indigenous affairs May 30, 2020

Collaboration on Closing the Gap

It was only three months ago that the prime minister stood up in parliament to make his latest report on the progress of Closing the Gap. Just two of seven targets, he revealed, are on track to be met by 2025. The gap itself is a difficult concept...

immigration May 23, 2020

Resettled refugees in Covid-19 lockdown

In 2018, my life changed forever. From being stateless, after seven years held in refugee detention, I became a permanent resident of the United States. The outcome is beyond words. Building trust in humanity was the most difficult part of my new...

health May 16, 2020

The risks as lockdowns loosen

This weekend, Australians are emerging from the lockdown that placed the country into quasi-hibernation for almost two months. As we survey the landscape, the physical geography does not bear the scars of more familiar Australian natural disasters...

diary May 16, 2020

Gadfly: Quiet as a church mouth

Gadfly, along with an anxious nation, was looking forward to last weekend’s Catholic Boys Daily . Surely, it would be bursting with explanations from all the favourites on how the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse...

culture May 9, 2020

Sharing our lockdown experiences

The response was clear and immediate. Within minutes of launching the National Museum of Australia’s project to record our collective experiences of the coronavirus, scores of people across the country joined in to share how they were coping with...

health April 11, 2020

Australia must fulfil its regional obligations

Earlier this year, I wrote that I feared the situation in China would become the reality across the rest of the world in March and April. That, unfortunately, is now what is unfolding before our very eyes. But if there is to be a third wave of this...

politics April 4, 2020

We need more democracy, not less

Nearly 40 years ago, when I wrote Sleepers, Wake! , I was arguing for a more rational, evidence-based approach to long-term problems of society, economy, environment, work, education, health, information flow, leisure and gender. I feared it would...

diary April 4, 2020

Gadfly: Message palaver

Where’s Siiiiimon Reynolds when you need him? You’ll remember Siiiiimon as the adman who created the Grim Reaper advertisement in 1987, during the AIDS epidemic. It was a controversial yet highly effective message that drove home HIV awareness. Today the message about coronavirus could be coming into people’s mobile phones, daily, three times a day, whatever it takes.

health March 28, 2020

The pandemic we had to have

Over the past 18 years or so we’ve had periodic public health warnings about one or another bad bug that’s out to get us. In 2002-03, there was severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-1), H5N1 bird flu in 2002, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009...

diary March 28, 2020

Gadfly: Trump’s life or debt decision

One savvy business sage who this week was in Gadfly’s ear thinks the fast-failing enterprises in the United States might see Bone Spurs Trump become the first president in office to go bankrupt. The value of his gilded city towers and hotels is crashing with each passing moment and given they are leveraged to buggery with either Deutsche Bank or the Russian mafia, the whole rickety edifice will soon be underwater.

health March 21, 2020

How Australia can avoid economic collapse in the wake of Covid-19

For decades, Australians have been sold an imagined poverty. We have been told we need to “rein in” government spending – that if we want to spend more on health or education, we will need to spend less on the age pension or childcare. The Coalition...