A political eon ago, in 2013, Tony Abbott promised to end the soap opera. But the show goes on, viewers both entranced and appalled, into its umpteenth season.
Last week, churches and church leaders around Australia intervened in the issue of sending asylum seekers, including children, to Nauru, following the High Court decision upholding the government’s legal power to do so.
Do we have too many charities, attempting to do too much of the same thing? Are Australian charities creating unnecessary duplication as we compete for public donations and a shrinking pool of government grants?
Our new PM is right to say there's never been a better time to be Australian but this also means that there's never been a better time for Australia to get on with the job of building a better shared future with our neighbours.
Published Huffington Post, 29 September 2015
After 15 years of a deeply divisive and toxic debate over refugees, ordinary Australians have finally and decisively rejected the politics of fear. It is my hope that in doing so they will have also led our political leadership to a new and fairer place.
Increasingly I find my country's past easier to explain than its present. Today's Australia confusingly lacks a coherent narrative or explanation for how we are doing things, and to what purpose.
Julian Burnside is puzzled by Scott Morrison's faith. Burnside examines Morrison's maiden speech to Parliament, in which he stated that his values come from his faith in Jesus, and concludes that Morrison is a hypocrite (Comment, 23/12). Others, including myself, are puzzled that the most Catholic Coalition Cabinet in Australia's history can be so cruel in slashing our aid program – the lowest in our history.
There are some things we as a nation want to stop from happening. The continued spread of Ebola, which is delivering a dividend of misery across West Africa, and may eventually reach our shores, is one of them. The suffering of millions of people in Syria and neighbouring countries is another.
The world of today is doing its best to give the impression that it is falling apart. We are witnessing outbreaks of fundamentalism in many destructive forms. Some nations are retreating in fear from the Ebola epidemic instead of contributing to prevention and treatment efforts. And more and more ordinary citizens are loudly demanding that policy-makers incorporate the notion of fairness into their deliberations on global economic reform.
On Thursday July 10 I was watching our local news in Gaza and heard there had been a missile attack which resulted in several deaths in the El Halabi family. Seven of my family members had been killed. In that moment the day’s news instantly shocked me to the core.