Australian politics, society & culture


Catching a ride with strangers is harder than it looks
By Robert Skinner
I stood outside Pakenham a hopeful man, trying to hitch a ride from Melbourne to Sydney. I watched all the sensible people drive past. After two hours I was so sunburnt I looked embarrassed to be there. After five hours they were still roaring past, and when a car did finally swerve off the road to pick me up – like
The science is clear, but the way forward is not
By Judith Brett
By John Maloney
A recent article in the New Statesman, by an avowedly privileged white guy decrying white male privilege, featured the following stretch of earnest chest-beating: Whoever you are, however intelligent and enlightened you are, you don’t know what life is like for other people. You don’t know how things are for them,
By Michaela McGuire
The Commonwealth Games have begun in Glasgow, a fact that has been largely buried in the news cycle by the horrors of Gaza and flight MH17. I am surprised, even a little disappointed, that more hay hasn’t been made out of the Games in which Australia traditionally shines. I thought that this year, in a country
Jung Chang is the author of Wild Swans, which has sold more than 10 million copies world-wide. Her next book was Mao: The Unknown Story. Here she discusses her latest, Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
As ANZAC ceremony numbers attest, stories of service are among Australia’s most important narratives. This session brings together two novelists who have recently published books about the Second World War.
Alison Bechdel is the author of two books telling of growing up gay in a small town. Rabih Alameddine has written about AIDS, Civil War, exile, death and, in An Unnecessary Woman, about living a meaningful life.
David Vann was 13 when his father committed suicide, while Steve Bisley was raised in the shadow of his father’s post-traumatic stress. They speak with Ian Nichols.
Should the Racial Discrimination Act be amended? Watch Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane in conversation with Robert Manne
Euthanasia remains one of the most challenging moral and philosophical questions. What is to be gained and lost if assisted suicide is legalised? Does society need a better approach to dying?
Investigative journalists Bret Christian and Colleen Egan discuss how the suspicion of wrongful sentencing led them on quests to discover the truth behind two mistaken criminal convictions.
Australia's best science communicators come together to explore the challenges of relaying complex and important scientific information to the wider community
George E Marcus is currently Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, and founder of its Center for Ethnography.
Issue-driven novels can be supremely powerful. In their books Christos Tsiolkas, Kathryn Heyman and Alexis Wright have deftly tackled the topics of class, migration, climate change and Indigenous affairs.
Clive Hamilton, author of Earthmasters, asks the question: What would it mean for humans to mould nature as a whole, to make the Earth itself into an artefact designed to suit our needs?
Those of us who live on the island of Australia can’t help but be influenced by its unique landscape.
Those of us who live on the island of Australia can’t help but be influenced by its unique landscape. Malcolm Knox, Kathryn Heyman and Ian Hoskins discuss understanding Australia through the nature and history of its land.