Comment

indigenous affairs September 22, 2018


Why I won’t stand for the national anthem

It took me quite a while before I decided not to stand for the national anthem at school. I started talking with my family about the anthem, and the words in it. We talked about what it might mean to different people, and I started to feel as if...

indigenous affairs September 15, 2018


Abbott’s envoy appointment derisory

As an Aboriginal person, a leadership spill is an interesting phenomenon to observe. There is a lot of earnest frustration – this isn’t who we voted for! – and there is a feeling that important decisions are being made about your life without you...

politics September 1, 2018


Scott Morrison and the ‘strongman’ capitulations

Tony Abbott’s face as he emerged from the party room is the image I can’t get out of my head from the chaos of the past weeks. Defeat had done its work. He was pared back to the bone. His skin looked a mess and his eyes barely focused as he mouthed...

media September 8, 2018


Speaking for freedom

Online, in forums around the world, at the United Nations and beyond, the Australian government is quick to point out how important free speech is to a functioning democracy. The Liberal Party’s own website proudly proclaims, “We believe in those...

indigenous affairs August 25, 2018


The folly of Jacinta Price

No one with a revulsion for the influence of the alt-right or neo-Nazis in our body politic would be surprised to learn that an aspiring Aboriginal candidate for the House of Representatives could graduate from the role of children’s entertainer “...

politics July 28, 2018


Negative reinforcement for Super Saturday

We are in a period of barren, defensive politics. The byelections that take place today bring to an end a long campaign – it has been nine weeks since we learnt the date – and lines have been locked down. At an event in Tasmania this week Bill...

law & crime July 28, 2018


Laa Chol and racist fear

We have seen it all before. Moral panic too often stimulates governments to adopt extreme and racially based responses to social problems. Victoria’s 19th-century gold rush led to an explosion in the state’s Chinese population. Forty thousand people...

politics July 21, 2018


Turnbull backs in the race favourite

In April, excitement rippled through the ranks of politics-watchers. There had been a reported sighting of that unicorn of Australian politics: Malcolm Turnbull saying no to Peter Dutton. Dutton had, according to a story in The Australian , told...

politics July 21, 2018


Socialism’s newfound popularity

They raised the roof in Queens, New York, a few Tuesdays ago, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won. Not an election, simply a primary for the candidacy. But the seat’s safe, the opponent was an establishment Democrat heavy, and Ocasio-Cortez is a...

immigration July 14, 2018


How racism diminishes humanity

I remember the last time “African gang crime” was front-page news. It was a warm summer’s day in January – just after New Year – and I decided to take my daughter to a park close to our home. There was no one around, just the two of us, and we sat...

politics July 14, 2018


Political attention seekers to the fore

If you snored through this week in politics, believing it a fairly inconsequential time, boy were you wrong. Once again, Australia bravely leapt to the defence of Western civilisation. It threatened collapse, but we pulled it back from the brink...