June 16 – 22, 2018

Writer Bob Ellis at the opening of the Sydney Film Festival in 2004.


Dorothy Hewett, Bob Ellis, art and exploitation

“My mother didn’t believe in shielding children from anything ... It was also a milieu that characteristically has disassociated itself from conventional morality.”

The sexual abuse of Dorothy Hewett’s two teenage daughters in the 1970s reveals a culture subservient to a myth of artistic freedom.



Special forces expose rogue element

“These allegations indicate premeditated behaviour and at least low-level condoning of it. That’s a completely different situation legally, morally, operationally … You’re not judging a split-second decision. You’re judging something that someone … chose to do before they did it.”

The stories of alleged war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan have led to an inquiry prompted by fellow soldiers.

Image for article: Howard, Abbott and the Ramsay Centre


Howard, Abbott and the Ramsay Centre

“One does not have to have read Virgil’s Aeneid to recognise a Trojan Horse.”

The falling out between the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation and the ANU highlights the right’s hypocrisy over the values it purports to defend.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump meet at the start of their historic summit.


Trump and Kim’s historic summit

“The president of the United States demonstrated that he has the authority to give unconditional pardons not only to felons at home, but also on the international stage.”

This week’s smiling, hand-shaking pleasantries are a long way from earlier threats of ‘fire and fury’ and nuclear attacks. But did the Trump–Kim meeting in Singapore really broker long-term disarmament?

Image for article: Sereno joins fight against Duterte


Sereno joins fight against Duterte

“Why can’t we have stability in our country? Let me remind everyone, confusion and divisions, red herrings and allegations can be stratagems. ”

Rodrigo Duterte’s sacking of Philippine Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has added a powerful voice to a growing coalition of opposition forces.

Aquarius crew members distribute life jackets to refugees in the Mediterranean last Sunday.


Trump trolls Trudeau after Quebec G7

Trump goes his own way on trade. Italy turns back refugees. Activists jailed in Hong Kong.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Chris Wallace
Murdoch and Trump, sons of oligarchy

“Survey the score or more biographies of Murdoch and something becomes perceptible in his core that makes him at some elemental level weirdly like Trump’s psychological twin. This creeping realisation transforms one’s understanding of Murdoch’s Fox News as something more than just the media claque for the lying, cheating United States president that it seems to be. Trump looks more and more like an acute, current flaring of a chronic underlying Murdochism, which began in Australia in the 1950s, spread to Britain in the late 1960s, and continued on to the US in the 1970s, as News Corp bought more and more of the world’s media.”


Paul Bongiorno
Parliament fixes its focus on the election

“The giveaway that electioneering is top of mind is the urgency claimed for bills dealing with foreign interference, espionage and sabotage. Absent from the list is the long overdue bill to ban foreign political donations. Labor voluntarily gave up on that cash cow 18 months ago. The Liberals continue to have their hands out to all comers. And that includes Chinese donors – if they are still of a mind to curry favour with the governing party. Why would the Libs want to lose out on this money, estimated to be at least $3 million, when they know they are actively considering a dash to a general election?”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Mining for information

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

The fact of murder

We must reckon with a society that is not safe. It is a society of violence and entitlement. Our institutions have not the language or the tools to begin dismantling this. Eurydice Dixon was murdered because someone felt entitled to kill her. The horrifying randomness of the crime makes it news, but it does not change that basic fact. Society has to change the basic fact.


Public must rally for broadcaster

Julian Burnside, eminent lawyer, once said all governments hate criticism. In Australia we have a broadcaster, owned by the people, funded by taxation, that has a reputation for quality programming. …

Don't give ABC away

It’s no surprise that the Institute of Public Affairs and its acolytes such as Mitch Fifield want to “give [the ABC] away ‘to either the Australian public or a group of people’.” …

Read More


Laurie Anderson.


Dark Mofo guest artist Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson has been a creative pioneer for decades, working across genre, time and place. Now 71 and still prolific, she continues to push boundaries with virtual reality projects. “You, yourself, your body kind of disappears and you have this incredible freedom to fly and to observe things that you wouldn’t be able to do in your body. So it’s almost like you’re as free as your imagination and you become your own imagination. It’s very, very thrilling.”

‘Borrowed Verse’ artists (from left) Ben Salter, Angie Hart and Jessie  L. Warren.


