Australian politics, society & culture


Race, recognition and a more complete Commonwealth
By Noel Pearson
What makes a litigant turn vexatious?
By Sam Bungey
Peter Sutton at a Wik outstation in 1977: “That period seems a little innocent now”. Photo courtesy of David Martin
An anthropologist hits the skids in Cape York
By Catherine Ford
Clive James, 2006. © David Levenson/Getty Images
A correspondence with Clive James
By Paola Totaro
By Margaret Simons
By Guy Pearse
Glenn Beutel has heard of The Castle but has no plans to see the film about a suburban family who win a David-and-Goliath battle to save their house from an airport expansion. Glenn’s plight is immediately reminiscent of that beloved Australian film, though: he is the last remaining homeowner in the tiny town of
The methadone program at 40
By Gail Bell
Ask the old hands what they think about the methadone maintenance program in Australia 40 years in and you’ll hear a good deal of pragmatism. “It’s like the electricity bill. You want light at the flick of a switch, you’ve got to sign up and pay for it. Simple as.” Ask the same people what they know about methadone
Harry Kakavas and problem gamblers
By Paul Barry
Harry Kakavas was one of Australia’s top real-estate salesmen. He made a fortune selling houses on the Gold Coast. He was also one of Australia’s biggest gamblers. In 14 months from June 2005 Kakavas slapped down almost $1.5 billion on the baccarat tables at Crown Casino in Melbourne – betting $300,000 a hand – and
A short history of the media future
By John Birmingham
In the year of our Lord 2007, I built a library. Indeed, I built two. One of them, a professional library, was built into an office where I carry out the pleasant business of penning novels, essays and columns. The other was a formal library – nothing more or less. In the professional library, I can bend over and
The King & I
By Harry Nicolaides
Compound One. For weeks I lay on my back, delirious with influenza. When I was able to stand, I shuffled around like a zombie, pushed here and there by the heaving population of sweaty, half-naked inmates, most of them Thai, Burmese or Cambodian. One night I was so overcome with anxiety that I started to
The phoney war on bikie gangs
By Adam Shand
‘Robbie’, an Adelaide-based member of the Finks Motorcycle Club, got a new tattoo to celebrate the South Australian government's war on bikies. He now has the word ‘Finks' emblazoned across his throat in bold green type. It was an indescribably painful process, but Robbie, a 25-year veteran of the club, endured it for
Patrick White, Cambridge, early 1930s. National Library of Australia
The final chapter
By David Marr
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Amanda Lohrey
By Peter Craven
Julian Burnside, Watching Brief: Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice (Scribe, 320pp; $32.95). ISBN(13): 9781921215490.Julia Fox, Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford (W&N, 400pp; $55). ISBN: 0297850814.Waleed Aly, People Like Us: How Arrogance is Dividing Islam and the West (Picador, 304pp; $32.95).
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Inside Palm Island's Heart of Darkness
By Chloe Hooper
Travelling to Palm Island is like a sequence from a dream: the pale green sea seems so luminous and so fecund, and the plane flies so close to it, you see seals, and what might be dugongs and giant turtles. As the plane turns to land the island unfolds. The mountains meet the palm-lined shore, which meets the coral
'Secrets of the Jury Room' by Malcolm Knox
By Julian Burnside
There is a famous story from the American trial bar concerning juries. The accused was charged with murder. The case was entirely circumstantial – the body had never been found. During his final address, counsel for the accused said to the jury: “See the clock above the door to the courtroom. By the time the second
By Richard Bourke
I am a capital defence lawyer in the deep south of the United States. What that means is I help defend people who have been accused or found guilty of murder and whom the state is trying to execute. The crimes I am dealing with are some of the most heinous, disturbing and devastating there are. My clients are often