October 21 – 27, 2023

Yes23 campaign director Dean Parkin hugs a supporter after the referendum.


A woman consoles the woman beside her, who is crying.
A politician speaks in Parliament House.
A woman looks down at a fallen statue in the centre of a backyard stripped and blackened by fire.
A woman smiles outside the High Court.
People search through the debris of a fallen building.


Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

The shrunken backyard

Just as the history wars were fought as proxy, the referendum campaign borrowed one prejudice to express another. They were all worms in the same apple, chewing at the same mealy flesh. The enemy was always change.


Seize this opportunity

Professor Marcia Langton is to be thanked for her untiring work for reconciliation and her informative article (“Marcia Langton: ‘Whatever the outcome, reconciliation is dead’ ”, October …

Langton’s article a must-read

Although too late to change the outcome of the referendum, Professor Marcia Langton’s concise and eloquent review of the history of Australian government relations with the country’s …

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An Indian Kathakali artist performs.

The Influence

Director Nigel Jamieson on Kathakali classical dance

When he travelled in India as a young man, director Nigel Jamieson encountered Kathakali classical dance and drama – an experience that has informed his entire career.


Not the next day, not a month later

“The red bike sat on the median strip with a placard tacked to it. Police aware, it read. The bike was a Kawasaki and Astor had owned one just like it years ago. The night he crashed it, Astor was on his way to a friend’s, a girl he’d known for years, and he’d been too busy thinking about the one day he’d kissed her, the one time they nearly made it through sex without him crying, and then he came off hard, except the bike skidded down an embankment, made a soft landing somehow.”


Book cover: A pile of rocks in the middle of a dry field.

Charlotte Wood
Stone Yard Devotional

Book cover: Illustration of a pine forest.

Katie Holten
The Language of Trees

Book cover: a paddleboarder floats on clear water.

Edward Acton Cavanough
Divided Isles


Image for article: Sour cream Japanese egg salad


Sour cream Japanese egg salad

A coal-fired power station


Australia must act now to raise climate targets

Australian leaders need to step up, put party politics to one side and make the decisions required to help the world stop sliding into a global warming catastrophe.

Muhammad Ali throws a punch at George Foreman.


Five of the best sports books

When it comes to revelling in the glory of sport, sometimes the written word can equal the mastery of those on the field or in the ring.




“Get in your Tesla, off you go. Drive across the Hay Plain, out to Alice Springs.”

Hollie HughesThe Liberal senator offers advice to the teal electorates that voted “Yes”. Just in case there was any doubt this whole thing was about petty culture wars and not the lives of the most vulnerable.


“Apparently such a position made me a racist and, in some instances, a Nazi.”

Muriel DemarcusThe transport executive expresses her contempt for the “Yes” campaign. It helps to remember her husband left Rio Tinto after the company blew up Juukan Gorge, destroying the earliest record of human life in the country.


“I note that was frequently done by the former government.”

Don FarrellThe trade minister defends the appointment of a former colleague to a consul-general posting. If the only bar he’s clearing is the record of the past government, he might as well grease up now and slither along the ground.


“Republicans eat their young, they really do.”

Donald TrumpThe former president likens himself to a baby animal devoured by its parents. In fairness, it looks as if they started with his hair but coughed it back up.


“This is nuts ... it’s completely sick. I shouldn’t be saying any of these things.”

Laura TingleThe political correspondent criticises the ABC’s approach to “balance”. If one person says it’s raining and another says it’s not, it’s a journalist’s job to look out the window and note that Peter Dutton’s a racist.


“A truck backed into the pole about two or three weeks ago and weakened it.”

Rick RockliffThe retired farmer describes how the large concrete potato he built in north-west Tasmania, known as Kenny the Kennebec, came to be knocked over in the wind. His son Jeremy, the premier, has promised they will rebuild.