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diary February 16, 2019


Gadfly: Justice married

In a week of political panic stations it was touching to see news of Michael Kirby ’s marriage to Johan van Vloten , 50 years after their first meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 1969, at the Bottoms Up Bar of the Rex Hotel in Kings Cross. Wearing...

immigration February 16, 2019


A bill of human rights

The Australian parliament has taken decisive action to ensure sick refugees held in indefinite detention on Manus Island and Nauru receive prompt and proper medical treatment. Prime Minister Scott Morrison lost the first government vote in the house...

diary February 9, 2019


Gadfly: Greg expectations

The appointment of a new chair for the ABC is in the wind. Names of the contestants have been handed in a sealed envelope to SloMo and the Human Toilet Brush . The nomination filtering panel comprises former head of the Treasury and Westpac chairman...

environment February 9, 2019


The Stop Adani Convoy

I am 74 and acutely aware that every minute of every day our planet is hotter than when I was a boy, due to the burning of fossil fuels. Storms, droughts and bushfires are all the worse, as predicted 30 years ago. Yet the rate of burning of fossil...

media February 9, 2019


The demise of independent media

After last year’s federal leadership spill, the newly anointed prime minister, Scott Morrison, wasted no time asserting his deeply conservative convictions. After a hand-wringing “report” in The Daily Telegraph about training teachers how to respond...

health February 2, 2019


Opting out of My Health Record

I remember one warm evening in 2003, when I was still a medical student based in the emergency department of a major metropolitan hospital. An elderly woman walked in to the waiting room and collapsed. The team transferred her to a resuscitation bay...

diary February 2, 2019


Gadfly: Leading from behind

Let’s try to keep a sense of proportion about the recent performances of a few of our most adorable contenders. First, The Mad Monk, sportsman and all-round fitness freak, who is raring to have another crack at winning Warringah for the Nasty Party, was in the Palm Beach to Whale Beach 2.8-kilometre swim last Sunday, where he finished 1013th out of 1050.

indigenous affairs January 26, 2019


Bloody Australia Day

When I wrote my debut novel, Terra Nullius , back in 2015, I couldn’t have imagined it would lead to January becoming a month during which I cannot breathe. It is January when I am busiest. While kids are on school holidays, and their parents take...

indigenous affairs December 22, 2018


Australia Day: Past, present and future

Noel Pearson says there are three narratives that make Australia – the story of the longest continuous living culture on Earth; the tale of the British colonial project and the institutions that have helped shaped our society; and the narrative of...

politics December 15, 2018


The dead policy scrolls

It is perhaps easy, given the pitiful state of our federal politics, to forget just how much worse is the state of our policies. They are connected, of course, those principles and pathways. We need them to frame and guide the way we are governed...

indigenous affairs December 8, 2018


Raising black women’s voices

In the past year, the impact Me Too has had on the lives of Indigenous women has been subject to sparse debate – beyond Meanjin ’s controversial decision to strike out its Turrbal language masthead in favour of “#MeToo” for a special edition,...