Asylum seekers and the seven-year itch

If Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton ever had a lapse in judgement, it would be thinking that asylum seekers and their supporters have given up. Over a seven-year span, Mr Dutton and his predecessors have exposed asylum seekers to a punitive system (which is outside the UN Convention on Refugees). As you may hear this weekend, Sunday marks seven years of detention for those who were sent to centres on Manus Island and Nauru. At…

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Cyber attacks and the Faraday cage

Just as I was thinking about the unexpected email from the Australian Taxation Office, She Who Mocks ScoMo called me in to watch a live press conference about cyber attacks. Beware of State-based actors with sophisticated means to hack Australian infrastructure, began the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (ScoMo). “He’s dog-whistling,” interjected SWMS. This of course sent me off to google what ‘dog-whistling’ meant. After discounting a video of a wizened old Kiwi farmer in gumboots…

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Volunteering and election fatigue

It’s National Volunteer Week, as good a time as any to encourage people to offer their skills and labour to community organisations and causes they believe in. For those who donated their time to support a political party or independent candidate, though, battle fatigue has set in. More than four million Australians voted during the three weeks leading up to last Saturday’s Federal election. This was more than double the pre-poll vote in 2016. Instead…

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Global Insights On Neglected Political Issues

There have been issues aplenty for people to mull over ahead of tomorrow’s Federal election, not all of them as obvious as climate change, refugees or the Murray Darling. Chair of Australia21, Paul Barratt, named those issues as his top three in a contribution to John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations newsletter. But he also added 10 neglected political issues. They include inequality, reversing the cuts to research and development, early childhood education and a world-class…

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