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Lawyers the last line of defence for dumped refugees

30 August 2017 | Kate Galloway

Peter Dutton in shadowIt is true that lawyers, in doing their work, have interrupted the government's agenda of attempting to deny the humanity of asylum seekers. However, it goes to the heart of our system of governance that power is exercised within lawful boundaries. It is therefore ironic that the Minister, whose own powers are circumscribed by the Australian Constitution, and who is looking for an easy workaround, should criticise lawyers for being 'tricky'.

Crude beauty of a Yorkshire shepherd's gay awakening

30 August 2017 | Megan Graham

Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu in In God's CountryThe UK's Yorkshire moors seem like an ideal setting for a crude yet beautiful film about two shepherds falling in love. What's even better is a director bringing to the film his own history of such a place, adding the depth of familiarity with both the land and those who live off it. Such is the case with one-time Yorkshire farm boy Francis Lee's directorial debut, God's Own Country.

Citizenship and the Common Good

29 August 2017 | Frank Brennan

'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

Inside the 'glass closet' of a gay Catholic teacher

29 August 2017 | Alex Ryan

Man covering face with transparent handsBeing both gay and Catholic leads to a somewhat fraught existence. On one hand, we have our Catholic peers who, frequently, have trouble empathising with what it means to be 'intrinsically disordered'. On the other, we have our queer friends who are, understandably, sceptical of our allegiance to an organisation that has a deep history of discrimination towards people like us. This existence is further complicated for those of us who choose to partake in ministry that sees us employed by the Church.

A credibly Christian church would respect gay employees

29 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Rainbow flagA threat reportedly made, and later denied, by some church leaders was to dismiss from employment in Catholic organisations people who contract same-sex marriages. The argument is that Catholic organisations must uphold the teaching of the church, and that upholding church teaching implies living in a way consistent with it. Whatever the abstract merits of this argument and its applicability to dismissal in limit cases, its general use belongs to a past age.

Community torn over Kimba nuclear plan

28 August 2017 | Michele Madigan

Kimba farmer Tom HarrisOn Saturday 19 August at a gathering in Port Adelaide, two modern beleaguered groups, one Aboriginal, one non-Aboriginal, shared their current experiences in striving to protect their own lands and ways of life. Like the Gurindji, their struggle is with the federal government and, indirectly, with another big business: the nuclear industry. In contrast to the Gurindji struggle however, modern day communities and even families are being torn apart by enticements and pressures.

Kind to be cruel

1 Comment
28 August 2017 | Fiona Katauskas

Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

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

Compulsory drug testing is no silver bullet

28 August 2017 | Frank Brennan

iceIn an age of 'budget repair' when both sides of politics are trying to contain the welfare budget, the search for savings and silver bullets is relentless. If Ministers Porter and Tudge are really seeking 'a way of assisting people to get off drugs and back into work', they should convince their cabinet colleagues of the need to increase the Newstart and Youth Allowance so that it might provide a real start for assisting people to survive with dignity while preparing for and getting back into work.

The maestro and the war-scarred boy

27 August 2017 | Jena Woodhouse

Maxim VengerovHe takes his flawless artistry to children traumatised by war, and plays for them this old violin, his oracle of everything. One lad has improvised an instrument: two strings, a stick as bow; and thrown away the rifle he was issued with to maim, destroy. Together they make music ...

Countering Graham Richardson's Balgo claims

27 August 2017 | Brian McCoy

BalgoIn a column for the Australian, Graham Richardson wrote that during a visit to the remote community of Balgo, 'The real shock was that the women could not leave the children at home with the men because sexual assault was so common.' Community members find it very difficult to discuss publicly issues of shame involving others with whom they closely live. It takes time to build up trust and rarely will this ever occur within community meetings, much less in the presence of people they don't know.

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