Alien renaissance

Society / Science and technology

A revived interest in alien visitation only underscores how little we know about the universe

Dreaming of Biloela. Image via Twitter

Dreaming of Biloela

Society / Asylum seekers

Tharnicaa Murugappan versus 30 years of policy

Lumberjills. Illustration by Jeff Fisher


Society / Sport

Once a male-heavy sport contested by dynastic families, competitive woodchopping is increasingly attracting strong women

The most hated man. Image of Richard Pusey, April 2020

The most hated man

Society / Law and order

On the sentencing of Richard Pusey for outraging public decency

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➊ Alien renaissance

A revived interest in alien visitation only underscores how little we know about the universe

Taking sides over ‘Dark Emu’. Image of Bruce Pascoe

➋ Taking sides over ‘Dark Emu’

How the history wars avoid debate and reason

The most hated man. Image of Richard Pusey, April 2020

➌ The most hated man

On the sentencing of Richard Pusey for outraging public decency

A load of abalone. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

➍ A load of abalone

The trial of Keith Nye highlights how fisheries laws unfairly target Indigenous people


Reality is irreversible. Cartoon image of man standing on chess board

Reality is irreversible

The systems game and the need for global regime change

Dining on disaster. Image of salmon meat, from the documentary Paradise Lost

Dining on disaster

What goes into the Tasmanian salmon on your plate. Essay by Richard Flanagan. Documentary by Justin Kurzel and Conor Castles-Lynch.

Tasmania’s toxic secret. Still from ‘Paradise Lost’

Tasmania’s toxic secret

The rotting underbelly of the salmon industry. Essay by Richard Flanagan. Documentary by Justin Kurzel and Conor Castles-Lynch.


Give us not serenity but a sense of urgency in the face of catastrophic climate change

Plight of the platypus

Extreme weather events are affecting this monotreme in unforeseen ways

Green house effect

Joost Bakker’s vision for sustainable housing is taking root

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Matters of opinion. Cartoon image of pen and paper, with writing on it

Matters of opinion

What is the cost of persistently reporting one’s observations?

Rushed judgement

When should allegations against senior politicians be published?

The Corp’s bride. Former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull with a screenshot of Turnbull’s confirmation of signing the petition

The Corp’s bride

Despite a widely supported petition, the government is too scared to take on the Murdoch empire

Hopelessly devoted to Dan. Image of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with screenshots from #IStandWithDan

Hopelessly devoted to Dan

The government is your servant, not your friend

Rupture. Image of AAP logo at the Sydney bureau of national newswire Australian Associated Press


How Google and Facebook created the opportunity for NewsCorp’s latest coup attempt

The Rupertvirus

News Corp’s COVID coverage has been a health risk of its own

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Celebrity misinformation . Image of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl performing in 2019

Celebrity misinformation

The Foo Fighters’ AIDS denialism should be on the record

The second wave. 

Flemington, July 6, 2020

The second wave

Case studies of systemic failure in Victoria’s fight against coronavirus

Hysteria as metaphor. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Hysteria as metaphor

What chronic illness can teach us about the limits of the healthcare system during a global crisis

Chelmsford revisited. Images of members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights at the Chelmsford royal commission, 1990

Chelmsford revisited

Thirty years on from the excoriating royal commission, two practitioners of deep sleep therapy seek redemption in a defamation case that again blames Scientologists for their downfall

Troubled waters. Image of the Ruby Princess docked in Sydney Harbour in March 2020

Troubled waters

The ‘Ruby Princess’ inquiry finds plenty of blame to go around

Doula by choice. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Doula by choice

Traditionally offering non-medical support to women during pregnancy, doulas are now providing care during abortions

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The changing climate of risk. Image of bushfire threatening homes

The changing climate of risk

Financial institutions, investment funds and governments are being held to account over the costs of climate change

And now for something completely indifferent. Image of Guy Sebastian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, June, 2020

And now for something completely indifferent

The Morrison government is yet to fully realise that sidelining the arts hurts the economy

Which jobs and what growth?. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Which jobs and what growth?

We need to talk about the economy

The budget that wasn’t. Image of Josh Frydenberg at Parliament House

The budget that wasn’t

What if Frydenberg had actually created a budget for the times?

Fear of spending. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Fear of spending

So what is MMT and why should you care?

In the red

Inside the modern debt-collection industry

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Fish out of mortar. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Fish out of mortar

Saving Canowindra’s ancient fish fossils

The death of Yokununna: ‘Return to Uluru’. Ted Strehlow and Charles Mountford, 1935

The death of Yokununna: ‘Return to Uluru’

Mark McKenna explores Australia’s history of violence, dispossession and deception through one tragic incident

Australian idle

Fifty years after ‘A New Britannia’, whatever happened to the revolution?

‘A New Britannia’ turns 50. Humphrey McQueen (Image © Karen Donnelly) and A New Britannia

‘A New Britannia’ turns 50

Humphrey McQueen’s influential book questioned the nation-building myths of the time

The lockdown diaries. 

