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Latest articles

  • Main image: Protestors holding placards look on on 20 September 2019 at the climate strike in Melbourne. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
    environment

    When will they listen? A school striker's lament

    • Gracie Ryan
    • 28 January 2020
    2 Comments

    Among the bustle of hundreds of thousands of teenagers with clever signs, mild sunburns, and a palpable disdain for major party politics, there was a sense that we could change the world. The noise we made felt so deafening that no one could ignore it. And then we were promptly ignored.

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  • Aerial view of South Tarawa, the capital and hub of the Republic of Kiribati and home to approximately half of Kiribati's population. (Government of Kiribati / Wikimedia Commons)
    international

    Kiribati: What makes a 'climate refugee'?

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 January 2020
    5 Comments

    New Zealand's judicial channels found against the Kiribati national, claiming he did not satisfy the definition of refugee within international law. He was deported. This month, the UNHRC did not find the deportation unlawful, a move that former Fleet Street editor Damian Wilson said had 'piled on the misery in the climate change mess'.

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  • Smoke covers east Gippsland following devastating bushfires. (Photo by Chris Hopkins/Getty Images)
    australia

    This is not about the fires

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 22 January 2020
    11 Comments

    My dog I've had for 14 years dies, and I decide to spend two days in bed. I look online and see that more than a billion Australian animals have died in the fires. Guilt spirals on top of guilt. How gauche, to feel this private grief, when there is such public grief already.

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  • Desert lands near Zhob District in Balochistan. (Credit: Eesha Tariq / Wikimedia Commons)

    Hear the cry of the Baloch people

    • Tanmay Kadam
    • 22 January 2020
    3 Comments

    The annexation of eastern Balochistan by Pakistan after the withdrawal of the British from the Indian Subcontinent in 1948 gave rise to the Baloch independence struggle against Pakistani state. Since then, Baloch have fallen victim to forced disappearances and brutal killings by state forces and state sponsored militants.

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  • Passengers walk through a square at the Wuchang Railway Station at the conclusion of a past Chunyun. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

    The sacred secular in China's 'Spring travel'

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 17 January 2020

    More than three billion single trips are taken during the extended period of travel. It is to China's great credit that these journeys occur incredibly smoothly, and on the whole with a convivial spirit. There is too often a tendency to minimise any praise about China's achievements, to the anger of Chinese citizens at home and abroad.

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  • Locals in New Delhi protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019. (Credit: Sanjeev Yadav / Wikimedia Commons)

    Coal hard truths about Australia-India relations

    • Sundhya Pahuja
    • 16 January 2020
    9 Comments

    It is ironic for those of us who have long wished for a closer and more respectful relationship between India and Australia to be arguing now for caution. But perhaps the time has come for a relationship of political solidarity between the people of India and the people of Australia, rather than the economic expediency that seems to be on offer.

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  • Elizabeth Blakeman embraces her husband Brian amongst the bushfire ravaged forest on their property on 12 January 2020 in Wairewa, Vic. (Photo by Chris Hopkins/Getty Images)

    The bastard subsidiarity of bushfire responses

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 January 2020

    The crisis brought to a head this ambivalence of governments. It underlies the attack by three NSW government ministers on the community groups responding to the fires. The ministers criticised them for doing ineffectually what the government was not doing and for spending money on administration that it should have provided.

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  • Koomurri dancers during the Arrival of Fire and Smoking Ceremony at Barangaroo on 26 January 2019 in Sydney. (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

    Australia Day as a day for humility

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 January 2020
    15 Comments

    Australia Day would be wasted if it were devoted simply to self-congratulation. In the wake of the catastrophic fires we need to ask questions about how Indigenous Australians before settlement managed the land and how our agricultural and economic practices have contributed to the perilous situation in which we now find ourselves.

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  • Rural Fire Service firefighters views a flank of a fire on 11 January 2020 in Tumburumba, NSW. (Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

    A royal commission for the land

    • Kate Galloway
    • 20 January 2020
    14 Comments

    For our society to function responsively to what is now a dynamically changing context, we urgently need differently oriented governance. This will, no doubt, be unpalatable for some — both in government and in the general public. But without re-setting how we are governed, our land and our society will suffer further destruction.

