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Australian Catholic University (ACU) engages the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to bring a distinct perspective to higher education. We explore cultural, social, ethical and religious issues through the lens of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in our teaching, research and service.

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‘Goddesses of Democracy’ in the 21st century: Thomas Marsh sculpted a replica (left) in Washington DC of the statue destroyed in Tiananmen Square in 1989; on the 21st anniversary of the massacre, Hong Kong students erected a statue on campus (centre) after police had seized a plastic replica. Flickr/DB King; Flickr/Ryanne Lai; Flickr/Ryanne Lai

Democracy needs heroes to champion the cause

Democracy – despite being considered by many as the only legitimate form of government – has no laureates to call its own.
Reclaim Australia supporters at the April rallies displayed a mix of liberal and anti-Muslim slogans. Irfan Ahmad

Reclaiming Australia? Liberalism’s role in Islamophobia

If Reclaim Australia were rallying Muslims, the liberal media would examine its religious inspirations. Yet the media treat its supporters as disgruntled individuals rather than Christian representatives.
Wolf Hall is based on historical events – but its producers don’t claim to be telling a true story. BBC/Company Productions Ltd

Historical fiction on TV is equally about the here and now

Historical representation is far more complex than merely providing the facts – which is why debate continues to rage about the authenticity of popular televised historical dramas such as Game of Thrones and Banished.
Our current focus on the drug ice takes the spotlight away from the harms of excessive alcohol use, which is actually a bigger problem in Australia. Photographer/Flickr

Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia’s drinking problem on ice

Alcohol-related violence is a much bigger problem in Australia than the harms of illicit drugs but we tend to overlook the former because the latter gets more headlines.
Many low-scoring students think they’ve done better than they actually have, meaning they’re more likely to take risks in testing situations. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Too many school students are over-confident

Confidence is a strong correlate to test scores, but many low-scoring students are over-confident and should be more realistic about their abilities.
Different questions for low and high achievers is actually beneficial for judging how students at each end of the spectrum are going. Alan Porritt/AAP

Tailored online NAPLAN better for monitoring high and low achievers

Tailored testing where the test gets easier or harder depending on how the student is faring actually gives us a better idea of how students are going.
Are the best parts of unis – students collaborating and sharing ideas – going to be lost in a mass university system? Kennedy Library/Flickr

The mass university is good for equity, but must it also be bad for learning?

When universities began expanding, they became more inclusive. While this is a good thing, scholars often look at their large class sizes and lament that half of the students won't set foot in the lecture theatres or libraries thanks to technology.
We need to determine if there is any point in maintaining the concept of ‘race’ in the Constitution. AAP Image/NEWZULU/Wayne E Jansson

Frank Brennan: the case for modest constitutional change

Will completing the Constitution without making any substantive changes satisfy Indigenous Australians or make any real difference to their lives? Ahead of the proposed referendum on Indigenous recognition, such questions are vital.
The story of Johnny Depp’s dogs and their potential fate attracted global media attention. AAP/Dave Hunt

Johnny Depp’s dogs show evolving ideas of animal ‘citizenship’

Behind the uproar over Johnny Depp's dogs lies a serious and evolving idea: our animal companions have an important place in our lives that entitles them to rights akin to a sort of citizenship.
Is it too commonly assumed that racism is a major contributor to the problems of Indigenous Australia? Len Matthews

Racism towards Indigenous Australians: reporting the good with the bad

Can we trace modern-day racism against Indigenous Australians to the country's British invaders? Often when trying to extinguish a fire, it is more important to know what sustains it rather than what started it.
Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel marched in record numbers at the 2015 Mardi Gras, led by senior Defence officers – a stark contrast to the way gay veterans were treated in the past. Department of Defence

Laying wreaths for Australians who once served in silence

On Anzac Day 1982, five gay veterans tried to lay a wreath at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, but were turned away by the Shrine Guard and the state RSL president. This year, that won't happen.
Chinese workers are often aided by NGOs and usually receive little to no help from the main Chinese trade union. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally

The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising against incredible odds.
Adoption should only be considered when other, less intrusive options, have been eliminated. Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

Adoption has a role in child protection but it’s no panacea

In response to the tragic death of four-year-old Chloe Valentine in South Australia, adoption has been raised as a solution to a "child protection crisis".

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