January 28 – February 3, 2023

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus during question time.


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Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


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Suburban black sites

In the detention centre at Villawood, in the west of Sydney, there are two concrete cells where asylum seekers are locked up alone. The guards call them “cool down rooms”. In prison argot, these are dry cells. They have no toilet and no water. There is a single mattress and a closed-circuit camera.


Swooning nausea

The Murdoch media has displayed unbridled support for George Pell, consistently rejecting criticism of him for many years. As Richard Ackland (“How Cardinal George Pell seduced News Corp”, January 21-27) …

Demon distraction

Mike Seccombe’s excellent article on gambling in New South Wales (“Perrottet, the pokies lobby and the Nazi uniform”, January 21-27) reveals the political demonising of the premier to distract …

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The philosopher Michel Serres, and Xavier Hennekinne (below).

The Influence

Xavier Hennekinne

The philosopher Michel Serres showed publisher, writer and humanitarian worker Xavier Hennekinne that life can take you along several coinciding paths.


Let them eat cake

“The morning of the day she gets to choose, Olivia catches the train from Central Station to Chatswood without cringing at the scratches on the grungy windows or the smell of old Maccas in the train carriage. She smiles at the Chinese man playing the violin in the tiled tunnel and pulls her cardigan close. Today, rather than having a Nescafé at her desk, she stops and buys a flat white from the new cafe beside her building, where the baristas have styled facial hair and blocky ink tattoos. Scrolling on her phone as she waits for her coffee, she feels a tap on her shoulder.”


Image for article: Too Much of Life

Clarice Lispector
Too Much of Life

Image for article: Bad Cree

Jessica Johns
Bad Cree

Image for article: Little Plum

Laura McPhee-Browne
Little Plum


Image for article: Duck breast with kithul and grapes


Duck breast with kithul and grapes

Image for article: The women’s mentorship program transforming prisons


The women’s mentorship program transforming prisons

Our legal system uses incarceration to deal with poverty, domestic violence and drug addiction. The Women’s Justice Network is helping former prisoners become mentors to break the cycle.

A model wearing a design by Song for the Mute.


An Australian design duo’s dystopian vision

Two friends from primary school went on to create an internationally successful fashion label that draws on rebellion as well as discipline.


Michael Clarke and the boys in a bubble

In the world of elite Australian cricket under the leadership of Michael Clarke, sportsmanship and a love of the game were subsumed by self-regard.

Image for article: Michael Clarke and the boys in a bubble




“Being homosexual isn’t a crime.”

Pope FrancisThe pontiff criticises laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust”, saying he regards it as a “sin” only. Honestly, though, the church has not shown great judgement up to now in deciding what constitutes a crime.


“My ‘after’ is as I am now: cellulite, stretch marks, folds, rolls, all the things.”

Taryn Brumfitt The body positivity campaigner is named Australian of the Year for her advocacy work. The awards are sponsored by Chevron Australia, whose “after” is a climate-ravaged wasteland where survivors war for food.


“Frankly, it’s an insult to migrant Australians.”

Rita Panahi The Sky News commentator criticises Kmart for refusing to stock Australia Day merchandise. If you can’t buy your jingoism at a discount chain store started by Americans, where can you buy it?


“The group has always been in compliance with all laws.”

Jugeshinder SinghThe chief financial officer at Adani Group defends the company after claims of stock manipulation and money laundering wiped $US9.4 billion from its market value. Just wait until investors hear about what they’re doing to the environment.


“Živeli Russiyani.”

Srdjan DjokovicThe father of Novak Djokovic poses with Vladimir Putin supporters at the Australian Open. With a son like that, he’s probably just sick of backing the winning team.


“Is this evidence of some shocking decline in the brains and talents of males, but only males with white skins.”

Andrew BoltThe News Corp columnist worries that there are no white men among the Australian of the Year winners. Bolt’s services to brittleness and exaggerated self-pity remain unrecognised.