In the early hours of tomorrow morning it will be a year since Indonesia executed Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who were shot by firing squad along with six other men around 12:30am on 29 April 2015.
Yesterday Indonesian authorities transferred out of Kerobokan the two men Myuran had hand-picked to continue his art, printing and computer rehabilitation programs. Continue reading “Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above”
Saturday’s Formula 1 qualifying at the season opening Australian Grand Prix highlighted one of the sport’s underlying problems: that its wealth is a two-edged sword.
Formula 1’s income, and ultimately its survival, is dependent upon casual viewers and new fans. These are the people who make up the bulk of the TV audience, which dictates the cost of the TV rights, which is how Formula 1 makes its money. The more fans there are, the more expensive the TV rights, the more revenue the sport receives. To attract casual viewers and new fans the sport must be exciting and engaging upfront on a race by race basis: it must be entertaining without the need for greater investment. Continue reading “Formula 1’s qualifying flop a reminder of the sport’s conflicting objectives”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s endorsement of Philip Ruddock’s appointment as Australia’s Special Envoy on Human Rights to the United Nations characterised him as “well-qualified to advocate and represent Australia’s human rights views and record”. The devil is in the accuracy of this statement. Over the past fifteen years, Australia has risen as a human rights violater to become an international pariah, with Ruddock entwined in many of the policies that have created this reputation. Indeed, the announcement came on the heels of the High Court legitimising offshore detention, a system of which Ruddock was one of the original architects, and which has been central to international criticism of Australia.
Continue reading “Philip Ruddock is the right choice for Special Envoy on Human Rights – for all the wrong reasons”
In 2004 there was a family living in Adelaide: the Bakhtiyaris. They were asylum seekers who had been through the mill of trauma: mother and five children in detention indefinitely; father initially in the community but put back in detention; a sixth child born under guard. People may remember them as two of the boys escaped the Woomera detention centre during a fracas sparked by Australian protesters, made their way to Melbourne and sought asylum at the British High Commission. Eventually an order by the Family Court saw the Bakhtiyari’s placed in the community under the care of a Church organisation, enabling the children to attend school and have some semblance of a normal life. However the dark cloud of detention and deportation remained over their heads. Continue reading “High Court offshore detention ruling highlights why Australia needs a Bill of Rights”
In the rush to support Charlie Sheen for revealing his HIV status and address the stigma surrounding HIV, it has been largely overlooked that Charlie has heaped stigma on another group of people: sex workers.
In his Today interview, Charlie spoke of hiring “the companionship of unsavoury and insipid types” and revealed that a sex worker had attempted to blackmail him with photographs of his HIV medication. Of course there are unsavoury people in this world and the person who tried to extort Charlie is a scumbag. But that has nothing to do with them being sex workers, let alone is it representative of sex workers. By referring to “hiring” unsavoury characters (as opposed to “spending time with”) and the extortioner’s profession Charlie is capitalising on the pre-existing stigma towards sex workers.
Continue reading “Charlie Sheen, it was wrong to take a shot at sex workers”
I haven’t been well for the last couple of months and after finally getting a diagnosis (the process of which is an indictment on the medical community, but that’s another story) I had to wait a fortnight for treatment. At the same time a friend wanted to quit smoking and felt this would be most ably achieved away from the stress of his day to day life. So we decided to take a trip. Our criteria were relatively straightforward: somewhere we could relax and enjoy ourselves, good weather, capacity to cater to my eating preferences (roughly organic, paleo, low fructose) and a hospital with a 24 hour emergency department. We settled on Port Macquarie in NSW because neither of us had been there before.
We couldn’t have made a better choice. Continue reading “Port Macquarie”
In the debate about marriage equality, one argument put forward by proponents of traditional marriage is pushing its way to the fore: that marriage equality is undesirable because it denies a child knowledge of and access to both his/her mother and father. This is an argument that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
It is not just that the parenting issue for same sex couples has (for the most part) already been resolved, with adoption, sperm donation, co-parenting amongst male and female same sex couples, and recognition of two same sex parents on a birth certificate already accepted, and that this means the marriage equality debate is quite literally one about whether we as a society believe in equal recognition of same sex relationships. It is also that society, as a whole, has long since moved on from the concept of a traditional nuclear family unit (biological mother, father, kids). Continue reading “The marriage equality debate is no longer about children”