AUSTRALIA


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Aboriginal art installation quickens ancient footprints

1 Comment
26 September 2016 | Jeremy Clarke

Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones' sculptureWiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones' piece is profoundly moving. At first glance it is little more than a quirky reconfiguring of the architectural footprint of the Garden Palace that burned to the ground on 22 September 1882, taking with it a collection of precious Indigenous relics. A more informed engagement however reveals that Jones has created a provocative re-imagining and, through this, a re-membering of Australian colonial contact history which has deep resonances for today.


Young man burned by Australia's detention hell

21 Comments
25 September 2016 | Lisa Stewart

Painting of screaming asylum seeker behind wireIn the early hours of Wednesday morning, 21 September 2016, a young asylum seeker was forcibly removed from the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre. With barely time to scramble his possessions together, he was taken away, placed on a plane and, along with four others, transferred to the high security detention facility on Christmas Island. Why? Because he's done something wrong? Because he's a criminal? No. Just because that's the way we now do things here.


Indecent asylum policy damages us all

10 Comments
20 September 2016 | Samuel Dariol

Peter Dutton with blood soaked hand stands on 'the world stage' and sings 'you should do it my way'. Cartoon by Fiona KatauskasIn the last week Turnbull has lauded, as the world's best refugee policy, a system that has resettled no refugees over three years. Dutton has stated that asylum seekers will continue to be processed in Nauru for decades, and described the Australian policy, of which detention on Nauru is part, as compassionate and effective. These comments follow recent reports by NGOs Save the Children and UNICEF, as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission, on offshore detention. Both urge an end to it.


Hoarding and its discontents

7 Comments
18 September 2016 | Brian Matthews

Hoarded magazinesWhen the skip arrived and a young bloke named Troy backed it into our driveway with insolent ease, I knew the game was up. Months of sporadic, amiable discussions had now reached a suddenly irrevocable conclusion. Our agenda - what to do with 'hoarded' papers and notes, drawers of never-to-be-worn-again clothes, children's picture books and abandoned Lego, decades old back copies of magazines - was called to order by a higher power and my filibustering and equivocations abruptly ended.


Battling the Pauline Hanson battler myth

12 Comments
15 September 2016 | Osmond Chiu

Pauline HansonIt is ironic that Hanson thrives on the perception that she is an authentic outsider against 'the system' when in fact she is part of that system. Think about how she is constantly given paid platforms by television networks. She hasn't been silenced by 'the system', her voice is heard and has been amplified. She is also no amateur, she is a professional and knows exactly what she is doing. She is not some 'battler' being picked on, and that needs to be emphasised.


Pauline's peddling the hate again

23 Comments
15 September 2016 | Rachel Woodlock

Pauline Hanson in ParliamentInvisible to Hanson and her ilk are the hundreds of thousands of Aussies whose understanding of Islam allows them to enjoy and promote the separation of religion and state, live happily and peacefully alongside their non-Muslim neighbours, and have no long-term plans to impose their beliefs on anyone. Why should anyone delegitimise their Islam? Pauline Hanson may do it for the votes, but if we listen to her and follow her suggestions, we run the risk of destroying the very social cohesion she mistakenly thinks is threatened by multiculturalism.


Fat facts lay waste to sugar's sins

3 Comments
14 September 2016 | Catherine Marshall

Sugary lolliesAccording to the New York Times, historical documents show that in the 1960s the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the link between heart disease and sugar consumption, and to pin the blame on saturated fat instead. The consequences of this unethical behaviour are scandalous: five decades of nutrition research tainted by the sugar industry's interference. I'd already reached my own conclusion about the dangers of sugar when my then-17-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.


Hope, not nihilism, is the antidote to bleak times

3 Comments
14 September 2016 | Fatima Measham

12-year-old boy stares down anti-LGBTQ protest in MexicoIn Mexico, a 12-year old boy walked onto the road to stare down an 11,000-strong anti-LGBTQ protest. In Italy, a small town has been revived by the arrival of refugees and migrants. In the US, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has pulled the issue of police brutality into apolitical spaces, using symbolic gestures to draw out the history of racialised oppression. As Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine puts it, 'If you want to be right, be a pessimist, if you want to do right, be an optimist.'


Growing up with Baryulgil's asbestos genocide

9 Comments
13 September 2016 | Dani Larkin

Ffloyd Laurie and wifeOn 8 September the ABC's 7:30 revealed yet another heartbreaking story of just another person who has contracted an asbestos-related disease. Ffloyd Laurie is a Bunjalung man from the Aboriginal community of Baryulgil, NSW - my home town. Like the rest of the Baryulgil community, including my mother, uncles, nan and pop, Ffloyde worked and lived with no idea of the consequences and health risks caused by that asbestos. Those consequences have proven to be fatal already for my pop.


Treaty holds the key to robust environmental law

17 Comments
08 September 2016 | Bronwyn Lay

Tony Abbott and John HowardWhen I read this week that Tony Abbott and John Howard will hear no talk of a Treaty with Aboriginal Australia, my first thought was 'Who listens to these blokes from ancient political history?' Abbott conceded that it is important to recognise Indigenous Australians were here first, 'But once it goes beyond that I think you open up all sorts of other things.' That is true, and those other things to be opened up are incredibly legally exciting and relevant to our times.


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