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The snob who snubbed Australia's Indigenous imagination

13 Comments
30 April 2015 | Brian Matthews

George Herbert CowlingMrs Cowling was formidable. Her significant physical presence was accentuated by a commanding mien, impeccable English enunciation, and an impressive depth and breadth of literary reference supporting rock-firm opinions. All these years later, I wonder just how burdened she was in teaching literature to Australian students, which she continued to do into her 80th year, by her husband's notoriety.


Millionaire boss' cheap glance

10 Comments
27 April 2015 | Darby Hudson

CEOThe CEO of my company is on $10.7 million a year. He did a floor walk today. He glanced at me for less than half a second. I worked out that he's on $41,152 a day. Then worked out his glance at me was worth about $7.80. I feel ripped off. That was a crap glance.


As politicians evoke conflict a century past

4 Comments
20 April 2015 | Various

Airport loungeIn airport lounges, off to foreign hells... They come and go like fatigued FIFO workers day and night; partners waiting for their safe return, might be the only show. No protest march, no ticker tape parade.


As a watched kettle we were boiling

12 Comments
13 April 2015 | Gayelene Carbis

Boiling kettleWe spent a whole childhood outside houses fighting in our father’s car while women served our father (such a nice man) coffee and cake. We wanted our lives to take off, like a train with a clear destination.


The death of bullying victim Vangelis Giakoumakis

7 Comments
07 April 2015 | Gillian Bouras

Vangelis GiakoumakisHere in Greece, a 20 year old youth was subjected to concentrated and constant bullying, and eventually he could bear no more. Who knows, really, what triggers bullying? Except that bullies, who are always cowards, invariably select as victims people who seem weaker and thus vulnerable to pressure, both physical and psychological. Vangelis seems to have been the sort who could not or would not fight back.


The other side of religious zealotry

3 Comments
06 April 2015 | Earl Livings

Ultra Orthodox Jew reading TorahThe addled cultures of exclusivity clash, and clash again, as have all zealots, all purgers of scapegoats, all crusading armies, to the same breathless end. We can only stand before each, Torah, Gospel, Qu’ran, as if before an opening star, and know them as incarnations of that lush silence that inspires believer and non-believer to Truth, Beauty, Good.


My Christ is a raw object

5 Comments
30 March 2015 | Marlene Marburg

Crucifixi am small and lowly at the feet of my Christ. my hair is sharp like needles on his skin. my tears wash the dirt stuck to his wounds.


Cricket's assault on Australian racism

11 Comments
26 March 2015 | Brian Matthews

Frank WorrellDuring the West Indies 1960-61 tour of Australia, Frank Worrell and his predominantly black team transfixed Australians from coast to coast and, without any missionary intent, struck a resounding blow at the White Australia Policy, which was still in place. This jubilant, exciting story prompts questions about today's masses, who enthusiastically support harsh, and arguably racist, treatment of asylum seekers.


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!


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