Eureka Street Podcasts



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  • How Abbott was defeated by his own pugnaciousness

    How Abbott was defeated by his own pugnaciousness


    After Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday afternoon that he was challenging Tony Abbott for the LIberal leadership, commentators were unanimous in their speculation that Abbott would not give up the prime ministership without a fight. The pugnaciousness that characterised his political style was similarly part of the playbook of Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who was also seen to base his interaction with political adversaries on their 'standing' rather than debating policy. In Abbott's case this turned out to be a fatal flaw.

  • The aquariums tapestry of colour and light

    The aquarium's tapestry of colour and light


    The jelly fish are fringed silk shawls ... the anemones are embroidery samplers ... the coral is not calcified not brittle hard as bone ... the prettiest fish are fabric for blouses made of silk.

  • Chinese economy a work in progress

    Chinese economy a work in progress


    The recent ructions in the Chinese stock market set off great consternation in global financial markets, but for the most part this was a display of ignorance. One of the reasons China's influence on global markets has been so beneficial, since at least 2007, is that its economy and financial markets are so different.

  • Judging Eureka Street

    Judging Eureka Street


    After almost ten years, I'm into my final week as editor of Eureka Street. It's pleasing that we were successful in the Australasian Catholic Press Association 'industry' awards announced in Broome on Thursday evening, where we were named Best Online Publication and Publication of the Year for 2015.

  • Asylum seekers are people like us

    Asylum seekers are people like us


    Some refugee advocates will almost deify the refugee, and take away their humanity by making it seem that the refugee is always right. In reality refugees make bad decisions, tell lies and exaggerate, just like the rest of us. But that does not mean they're contemptible. Recognising their humanity makes it easier to feel empathy with them, and less likely we will fear them. 

  • A moment of compassion and solidarity that nurtures hope

    A moment of compassion and solidarity that nurtures hope


    A fortnight ago political conversation about asylum seekers had to do with turning back the boats, the links between terrorism and religious identity, exporting our Stop the Boats policy to Europe, the seductive dangers of compassion, and attempts to wedge other parties on the basis of their softness. Now it appears we have moved on, and for that Mr Abbott deserves our ungrudging gratitude, whatever side of politics we stand on.

  • Images the catalyst for action but not change

    Images the catalyst for action but not change


    There are few activities more unsettling than viewing the bodies of deceased children. But I'm not convinced that visual tokens of suffering, shared within safe, affluent settings, change much. A photo can suggest that a woman is abused by her partner and motivate people to donate money to a charity. But it won't make anybody voluntarily give up the privilege that fostered the pain.

  • Bishops statement challenges politicians hard hearts

    Bishops' statement challenges politicians' hard hearts


    The Australian Bishops' 2015 Social Justice Statement on justice for refugees and asylum seekers comes at the right time. It is not likely to receive enthusiastic support from the Government. The Bishops set the tone of their statement with a quote from Pope Francis' uncompromising Lampedusa sermon. Like him, their priority is 'what it takes'.

  • It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court

    It’s time Mr Heydon was taken to court


    Senator Penny Wong moved a motion requesting the Governor-General to sack Dyson Heydon from the unions royal commission. This is a disgrace. It evokes memories of Governor General John Kerr sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam almost 40 years ago. The unions must appeal Heydon's decision to the courts, or abide by the umpire's decision.

  • Why calls for compassion for refugees dont work

    Why calls for compassion for refugees don't work


    Writing in The Australian this week, Chris Kenny declares: 'Emotion, moral vanity, political posturing and good intentions won't be much of a guide when it comes to making the right decisions and delivering the best results'. He and like minded opinion writers get so much traction because they're essentially correct. Compassion alone is not enough.

  • Syrian refugee settlement in Australia must be permanent

    Syrian refugee settlement in Australia must be permanent


    The Kosovar solution is not a good one. In 1999, 4000 Kosovars were brought to Australia on a TSHV initially for three months but what turned out being several years. Legislative bars were created to prevent them from applying for any other visa whilst here, including protection visas. If we just hand out temporary visas to the Syrians, they will be in limbo and their ability to resettle and contribute to their new country is diminished.

  • The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics

    The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics


    The recent National Reform Summit was lauded as an attempt to 'rediscover the art of reform that in the past generation helped to drive high living standards and made Australia the envy among smart nations'. Yet the urgency with which Australian pundits demand 'reform' corresponds with a peculiar opacity about what the term actually means, with its past association with the socialist movement but more recent appropriation as a neoliberal mantra. 

  • Flowers react to Spring

    Flowers react to Spring


    Big daisies bulge on their bush, the lurid cyclamens are crouched in squeals of shocking pink, but raggedy scarlet geraniums have been out all winter and don't give a stuff.

  • Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell

    Family rape victims delivered to a worse hell


    While at Melbourne's Winlaton Youth Training Centre, many became victims of sexual and physical assaults by staff and other girls. This was how the state of Victoria looked after its most vulnerable girls, who following their incarceration were simply expected to get on with their lives. Except many didn't. As the list of witnesses for the Royal Commission hearing was being finalised, I was told: 'There's going to be a lot of very angry and re-traumatised mothers and grandmothers.'

  • Operation Fortitude aftershocks

    Operation Fortitude aftershocks


    Actions taken in the Immigration Detention Centre after the 28 August aborted Border Force operation involved the use of force and intimidation on people who are being detained. Not for their misdeeds or any threat they pose, but for the convenience of the Department. And they disclose what happens when ABF officers are permitted to to use any force they think necessary without proper accountability.

  • Border Force Keystone Cops no laughing matter

    Border Force Keystone Cops no laughing matter


    While we can shake our heads and laugh at last week's farce in Melbourne, we should be more concerned about the many ways this government is punishing refugees in the law, using language to demonise people and and setting up systems geared to rejecting applications. We don't need black uniforms and guns, or any form of militarisation and politicisation of Immigration.

  • The seven Dadly sins

    The seven Dadly sins


    As Father's Day looms, I embrace zen introspection. My beloved Keeper and I have two offspring, a daughter - a sweetheart aged 12, turning 30 - and a son - boisterously nine. Life changed unrecognisably with their arrival, and overwhelmingly for the better. This Sunday I will join the ranks of sleepy paters, gingerly drinking dubious coffee, eyeing off culinary abominations and graciously acknowledging new socks.

  • Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process

    Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process


    Last week the Reform Summit and the Australian Border Force's aborted Operation Fortitude were responses to the the perceived paralysis in Australian politics and public life. The Summit was a commendable initiative demonstrating that organisations with diverging agendas can talk together and reach consensus. It offered a chastening example to the political parties that currently emphasise their areas of disagreement and prefer to smash through - rather than think through - the obstacles to Australia's prosperity.

  • Spiritual enlightenment on the transplant waitlist

    Spiritual enlightenment on the transplant waitlist


    In part, these hallucinogenic, metaphysical digressions are a product of Robert's medically-altered state of consciousness. Chemotherapy brings a sense of disorientation, which often leads patients' minds to wander in directions they wouldn't have otherwise. Through this, Robert discovers an Eastern spiritual and cultural approach to death that informs his own confrontation of mortality.

  • Traditional marriage needs fixing

    Traditional marriage needs fixing


    Traditional marriage is on very shaky ground because we are continually trying to extract equality out of inequality. While parenting and housework are the essence of family life, her caring work within the home is not considered of primary value. Feminism confronts not only sexism but also racism and classism, indeed, the interweaving of all forms of oppression. Marriage changes its shape as we change our culture - and we are.  

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