Martin McKenzie-Murray


49 ENTRIES Martin McKenzie-Murray is the author of The Speechwriter and A Murder Without Motive: The Killing of Rebecca Ryle.


Still image from ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’


Was that it: ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’

This loving portrait of the indie scene of the early 2000s will likely mean little to those who weren’t there

Image of Loren O’Keeffe, the founder of Missing Persons Advocacy Network. Image © Paul Jeffers


The complicated grief when a family member goes missing

As National Missing Persons Week begins, the founder of an advocacy network for families reflects on the ambiguous loss experienced by those left behind

Illustration of a tree


The herbs and the bees

How does a new parent avoid passing on the conspiracy of silence about the big things in life?

Image of Australian Army Cadets on parade. Image via Alamy


Ghosts in the war machine

Does the military attract violent misanthropists, or are they forged in murky theatres of war?

Composite image of Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields (image SMH/supplied) and actor Rebel Wilson (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


Two sides of the same Shields?

Editor Bevan Shields’ attempts to handle the backlash over his masthead’s treatment of Rebel Wilson points to the dismal and fragile state of news media

Image of Scott Morrison conducting morning television interviews on election day, May 21, 2022. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images


The mystery of Scott Morrison

Reflections on the empty legacy of our 30th prime minister

Image of US President Joe Biden meeting virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, November 15, 2021. Image © Susan Walsh / AP Photo


The avoidable war

Kevin Rudd on China, the US and the forces of history

Image of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Labor MP Emma McBride and shadow housing minister Jason Clare after meeting with young renter Lydia Pulley during a visit to her home in Gosford on May 3, 2022. Image © Lukas Coch / AAP Images


Property damage

What will it take for Australia to fix the affordable housing crisis?

Image showing detail of a 1965 Soviet Union stamp commemorating the first spacewalk. Image via Wikimedia Commons


What does Russia’s war in Ukraine mean for collaborative space exploration?

Since the first human forayed beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, politics has never left space

Image of Will Smith hitting presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting an award at the Oscars, March 27, 2022. Image © Chris Pizzello / AP Photo


Will Smith’s Oscars slap and the takes it spawned

If there was anything more bizarre than Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, it was the plethora of absurd hot takes that followed

Image of an illustration of a tree, by Jeff Fisher


Keeping step

Alcoholics Anonymous in lockdown and out

Still image from ‘Threads’


The thread of history

For the Cold War generation, the threat of nuclear war in Europe brings a familiar dread

Red Square, Moscow. © Vyacheslav Argenberg,


Notes on Russia

Coverage of Russia has long focused upon Putin at the expense of a deeper understanding of the country he leads

Illustration by Jeff Fisher


Birth rites

Why do some insist women should forgo pain relief in childbirth?

Image of 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images


Grace notes

Grace Tame’s sexual abuse as a child, also experienced by the author, makes policing her manners misguided at best