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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Six Prime Ministers and a potato class action

As the dry winter fades away, ushering in a hot and bushfire-prone spring and summer, here’s some sober reflections on ‘Single-use Prime Ministers’. I borrowed the single-use mention from a clever meme doing the rounds on social media, where, I might say in defence of the humble Kipfler, Sebago and Desiree, potatoes continue to be openly defamed. It might not be long before we see headlines where Tryhard & Associates, no win-no fee, mount a…

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Renewable energy vs climate sceptics

Have you ever noticed, after giving your dog a bath, how it will head straight for the nearest patch of renewable energy? Ours has a favourite sunny spot next to the dining room table where he will happily bask, while our solar-powered camping lamp, calculator and torches are recharging on the window sill. Free sunshine – what’s not to like? As it happens, we have been preparing our little caravan for a weekend music festival…

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Cucumbers and the silly season

All through my journalism career I tried to take holidays at this time of year – the peak summer period known universally as the ‘silly season’ It’s called that, here and abroad, to describe the sudden drying up of real news stories (or even cleverly disguised fake stories). The media must continue on its 24/7 quest for yarns, but the fare becomes increasingly trivial, short on detail and (gasp) exaggerated. In Australia, the ‘do not…

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