history

So much more than good cooks!

This week, The Australian published an obituary for beloved and best-selling Australian author, Colleen McCullough. Her obituary opened with: COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best-selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.” Readers responded angrily to McCullough’s […]

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The mainstreaming of domestic violence

On Australia Day 2015, domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty was named Australian of the Year. Rosie’s 11 year-old son Luke was murdered by his father in February 2014 and since then the bereaved mother has made many media and public speaking appearances shining the attention on the issue of domestic violence and calling for systemic changes. Male violence against women and children in the home is not new of course. […]

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Free speech – not on vaccination it seems!

A SOCIAL media campaign is in progress to stop an American anti-vaccination campaigner running a series of lectures in Australia in March. Following on from the success of a campaign which resulted in the cancellation of the misogynist Julien Blanc’s visa, pro-vaccination activists are calling on the immigration department to have Dr Sherri Tenpenny’s visa cancelled because she speaks about the harms associated with vaccines. Dr Sherri Tenpenny has planned […]

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Raw milk madness!

  The Herald Sun has reported that a three-year-old Mornington Peninsula child has died and four other young children have become seriously ill in recent weeks after drinking unpasteurised milk  sold in Victoria. The reports of this death and injuries were accompanied by screaming headlines in both large font and capital letters KILLER MILK, and the next day Cosmetic milk controversy: State in grip of toxic milk madness. Let’s put this death […]

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I am feminist: Hear me roar!

 If you hear that word one more time, you will definitely cringe. You may exhale pointedly. And you might even seek out the nearest the pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids. What word is this? You tell us, Katy Steinmetz wrote, urging readers of Time Magazine to vote in the 2015 annual word banishment poll. ‘Feminist’ along with words such  as ‘disrupt’ and […]

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Our world in transition

Petra White wrote this evocative poem, published in The Age on Saturday October 11 A History of the Siege Dark days are here. Nothing can stop them, they crowd like hair around the temples, everyone knows and now we can say, at last, it is dark. On Manus, they are walking along fine edges of themselves, under a borrowed moon, a borrowed sun. Nobody follows them, they would lead only […]

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Baby Gammy forces us to face some ugly truths about surrogacy

Gammy is six-months old, and one of the twins born to Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua. The 21 year-old mother of two was struggling to pay debts last year when she was offered the equivalent of $11,700 to be a surrogate for a Western Australian couple. When the intended parents learned that one of the twins she was carrying had Down syndrome they rejected him. Ms Pattaramon has never met Gammy’s […]

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Surrogacy-male violence against poor women

On ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program July 8, reporter Jane Cowan took a critical look at commercial surrogacy. The Last Resort was filmed in Cancun, Mexico where poor women, often from rural villages come to the popular tourist city hoping to become surrogate mothers. In Mexico successful surrogates are paid up to $13,000 for the delivery of a child to desperate infertile western couples. The business of surrogacy takes place at Planet Hospital, […]

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