Australian politics, society & culture


Are environmental rights also human rights? At Byron Writers Festival 2016, author, journalist, political adviser and pioneering feminist Anne Summers chairs a panel that includes former Greens leader Bob Brown, human-rights lawyer and executive director of Refugee Legal David Manne and Nobel Prize–winning scientist Peter Doherty. Byron Bay, August 2016
A cat-detection team are doing important work on Dirk Hartog Island
By Nicole Gill
Why are our pets so pampered?
By Anne Manne
The coral bleaching signals a defining environmental shift
By Jo Chandler
Solastalgia and the impact of the recent bushfires
By Nicole Gill
As part of La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society program, Clive Hamilton, Robert Manne and Liz Conor discuss prospects after the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. Clive Hamilton is Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a member of the Climate Change Authority, and the author of three books on climate change. Robert Manne is emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University. His books include Left, Right, Left and Making Trouble. Liz Conor (chair) is a Future Fellow at La Trobe University, author of Skin Deep and the editor of the scholarly journal Aboriginal History. She is the co-founder of ClimActs and attended the Paris Climate Summit. Melbourne, March 2016
We’re at a tipping point when it comes to global warming, and yet political discourse on the subject is often reduced to point scoring. How do we overcome the left–right impasse to achieve a collective will for action? Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, the Australia Institute’s chief economist Richard Denniss and journalist Laura Tingle discuss this subject with Di Darmody at the Perth Writers Festival 2016.   Perth, February 2016
The notorious island has been a site of incarceration, occupation and, now, “extreme gardening”
By Sophie Cunningham
What eels do when we're not watching
By James Bradley
A day at Christmas Island’s Lizard Lodge
By Nicole Gill
How can Australia keep its Paris climate promises?
By Bill McKibben
The big fracking mess of resource politics
By Guy Rundle
Why have we failed to address climate change?
By Robert Manne
Julia at Melbourne Zoo in 2011.
The strange life and tragic death of Julia the gorilla
By Anna Krien
Following the indigenous seasonal calendar
By Jenan Taylor
Wild deer are heading for the suburbs
By Paul Connolly
How long can Australia ride in the coal wagon?
By Paul Cleary
Iain McCalman is a social historian and a research professor at the University of Sydney. His latest book, The Reef: A passionate history, tells the story of Australia’s wondrous Great Barrier Reef, and what has happened since human contact with it.   Not distant theoretical history, but passionately engaged, this is a book that sweeps across several centuries. It’s informative and bold, but it is in the best tradition of naturalist chronicles. McCalman’s warmth and intelligence permeate every page.   McCalman discusses The Reef, and his other books, including Darwin’s Armada, with Robert Manne in this La Trobe University Ideas and Society session at the Bendigo Writers Festival 2015.   Bendigo, August 2015