January 26 – February 1, 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Kelly O’Dwyer in Melbourne last week.


Senior Liberals fear election chaos

“If the pendulum doesn’t swing back to sensible centre, then there’s a massive risk of the party splitting. I don’t think anyone was saying that five years ago.”

As Scott Morrison prepares for the election, the Liberal Party in Victoria is broken and contemplating the risk of a split, while the NSW government revolts.



Fish kill: What led to the Murray disaster

“You can’t have a water management plan that allows you to kill fish every time we have a dry period. We mustn’t avoid dealing with the fundamentals and that is: how do you manage the river system through climate change and keep the ecological system functioning?”

The death of hundreds of thousands of fish in the Murray-Darling Basin was unprecedented, but it was not without warning.

Image for article: Outstanding fines and Indigenous imprisonment


Outstanding fines and Indigenous imprisonment

Indigenous women are being jailed over small fines at alarming rates. In Western Australia, one charity has crowdfunded hundreds of thousands of dollars in just weeks to secure their release.

Sam Kekovich (right) in Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2019 advertisement ‘Share the Lamb’.


Lamb ads and purposeful marketing

Companies are increasingly using advertising to persuade consumers of their social responsibility as much as to spruik their products, in a high-risk strategy known as ‘purposeful marketing’.


Voices of domestic violence

“I want the family payment put into my account – you can’t manage money. Why is there no dinner? What is going on in this place? Look at it. What have you been doing all day? Shut that screaming child up.”

For 20 years, Horne Prize finalist Joy Goodsell worked with women seeking refuge from domestic violence. She listened as they detailed their interactions with their violent partners. Here, she presents the words of these men, recounted to her over the years by women who have survived family violence and those who have not.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets Chinese President Xi Jinping this month at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.


New whirled order

Joko Widodo’s change of heart on Abu Bakar Bashir. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro addresses Davos. How Brexit may have rekindled the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Claire G. Coleman
Bloody Australia Day

“No other colonised country celebrates its national day on the anniversary of the day its invasion, colonisation and genocide began. At the very least, January 26 as Australia Day should be understood as disrespectful to First Nations people. When looked at less charitably, the choice of the date looks downright white supremacist.”


Paul Bongiorno
Foolish Endeavours

“Callers to the prime minister’s Radio 4CA interview weren’t distracted by quibbles about who did what centuries ago, they were more exercised over what’s happening now – to them and their businesses. A businesswoman named Linda rang in to complain about the cost of insurance in extreme-weather-prone Far North Queensland. ‘The flow-on effect,’ she said, is that ‘our economy is going nowhere. It’s been going nowhere since the GFC, which is a decade now.’ The prime minister had nothing much to offer except sympathy.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Joyful, strained

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
The monsters are out

the monsters are out

and the women of melbourne
             we're leaving early again

sending are you home? texts glancing
over shivering shoulders keeping
friends on the line until
the key's in the lock

Read More

Cartoon characters

Morrison is concerned children are being taught to despise our history, but what he really fears is they are being taught it at all. His politics is dependent on an ahistorical vision of colonisation. To him, it doesn’t matter where Cook sailed or what actually happened on January 26. What matters is that the story remains simple and the power structures built from it do not change.


Response on West Papua

The Saturday Paper’s article titled “Chemical weapons dropped in Papua” (December 22, 2018–January 25, 2019) is a good example of misleading and false news, channelling baseless allegations …

Conflict needs to be examined

After reading about the Indonesian military’s chemical weapons attack in West Papua I cut out the article and stuck it on a piece of cardboard. On Monday, January 14 I stood outside Sydney’s …

Read More


Image for article: Wiradjuri dancer Joel Bray’s platypus identity


Wiradjuri dancer Joel Bray’s platypus identity

As a gay Aboriginal Australian who grew up in a largely white world, Joel Bray found purpose and identity through dance. His latest work – the intimate solo performance Biladurang – blends choreography and theatre in a raw exploration of his own very personal journey. “I’ve had people hug me, I’ve had people crying, I’ve had people share their stories of discovering their Aboriginality late in life.”

