, dust and crowds are moments of connection, transcendence and bliss. The magic happens for all of us in the park: the hippies and the yuppies, the artists and the vollies, the babies and the bats, in different ways and at unexpected times. This four day glimpse of the world as it could be sustains my own soul for a year.


Edward Snowden comes around to fix my sick PC

2 Comments
02 March 2015 | Catherine Magree

Twisted HeartsAfterwards we will sip green tea in the sitting room and I'll persuade him that his next exposé must reveal our own torn and twisted hearts straining to escape their ventricular structures in the gaping face of the world's inanimate evil.


Negotiating climate deniers and plovers

9 Comments
26 February 2015 | Brian Matthews

PloverCall me paranoid if you like, but as I walked away, affecting a nonchalant strolling gait, I knew, I just knew, that she was a climate change denier and was daring me to argue the point. Had I hesitated one more moment, I would have been regaled with statistics about the mild coastal summer and other utterly benign climatological phenomena.


The case for defending children and their advocates

10 Comments
24 February 2015 | Gillian Bouras

Child in detention drawingChildren have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.


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