Australian politics, society & culture

Current Issue
Why have we failed to address climate change?
By Robert Manne

Unless by some miracle almost every climate scientist is wrong, future generations will look upon ours with puzzlement and anger – as the people who might have prevented the Earth from becoming a habitat unfriendly to humans and other species but nonetheless failed to act.

Current Issue
Recognition alone won’t fix indigenous affairs
By Megan Davis
Despair. In a word, this is the universal sentiment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders I have spoken to about the state of Aboriginal policy in Australia.
December 2015
The argument against euthanasia
By Karen Hitchcock
Celebrity is our religion. Celebrities are our gurus, teaching us what to wear, what to buy, how to look and, now, what to think. They front campaigns for human rights and animal rights; they advocate for babies in war-torn countries. Now we even have the celebrity endorsement of euthanasia.
Farewell to a man who tried to connect indigenous and non-indigenous Australia
Robyn Davidson
To respect the protocol surrounding Aboriginal mourning, I will call him “Eddie’s son”.
Critics of a Muslim political party are misguided
Mungo MacCallum
The formation of the Australian Muslim Party to give a political voice to the Islamic community has produced a predictable backlash, especially from the conservatives.

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Malcolm Turnbull confronts old demons
Sean Kelly

World leaders open Paris climate talks, seeking a deal “The largest gathering of world leaders in history on Monday began a multinational effort toward forging what many called the planet’s last, best hope to stave off the worst consequences of climate change. ‘Never have the stakes of an...

EU offers Turkey 3 billion euros to stem migrant flow “Under heavy pressure from Germany to get a grip on the migrant crisis in the Continent after months of dithering, the European Union agreed to a deal on Sunday with Turkey that aims to slow the chaotic flood of asylum...

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October 2015
Brian & Karl make films that speak their own languages
By Sam Twyford-Moore
In 2011, a short film titled Skwerl, but published under the tag ‘How English sounds to non-English speakers’, was uploaded to YouTube by ‘Brian and Karl’. For three and a half minutes a young man and woman have a discussion over dinner in a completely nonsensical version of...
October 2015
Lee Lin Chin’s rise from SBS newsreader to queen of satire
By Benjamin Law
It’s often said you should never meet your heroes, as they’ll invariably disappoint.
September 2015
How charities transform the clothes we throw away
By Delia Falconer
In 1813, as the Napoleonic Wars created a yarn shortage in Great Britain, a Yorkshire weaver called Benjamin Law worked out how to add rags to virgin wool to create an inferior yarn called “shoddy”.
Current Issue
The Respect to Mehmetçik Monument at Pine Ridge, Gallipoli.
The creative memorialisation of Gallipoli
By Mark McKenna and Stuart Ward
“Could you explain to me this custom?” We had spent three days with our Turkish colleague, and by our final evening together in Çanakkale, on the eastern shore of the Dardanelles strait, the conversation had become more expansive.
Current Issue
The strange life and tragic death of Julia the gorilla
By Anna Krien
In May 1982, Ineke Bonjer and Henk Lambertz, posing as a rich, childless German couple, borrowed a silver BMW coupé and drove up to a house in Westerlo, Belgium, that was surrounded by warehouses and security.
September 2015
On lifestyle diseases and quick fixes
By Karen Hitchcock
At a literary festival, during a discussion of how medicine reflects the values of the society in which it is practised, an interviewer asked me if I thought there would ever be a time when mainstream and alternative medicine would become “truly integrated”. We’d been talking...
October 2015
How long can Australia ride in the coal wagon?
By Paul Cleary
It’s raining cats and dogs in the gentrified Southern Highlands, two hours’ drive south of Sydney, and even though flood warnings abound and school pick-up time approaches, more than 300 locals file into the Moss Vale RSL to respond to a presentation about a proposed coalmine....
September 2015
The US and China’s struggle for power in Asia
By Hugh White
China is not the first country to build military outposts on tiny rocks and reefs in the South China Sea. Several other countries laying claim to these contested flyspecks have done so before.


December 2015
Alan Bond, 1987.
Deconstructing a decade in Frank Bongiorno’s ‘The Eighties’
By Judith Brett
Cliff Young running off the farm to become a marathon celebrity; Bob Hawke celebrating the America’s Cup victory in a logo-festooned jacket; the spidery designs of Ken Done; the Bicentenary “celebrations”; computers entering the workplace; the Neighbours wedding of Scott and Charlene; the rise of INXS; big hair and padded shoulders … Frank Bongiorno’s The Eighties (Black Inc.;
November 2015
Rediscovering the novels of Randolph Stow
By Geordie Williamson
The Text Classics series has had some coups since its inauguration in 2012 – re-publication of works by David Ireland and Elizabeth Harrower spring to mind – but nothing on this scale.
October 2015
Cold Chisel reconsidered
By Anwen Crawford
Someone somewhere in Australia is listening to a Cold Chisel song right now. Perhaps it’s you, tarrying with the ever-present ‘Khe Sanh’, or with ‘Choirgirl’, ‘Cheap Wine’, ‘Breakfast at Sweethearts’ or ‘Forever Now’. Maybe, without even needing to tune the radio to the nearest...
December 2015
Paul Mason’s ‘PostCapitalism’ and the future of economics
By Scott Ludlam
Supermarket in Oregon.
Paul Mason’s PostCapitalism (Allen Lane; $49.99) is an almost absurdly ambitious work. Parallel histories of Western industrial development, economic theory, the labour movement and the evolution of technology serve as the foundation for Mason’s principal thesis: that capitalism...
November 2015
The personal and the political in Tim Winton’s ‘Island Home’
By Tim Flannery
Tim Winton grew up in circumstances that will be instantly recognised by many baby boomers. His childhood home lay on the ragged edge of Perth’s rapidly expanding suburbia.