Author: Catherine Marshall

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Random landings

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 25 April 2018
    2 Comments

    We're about to land, but I don't know where I'm going. The landscape spread below me is a tableau of muddy waters and tin-roofed houses poking out from palm groves. I thought I'd be flying direct to Paro, in Bhutan, but discovered once airborne that this Royal Bhutan Airways flight would be landing first at a place I'd never heard of.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don't look away from genocide history

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 March 2018
    11 Comments

    The repository of a superfluity of victims' faces and their heartbreaking stories leaves visitors questioning how it is possible for a country to turn on its own people like that. Why do humans turn into killing machines at the behest of their leaders, and when will we allow it to happen again?

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  • MEDIA

    Sympathetic men need to check their privilege

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 28 February 2018
    7 Comments

    While the female-led outcry continues, those men benefitting from the imbalance ought to question their privilege. Instead of carrying sympathetic white roses into the Oscars, they should use the opportunity to question their own complicity in accepting roles in movies where women are inadequately represented.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The rise of Iran's feminist resistance

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 01 February 2018
    1 Comment

    Yasmin opens the book and runs a lacquered fingernail down its table of contents. 'How we can seduce a man and not fall in love,' she reads. Then: 'How we can learn to keep secrets from men.' Is the government okay with this? 'What can you do?' Yasmin shrugs. 'Everybody knows people fall in love, have sex. This is how life works.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ending the toxic ripple effect of prejudice

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 29 November 2017
    17 Comments

    Governments can't legislate against hatred and intolerance. A friend stated on Facebook that 'No law can change human biology. No law can make natural what is unnatural.' Such rhetoric is a reminder that the realm of human rights is still a bloody battlefield in which certain groups continue to proclaim superiority over others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why does citizenship matter?

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 08 November 2017
    8 Comments

    Instead of assuming dual citizens risk becoming traitors unless they rescind their citizenship, we should rather ask questions about the other third parties to whom MPs are beholden: donors , lobbyists, consultants, businesspeople and others keen to influence the political process.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Voting yes to black and gay rights

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 05 October 2017
    3 Comments

    One of the first votes I ever cast was the one in which I got to help decide whether a marginalised group of people should have the same rights as me. It was March 1992. I was a young, white, enfranchised South African working as a journalist. The referendum was one of the methodical steps taken by F. W. de Klerk in the dismantling of apartheid.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The life of a travel writer is all in the story

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 September 2017
    3 Comments

    The Nenet and Russian drivers in our convoy surveyed the scene nonchalantly. They smoked cigarettes and conversed. One of them waded into the water, ice-cold even though it was summer. Their jagged, strident Russian dialect swirled around us in an incomprehensible fog. What was going on? Would we make it across? Were we doomed? I wasn't concerned about any of these things. Indeed, I had never felt so relaxed in my life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A world of majesty and cruelty

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 10 August 2017
    14 Comments

    We have just taken off from Dubai for St Petersburg. My son is marvelling at the immensity of Dubai’s airport—now officially the busiest in the world. We have stood on a bus—stifling, cramped—and boarded our air-conditioned connecting flight with a deep sense of relief. We have watched the planes lining up behind ours on the shimmering tarmac, and have noted the outside temperature flashing on the screen: 44 degrees Celsius. Thank God we’re getting out of here. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Jane Goodall's quest to stem the human plague

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 11 July 2017
    7 Comments

    Revered for her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream, Goodall has spent the past three decades travelling the world in an effort to alert its human inhabitants to the alarming news: we are destroying the planet. The message seems to have been lost on those in a position to halt the change, for research scientists have just reported that a mass extinction is currently underway, a biological annihilation in which billions of regional or local populations have already been lost.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The story of the dog who wouldn't be ours

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 June 2017
    11 Comments

    It was humiliating, being refused adoption at an animal shelter. But it was worse knowing, in the ensuing months, that there was a little dog out there, and lots more besides him, who was being withheld from a genuinely loving family simply because they had failed to meet unreasonable demands. We tried to find a suitable dog at other shelters, but the pickings were slim. And so we did the very thing the shelter that had refused our application railed against: we bought a puppy from a pet shop.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Anti-Muslim laptop ban won't make us more secure

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 17 May 2017
    13 Comments

    Australia should think carefully about adopting a ban that singles out Muslim majority countries under the guise of keeping its citizens safe. While it might make sense to ban potential bomb-carrying devices on flights from those countries where terrorist groups tend to be based, in reality it negatively profiles these countries and, more oppressively, the people who come from them. This is precisely the kind of dog whistle politics the likes of Trump and Hanson have engaged in.

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