With the steelworks under a cloud, Whyalla continues to fluctuate between hope and despair.
Decades of expansion for Whyalla were followed by decades of contraction. Whyalla has seen optimism and idealism but also, if not despair, then its close neighbours, alienation and apathy.
Before the AFL, there was the much better, much cooler, much more local SANFL.
Footy isn’t just the dominant spectator sport and topic of conversation in South Australia. It’s a salve.
Marcoo was a 1.4 kilotonne ground-level nuclear test carried out at Maralinga in 1956. The contaminated debris was buried at this site in the 1967 clean-up known as Operation Brumby.
History is writ large in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor: from the fossils of microscopic, cell-like creatures to ancient stone tools to the deitrus of rocket tests and the painful legacy of the Maralinga atomic blasts.
Chris Wallace (centre) in 1966 with brother Ron and father Arch.
For once in its life, under the premiership of Don Dunstan, South Australia felt like the very centre of the universe.
As per tradition Malcolm Turnbull has hosted the annual Prime Minister’s XI cricket match.
Since his ascendancy, the currently trim and muscular-looking Malcolm Turnbull has – for an Australian prime minister – had unusually little to say about sport.
Whichever way you look at it, Australian rules football makes a clear difference for the better in people’s lives.
In their hearts, everyone associated with the AFL knows the decline in the community is real.
Sport continues to be one of Australia’s most potent social lubricants.
Public discourse and commentary are generally blind to the massive contribution that local sport contributes to social connectedness.
Footballer Adam Goodes was daring to speak of things that many Australians would prefer to be ignorant of.
Until we see a marked change in the stories that are told, together with a shift from inclusion to social justice, the national story of Australian sport will remain very, very white.
The Papunya elders who organised the event were less concerned about their team winning and more about ensuring each community got a fair go.
Sports weekends are where family connections are sustained, and culture is infused into Australian football games played on country.
Can Brazil deliver at this year’s Olympic Games?
The 2016 Olympic Games is an invitation to a city known for partying more than anything else.
Australia has rejected self-determination as being fundamental to Indigenous humanness and development.
Public policy no longer requires the imprimatur of the Aboriginal people; Aboriginal participation in the decisions taken about their lives is negligible.
The climate is startlingly complex, as is the immune system.
Diverse threads of the vast interrogation of nature we call science are coming together in a rich and mutually informative intellectual tapestry.
Suffragette Vida Goldstein became the first Australian to meet an American president at the White House.
Australia’s inimitability with regard to women’s political equality has barely entered conventional studies of political history.
Tony Abbott sought to rule rather than govern, in much the same way that Kevin Rudd did. Both unravelled.
Only when systems change and cultural adjustments occur will the political class return to governing rather than ruling.
Are today’s politicians more cynical and power-hungry than their predecessors?
Governing was not meant to be easy. It never has been either.
Drape ‘Anzac’ over an argument and, like a magic cloak, the argument is sacrosanct – even though it shouldn’t be.
AAP/Alexander Turnbull Library
Never has the Anzac tradition been more popular and yet never have its defenders been more chauvinistic, bellicose and intolerant of other viewpoints.
What is obscured in our understanding of returned servicemen’s problems is the private pain of families who bear the brunt of these psychological strains.
Australia has continually faced a returned soldier crisis. This is something that marked men returning from all the wars of modern memory – from the Great War to Afghanistan and Iraq.
A ‘view from tower’ reveals the long rows of huts at Holsworthy internment camp, where Germans were interned during the First World War.
Paul Dubotzki/Dubotzki Collection
The story of the German–Australian community offers an alternative view of Australia’s history as a nation.
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of Anzac.
There is a complicated story involving the Anzac legend and the left between the 1920s and the 1960s which historians have barely begun to untangle.
The recent concentration on Victoria Cross heroes as major ‘carriers’ of the Anzac legend has skewed Australian military history.
Australians now seem so fascinated by the Victoria Cross that such attention has begun to get in the way of a balanced perspective on its place in military history.