• Defend your democracy

    Brendan Nicholson     |      May 12, 2018

    John Berry, the former American Ambassador to Canberra, urges Australia, the United States and other democracies to stand up to autocratic and increasingly aggressive nations such as Russia and China and protect their institutions against all attempts to undermine them.

  • Time for a shake up in musculoskeletal pain care

    Helen Slater     |      April 26, 2018

    System wide reform is required to improve the management of chronic pain in Australia and ease the suffering it brings to thousands of Australians.

  • The limits of modelling – Knowing what we don’t know

    Emma White     |      April 22, 2018

    Modelling the impact of mine developments on groundwater is critical for protecting ecosystems and agriculture, but it can go astray if we don’t recognise that all models lack certainty.

  • The threatened species in our urban jungle

    Kylie Soanes     |      April 20, 2018

    Far from being a biodiversity wasteland, our sprawling conurbations are home to some of Australia’s most threatened species. While some have already been lost, others can still be nurtured to maintain a toe-hold for nature in an increasingly man-made environment.

  • The future of work

    Rhonda Brighton-Hall     |      August 12, 2015

    Our understanding of work is still hanging on to some old concepts. Rhonda Brighton-Hall, FlexCareers chairperson, explains what’s changing and why we should be excited.

    I often think about the future of work – mainly because I’m so eager to get to a better place than we are today. Work, as we know it, is just not very friendly for real people with real lives. Fundamentally, ‘work’ is long overdue for an overhaul, and all the current disruptions present such an abundance of inter-related possibilities, that I’m daring to be excited!

    Of course, the bar we’re starting off is pretty low. Our current understanding of work is hanging on to some really old ideas. For example:

  • Have a night in

    editor     |      July 14, 2015

    Friday 31 July 2015 is White Ribbon Night. The event raises funds to help stop violence against women. Communities across Australia are asked to have a night in to get the word out.

  • Learn, Respect and Celebrate

    editor     |      June 8, 2015

    It’s NAIDOC week from 5 to 12 July 2015. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.

  • What to give a child who can’t read?

    Jennifer Buckingham     |      December 10, 2014

    The results from the latest NAPLAN show that large numbers of students in Years 3 to 9 in Victoria have profound problems with literacy and numeracy. Jennifer Buckingham says Victorian families deserve much better than what both the Labor and Liberal parties have promised.

  • How automation will transform the economy

    Prof. James Guthrie     |      October 1, 2014

    The trend in the computerisation of jobs is not new. James Guthrie, Head of Academic Relations at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, says new technologies will change the job market of tomorrow.

    As we pick up pace in the 21st century, things previously considered science fiction are starting to creep over the horizon. Driverless cars will just be known as "autos" and so many of the things we do at work will be replaced by computer software.

    If you think about what you do for a living, how soon could it be replaced by a robot or algorithm? Do you spend hours a day creating algorithms to make your job easier?

    As we focus on creating efficiencies, we open up endless possibilities to do things even better. Imagine if we had stopped developing the car after the model T, or if we were satisfied with the mobile phones of the 1980's.

  • Student protests are, unfortunately, ‘un-Australian’

    Piero Moraro     |      May 26, 2014

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne described student protests to higher education cuts as 'un-Australian'. Political ethicist Dr Piero Moraro says protest is just not part of the Australian culture yet and that's not necessarily something to be proud of.

    Last week Mr Pyne described students' angry protest at the Federal Budget as 'incomprehensible, anti-democratic and un-Australian'.

    The protests were probably incomprehensible only to Mr Pyne himself. Making higher education twice or thrice more expensive is very unlikely to be received with cheers and applause.

    Protest and democracy

    Nor are those protests 'anti-democratic' – accountability is a distinguishing feature of democracy, it gives the power to the people but this cannot be the mere once-in-five-years power to cast a ballot.

  • A chat amongst women

    Holly Miller     |      March 11, 2014

    Last week ActionAid Australia organised an evening to bring women together for an exchange of ideas on issues of women’s rights in a global context. Holly Miller from ActionAid stresses the importance of meeting and chatting to create change for women here and internationally.

    In our action oriented society, there’s almost a stigma against sitting around talking. But there’s real power in having a chat. Particularly a chat amongst women.

    In the lead up to International Women’s Day last week, ActionAid Australia hosted an event that sought to bring women – and the men that support us – together. The aim of the evening was simply to provide a forum for a bit of a… chat, really, about issues of women’s rights in the global context.

  • Get onboard for Gonski

    Maurie Mulheron     |      February 27, 2013

    President of the NSW Teachers Federation, Maurie Mulheron, explains why the Gonski funding proposals are unfinished business and urges all political leaders to act now.

    While the legislation to establish the funding framework has been passed, there is still much work to do before the money is secured. At the NSW state level, we have seen the Premier and Minister for Education trumpeting their $1.7 billion cuts to education as an example of fiscal responsibility, claiming, among other things, that the abolition of the curriculum directorate, the gutting of professional support, the elimination of teaching and support positions and the loss of equity programs will not have any impact on public schools.

    But no amount of meaningless chatter about ‘new models’ or weasel words like ‘local decisions’ will distract the community from the State Government’s destructive educational policies.