Outback stories from the archives

We are on an outback trip for 10 days so lacking WiFi and other mod cons. This week I’m choosing to share a travel post from 2014, when we joined the grey nomads for an extended period. This observation about US marine manoeuvres in the Northern Territory was written before the introduction of yet another national security law (75 and counting since September 11, 2001), about revealing supposedly secret things. There are strong possibilities you…

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We’ll need a huge crowd to stop war against Iran

I’m not good with crowds – not since the early days of journalism in Toowoomba when I under-reported numbers at the annual Carnival of Flowers parade. “Next time check with the police,” I was told and mostly continued to do so, on occasions when crowds gathered for newsworthy events. It is not always a given that members of the constabulary will give you an accurate-enough figure of crowds. Police under-estimated by 50% or so the…

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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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