Refugee documentaries – preaching to the converted

As it is Refugee Week, I’ve been reflecting on how my support for refugees and asylum seekers is shamefully passive. I was reminded of this after attending a viewing last Saturday of Julian Burnside’s refugee documentary, Border Politics. Then on Monday I was one of 67 people who devoted the evening to a public viewing in Buderim of the refugee film, Constance on the Edge. ‘Constance on the Edge’ charts the struggles of a mother…

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Fifty years of Cabinet secrets and media leaks

The Australian Federal Police ‘raids’ on the ABC and a lone News Ltd journalist have been taken to signal a new era of scrutiny when confidential government files are leaked to the media. The media has gone overboard on the ‘journalism is not a crime’ front. As a former journo, I have adopted the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Facebook frame in solidarity. But it is interesting to learn that that on June 5,…

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A cold snap, firewood and a short history of chimney sweeps

Almost on schedule, a cold snap arrived, coinciding nicely with our completely running out of firewood. Oh you too, eh? I thought as much, queuing up on Saturday at the fill-your-own-boot firewood supplier. It took a while. Chatting to a friend on the same mission, I mentioned that the fire was not drawing very well. He then told me about an organic solvent you could buy from the hardware store. “You just get a good…

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Readers guide to Friday on My Mind

A few weeks ago I promised you an overview of the past five years’ worth of Friday on My Mind missives, but the Federal election got in the way. Sorry about that. Today it’s a mostly politics-free zone. I started this weekly column (it was supposed to be a one-off) with my theory (and not at all an original idea), about taking refugees and asylum seekers off Nauru and Manus Island and resettling them in…

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