‘Borrowed Verse’

An inspired project led by Brisbane songwriter Simon Munro pairs musicians with Australian poets, living and dead, to create an album of lyrical beauty


A runner called @nobody

“Two months ago, I got a message from my housemate. Someone in Sydney was supposedly running more than 400 kilometres each week, around a single 3.7-kilometre loop in Centennial Park. Online, they were going by the handle ‘@nobody’. Their profile picture on Strava, a kind of Facebook for runners, was a stylised letter “N”. Among their stated goals: to run one metre for every person living on Earth; to run a marathon in under 99 minutes, against a world record just shy of 123; to run around the moon.”


Image for article: Potato terrine with Gruyere and garlic


Potato terrine with Gruyere and garlic

“This potato terrine appeared on our menu over the weekend of our local celebration of the potato and such was the response to this unlikely hero that it reappeared the following week, a fate that has befallen no other entree in five years of operation. There is something strangely light about this potato terrine and it pairs beautifully with the fruit, the leaves, the crunch of the walnuts and the acid of the vinaigrette, with just the right amount of richness from the cream, eggs and cheese. It is the sum of its parts.”


Image for article: Last Stories

William Trevor
Last Stories

Image for article: Eggshell Skull

Bri Lee
Eggshell Skull

Image for article: Only Killers and Thieves

Paul Howarth
Only Killers and Thieves


Image for article: Reversing alopecia


Reversing alopecia

While alopecia areata poses no long-term threat to general health, psychological effects can be severe. Will a new drug trial hold the key to reversing the condition?

Image for article: Manus Island poem


Manus Island poem

Detained on Manus Island for five years, journalist Behrouz Boochani has recorded the experience in film, essays and poetry.

Image for article: Back on track: Melinda Price, 47, race-car driver


Back on track: Melinda Price, 47, race-car driver

Touring car driver Melinda Price on her return from a 10-year break from racing and the thrills of competing in a male-dominated sport.

The Quiz

1. Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital of which tiny nation?
2. Guitarist Scotty Moore is best known for his work accompanying which singer?
3. A belted Galloway is a breed of what animal?
4. Winston Peters is the deputy prime minister of which country?
5. Is a mamba: (a) a snake; (b) a dance; or (c) a minority ethnic group?
6. Who placed second to Daniel Ricciardo in this year’s Monaco F1 Grand Prix? (Bonus point for naming the Australian driver who won the Indianapolis 500 on the same date.)
7. What common ailment is known as pink eye in the United States?
8. Which Dawson’s Creek cast member has been nominated for four Oscars?
9. What is the name of Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion’s son?
10. A stick of butter weighs about: (a) 25 grams; (b) 60 grams; or (c) 110 grams?

Click through for answers.



“The message we would provide to all members of the community is to take responsibility for your safety.”

David ClaytonThe police superintendent encourages people to take responsibility for their safety after a 22-year-old woman was murdered in Melbourne. Another good thing to do is not murder people.


“Donald Trump is going to do a great job.”

Dennis RodmanThe former basketballer continues to play an odd negotiator role between the United States and North Korea. In a modern twist no stranger than the summit itself, Rodman’s trip was sponsored by the cannabis cryptocurrency PotCoin.


“I don’t have a concluded view. I would wait to see the legal research and see the types of options that might be available.”

Christian PorterThe attorney-general leaves open a New South Wales proposal to allow corporations to sue for defamation. One option is that this kind of law would make corporations even more powerful and their excesses more grotesque and you would consider it only if you hated truth and accountability.


“There’s nothing to suggest that legal abolition of the seal will help.”

Mark ColeridgeThe president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference makes a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of priests being forced to report child abuse admitted in confession. The government established a $3.8 billion national redress scheme for victims this week, each dollar a bet on how wrong Coleridge is.


“While this case was never about the money for me, I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities.”

Rebel WilsonThe actor loses almost all of her record damages in a defamation suit against Bauer Media, a suit entirely about money. The Court of Appeal found Wilson’s economic losses of $3.9 million to have been miscalculated and to in fact be nothing.


“I think what’s made it very difficult for everybody involved is the behaviour of people using the oBikes.”

Sally CappMelbourne’s new lord mayor announces the end of a bike-sharing scheme. Seriously, too many people threw them into rivers.