Indigenous Australians use ochre to add colour and detail to items such as this shield at the South Australian Museum. Image courtesy of South Australian Museum

When bacteria tell a story: tracing Indigenous Australian ochre sources via microbial ‘fingerprinting’

Ochre is more than just paint - it tells stories of culture and trade in Indigenous Australians. Using museum artefacts plus science can track ochre sources and untangle a lost history.
Contrary to popular belief, sex workers were more likely than not to report that their work enhanced their wellbeing. Author supplied

New report shows compelling reasons to decriminalise sex work

The study shows the negative effects of sex work's criminalisation, including a reluctance of workers to go to police and clients using it as an excuse to abuse workers.
Beauty is still understood as a process of ongoing work and maintenance. Shutterstock

Friday essay: toxic beauty, then and now

The history of dangerous cosmetics shows us the harms that women have suffered to meet expectations of what is beautiful.
Play activates cities and engages people, and by appropriating urban spaces it changes what these mean to people.

Bringing back an old idea for smart cities – playing on the street

As adults we often trivialise the value of play. But playing games lets us play with possibilities, see how they play out – and exploring alternative realities helps us see the familiar in new ways.
Without help, Tasmania’s swift parrots could be wiped out within three generations. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commmons

Swift parrots need protection from sugar gliders, but that’s not enough

Tasmania's swift parrots are in trouble. Scientists are aiming to help them by keeping them safe from predators, but without better habitat protection, the species may go extinct.
Eight teams will take to the field for the second AFLW season – but transgender woman Hannah Mouncey will not be among them. AAP/Dan Peled

By excluding Hannah Mouncey, the AFL’s inclusion policy has failed a key test

The decision to exclude transgender woman Hannah Mouncey from the AFLW may breach anti-discrimination law, and contradicts the AFL’s public position of embracing diversity and inclusivity.
7 Pleasures: to explore body politics with a troupe of muscular, lean, able bodied dancers, limits the kinds of questions one might ask. Marc Coudrais

7 Pleasures explores naked desire but fails to confront cliches

Mette Ingvartsen’s 7 Pleasures aims to upend clichés about nudity. But the 'confrontational' use of nudity in dance and performance art is itself now something of a cliche.

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