Drew Rooke

is a freelance journalist and the author of One Last Spin: The Power and Peril of the Pokies.

By this author

News August 17, 2019

Ending Australia’s recycling chaos

With overseas countries rejecting more and more of Australia’s recycling, the federal and state governments are finally working towards a solution – 10 years after industry experts warned of the impending problem.

News July 20, 2019

Music festival deaths inquest

As the NSW deputy state coroner examines the MDMA-linked deaths of six young music festival-goers, security precautions, pill testing and overdose procedures come under scrutiny.

Culture June 15, 2019

Queering the air with musician and producer Paul Mac

Paul Mac has gone from playing the organ at church to forming a band with Daniel Johns, remixing tracks by Kylie Minogue and recording his latest album, Mesmerism. Here, he discusses his art, his love of trains and his political activism. “Unless we are continuously vigilant about the rights that we’ve gained, they can quite easily disappear again.”

Culture November 03, 2018

Nils Frahm’s melody makers

Nils Frahm brings a playfulness to his serious compositions for piano and electronics, which leaves audiences delighted as well as enraptured. He vividly remembers crying when listening to English jazz saxophonist John Surman’s 1987 album, Private City, which mixes synthesisers with improvised saxophone.“It’s overwhelmingly powerful, emotional music that made me feel things that I didn’t know were in me. And that’s a great discovery – when you realise that music is not just invoking emotions, but creating emotions.”

Culture September 23, 2017

Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop

As Australia’s first Aboriginal press photographer, Mervyn Bishop created history, helping to take control of how Indigenous people were portrayed in images. Five decades later, his passion for observing the human side of daily life has not diminished.

News July 29, 2017

Redeveloping social housing in Sydney’s Waterloo

As the NSW government moves towards redeveloping a pivotal public housing area of Sydney, many residents believe its motives are purely to profit from the planned ‘social mix’.

News September 10, 2016

Campus assaults

Despite a campaign to develop better support services for victims of sexual assault on campus, students say universities are more concerned for their own reputation.

News July 09, 2016

Cycling laws in NSW at the crossroads

NSW Police is cracking down on cyclists in a bid to ‘educate and promote awareness’. Some riders, however, claim the aim is to drive them off the streets.

News March 12, 2016

Sydney’s casinos escape lockout laws, smoking bans and more

Not only are The Star and forthcoming Crown casinos omitted from NSW lockout zones, they also enjoy exemptions from smoke-free laws, the ‘Three Strike’ liquor licence scheme and violent venues list.

Travel October 17, 2015

The Birdsville Races and Fred Brophy’s famous boxing tent

The annual Birdsville Races draw thousands to the remote outback town, for a gathering of self-described ‘real Australians’.

News June 13, 2015

Recycling food waste gaining support

Food waste due to aesthetic standards is being combated by dumpster divers, a restaurant that uses scrapped ingredients and supermarkets now selling less-than-perfect stock.

News May 23, 2015

Misery and lies for problem poker machine gamblers

Amid a maze of poker machines, time stands still for gamblers hankering after the next win as their cash slides ceaselessly into a void.