Echidna poo has changed our understanding of human evolution. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Echidna poo has changed our understanding of human evolution

Society / Environment / Science and technology

Citizen science is not only helping echidna conservation, but changing how we think about evolution

On Her Majesty’s secret disservice. Image of Kim Philby (left) and Phillip Knightley

On Her Majesty’s secret disservice

Society / National security

The reporter who uncovered the truth about Kim Philby, the 20th century’s most infamous spy, and his warnings for democratic society

The artist making sculpture for penguins. Image of sculpture by Jane Bamford

The artist making sculpture for penguins

Culture / Art / Society / Environment

How creating sculpture for animals is transforming wildlife conservation and the art world

The truth about truth-telling. Image of The Sea of Hands, representing support for reconciliation and the rights of Indigenous Australians

The truth about truth-telling

Politics / Indigenous rights / Society / Indigenous Australia

Revisiting trauma is not the road to justice for Aboriginal people

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Cricketing institutions are on a sticky wicket. Image of test cricket captain Tim Paine announcing his resignation

➊ Cricketing institutions are on a sticky wicket

Tim Paine’s sexting scandal reveals more about institutional failures than personal ones

On Her Majesty’s secret disservice. Image of Kim Philby (left) and Phillip Knightley

➋ On Her Majesty’s secret disservice

The reporter who uncovered the truth about Kim Philby, the 20th century’s most infamous spy, and his warnings for democratic society

Coupe de grâce. Image of old-growth forest in southern Tasmania

➌ Coupe de grâce

Could the legacy of Australia’s worst bushfires on record be the end of native logging?

The truth about truth-telling. Image of The Sea of Hands, representing support for reconciliation and the rights of Indigenous Australians

➍ The truth about truth-telling

Revisiting trauma is not the road to justice for Aboriginal people


The spin and secrecy threatening the Australian environment. Image of Environment Minister Sussan Ley

The spin and secrecy threatening the Australian environment

How the government is failing on the environment by hiding critical science

Black Summer at Currowan. Photograph by Bronwyn Adcock

Black Summer at Currowan

Lessons from Australia’s worst bushfires

The orchid eye. Image of Corunastylis morrisii (Bearded midge orchid), Coles Bay, Tasmania

The orchid eye

The strange and beautiful world of orchids and how they’ve seduced us

Return of the devil. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Return of the devil

Tasmanian devils may soon be returning to the wild on the mainland

Racing against time . Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Racing against time

The I-Kiribati Olympic sprinter hoping to draw attention to his nation’s climate catastrophe

Planetary defence. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Planetary defence

A court ruling that the environment minister owes children a duty of care to prevent climate harm has far-reaching implications

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Good riddance, Alan Jones. Image of Alan Jones

Good riddance, Alan Jones

The shock jock is finally brought down by lacklustre ratings

The end game. Image of Julian Assange in London, April 11, 2019

The end game

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is slowly dying in a UK prison, as the US maintains its fight to have him die in theirs – but there is hope

Dear Jon

An open letter to Jon Faine: esteemed commentator, vintage car lover and schadenfreude enthusiast

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

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The agony and ecstasy. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

The agony and ecstasy

Clinical trials in Perth will study the use of MDMA to treat PTSD and addiction

A trip to the doctor. Image of mushrooms

A trip to the doctor

A personal experience of how psychedelics are transforming mental health therapies

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

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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

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

State’s head revisited. Image of the Queen and Prince Philip meeting governor-general John Kerr, 1977

State’s head revisited

The Palace Letters confirm the Crown’s neutrality is irrevocably compromised

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Science & Technology

Lunar orbit. Image of Supermoon over Footscray

Lunar orbit

The strange paths taken by the mind when overwhelmed by fear

The shed that contains the future . Illustration by Jeff Fisher

The shed that contains the future

A green hydrogen project in South Australia aims to demonstrate zero-emission energy production

Alien renaissance

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

Countdown to iBlastoids. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Countdown to iBlastoids

Breakthroughs in embryo science may lead to replacement human organs, if we can agree on the ethics

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

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How Australian public life has been diminished. Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former prime minister Tony Abbott, November 7, 2019

How Australian public life has been diminished

Culture wars, climate wars and the bureaucratisation of writing have eroded the public sphere

Drama in hell. Image of theatre stage with empty chairs

Drama in hell

The descent of creative arts at Australia’s universities

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

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The challenge of China. Image of former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull appearing via video link

The challenge of China

Why have Australia–China relations deteriorated so comprehensively, and what can Australia do to restore them?

