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  • EDUCATION

    Students need teachers, not technicians

    • Fatima Measham
    • 09 May 2018
    8 Comments

    For the past several years, education has been treated as solely a technical problem. One of the pitfalls of this is that political will becomes a function of money, which in turn rests on political expedience between federal and state governments, further complicated by external lobbying. Education gets ground to a grain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget's arts flagship is, well, a flagship

    • Esther Anatolitis
    • 08 May 2018
    9 Comments

    The flagship cultural measure in the budget is, strangely, a flagship: the Endeavour. The government announced '$48.7 million over four years to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific'. A permanent presence on the first site of local trauma is not a vision for a nation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confronting fear on the cusp of manhood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 May 2018
    2 Comments

    The boys conquer one hazardous feat after another: entering the ocean via rocky cauldrons; sharing waters with a mythic giant shark; tackling waves that rear up over a deadly shallow reef. In so doing they confront their fears: of physical peril; of failing, or failing to meet the expectations of the group; of existential ordinariness.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The crimson thread of male entitlement

    • Roanna Gonsalves
    • 08 May 2018
    4 Comments

    A thread of male entitlement binds the American literary world to a shepherd's world in India's Kashmir valley. Days ago, the American author Junot Diaz left the Sydney Writers Festival amid allegations of sexual abuse. In India there is another, more sinister and tragic manifestation, woven with the use of rape as a weapon of war.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ireland's 'hard border' irony has a bitter taste

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 May 2018
    11 Comments

    The word 'irony' is sometimes preceded by 'delicious'. But it is sour and wounding in Ireland, where British withdrawal from the EU, Brexit, and the Irish Republic's firm intention to remain, raises the possibility of what pundits call a 'hard' border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 07 May 2018
    10 Comments

    For Japanese Australians, the connections with Australia's war-time history continues to be particularly fraught. Whether they are early or more recent migrants, Japanese Australians have many narratives and expressions of complex identities that are now gaining voice.

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  • CARTOON

    Hey, big spender!

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 07 May 2018

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Addressing the democracy deficit

    • Lizzie O'Shea
    • 06 May 2018
    12 Comments

    A common response to voters behaving badly is to call for qualifications on the franchise, such as education, or the outsourcing of public policy decisions to experts. Instead, I'd argue the opposite: the problem is not democracy, it is the deficit. It is not that too many people have a say in how society is run, but rather not enough.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The meek find the violent absolute

    • Carolyn Masel
    • 06 May 2018

    Early traumas last, the experts say ... but memory can resemble an old wound that presages damp days or, like a sharp new line, make one gasp again. What violence do they endure who with nightmare slowness flee a wolfish past? And are theirs unexamined lives who have attained the modern armour-plated dream?

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  • RELIGION

    Finding my religion in Indonesia

    • Erin Cook
    • 03 May 2018
    9 Comments

    The church has always been more about family than religion to me - my grandmother's grandmother did it all in Latin, but isn't it cool that we went through the same motions? - and I thought it always would. Then I got lucky: I moved to the world's most populous Muslim country.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tim Winton's model of manhood

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 May 2018
    5 Comments

    One of the challenges that faces any society is how boys will become men. In many societies the passage is mapped and enacted through ritual initiations or through military training. It also periodically causes great anxiety. Two recent books encourage reflection on different aspects of the passage from boys to men.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fearing and loathing that toad, Work

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 May 2018
    7 Comments

    Philip Larkin spent 30 years as a librarian, but famously wrote a rebellious poem in which he asks plaintively: 'Why should I let/the toad work/Squat on my life?' Technology is not the only force that shapes our destinies, an idea I need to remind myself of whenever I start worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren.

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