Yalitza Aparicio (left) and Marina de Tavira (far right), in ‘Roma’.



The unequal but loving relationships in Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s film set amid the political turmoil of 1970s Mexico, deliver some of the most powerful scenes in recent cinema.

Image for article: Sydney Lunar Festival's Valerie Khoo


Sydney Lunar Festival’s Valerie Khoo

“We sit under paperbark trees at the door to the cafe and listen as the opera notes fade inside. A teen, bare-chested with bronzed skin and a surfboard under his arm, walks past our table. Sitting on a stool inside, a man wearing a singlet begins to play a guitar as the child beside him bobs and spins and claps her hands. Three years ago Valerie Khoo traded full-time corporate life in the city to move here with her partner and focus on her art. There is something about Sydney’s northern beaches environment that nurtures your creativity, she tells me. ‘It might be the space … but I think it’s the water. Being so near the water all the time – there is something very calming about that; it gives your brain the space to work out where it is meant to go.’”


Image for article: An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma
An Orchestra of Minorities

Image for article: My Sister, the Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite
My Sister, the Serial Killer

Image for article: The Library Book

Susan Orlean
The Library Book


Image for article: Grilled kingfish collar with tare and yuzu kosho


Grilled kingfish collar with tare and yuzu kosho

Image for article: Dyspraxia, or developmental co-ordination disorder


Dyspraxia, or developmental co-ordination disorder

As a child, the author couldn’t ride a bike or catch a ball; in adulthood, she struggled with driving and spatial skills. Then, at 38, what she had always thought of as her ‘freakishness’ was finally given a medical diagnosis.

Image for article: The sacking of Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic


The sacking of Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic

The dumping of Matildas coach Alen Stajcic has polarised Australia’s soccer community, with claims of everything from a psychological damaging team culture to a manipulative ‘lesbian mafia’.

The Quiz

1. Who is Australia’s minister for education?
2. What nationality is soccer player Lionel Messi?
3. Who plays Queen Elizabeth I in the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots?
4. Which poet wrote “And death shall have no dominion” and “Do not go gentle into that good night”? (Bonus point for naming the poet’s nationality.)
5. Argento is the Italian word for what?
6. Azerbaijan borders which sea?
7. In which year did the TV series Home and Away debut?
8. What is the world’s largest land-based carnivore?
9. Which septuagenarian singer is older: Cher or Tina Turner?
10. For what is Nicotiana tabacum the botanical name?

Click through for answers.



“I’m sick of these social expansionists from the left who come up with a whole list of reasons to do whatever they can to change Australian society.”

Barnaby JoyceThe Nationals MP accuses those calling for an Australia Day date change of engaging in social expansionism or, as some might call it, having a sixth child.


“You don’t get to bully your way into a seat in the Liberal party.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister explains why MP Grant Schultz was dumped from the seat of Gilmore in favour of Warren Mundine. The only way to get a seat in the party, it seems, is to be repeatedly deemed unfit for preselection by the party of which you were once president.


“In line with community expectations, our winner is young, female and non-white.”

Tim Blair

The News Corp columnist announces The Daily Telegraph has awarded its Australian of the Year honour to Winx, a horse. Proof the only thing stalling progress on gender equality is the average woman’s inability to run 1600 metres in a minute-thirty while carrying a small man on her back.


“I know the Queen is a busy lady but I was really excited at the idea she might phone me.”

Emma FairweatherThe Briton laments the royal family’s lack of empathy after she was involved in a car crash with Prince Philip, 97. There was a time the Queen would call everyone her family members almost killed, but it quickly became far too much of a time commitment.


“I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled.”

Ja RuleThe rapper responds to Netflix’s new documentary about the disastrous Fyre Festival. He was clearly late to the realisation the headliner for the $12,000-a-ticket festival was the mid-2000s pop punk band Blink-182.


“Intolerance has no place in tennis.”

Anna Wintour

The Vogue editor singles out the politics of Margaret Court and the prime minister during a speech during the Australian Open. No one understands the proper place for intolerance like the editor-in-chief of a magazine that waited until last year to hire its first black cover photographer.