The anti-transportation ‘ladies petition’ from 1850 is one of the first concrete examples of political engagement by women in the NSW colony. Parliament of NSW

Colonial history

Sydney’s 9,189 ‘sister politicians’ who petitioned Queen Victoria

A newly-discovered petition from 1850 provides rare evidence of what might be women's first moment of political activism in Australia.
Frances McDormand used her win at the 2018 Oscars to talk about inclusion riders: clauses stars can write into their contracts to improve screen diversity. But are they legal in Australia? Paul Buck/EPA

Gender

The case for ‘inclusion riders’ in creative industries: what Australian discrimination law says about quotas

Inclusion riders can improve employment for women and minorities on film sets by calling for quotas. New research suggests this form of discrimination could be legal in Australia.
Austrian novelist Peter Handke (L) and Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk (R) have been named as winners for the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 and 2018 respectively. EPA-EFE/Georg Hochmuth, Facundo Arrizabalaga

Literarture

Nobel Prize: Milosevic ‘apologist’ award serves as a reminder that reform of the academy runs slowly

But the 2018 prize, which went to a Polish woman, shows that the Academy might at least be aiming for more diversity in its laureates.
The Australian Ballet, here performing Monument, is one of the 29 Major Performing Arts companies whose funding is guaranteed. Artists are calling for these 29 organisations to lose their special status. Lukas Coch/AAP

Arts funding

Just 29 companies receive 59% of Australia Council funding. Artists are calling for a change

Among growing feelings of despair in the Australian arts sector, more than 700 leading artists and arts-workers have signed a petition calling for the Major Performing Arts framework to be abolished.
Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast the world has ever seen – but she is also unlike any other athlete the sport has known. Noushad Thekkayil/EPA

Friday essay

Friday essay: from delicate teens to fierce women, Simone Biles’ athleticism and advocacy have changed gymnastics forever

Simone Biles enters the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships already with the most all-around gold medals ever. The greatest of all time, she has changed the sport forever.
Musical scores for video game play utilise some traditional elements of composition but apply the latest technology. www.shutterstock.com

High scores

Music that you help make: composition for video gaming draws on tradition and tech

Creators of video game sound scores have more in common with classical composers than you might think - and they create dynamic sounds and music that cleverly respond to play.
You might not know the name, but you would recognise the songs. Mojo was the advertising agency behind such classics as You Ought to be Congratulated. Screenshot/YouTube

Advertising history

Mojo: the rise and fall of an Australian advertising empire

The ABC documentary, How Australia Got Its Mojo, purported to tell the story of advertising agency Mojo. But the real story is more complex.
Through Paul Hogan and Crocodile Dundee we can learn a lot about the enduring myth of the Aussie Bloke. Paramount

Aussie culture

Paul Hogan and the myth of the white Aussie bloke

The mythical Australian bloke is white, straight, and able-bodied – he's Crocodile Dundee. But where does this legend come from, and what is his future?

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