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Puritanical citizenship changes promote less inclusive Australia

16 Comments
18 June 2017 | Kerry Murphy

Australian citizenship certificateWhile ideally all Australian should have some reasonable ability to communicate in English, it is unreasonable to expect it at such a high level. Consider parents sponsored to Australia who live here and provide care for their grandchildren while their own children work. I have heard of small businesses in western Sydney owned by Chinese Australians, who have learnt Assyrian, because most of their customers speak Assyrian, not English. They are not having trouble in 'economic participation'.


The forgotten people of the Flint water crisis

7 Comments
18 June 2017 | Cristy Clark

Flint bottled brown waterLast Wednesday, five Michigan officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the unfolding health crisis in Flint, Michigan - a crisis that has included at least 12 deaths from Legionnaires' disease, in addition to the possible lead poisoning of a whole population. The people of Flint were aware that something was wrong from the moment their water was switched over to the Flint river in April 2014. They just couldn't get anyone to listen.


Talking the talkback

18 June 2017 | Fiona Katauskas

Talkback radio host and caller rail against World Refugee Day. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas


This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


Shielding kids from Grenfell Tower televised trauma

3 Comments
15 June 2017 | Barry Gittins

Grenfell Tower aflameAn article focusing on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings reported that people 'exposed to more than six hours of daily media coverage of the tragedy were more likely to experience symptoms of acute stress than those directly affected by the event'. News junkies, or those who saw extended coverage, were found to be worse off than those who actually survived the bombings. This is sobering as we consider how we deal with our children's exposure to traumatic events playing out on TV news.


The story of the dog who wouldn't be ours

11 Comments
14 June 2017 | Catherine Marshall

DogsIt was humiliating, being refused adoption at an animal shelter. But it was worse knowing, in the ensuing months, that there was a little dog out there, and lots more besides him, who was being withheld from a genuinely loving family simply because they had failed to meet unreasonable demands. We tried to find a suitable dog at other shelters, but the pickings were slim. And so we did the very thing the shelter that had refused our application railed against: we bought a puppy from a pet shop.


Our addiction to connection is centuries old

4 Comments
14 June 2017 | Sarah Klenbort

Posting It: the Victorian Revolution in Letter WritingOn a recent tour of Vaucluse House in Sydney's east, I couldn't help but notice, in every bedroom, a writing desk. I imagined Sarah Wentworth scribbling away with inkpot and pen 180 years ago. I wonder if the Wentworths went straight to their writing desks first thing in the morning, the way some people check their phones? The desire to receive news from someone somewhere else is century's old. In 1850 Tasmania had 11 newspapers, for a population of 70,000.


Remembering, dismembering on World Refugee Day

3 Comments
13 June 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

A group of rescued people on the deck of an Italian naval vessel as the sun sets in the Mediterranean. ©UNHCR/A. D'AmatoWorld Refugee Day is a time for remembering. We remember we live in a world of millions of refugees, and that many of our fellow citizens arrived as or are the children of refugees. We may remember refugees, but in their own lives they are dismembered. The tiles we take for granted in the mosaic of our ordinary lives have been hacked out of refugees' lives. Many people lost parents, siblings and children in the persecution and terrors they endured. With each loss part of themselves also died.


Who killed Whitney Houston?

1 Comment
13 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Running parallel to this is Houston's intimate, long-time friendship with Robyn Crawford. Broomfield stops short of characterising it as romantic; others do not, and space is given to rumination about the difficulties of being a black, gay woman. In any case, the friendship sparks tension with Brown, and disapproval from Cissy. Crawford's abrupt departure from the tour is another turning point. In Broomfield's thesis, Houston's drug habit is a reaction to these various threats to her authenticity.


An inclusive Australia

1 Comment
12 June 2017 | Frank Brennan

This evening, we come together deliberately as people of diverse faiths and none, affirming the blessing of life in an inclusive country where all world views are to be respected. We are able to affirm that our spiritual lives sustain and strengthen our public lives and the vitality of the polis. Our Muslim hosts show us how to give thanks reverently for all the blessings of life, and how to attest publicly the spiritual dimension of all human life. Those of us who are migrants or descendants of migrants need to be particularly attentive to the yearnings and aspirations of those Australians who rightly claim an indigenous heritage with ancestors who have thrived on this continent for up to 60,000 years.


High school racism in the merry old land of Oz

10 Comments
12 June 2017 | Tseen Khoo

Alice Pung: Growing Up Asian in AustraliaI was told in grade nine I shouldn't bother trying out for the lead of our school play, The Wizard of Oz, because there's no way Dorothy would be Asian. Though I had no intention of trying out for the play, the fact that she told me not to bother made me arc up. The reason she gave - my incongruous Asianness - made me feel angry and ashamed. Angry because it was stupid and unfair. Ashamed because it felt somehow like it was my fault for not being white enough.


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