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    • Carolina Gottardo (right) pictured with Behrouz Boochani in Port Moresby.

      A visit among the men of Manus

      • Carolina Gottardo
      • 18 November 2019

      I recently visited Port Moresby as part of a delegation of Catholic leaders. I have worked with refugees and migrants for more than 20 years in different countries. I have been part of many serious and confronting human rights struggles. Nonetheless, I was not expecting what I saw and heard in PNG, and it deeply touched me.

    • A man dances at an an anti-government protest on 30 October 2019 in Martyrs' Square, Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by Sam Tarling/Getty Images)

      Hope and trepidation amid Lebanon unrest

      • Daniel Sleiman
      • 07 November 2019

      Like many Lebanese Australians I've been watching the mass protests in Lebanon with hope and trepidation. Hope that government reforms, or a change of government, will bring about meaningful transformation in economic management, transparency and public services. Fearful because of the possibility of civil war.

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin in August 2018. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

      Stories about the Russia you thought you knew

      • Justin Glyn
      • 06 November 2019

      A casual reader, picking up Tony Kevin's book without much background knowledge on the events which it covers, might assume that the work was alarmist conspiracy theory, so wildly is it at odds with the standard fare which one reads in the papers about Russia and contemporary politics in general. Frighteningly, it is not.

    • Andrew Mackenzie surveys the burnt out remains of a property in Torrington, Qld, on 11 November 2019. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

      The bushfires of the vanities

      • Andrew Hamilton
      • 20 November 2019

      The fact that they so easily turned their attention away from the lives of the people threatened by fire to brawling about their own virtues and lack of them offers little hope that the lives of Australians will count with them when they reflect on the causes and the proper response to the fires.

    • Members of the Catholic delegation to PNG pictured with Behrouz Boochani (centre). Boochani can be seen presenting a copy of his book No Friend but the Mountains to Bishop Vincent Long of the Diocese of Parramatta.

      Conversations with refugees in PNG

      • Joshua Lourensz
      • 19 November 2019

      'Refugees/not refugees — here it is all the same,' a man tells me with a shrug. There seems to be both recognition of the impossibility of the situation for all who have been left here — but also an attitude that no one should be left behind.

    • Close-up of a smoking cigar butt (Credit: shutterjack via Getty)

      Economic correctness gone mad

      • John Falzon
      • 13 November 2019

      It's gone too far. The minute you voice even the smallest doubt about the Current Way of Things you get hammered. If, for example, you ask why large multinationals should profit from aged care, the guardians of Economic Correctness look at you funny. Either they don't get it, or they do and they cast you as an enemy of democracy.

    • John Henry Newman

      The light in John Henry Newman's darkness

      • Gillian Bouras
      • 15 November 2019

      Dad is out watering the garden, but all the front windows are open, so he can hear the piano and his wife and two daughters singing. He often hums along to our repertoire, which is a mixture of Anglo-Celtic songs, Australian numbers — and, memorably, 'Lead, Kindly Light', written by the recently canonised St John Henry Newman.

    • Woman sitting on public bench with brown bag over her head (Credit: Francesco Carta fotografo)

      Light and life found in humiliation

      • Andrew Hamilton
      • 12 November 2019

      Might the experience of humiliation open the possibility of turning out to others instead of in on oneself? Might it seed compassion for others in their humiliation, and lead in turn to a society more sensitive to the wounds that humiliation causes both to the humiliated and the bystanders?

    • Portaits of the El Salvador martyrs by Mary Pimmel.

      El Salvador reality upends justice romance

      • Andrew Hamilton
      • 06 November 2019

      Thirty years ago this month, the Salvadorean Armed Forces murdered two women and six Jesuits at the Universidad Centroamericana El Salvador. For me it was a significant stage on the journey from fascination with the romance and the rhetoric of the struggle for justice to recognition of the hard, unyielding daily reality that it involved.

    • Hands presenting a wrapped gift. (Credit: Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images)

      The power of gift-giving without the waste

      • Cristy Clark
      • 21 November 2019
      1 Comment

      As we pare back more and more, I have started to realise that there is a risk in taking things too far. The consumer orgy of the past may have been unsightly, but gift giving itself also serves a valuable social function, and we may be at risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    • Fire crews wait at a property in in Colo Heights, NSW, as the fire front approaches on 15 November 2019. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

      Climate is disrupting children's education

      • Lauren Rickards, Blanche Verlie, Briony Towers, Bronwyn Lay
      • 18 November 2019

      Some have argued we shouldn't discuss climate change during this bushfire emergency. Yet when children previously tried to protest climate change they were told to 'stay in school'. The statement denies the evidence that our normal routines are already being disrupted by climate change.

    • Cyclists in Liwonde (Photo by Catherine Marshall)

      A view from Africa of Australia burning

      • Catherine Marshall
      • 14 November 2019

      As fires obliterated large swathes of Australia, I was largely oblivious to the news — though tenuously connected to events as I travelled through oven-hot, tinder-dry national parks in Southern Africa. It was only when I reached the airport in Johannesburg that the extent of the catastrophe became apparent to me.

    • Fern fronds (Photo by Adamo Boccitto)

      Near Ferntree Gully

      • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
      • 18 November 2019

      Staring toward the stringy picture through a linguistic lens I have begun to see that the elderly magic, deplored by most religions, was a daughter of coincidence mathematically robed in some downright glorious colours.

    • Storm clouds over sea, Melbourne (Credit: Wolf Cocklin / Getty)

      The crime scene that is Australia

      • Libby Hart
      • 11 November 2019
      1 Comment

      It's difficult to move in this landscape. Haunted and fragile and tragic, there's no place that is benign. A cursed house, the Greeks might say.

    • Apartment windows (credit: mikulas1 / Getty)

      In praise of the rituals of others

      • Jane Williams
      • 04 November 2019
      1 Comment

      Thank God for Bollywood and daytime TV. For the all night partyers and marathon love makers. For the hash brownie bakers, the nut crackers and pot-stirrers ... the drum-beating banjo-twanging wannabe musicians ... the incense wafting up from the first floor through our bathroom vent — frankincense I'm tempted to think.


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