Balancing on a tower of chairs . Cartoon image of a man falling off a chair as it breaks

Balancing on a tower of chairs

On Australia’s relations with China

China panic: What can be done about anti-Chinese racism?. Image of the Australian and Chinese flags

China panic: What can be done about anti-Chinese racism?

The work of combatting Sinophobia must be combined with a critique of Australian foreign policies

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

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Green house effect

Joost Bakker’s vision for sustainable housing is taking root

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

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A fisherman’s lament. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

A fisherman’s lament

A solo road trip back to harsh realities

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

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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

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

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

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Law & Order

Pride of place. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Pride of place

Why the Bondi Memorial honouring victims of Sydney’s LGBTIQ hate-crime epidemic matters for victims and their families

A bloody shame: Paid period leave should be law. Image of a tampon and a sanitary pad viewed from above

A bloody shame: Paid period leave should be law

Australia’s workplace laws must better accommodate the reproductive body

A question of good faith: the trial of Zachary Rolfe. Image of Constable Zachary Rolfe

A question of good faith: the trial of Zachary Rolfe

The alleged murder of Kumanjayi Walker by a police officer has ignited a legal quandary

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

The most hated man

On the sentencing of Richard Pusey for outraging public decency

Backsliding. Cartoon of a person behind razor-wire fence


The Territory abandons the Don Dale royal commission reforms

A load of abalone. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

A load of abalone

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

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Indigenous Australia

Suspended from the rock. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Suspended from the rock

Rock-climbers at Arapiles/Dyurrite say the parks department has misled traditional owners over climb closures

The Fortescue way. Detail from cover image of ‘Title Fight’ showing Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and Yindjibarndi leader Michael Woodley

The Fortescue way

Fortescue Metals Group has a history of “unconscionable” settlements with Indigenous custodians

Transforming the national imagination: The ‘Dark Emu’ debate. Image of fish traps, Darling River, NSW, 1938

Transforming the national imagination: The ‘Dark Emu’ debate

Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe’s ‘Farmers or Hunter-gatherers?’ challenges ideas of progress championed by Bruce Pascoe

Burning questions. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Burning questions

A wildlife sanctuary in the Great Sandy Desert is studying how Indigenous fire management can protect biodiversity

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

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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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Agenda bender. Image of anonymous office workers

Agenda bender

What shifting notions of sex and gender mean for affirmative action in the workplace

Pushback. Image of Senator Mehreen Faruqi


A senator’s fight against Australia’s racism and sexism

‘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

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Football’s coming home . Image of England players lining up during the penalty shoot-out following the UEFA Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium, London

Football’s coming home

Home truths from the Euro 2020 tournament

Lumberjills. Illustration by Jeff Fisher


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

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

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The needle and the damage done. Image of ‘Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey’ game

The needle and the damage done

The federal government’s handling of the pandemic has been the worst public policy screw-up in Australian history

Lockdown loaves and hampers. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Lockdown loaves and hampers

The pandemic has led to a surge in people needing help putting food on the table

A loss of character . Illustration by Jeff Fisher

A loss of character

Remembering some of Sydney’s well-known streetfolk

We need to think about post-lockdown rights. An anti-lockdown rally in Sydney, July 24, 2021

We need to think about post-lockdown rights

Lacking serious debate on the next stage of the pandemic, Australia is ill-prepared

Close to home for Katy Gallagher. Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Close to home for Katy Gallagher

Life in quarantine as COVID-19 hits Senator Katy Gallagher’s family

Helen Garner’s lockdown diaries, 2021. Image of hands

Helen Garner’s lockdown diaries, 2021

Notes from Melbourne as the pandemic persists

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