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07 December 2016 |
What does it take to secure room at Australia's inn? For the refugee, it's virtually impossible, with a fraction of the many millions of displaced people in the world granted entry into this privileged country each year. Those who immigrate here, like my own family did, must engage in an expensive and convoluted process. But the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has now subjected a third group of people to its program of suspicion and inhospitality: elderly tourists.
06 December 2016 |
Last week, the much dreaded bond notes were released into the economy, in a move hoped to alleviate the cash crisis. Most citizens are negative about the move, with good reason - the last time Zimbabwe had its own currency was 2009, when inflation was so high the currency had to be dropped to salvage the economy. Most Zimbabweans remember that time well: every other month citizens had to drive to Botswana to put food on the table because the country's own shops were empty.
05 December 2016 |
I'm a 36 year old white Australian who grew up middle class in suburban Adelaide. I can count on one hand the number of households in the streets I lived on which were always-already made up of a mum-dad-kids scenario. The research on children's attachment, development and resilience shows kids need meaningful, culturally appropriate relationships with caring and competent adults in order to thrive as human beings. These adults can be pretty much anyone as long as they fit that bill.
04 December 2016 |
To say the Senate cross bench is a mixed bag is an understatement. All that is really lacking is an extreme left senator unrestrained by Labor/Green discipline. Amid all the controversy I've grown comfortable with their place in the Senate and appreciative of their collective presence in an otherwise party dominated chamber. They each have their flaws, but they make a generally positive contribution to public discussion and to ultimate legislative outcomes. We are better off for their presence.
01 December 2016 |
Indigenous workers of previous generations struggled and undertook strike actions so that their descendants would not be exploited and abused in the same way that they had been. While we may have many more Aboriginal people achieving and attracting higher waged work than we did in the years gone by, the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our community continues. The years may have ticked over, but the government's attitude to the value of Indigenous workers has not.
29 November 2016 |
So the High Court finally has its first woman chief justice. Mainstream media have seized upon this as a remarkable achievement for the legal profession and as 'a fair go' for the empowered woman of 2016. Kiefel's attainment of her highest goal should be recognised as no such lesser win. It is right and proper recognition of the suitability of a solidly trained and experienced lawyer, and the product of this individual human being's commitment to the law and its customs, protocols and conventions.
28 November 2016 |
Earlier this year, a Queensland man was found not guilty of intentionally infecting his former girlfriend with HIV. The case was sent back to the District Court to determine a sentence for the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm. At the time of the decision, the not-guilty finding was both welcomed by advocates who see criminal prosecution as reflecting the stigma of the condition, and criticised by others who consider the criminal law an appropriate sanction for harm caused.
27 November 2016 |
Belonging to a generation where I was constantly told I could do anything I set my mind to, I was carted off to every class imaginable as a young child - art class, violin class, music theory class, English literature tutoring and so forth. But the advent of unparalleled choices that was constantly peddled to me did not coincide with an increase in the spaces that are available for young people to excel, or much less be employed, in the fields of their choice.
24 November 2016 |
In a utopian world, free of racism and bigotry, there would be no problem with writers having complete artistic freedom. It becomes a problem when, for example, a white author takes the experiences of a Ugandan woman and writes a novel that becomes an acclaimed bestseller, while writers of colour struggle to get published and have their own stories told. This is white privilege at its finest. Morally, should the privileged be able to profit from the experiences and oppression of another culture?
24 November 2016 |
Civil society requires care work. All of us, at various stages of our lives, will be dependent on others for our daily needs. Most of us will likewise care for others at some point. The challenge is how to allocate caring responsibilities throughout society, while allowing also for the paid work that secures economic independence. At the moment the tacit expectation that women will do unpaid care work - and that men (theoretically) are unburdened by care work - contributes to economic inequality.
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