March 6 – 12, 2021

The author as a child.


Why our media and politics fail trauma survivors

Media commentators were quick to attack mention of a widely read self-help book in the dossier of Christian Porter's accuser. But the science of trauma is complicated, and we lack the nuance needed to understand it or its treatments.


Australia’s attorney-general, Christian Porter, leaves a press conference in Perth this week.


Porter denial fails to end calls for an independent inquiry

“[This] cannot be the standard that we adopt, particularly when the alleged perpetrator is the first law officer of the country. ”

As Christian Porter names himself as the cabinet minister accused of rape, and denies the allegation, his office walks back the attorney-general’s claim that the last time he saw his accuser was in January 1988.

Image for article: Experts: Vaccine rollout deadline impossible at current rates


Experts: Vaccine rollout deadline impossible at current rates

The government’s rollout plans have been stymied by untrained doctors, spoiled doses and communication failures with the states.

Image for article: Victoria Police and extremism


Victoria Police and extremism

Experts say Victoria Police is out of step as it likens the threat of right-wing extremism to its left-wing counterparts in its submission to the federal parliamentary inquiry on radicalism.

Image for article: Santiniketan Lodge and The Family


Santiniketan Lodge and The Family

Melbourne’s notorious cult The Family – the subject of a Supreme Court class action by survivors – has bequeathed the site of its former headquarters to Victoria’s Tibetans.

Image for article: Isolation breach forces another lockdown for NZ


Isolation breach forces another lockdown for NZ

China malware theory on Mumbai blackout. Myanmar security forces continue violent crackdown. More charges for Aung San Suu Kyi as she appears in court via video link.


Aged-care royal commission final report

After two-and-a-half years, the report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has landed. Its findings are clear: without a major overhaul and more resources, our elderly will continue to receive substandard care.

Image for article: Aged-care royal commission final report



Bruce Pascoe
Bringing back Aboriginal industries

“By 2030, nobody was surprised that the farm machinery sector was holding up. Demand was through the roof from farmers who needed smaller, more flexible harvesters and threshing machines suited for differential seed sizes. Those in the know had seen this shift before when the chemical industry had seamlessly moved away from artificial fertilisers towards more organic supplies. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Christian Porter, accusations and denials

“It took one week for Australia’s first law officer, Christian Porter, to come out of hiding. In those seven days, he and his prime minister did everything to minimise the grave allegations of a violent historic rape. Porter has issued vehement denials and attempted the demolition of the claims against him. A dark cloud still enshrouds the government of the nation.”


Bursting the Canberra bubble

This is how it should have gone: When allegations of a historical rape made against a cabinet minister come to light, the prime minister steps up and says he’s doing everything in his power to find out what’s alleged to have happened. The accused parliamentarian has been asked to step down until the police decide about an investigation. The prime minister demands an overhaul of the toxic culture of Canberra.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Upholding a broken law

The instinct of our country’s first law officer, when accused of a terrible crime, is to seek the advice of a lawyer, one renowned for his skill in defamation proceedings. To the media, the message is clear. And so the country waits, for days, for the cabinet minister to name himself.


No empathy for jobless

Why would Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his ministers, who decided on the JobSeeker increase of about $3.60 a day, worry about whether it is adequate or not to live on? (Rachel Withers, “More is less”, …

A nightmare scenario

Imagine a workplace dystopia in which, if the boss bullies or sexually assaults a member of his staff, the matter is referred back to him for investigation (Karen Middleton, “Full account: Tracing the …

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A feline colleague assists with production in the workspace of poet and collagist Bella Li.

In Progress

Bella Li

The poet and artist Bella Li says that if it weren’t for deadlines – and the inspiration provided by tennis players – she would never finish her work.


Psalms of sleep

“The house won’t stand without foundations of trust / and the town won’t work if people guard only their own. / The insomnia that racks your life is a strange greed of wakefulness / so difficult to shake in the lateness where body eats dark and light alike. / And children are the gift that is the tree of life, O Lord, / growing through wakefulness and sleep alike. /In laying down their weapons the once powerful become more powerful / in claiming no more than the rights of their own consciences, in not owning their offspring. / For the children are peacefully and strongly marching against the violence / and rapacity of those who rule over them, and they ask for a chance to be heard. ”


Image for article: Land of Big Numbers

Te-Ping Chen
Land of Big Numbers

Image for article: The Gaps

Leanne Hall
The Gaps

Image for article: Buried Not Dead

Fiona McGregor
Buried Not Dead


Image for article: Nectarine and thyme granita with plums and ice-cream


Nectarine and thyme granita with plums and ice-cream

Image for article: Feminism now


Feminism now

In the ’70s, staunch feminists led the charge towards equality – not just for women but for people of colour and the LGBTQIA+ community. Fifty years on, are the systems of power and constraint they railed against actually getting worse?

Image for article: Australian Sports Commission chair Josephine Sukkar


Australian Sports Commission chair Josephine Sukkar

She may not have played much sport as a kid, but Josephine Sukkar has always been a keen sideline supporter. Now the Sydney businesswoman has jumped in the ring as the first female chair of the Australian Sports Commission.




“I thought his performance was quite remarkable.”

Peter DuttonThe Home Affairs minister returns a positive review of Christian Porter’s press conference, in which the cabinet minister denied a rape allegation against him. He was silent on the terrible lighting design.


“We run the rule of law based on police. On courts. On judicial systems. On rules of evidence. On presumption of innocence.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister defends his decision not to hold an inquiry into the allegations levelled against Christian Porter. If it’s good enough for the comment pages of The Australian, it’s good enough for him.


“I did, however, comment on news reports regarding surrounding circumstances that I felt had been misrepresented.”

Linda ReynoldsThe Defence minister responds to reports that she referred to her former staffer, Brittany Higgins, as a “lying cow”. The prime minister later clarified that it had been a stressful week.


“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine...”

Dolly PartonThe singer gets vaccinated and serenades the doctor who administered the dose, her friend Dr Naji Abumrad, to the tune of her hit “Jolene”. Consider this your one bright spot in this punch-in-the-face of a week.


“I contacted him to seek his resignation as a minister and he has duly resigned.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe New South Wales premier announces that her sports minister, John Sidoti, will step down before a public Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry. It makes you nostalgic for those days when actions had consequences.


“I am aware that my comments have been interpreted by some in a way that I did not intend.”

Angus CampbellThe Defence Force chief apologises for suggesting female cadets should avoid the “Four As” – alcohol and being out after midnight, alone and attractive. For those still reading, the year is 2021.