Australian politics, society & culture


What makes a litigant turn vexatious?
By Sam Bungey
Harry Kakavas and problem gamblers
By Paul Barry
Harry Kakavas was one of Australia’s top real-estate salesmen. He made a fortune selling houses on the Gold Coast. He was also one of Australia’s biggest gamblers. In 14 months from June 2005 Kakavas slapped down almost $1.5 billion on the baccarat tables at Crown Casino in Melbourne – betting $300,000 a hand – and
A short history of the media future
By John Birmingham
In the year of our Lord 2007, I built a library. Indeed, I built two. One of them, a professional library, was built into an office where I carry out the pleasant business of penning novels, essays and columns. The other was a formal library – nothing more or less. In the professional library, I can bend over and
The King & I
By Harry Nicolaides
Compound One. For weeks I lay on my back, delirious with influenza. When I was able to stand, I shuffled around like a zombie, pushed here and there by the heaving population of sweaty, half-naked inmates, most of them Thai, Burmese or Cambodian. One night I was so overcome with anxiety that I started to
The phoney war on bikie gangs
By Adam Shand
‘Robbie’, an Adelaide-based member of the Finks Motorcycle Club, got a new tattoo to celebrate the South Australian government's war on bikies. He now has the word ‘Finks' emblazoned across his throat in bold green type. It was an indescribably painful process, but Robbie, a 25-year veteran of the club, endured it for
Patrick White, Cambridge, early 1930s. National Library of Australia
The final chapter
By David Marr
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Amanda Lohrey
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Inside Palm Island’s heart of darkness
By Chloe Hooper
All I really knew about Palm Island were the headlines I’d been reading: “Tropic of Despair”, “Island of Sorrow”. On 19 November 2004, a drunk Aboriginal man had been arrested for swearing at police. Less than an hour later he died with injuries like those of a road trauma victim. The Queensland State Coroner reported
By Chloe Hooper
In the early morning of March 2 a smoking ceremony took place on Palm Island, north Queensland, to release the spirit of Mulrunji, who died last November in police custody. The sky was overcast and cockatoos screeched overhead as Mulrunji’s cousin, the activist Murrandoo Yanner, covered the arms of close friends