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La Trobe University was established in 1964. It takes a brave, bold approach to higher education and delivers socially responsible, inclusive, relevant and radical teaching, learning and research. La Trobe University is also a leading provider of regional higher education in Australia.

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The smiling face of the person serving you is an important part of the retail experience that makes customers want to come back for more. Shutterstock/Ikonoklast Fotografie

Why business suddenly cares about staff being happy

A more likely reason for businesses' current interest in happiness and wellbeing has to do with cold hard economics and shifts in the labour force. Happiness, in short, is good for business.
Participating in a HIV cure trial offers few benefits for the individual but many for the community. Morgan DDL/Shutterstock

Risks vs rewards: why people with HIV volunteer for ‘cure’ research

A recent survey of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom found that over half would participate in a clinical study to develop a cure for HIV despite this posing a risk to their health.
Critics may sneer but pro-wrestling is a highly theatrical form. Tracy Nearmy/AAP

RAW theatre: pro-wrestling belongs on the arts pages

A bawdy, sexist, overblown spectacle that celebrates a particularly regressive form of masculinity? The same might be said of a good deal of theatre – not to mention culture generally.

Slut-shaming and the case of Monica Lewinsky

Last year, at the age of 41, Monica Lewinsky broke her public silence and voluntarily stepped into the limelight by writing an article in Vanity Fair. A few months ago she presented a TED Talk speaking…
Uganda has come under pressure over its anti-homosexual laws. Reuters/Edward Echwalu

Science alone can’t shift anti-gay prejudice in Africa

For more than a century there has been tension between the ideas that our sexuality is essential, and the idea that we have the potential to act out a far greater range of sexual desires and identities than we do in practice.
Australians are surprisingly bad at thinking about the place of religion in society. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Religious freedom should not necessitate sexual discrimination

Australia has an apparent conflict between religious freedom and sexual anti-discrimination legislation. It is particularly prominent in three areas: marriage, education, and social service provision.
Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson (right) returned to Indonesia this week. AAP/Aaron Bunch

Ambassador’s return to Indonesia shows his recall was futile

In returning Paul Grigson to Jakarta so swiftly, the Australian government proved that its choice to put its relationship with Indonesia at risk for short-term political opportunism was pointless.
If the proposals are agreed, they could delay the market entry of generic medicines in the region – and the impact will be felt around the world. Jeng_Niamwhan

RCEP: the trade agreement you’ve never heard of but should be concerned about

Seven rounds of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership have already taken place with virtually no public debate. The next round of negotiations begins today in Kyoto, Japan.
A century after governments wished to erase the convict past, their place in Australian history was being celebrated in programs such as The Colony on SBS. AAP/Hilton Cordell Productions/Simon Cardwell

Stain or badge of honour? Convict heritage inspires mixed feelings

Today, a convict ancestor is a matter of pride. But for past generations, including some convicts themselves, it was a shame that had to be hidden at all costs.
The claim that same-sex marriage harms children doesn’t stack up against the current evidence. Lopolo/Shutterstock

In families with same-sex parents, the kids are all right

A central argument made against same-sex marriage is that children born into these marriages will be disadvantaged: they will grow up with inappropriate gender role modelling and be bullied at school.
Former SS member Oskar Groening, 93, is on trial, charged with accessory in the murder of about 300,000 people at Auschwitz. EPA/AXEL HEIMKEN / POOL

Oskar Groening and our own guilt for crimes committed collectively

Oskar Groening has declared his moral guilt as an Auschwitz accountant. His trial, currently underway, points to difficult questions about the implications of our own participation in collective activities.

Devastating consequences of secrecy and silence

Thanks to many generous contributors I now have an arsenal of potential responses to the question “what do you do?”. My options span a wide range of possible replies, including the flippant, cheeky, risqu…
Modi’s visible international engagement has been as much for domestic as international consumption. Yonhap South Korea Out/EPA/AAP

Modi the statesman must now sell domestic reform

Modi's first year in office saw him visit 19 countries, spending 52 days abroad. But his energy shown overseas has not been matched by the requisite zeal for domestic economic reform.
This column will examine how sex, gender, and sexuality impact physical and mental wellbeing and how these issues shape, and are shaped by, the types of societies we build and value. Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig/Flickr

Sex, health and society: what’s the connection?

“What do you do?” It’s a question that always makes my heart sink, which aspect of what I do should I highlight in the answer to this minefield of a question. The answer must be brief because the attention…

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