Photography by Sarah Contos

The lockdown diaries

Melbourne in the time of pandemic

Louisa Lawson, our first public feminist. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Louisa Lawson, our first public feminist

The pioneer of publishing and women’s rights has been unjustly overshadowed by regard for her famous son, Henry

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Science & Technology

Brain waves. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Brain waves

Brain–computer interfaces promise communication capabilities for those paralysed by neurological dysfunction

Pale blue dot. Image of Earth from the Moon

Pale blue dot

The myth of the ‘overview effect’, and how it serves space industry entrepreneurs

The breath of Venus. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

The breath of Venus

Does the detection of phosphine gas point to life among Venus’s clouds?

Ready to rumble

Crowds cheer on the destructive prowess of Pot Head and Wanda at the Robowars National Championship

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’. Image of ‘Sex in the Brain’

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’

We know surprisingly little about how our brains orchestrate our sex lives

Mission to Mars. Illustration

Mission to Mars

The Australian woman on the shortlist to bid farewell to Earth forever

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The bin fire of the humanities. Artwork by TV Moore

The bin fire of the humanities

Casualisation and relentless cost-cutting have destroyed the credibility of Australian universities

When the rivers run dry. Image of the University of Sydney, July 2020

When the rivers run dry

Universities are in trouble, and the government isn’t helping

A minor language

If Footscray Primary’s Vietnamese program ends, what else is lost?

Blind study

When it comes to China’s influence, Australian universities have been burying their heads in the sand for too long

Learning difficulties. Image of library shelves

Learning difficulties

The Coalition’s political agenda is a gross infringement on academic freedom

At what cost. Image of Sydney University campus

At what cost

University fees have never functioned as a price signal in the way the government is anticipating

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The era of Xi Jinping. President Xi Jinping

The era of Xi Jinping

On the China Dream and the guiding ideology of Xi Jinping

The worst form of defence. Mohibullah

The worst form of defence

New revelations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

Surf and turfed. Illustration

Surf and turfed

The Australian surfers battling Chinese developers in Fiji

Revisiting the kids of Angeles City. Photograph by Dave Tacon

Revisiting the kids of Angeles City

Three years on, how are the Filipino children of Australian sex tourists faring?

APEC comes to PNG . Illustration

APEC comes to PNG

Shipped-in Maseratis and single-use venues are a world away from real life in Port Moresby

Jeremy Heimans: the up-start. Image of Jeremy Heimans

Jeremy Heimans: the up-start

The co-founder of GetUp! might be the most influential Australian in the world

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Guess who’s coming to dinner. Image of MasterChef 2020 judge Melissa Leong

Guess who’s coming to dinner

MasterChef conceals and reveals Australian racism

The milk of human genius. Image of cow in photo studio

The milk of human genius

The end of the cow is near as animal-free milk is likely to decimate the traditional dairy industry within the decade, and plant-based meat is set to upend the beef market

A near-impossible sell. Illustration

A near-impossible sell

Sprout farmer Bruce Adams has created one of Australia’s more unlikely oversized highway attractions

The next big thin

Dissecting dietary fads and habits

Masaaki’s sushi. Illustration

Masaaki’s sushi

Join the queue for Tasmania’s most sought-after Japanese

The dining boom. Wine distributors from China visit the Barossa Valley

The dining boom

Australia’s food and wine industry is the next big thing in China

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The Uighurs of Xinjiang. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

The Uighurs of Xinjiang

A visit to Ürümqi’s quieted streets and contested museums

From locked out to locked in. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

From locked out to locked in

When international ports close, what happens to those at sea?

Tour de forced cancellations. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Tour de forced cancellations

How Port Douglas, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree, has been quieted by lockdown

Yellow submarine

A former Russian athlete’s plan for Australia’s first commercial sub

Walking the Wukalina Walk. Illustration

Walking the Wukalina Walk

A new four-day tour in Tasmania is owned and guided by Aboriginal people

Walking the Wukalina Walk. Illustration

Walking the Wukalina Walk

A new four-day tour in Tasmania is owned and guided by Aboriginal people

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Family & Relationships

Ill-informed consent. Image of artwork by Sarah Goffman

Ill-informed consent

How piecemeal relationship and sexuality education is failing our schoolchildren

He is risen!

Keeping mum about the Easter Bunny

Silver linings. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Silver linings

Having survived Afghanistan as a counterintelligence officer, a traumatised vet and his family lost their farm in the Adelaide Hills bushfires

Safety net. Illustration

Safety net

The security business partnering with domestic violence services to help women and children escape abuse

The sperm drought

Dwindling stocks of Australian sperm have fertility clinics looking overseas and couples looking online

Screen addiction. Illustration

Screen addiction

As more of our lives are lived online, more people aren’t coping

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Law & Order

Backsliding. Cartoon of a person behind razor-wire fence


The Territory abandons the Don Dale royal commission reforms

Australia’s number-one law and order issue. Image of Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston

Australia’s number-one law and order issue

Addressing the national scourge of domestic violence

Dangerous precedents. Attorney-General Christian Porter, March 3, 2021

Dangerous precedents

Criminal law is not the only legal avenue to consider Christian Porter’s accountability and his future

Courting progress

Australian law has made some progress on sexual harassment – but we have a long way to go

Power of attorney. Image of Attorney-General Christian Porter

Power of attorney

The rule of law is not a shield for the powerful

Strong convictions

Are the criminal courts always the best places for victims to seek justice?