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  • Illustration of a bishop (Credit: Ojimorena / Getty)

    Australian bishops have a transparency problem

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 January 2020

    Australia's bishops have yet to demonstrate the new openness to the Catholic community necessary for a successful Plenary Council. Their inclination to secrecy remains an impediment. They just don't get transparency as a virtue and they have twice demonstrated their adherence to old ways of doing things in recent months.

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  • The Carmel chapel contains the tomb of Saint Th&eacute;r&egrave;se.

    Wash Day at Le Carmel, Lisieux, circa 1895

    • Rita Tognini
    • 28 January 2020

    It's definitely the flesh and blood you, Thérèse, not the Little Flower of church statues and holy pictures, milky with sanctity. It's the frank-faced-child-in-lace-trimmed-dress-and-sturdy-boots you. It's the fourteen year old, hair-atop-head-in-a-bun-to-look-older-for-the-Bishop-so-he'll-let-you-take-the-veil you.

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  • A man looks pensively into the sky after writing philosophical graffiti on the wall of a dunny. Illustration by Chris Johnston

    Pondering God from the dunny

    • Sue Stevenson
    • 24 January 2020
    5 Comments

    As I sat I noticed some graffiti: 'What you are seeking after is seeking after you. — Rumi.' A beautiful, soulful verse for the alienated children of late capitalism, right? An invitation to live in expectancy, as if you belong in the world. But underneath, someone had struck through What and written Who, and Rumi and written God.

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  • Koala in a tree on Kangaroo Island. (Photo by Catherine Marshall)

    Kangaroo Island paradise lost

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 22 January 2020
    2 Comments

    Turning off the main road, we burrowed now into a verdant tunnel; at the end of it stood one of Australia's flagship properties, Southern Ocean Lodge. Entering its vaulted, glass encased great room, I turned my head from the rolling waves on one side to the rolling bush on the other. Each was an ocean unto itself.

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  • Smoke from bushfires covers Melbourne's Docklands precinct on 15 January 2020. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

    Air quality agony is the new reality

    • Megan Graham
    • 17 January 2020
    6 Comments

    It was my first time at this library. I'd come to escape the heavy smoke and my old draughty apartment. Approaching the service desk upon arrival, I admit to looking deliberately pathetic in the hopes of avoiding a laborious sign-up process to access the wi-fi. I only wanted somewhere I could work safely, breathing in non-toxic air.

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  • Firefighter stands on the edge of a burning Australia, displaying a sign reading 'climate change' to the rest of the world. Artwork by Chris Johnston

    Australia is the perfect size to lead on climate

    • Tim Hutton
    • 17 January 2020
    9 Comments

    Around 40 per cent of the world's carbon emissions are produced by countries with similar outputs to Australia. Collectively these countries can make a significant difference if each reduces their carbon emissions. While Australia can make a difference as part of a collective, our real ability to effect change actually lies elsewhere.

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  • Ormiston Gorge (Credit: Paul Balfe / Flickr)

    Ormiston Gorge revelation

    • James Orrock
    • 20 January 2020

    Rest in late afternoon silence, the vision quest in flight / Red ramparts attenuate to pink mauve in muted light; / Only gold could slake the Depression fever of Lewis Lasseter / Lead to an alchemy of empty jam tins and broken beer bottles / Fibula and femur disjoint, wrecked on iron pyrite reefs.

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  • A Rural Fire Service firefighter Trevor Stewart views a flank of a fire on 11 January 2020 in Tumburumba, NSW. (Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

    Fire poems

    • Bill Rush, Rory Harris, Collen Keating
    • 13 January 2020
    2 Comments

    It's as though it's suddenly turned winter, the way the earth is covered over and the grey stretch of ash is drawn up to its chin like a blanket. And though it's day, the bird-less quiet is a kind of night, and everything we ever thought we knew has been turned upside down, the first now last, and the last first.

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  • View of Himalayas and blue sky (Photo by Catherine Marshall)

    A Himalayan miracle to carry into the New Year

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 17 December 2019
    4 Comments

    Stopping along a ridge, we beheld the Garhwal Himalaya range as it came into view: a tumble of mountains crowned on the horizon by an irregular, saw-toothed range ... In that brief moment between sunrise and daylight, when a once-secretive world would be illuminated, our wonder at the world was multiplied many times over.

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