AUSTRALIA


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The evils of the weapons industry

14 Comments
03 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxDefence Minister Christopher Pyne recently called for an expansion of the Australian weapons industry. It would enable Australia to join the United States and Britain as a major exporter of weapons and further Australia’s strategic goals. The move has a logic: if you want weapons it is cheaper to make them than buy them; if you make them it is more profitable to sell them to others than to keep them all for yourself; if you sell them it is best to sell them to your friends.


The future of work and what employers expect

4 Comments
02 August 2017 | Kate Galloway

Michael SukkarMy research lately has focussed on the future of work. In particular, I've been interested in what's known as the graduate outlook: what employers expect of university graduates and how university graduates have fared in terms of work. I've looked more broadly than this, into expectations of how work generally is expected to change, and I've looked more narrowly too, at the future of lawyers' work.


The bi-partisanship shame of refugee policy

29 Comments
01 August 2017 | Frank Brennan

NAIDOC Week 2017 posterWhat possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s demand that Australia terminate offshore processing of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island and that we not outsource our responsibilities to others.


Elijah Doughty decision shows there is rarely justice for aboriginal victims

37 Comments
27 July 2017 | Celeste Liddle

Obituaries pageAs the news came through that the man who had run down young Elijah Doughty in Kalgoorlie last year had escaped a manslaughter conviction and instead had been sentenced for three years for the charge of reckless driving causing death, I saw Aboriginal community members dissolve. Many expressed grief for Elijah's family and community. Others set about highlighting how there is rarely any justice in this system for Aboriginal people.


Dual citizenship should be a plus in modern Australia

38 Comments
20 July 2017 | Fatima Measham

Greens Senator Larissa WatersThere are layers of frustration around the resignation of Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters due to dual citizenship. The immediate loss of two of Australia's better parliamentary performers - on any side of politics - is unfortunate. For no one in their orbit and nothing in the AEC nomination process to have caught something so fundamental is unsettling, but perhaps not that odd. Presumptions of Australian-ness are more or less adjudicated on a certain kind of look and surname.


What fuelled the crisis in the West?

21 Comments
18 July 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Thomas Cole's 'The Fall of Rome'Paul Kelly in the Australian makes the case that the decline in Christian faith made evident in the recent Census is in large measure responsible for the widespread loss of trust in the political system throughout the West. There are inevitable limitations to such broad brush arguments. Lack of trust in politics and institutions is not new. From the Roman Empire to contemporary China authorities who do not ensure an adequate supply of bread to their citizens can expect to meet distrust, unrest and replacement.


Sexual harassment in Australia and the US

10 Comments
17 July 2017 | Sara Vukojevic

Woman on city streetI couldn't believe it. It was the most obvious example of street harassment ever. Builders? Check. Cheesy pickup lines? Check. Innuendos? Check. Trying to prevent a woman from moving away? Check. It could've been a lot worse. Something worse happened to me in California. But this situation got my heart beating. It's six, large, capable men. They can do anything they want to me. I can't prevent it from happening if they decide they need to do more than look.


Senator Ludlam's crime and punishment

11 Comments
17 July 2017 | John Warhurst

Senator Scott LudlumLudlam's departure means that the Senate has now had three senators, including Bob Day, the Family First leader, from South Australia, and Rod Culleton of the One Nation Party, who was also from Western Australia, declared ineligible to sit in the Parliament in the 12 months since the last election. One is an accident but three is an epidemic. This is a disturbing turn of events.


Why 'white' isn't a racist slur

10 Comments
12 July 2017 | Sonia Nair

Scene from Dear White PeopleI hung out with a group of Indian-Australians while I was a university student who called themselves 'curries', but the unspoken camaraderie that ensued from this self-identification stood in stark contrast to that time I was called a 'f***ing curry' by a passing car full of white people. You often hear from white people that they can't be called 'white' because that too is racist language. This reflects a flawed assumption that societal structures advantage and disadvantage people in the exact same way.


Bookending Australia's history

9 Comments
11 July 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Colonising AustraliaModern Australian history is bookended by the arrival of white settlers in which Indigenous Australians were expelled to the margins, and by the arrival of people seeking protection who were also expelled to the margins. Between these bookends lie the events, the people, the relationships, the enterprises and the experiences that compose the story of Australia. The bookends, though, are a bit shonky: not ideal for supporting proudly the heft of the history that lies between them. They need fixing.


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