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Australian Society

Submitted by Phil Moffat on November 5, 2009 - 12:05am.
An open letter to the Prime Minister
Go on Kev mate, show us your inner (real) man (you know, like Malcolm Fraser); be courageous (nope, don't drop your daks) and speak the truth to Australians. You do have the numbers to support the fact that overwhelmingly these poor refugees are just that – poor pathetic souls who have sacrificed everything and risked their lives for a safe and secure future for their children.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on September 1, 2009 - 10:59am.
Chris Saliba reviews Michael Cathcart's "The Water Dreamers"
"The Water Dreamers" is a haunting and thought provoking history of a dry land that refuses to yield to the fevered imagination of its colonisers. With our current water crisis do we continue to dream on, or do we submit to the land and live within it?
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Submitted by Paul Walter on August 27, 2009 - 2:06pm.
Time for Queensland to enter the 21st century
My view is that there is a semantic confusion between "abortion" in its most negative, "laden", and controversial sense and what I would describe as "retrospective contraception", particularly involving RU486.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on August 19, 2009 - 1:31pm.
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal
Stuart pulls his focus back from the dumpster to give a big picture view of the shocking inefficiencies in the way we make and market food. When the veil is lifted on how food is farmed, processed, marketed, sold and often thrown away your jaw will hit the ground.
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on August 16, 2009 - 2:00pm.
Football Down Under: Melbourne vs Brisbane
I've found before that when you go out alone to watch a football game you kind of spontaneously meet people who are also interested. It's a contrast to going out alone to listen to music or trying to get laid, when I inevitably just get lonelier as the night goes on.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on August 15, 2009 - 9:41pm.
The worst recipe ever
For a few (few = three +) years some Webdiarists (some = three +) have been asking for a Cooks’ Corner (or should that be Korner?). Eh bien, it’s the weekend, and I’ve spent the last three months (with a bit of time out for good behaviour – erm, winter hols) at a school (collecting data). One of the things that happens in a school staffroom, over those snatched moments of ... morning tea / lunch is that recipes are sometimes discussed (and/or disgusted).
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 30, 2009 - 3:15pm.
Australia's dirty little secret
Australia’s grim record on health care for Indigenous people is by far the worst of any developed nation. Developed? How can a country be “developed” when it leaves so many of its children behind? Australia has not provided its citizens with an equal opportunity for primary health care, education, housing, employment, let alone recognition and a life of dignity.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on July 24, 2009 - 11:17am.
An albatross swan song – Verse 9: Mission accomplished – and home again
There are many good human beings amongst us; human beings like my Dad and The Flying Dragon Ghost who did good and were motivated by the right stuff. There are also many people who have contributed to Webdiary who are decent and understanding human beings – passionate. These are the people we need, people who will play the game in the interests of all; or even better – not play games at all. On that note it’s now time to withdraw from this little game and disappear into the ether ...
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 17, 2009 - 12:55pm.
The Future by Us
If we continue down this path, where Australia’s youth engage too heavily in fast food media and not enough in real news, we will be doing democracy in this country a huge disservice. Democracy depends on knowledgeable citizens. It depends on transparency of government and business, and it depends on a well-functioning media that offers every person, not just the elite, an opportunity to access accurate and unbiased information of substance. (Chloe Adams)
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on July 12, 2009 - 8:19pm.
An albatross swan song – Verse 8: Back to a Weird Dairy lunch ...
As a ghost of China’s living past lay in fading silence I could see my Pumpkin had reconnected with someone she loved and a country they both cared for. It was wonderful to see Pumpkin get her wish and meet her special Ghost who in spite of everything stood the fiery test of virtues held true. He was a good Ghost, a humble Ghost who worked as one of the team and did good things for the people he loved.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on July 5, 2009 - 9:57am.
An albatross swan song – Verse 7: The Last Tango in Yanjing and a Weird Dairy lunch…
Mona welcomed us both with nie hao/s and hugs then escorted us towards the back room as the girls chattered in crescendo. I wondered why the girls where getting excited but then I got distracted – by now the room was humming harder. I tried to do cartwheels across the floor – but I can’t do cartwheels – so I hopped up and down on one leg.
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Submitted by Raja Ratnam on July 2, 2009 - 11:05pm.
New national icons from a revised national identity?
Since a large number of immigrants, both white and coloured, have re-shaped this nation for the better, will they now be permitted to contribute to the identification of a revised package of national icons? Carefully selected and evaluated, a palimpsest of a national iconology might be achieved, where nothing significant of the past is obliterated.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on June 28, 2009 - 3:30pm.
An albatross swan song – Verse 6: Mona Loser, lunch, and some ghosts
On an earlier stay at the abode of Mona I attempted in vain to explain to her the English term “harmony”. I had to resort to song (which is bloody obvious when you think about it) and began singing Frère Jacques – she immediately laughed and then spontaneously harmonised in Mandarin.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 28, 2009 - 2:36pm.
"Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind ... It is your inner image of yourself..."
Probably two significant moments in my career that I hadn’t really thought about until around, funnily enough, the semi-final in the World Cup in 2003 after the well-documented walking incident in that match. That was the catalyst for me to start thinking and thinking why have I got this approach. (Adam Gilchrist on "walking")
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 26, 2009 - 8:38pm.
"We have an obligation to our own and to future generations to support this bill"
The charging of people who arrive on our shores seeking protection the costs of their detention is part of the way in which we have demonised them and presented them as being worse than criminals. And this image, I believe, underpins the abuses which have been discovered by inquiries into our mistreatment of people in detention. (Petro Georgiou)
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on June 21, 2009 - 3:15pm.
