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The science of astronomy has existed for thousands of years and forms a vital part of Indigenous Australian culture. Ben Ashmole/flickr

Speaking with: Duane Hamacher on Indigenous astronomy

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have between 40,000 and 60,000 years of pre-colonial history that includes stories of constellations they observed in the night sky and traditions that align…
James Cromwell as an older Rupert Murdoch in David Williamson’s show Rupert. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Staging power: David Williamson’s portrait of Citizen Murdoch

The Melbourne Theatre Company’s (MTC) production of David Williamson’s 2013 play Rupert has finally made it to Sydney, via Melbourne and Washington, in late 2014. Along the way, the MTC has acquired the…
The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional ‘Christ of Faith’. Charles Roffey/Flickr

Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’

Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold…
Good teeth often correlates with good health. But one in five over-65s have lost all their teeth. m01229/Flickr

How to fill the gaps in Australia’s dental health system

An Aussie smile is an instant indicator of socioeconomic status, employability and self-esteem. It’s also a predictor of physical health. So it’s shocking that Australians’ dental health has not improved…
Who gets to survive when fire ravages the food and cover of native animals? Flickr/Alastair Smith

Predators get the advantage when bushfires destroy vegetation

Bushfires are a part of life in Australia, and when they have run their course we pick up where we left off and carry on. But if you happen to be a small animal, surviving the bushfire is only the start…
Parents can support young people to develop healthy, respectful and consensual sexual relationships. Ed Yourdon/Flickr

Let’s talk about sex: teaching teens to negotiate sexual intimacy

Talking about sex, intimacy and risk-taking with adolescents is not as easy as busting out a Salt-N-Pepa classic. Catchy lyrics aside, parents may be grappling with a number of questions: Is my adolescent…
Critics looking to make sense of Australian screen culture might do well to leave the cinemas and check out YouTube. Instagram

Is Kurt Coleman the future of Australian screen storytelling?

Weirdness is one of the most distinctive features of Aussie cinema. From Jim Sharman’s kooky debut feature Shirley Thompson Versus The Aliens (1972) to the sublime spookiness of Picnic at Hanging Rock…
Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton announce changes to the government’s GP co- payment policy. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Back to the future with Coalition attacks on Medicare bulk billing

In the government’s latest “scraping away the barnacles” of unpopular and blocked policies, prime minister Tony Abbott and health minister Peter Dutton have announced they’re abandoning the plan to have…
Talk of a tax crackdown has Joe Hockey smiling. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia eyes missing billions with very own ‘Google tax’

Joe Hockey has hinted he may introduce a “Google tax” as a new weapon to tackle profit shifting by multinational enterprises. The Treasurer’s suggestion is not only political as a counter to aggressive…
Amid clouds of teargas, the Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Man’ defies police attempts to end the protest. Wikimedia Commons/Pasu Au Yeung

Umbrella Man: a unique threat to China or symbol of wider change?

The haunting image of a masked protester defiantly hoisting two black umbrellas amid a cloud of tear gas flickered across global social media platforms in the seconds and minutes after the Umbrella uprising…

Taiwan’s Great Choosing Day

This is the final contribution to a five-part series of field notes covering the background dynamics and global significance of last Saturday’s fiercely fought ‘nine-in-one’ elections in Taiwan. The great…
Taking the politics out of it, what should the ABC be doing with its reduced budget? AAP/Joel Carrett

Expert panel: is there a place for the ABC in modern Australia?

In the recent ABC funding debate, many have questioned what the public broadcaster is for. What should its role be in Australia’s contemporary media landscape? Some argue that the ABC is a market-failure…
Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride is a milestone in opera history – and Pinchgut’s production is marvellous. Photo: Keith Saunders. Pinchgut Opera

Pinchgut’s Iphigénie en Tauride: a work of pure theatrical magic

In any Opera History 101 course, Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) is cited as one of the most influential figures in the development of opera. And, of course, this is true. Gluck’s operas, and his…
Aunty Gayle Rankine, chairperson of the First Peoples Disability Network, is the subject of a portrait from Unfinished Business, a photographic project by Belinda Mason. Belinda Mason/Unfinished Business

Indigenous Australians can take pride in disability policy gains

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), December 3, is important for commemorating the successes and efforts of the disability rights movement. The theme this year is Sustainable Development…

Taiwan: A Great Choosing Day is Coming (Part 4)

This is the fourth in a series covering the background and dynamics of last Saturday’s fiercely fought ‘nine-in-one’ elections in Taiwan. The great choosing day in Taiwan is just hours away and it is no…

Taiwan: A Great Choosing Day is Coming (Part 3)

This is the third in a series covering the background and current dynamics of this Saturday’s fiercely fought ‘nine-in-one’ elections in Taiwan. As recently as two decades ago, free and fair elections…
John Williams' 1960 novel has been hailed as part of a pantheon of western masterpieces. Pam Morris

Long read: the ideology of nature in Butcher’s Crossing

Despite the huge and belated praise now surrounding John Williams’ novel Stoner (1965), much less attention has been cast to his earlier novel, Butcher’s Crossing (1960). Still, it’s been rightly hailed…

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