“It is hard for everyone and I’m not just talking about our shed. Every shed in New South Wales, everyone is pushed to the limit.”
Australia is on fire and the volunteers on the front line are sounding an alarm. Lacking vital resources, they are exhausted and quickly draining their annual leave. And the season has no end in sight.
“How good’s Australia? Pretty bloody good, unless it’s burning or parched or you’re in aged care. Or if you’re Indigenous, or a child in offshore detention, or a journalist investigating war crimes.”
In a year when we reckoned with climate catastrophe, hypocritical world leaders and the increasing erosion of our privacy, we also witnessed the resistance of the Hong Kong protesters and the triumph of Ash Barty.
“Too few Australians know about the case of Witness J – not to be confused with the case against Witness K and Bernard Collaery, itself a disgraceful overreach of the law. But a veil of secrecy shrouds the case of Witness J that should be of concern to all of us.”
“Scott Morrison’s year of living miraculously ended with our elected leader disappearing from view and his whereabouts being treated like a state secret. The attitude that the prime minister’s location is nobody’s business is a strong indication of the arrogance – indeed the contempt – he and his government have demonstrated since their May election triumph.”
There’s a carnival atmosphere at St Brutes (motto: Tabula in naufragio) as the end-of-year speech day gets under way. Parents, boys and staff are assembled in a marquee on the oval. Professor Flint on the Wurlitzer falls silent as the headmaster, Mr Morrison, strides to the lectern, droplets of lunchtime pie and sauce on his chin catching the afternoon light. Pastor Houston is invited to say a short and meaningful prayer.
Letters, Cartoon & Editorial
Lagging behind on renewables
As Karen Middleton writes (“Coal custody”, December 14-20), Labor leader Anthony Albanese sees the future of coal in Australia as a choice for or against jobs in the coalmining industry. It …
For the 2020 Sydney Biennale, artistic director Brook Andrew is challenging the dominant narratives of this country, instead bringing together perspectives that have been unjustly relegated. “Australia is on a precipice of change in this present moment, with people renegotiating and confronting histories which shift dimensionally. It’s about who we are today, and there is a moral question that arises in this, which is: Where do you stand in the face of change?”
the stroke of midnight,
december thirty-first, nineteen ninety-nine,
was going to end the world
at the hospital,
they brought generators in
even the food service staff
were kept till late evening
none of us would get to
at the most expensive fireworks on earth,
lighting up a new century:
The beverage director for Andrew McConnell’s restaurants selects her favourite wines, and non-alcoholic beer, for this summer.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
The pituitary gland.
Newfoundland and Labrador.
Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“Stay (I Missed You)”, by Lisa Loeb.
(c) A snake.
What do you think?
The Crimean War.
Screen Actors Guild.
“Sweet Child O’ Mine”.