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The beloved countries are still crying

22 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxSeventy years ago Alan Paton wrote Cry the Beloved Country. His novel opened many Australians’ eyes to the wounded South Africa that lay behind its colonial surface. His elegiac conclusion was prescient of the two generations that followed.

The twisted priorities of the same-sex marriage vote

20 August 2017 | Rohan Salmond

ABC logoSame-sex marriage, the government tells us, is not a first-order issue. And yet it has grown to become a controversy so monumental it has overshadowed even the prospect of nuclear war with North Korea.

Why the seal of the confessional will remain

19 August 2017 | Frank Brennan

xxxxxThe Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a 2000-page three volume Criminal Justice Report. One of its recommendations is that the states and territories 'create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context'.

The lessons learned from charitable work

18 August 2017 | Mariana James-Techera

xxxxxWe students go to school to learn. But one of the best learning experiences for me has happened outside school: helping the less fortunate by serving them food at the Sacred Heart Mission and collecting food necessities for the charity.

The high political stakes of same sex marriage

15 August 2017 | John Warhurst

John CoatesThe same sex marriage postal plebiscite will be as intense as most referendum and election campaigns. Indeed, the special characteristics of this subject, advanced by the government as the reason for going beyond parliamentary means to resolve the issue, mean that the campaign may be more intense than most referendums have been.

What Philippines' president Duterte is telling us about China

15 August 2017 | Daniel Kleinsman


xxxxxReckless machoism is the trademark of President Rodrigo Duterte. He has vowed to stop at nothing in his bloody war against drugs and dissidents, and is unapologetic about increasing casualities incurred. Meanwhile, he demonstrates a terrifying disregard for anyone who opposes his agenda, and he delights in doing so.

Using ignorance to know if mandatory drug testing laws are sound

13 August 2017 | Daniel Fleming

xxxxxSometimes ignorance can be a virtue in political decision-making. The great 20th century political philosopher John Rawls had a thought experiment called the “Veil of Ignorance” which he suggested should be applied to any political decision to test whether or not it is just. 

What's a little lie between friends?

10 August 2017 | Barry Gittins

truth lie‘Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you honey? Now would I say something that wasn't true?’ The Eurythmics’ hit from 1985 has been played repeatedly in my head of late as I negotiate life as a Dad.

How much is an Aboriginal youth's life worth?

07 August 2017 | Sandra Norsen

Obituaries pageIn the wake of the Elijah Doughty verdict I find myself considering the implications for my own family and loved ones. I have followed for some time the extraordinary number of American citizens recklessly killed by police (over 700 so far this year and counting) and I am distraught at the disproportionate number of black people, including minors as young as 14 and 15, represented in these statistics. The prejudice and self-righteous bigotry behind these deaths in unconscionable. But until the Elijah Doughty case, I had not considered that this horrific, racially motivated violence does occur so much closer to home.

Time to protect vulnerable university students

03 August 2017 | Fatima Measham

Malcolm TurnbullThis week, the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the Course. It is a landmark report into sexual assault and harassment at universities. The undertaking was propelled by survivors, student leaders and support organisations.

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