An albatross swan song – Verse 5: Driving along on a Potomac, baby …
When I think of Kath I think of children, for Kath is a loving and devoted mum and it shows big time. But she is not alone, for most parents love their kids. To love your children is catholic and reflects the very simple but universal truth of Christianity. We love our kids and would die for them.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on June 14, 2009 - 11:59pm.
An albatross swan song – Verse 4: Ten toes for Geoff, a budgie and neat little numbers
On a more serious note allow me to return to my childhood and share something that is now indelibly tattooed in my brain; something that had almost faded away. Nothing profound, nothing really important to me personally but it is, and was to millions of human beings, Geoff included. It’s a ghost, harmless to me personally but a ghost of the nasty kind that does mean something to many. One degree of separation.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on June 8, 2009 - 7:59am.
The Bradley Report into higher education: A recipe for disaster
The commodification of tertiary education means something much worse than that subjects, disciplines, awards and faculties will sink or swim on the number of customers they attract. Commodification changes the very nature of what is exchanged. As Noble notes, when education is commodified, concern is shifted from the experience of the people involved in an educational process to the production of what he puts in scare quotes as ‘course materials’...
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Submitted by Raja Ratnam on June 4, 2009 - 5:52pm.
A needed unity from a recent diversity
Who are you? Where did you come from? What experiences have you brought to this country? What are you doing? How are you being treated by the Aussies? This was before we ‘wogs’ and ‘blackfellows’ became Aussies ourselves. That is what we talked about.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on June 1, 2009 - 12:32am.
An albatross swan song – Verse 1: A fairytale?
Come dear friends, let me take you by the hand, and lead you through the streets of Zhong Guo; a dialectical magical mystery tour into the dungeons and dragons deep in the heart of the Middle Kingdom reaching all the way back to the Tang Dynasty. Enjoy a few postcards as truth turns into fantasy, while fantasy turns into truth; if only in a small way.
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on June 1, 2009 - 12:07am.
It's Treasury that must press ahead
Dear Dr Henry, I read, with some bemusement of your call to the Rudd government to press ahead with reform. With respect, you yourself have the power, within your sphere of influence as Secretary of the Treasury and adviser on tax reform, to press ahead with the four most important reforms that Australia should undertake.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on May 29, 2009 - 2:26pm.
An albatross swan song – a teaser
A very important message from the Middle Kingdom ... and keep watching this space.
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Submitted by Ashley Zeldin on May 19, 2009 - 1:28pm.
Anzac Day observances change with the times
Thirteen-year-old Tim Spehr solemnly watched as wreaths were laid at the cenotaph at High Cross Park in Randwick; the medals of his great-great-uncle, World War I veteran Private Harold Walter Cavill, adorned his jacket. Spehr and dozens of local residents of all ages had gathered to commemorate Anzac Day, 25 April 2009.
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Submitted by Raja Ratnam on May 18, 2009 - 11:38am.
The duality of detachment
It is a great testimony to the host people, by now not wholly Anglo-Australian, that the vast variety of new cultures entering the country adapted to one another, and to the host culture, peacefully. And that is because most, if not all, immigrants do want to “adapt” to the institutions and social mores of their chosen new home. Governments are not needed to “manage” ethno-cultural diversity.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on May 16, 2009 - 12:54pm.
Imperialism and the commodification of education
It is precisely this idea [describing education as a product] which bedevils the current debate on education, I would argue, for this kind of conception is an essential part of the current pursuit of economic uniformity. Education is seen in this context not just as a product but as a product produced for exchange. In other words, education is reduced to a commodity.
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Submitted by Lynette Mwangi on May 9, 2009 - 4:19pm.
The art of finding affordable housing
There is an art to finding affordable housing, especially if one is in the world’s most expensive cities. I discovered this when I arrived in Sydney early this year. As one of my main concerns, I went looking for housing industry experts to give me a couple of tips on how to get a fairly priced rental accommodation.
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Submitted by Stefan Pazur on May 9, 2009 - 9:19am.
Art, but not as you know it!
The question remains, should law-biding aerosol street artists be classified in the same group as vandals? I would say the answer is definitely not. These groups like the one Jasy runs not only promote better communities through quality mural street art but also provide positive guidance and direction to young people in becoming responsible citizens.
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Submitted by Yeong Sassall on May 9, 2009 - 8:54am.
Popping the binge drinking balloon?
Just how do we assess the effectiveness of this tax? A recent AC Nielsen report showed a 28 per cent drop in Ready To Drink (RTD) sales from April 2008 to January 2009, yet there was also a 14 per cent increase in the sale of spirits. Are young people just saving their pennies by upping their spirits intake? And are sales figures really the best way to judge?
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Submitted by Steven Bowman on May 5, 2009 - 11:56pm.
Party like it’s 2009
To the recently unemployed, the current economic crisis may seem like a flashback to the soup lines of The Great Depression. However, to many still working in high-paying sectors such as finance, law and technology, the credit crunch is merely a recurring news headline that could lower the cost of their next holiday.
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Submitted by Lucy Polkinghorne on May 5, 2009 - 11:23pm.
Stamping the wrong message
When Australia Post made the controversial decision to remove Brett Stewart’s face from the 2008 NRL Grand Final Collector’s stamps, it sent out a strong message to the public. Guilty. But Stewart has not yet been found guilty. So why should he be punished by being left off the stamps?
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Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago
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Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 2 days ago
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Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 2 days ago
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Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 15 weeks 14 hours ago