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Indigenous Australia

Shifting ground

Indigenous writing in Australia is far from uniform, and is all the richer for it

Sole of a nation. Image of “Man working” (Rufus Wilton), Nepabunna, circa 1930

Sole of a nation

The untold Aboriginal history of the R.M. Williams boot

Voice at a crossroads. ‘The Fifth Element’, 2020

Voice at a crossroads

Constitutional protection is essential if the voice to parliament is to be a meaningful change

Koori hearings. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Koori hearings

The Marram-Ngala Ganbu program is transforming the experience of Indigenous families in court

Murrandoo’s Burketown. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Murrandoo’s Burketown

How Murrandoo Yanner’s fight for native title in the Gulf of Carpentaria transformed his Gangalidda home town

In times like these, what would Oodgeroo do?. Image of Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Sydney Town Hall, 1970

In times like these, what would Oodgeroo do?

On the influence of Aboriginal poet, activist and educator Oodgeroo Noonuccal

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National Security

Viral injustice. Image of Julian Assange

Viral injustice

Julian Assange’s extradition trial continues as an attack on journalism

Laurie Matheson, our man in Moscow. Image of Laurie Matheson

Laurie Matheson, our man in Moscow

Was ‘Australia’s James Bond’ working for the KGB? Or ASIO? Or both?

Nuclear brinkmanship and the doomsday scenario. Image of Marshall Islands, 1946

Nuclear brinkmanship and the doomsday scenario

The risk posed by the global weapons complex is much worse than you know

Looking for moles. Image of surveillance of David Combe

Looking for moles

The third volume in ASIO’s official history confirms infiltration by Soviet intelligence

China flexes. Illustration

China flexes

The dispute over the South China Sea will come to affect more than just China’s near neighbours

Spies like Oz. ASIO surveillance photograph of the 1968 May Day March in Wollongong

Spies like Oz

John Blaxland’s ‘The Protest Years: The Official History of ASIO 1963–1975’

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‘Here We Are’ at the Art Gallery of NSW. Image of ‘Sachiko’ my Miwa Yanagi

‘Here We Are’ at the Art Gallery of NSW

An opportunity for rethinking the position of women in contemporary art

You’re the voice. Illustration

You’re the voice

Helping trans and non-binary gendered people define their vocal identity

Terri Butler’s rise through the rancour. Illustration

Terri Butler’s rise through the rancour

The Queensland Labor MP on the hustings and the hating

Notes from a strip club. Image of a strip club

Notes from a strip club

Work as a stripper wasn’t quite what this newcomer imagined

A woman walks alone at night. © Mohd Shahrizal CC BY 2

A woman walks alone at night

On freedom and creativity, limitation and control

To have or not to have: Sheila Heti’s ‘Motherhood’ and Jacqueline Rose’s ‘Mothers’. Covers of Motherhood and Mothers

To have or not to have: Sheila Heti’s ‘Motherhood’ and Jacqueline Rose’s ‘Mothers’

Heti’s novel asks if a woman should have a child; Rose’s nonfiction considers how society treats her if she does

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One for the fans. Image of a Tottenham fan taking part in a protest over the planned creation of a European Super League

One for the fans

After an extraordinary week in football, fans of all stripes have something to celebrate

A more enlightened deathmatch . Illustration by Jeff Fisher

A more enlightened deathmatch

Deathmatch Downunder is making wrestling progressive, accessible and inclusive

The art of class war. Image of Sydney Roosters versus St George Illawarra Dragons, 2020

The art of class war

How decades after Murdoch and Packer destroyed the popular appeal of a game created for the masses, Peter V’landys is putting rugby league back on top

Power outage. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Power outage

Athlete Claire Keefer trains for a Paralympics now postponed

AFL names of the decade

Games may be cancelled, but the names play on

Australia 2.0. Image of Alan Bond and Bob Hawke

Australia 2.0

The America’s Cup winged keel and the transformation of a nation

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Roll out the babble. Image of Brendan Murphy, Greg Hunt and Scott Morrison

Roll out the babble

Vaccination logistics are complex, but the government’s failure is in communications

Viral culture. Image of cartoon map of Australia with figure pointing to it

Viral culture

What has COVID-19 taught Australians about themselves?

Sikh and ye shall find. Image of The Incredible String Band, Royal Albert Hall, London, 1969

Sikh and ye shall find

The psychedelic origins of a popular yoga blessing

Nightclubs, pandemics and our real selves. ‘At the dance’, a painting by Micheline lee

Nightclubs, pandemics and our real selves

For some in the disabled community, it wasn’t long after COVID hit that the all-in-this-together sentiment started falling apart

Inner space. Image of whale sculpture

Inner space

Taking to London’s streets in lockdown, with thoughts of Orwell and Henry Miller, plagues, eels, decorative cakes and what might be done in the belly of a whale

Injustice unmasked. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Injustice unmasked

What are the priorities of policing protests under lockdown?

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