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Volunteering is a way to get involved in your community as this man, who has a refugee background, is doing in his work with older vision-impaired people. Volunteering Western Australia (VWA)

Where have all the volunteers gone?

The rate of volunteering among Australians and the hours individuals contribute appear to be falling. So how do people see volunteering and what can be done to restore this vital community activity?
A Grateful Dead fan wears a shirt commemorating the band’s farewell tour. Stephen Lam/Reuters

The Grateful Dead were decades ahead of their time

In the internet era, musical artists freely distribute their songs and encourage fans to attend live shows. The Dead did this for 40 years.
Our individual happiness, the quality of our relationships and community well-being are closely interconnected. Shutterstock/Rawpixel

Pursuing happiness: it’s mostly a matter of surviving well together

We now know that we cannot spend our way to happiness nor pursue it as an individual goal. It turns out that happiness is built on the foundations of good relationships and broad well-being.
Santana Row, located in San Jose, California, is one of many Lifestyle Centers cropping up around the country. Parading themselves as a Main Street from a bygone era, these new retail centers hope to recreate what was lost in the rush to cover America with large malls from the 1950s through the 1990s. Santana Row

Lifestyle centers: reinvented communities or dressed-up shopping malls?

Meet the indoor shopping mall's hipper, “New Urbanist” cousin.
Race is one way we categorize ourselves among in-groups and out-groups. Hands image via

People like us: how our brains view others

Race-related demonstrations, Title IX disputes, affirmative action court cases, same-sex marriage bans. These issues made headlines in all spheres of the media this year. However, thoughtful articles on…
Last year’s election of federal independent MP Cathy McGowan as a result of Voices 4 Indi’s kitchen table campaign was a spectacular demonstration of the potential power of this model of community engagement. Voices4Indi/Facebook

Reasserting the public interest from Australians’ kitchen tables

Grassroots common sense and decency lie at the heart of two growing movements to reassert the voice of the people in the management of our local and national affairs. Kitchen table conversations and community…
The Sydney Alliance’s founding assembly in 2011 filled the Town Hall with people eager to put community back into politics. Kurt Iveson/

Community organising aims to win back civil society’s rightful place

In the wake of the Second World War, Karl Polanyi wrote that the public arena is made up of three interconnected sectors: the market, government and civil society. He argued that democracy thrives when…

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