Australian politics, society & culture


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
Frieda Keysser and Carl Strehlow, May 1986. Courtesy of John Strehlow
John Strehlow’s 'The Tale of Frieda Keysser'
By Peter Sutton
Caravaggio's Saint Jerome, the patron saint of scholars. Wikimedia Commons
Reflections on Scholarship
By Peter Robb
A rock mural of pecked fish, dolphins and turtles found in the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Images throughout essay from Mike Donaldson's 'Burrup Rock Art', Freemantle Press, 2010. © Mike Donaldson
The Destruction of Burrup Rock Art
By Robyn Davidson
Raising the flag at Cronulla beach, 2005. © Cameron Spence / Getty Images
Cronulla Five Years On
By Malcolm Knox
Women celebrates the Eid al-Adha festival at Lakemba Mosque, 2003. © Ben Rushton / Fairfax
Sharia Law
By Sally Neighbour
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Malcolm Knox
Australia and the Indian Ocean
By John Birmingham
In the Australian imagination, for the most part, the future arrives every day from the east, where the sun’s first rays wash over the lighthouse at Byron Bay, before flooding across the thin green band of settlement running from the jungled tip of Queensland down to Hobart’s old world waterfront. It takes many hours
Judith Wright & Nugget Coombs
By Fiona Capp
When Coombs died he was farewelled with a state funeral. He had been an enormously influential figure in Australian political and cultural life since the 1940s, first as Director-General of Post-War Reconstruction and later as Governor of the Reserve Bank, adviser to successive federal governments, Chancellor of the
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Gideon Haigh
Haydn in the Outback
By Nicolas Rothwell
“I suppose you think this is beautiful,” said Johnson, in a challenging voice.“Well,” I said, “it does have a certain primal quality.”We had not been getting on for the past 300 kilometres, and this was mostly because of the music issue. Photographers, and their musical tastes, have formed a leitmotif in my desert
"The Accidental Guerrilla" by David Kilcullen
By Hugh White
Soldiers who are also scholars have always had a certain cachet, but since 1914, when major warfare became unrelentingly industrial, soldier-scholars have flourished best at the margins, in the small wars of imperial decline. It was only in these wars that brute firepower might count for less than insight, imagination
Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre
By Hazel Rowley
I loved writing Tête-à-Tête: The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (2005). Never have I written a book with such white-heat intensity; never have I taken more pleasure in writing a book. The problems began when I finished it. The book met with censorship - from quarters where you would not
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Gail Bell
An Exchange on Australian anticommunism and the Indonesian massacre of 1965-6 between Gerard Henderson and Robert Manne
By Robert Manne
As those who follow ideological politics in Australia are aware, it is one of Gerard Henderson's many unpleasant habits to engage his enemies in legalistic email exchanges, usually based on a petty grievance about something they have said or written about him, and then, after their patience has been exhausted, to
By Linda Jaivin
It was my first visit to Beijing, some 28 years ago. Chairman Mao had died in 1976; two years later, the new Communist leadership under Deng Xiaoping declared itself in favour of economic reform and modernisation, an end to ideological extremism, and an open door to Western tourism, investment and exchange. I was in