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Pauline Hanson built a political career on white victimhood and brought far-right rhetoric to the mainstream

pauline hanson built a political career on white victimhood and brought far-right rhetoric to the mainstream
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Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP Pauline Hanson and her party have only achieved modest electoral successes. Yet, she is undoubtedly Australia’s most successful populist politician and has had a profound impact on the way the country talks about issues like multiculturalism and immigration. Hanson’s entire political career...

Is America a ‘failing state’? How a superpower has been brought to the brink

is america a ‘failing state’? how a superpower has been brought to the brink
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Picture: AAP/EPA/Albert Halim After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a sense history had ended, and that the United States represented a supreme endpoint. Today, the US is not dominant, it is in crisis: convulsed by riots and protest, riven by a virus that has galloped...

From HAL 9000 to Westworld’s Dolores: the pop culture robots that influenced smart voice assistants

from hal 9000 to westworld’s dolores: the pop culture robots that influenced smart voice assistants
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Picture: HBO Last year, nearly one third of Australian adults owned a smart speaker device allowing them to call on “Alexa” or “Siri”. Now, with more time spent indoors due to COVID-19, smart voice assistants may be playing even bigger roles in people’s lives. But...

All colours of the rainbow: why Tasmania’s new gender identity laws are warranted

jon kudelka/supplied all colours of the rainbow: why tasmania’s new gender identity laws are warranted
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Image: Jon Kudelka/supplied In late 2019, Tasmania became the first state to allow its citizens (especially transgender/agender people) to obtain a birth certificate that accurately reflects their gender identity. Given the novelty of the law, the state’s peak law reform body was directed to consider...

Fee cuts for nursing and teaching but big hikes for law and humanities in package expanding university places

fee cuts for nursing and teaching but big hikes for law and humanities in package expanding university places
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Picture: Paul William/AAP The federal government will fund an extra 39,000 university places by 2023 in a package that will restructure the amounts students have to pay for courses to encourage them to “make more job-relevant choices”. Under the plan to produce “job-ready graduates”, to be...

Facebook vs news: Australia wants to level the playing field, Facebook politely disagrees

facebook vs news: australia wants to level the playing field, facebook politely disagrees
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Shutterstock The Australian government is setting out to develop a “bargaining code” to address power imbalances between news media publishers and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. The creation of this code was recommended last year in the final report of the Digital Platforms Inquiry held...

Sunday essay: training a new generation of performers about intimacy, safety and creativity

sunday essay: training a new generation of performers about intimacy, safety and creativity
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Normal people/IMDB In his surprisingly dark and often shocking account of life at a New York performing arts school, Alan Parker’s Fame (1980) exposes the way youthful exuberance and vulnerability are easy prey for those who manipulate and abuse their position. The film depicts public humiliation, shaming, racism,...

‘Like having a truck idling in your living room’: the toxic cost of wood-fired heaters

‘like having a truck idling in your living room’: the toxic cost of wood-fired heaters
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Picture: Shuttlecock Australians are accustomed to having fresh air, and our clean atmosphere is a source of pride for many. Last summer’s bushfires, however, brought air quality to the public’s attention, as millions of Australians breathed some of the world’s worst quality air. But there’s a lesser-known source...

Employers, schools, take note. Coronavirus ‘clearance certificates’ are a waste of everybody’s time

employers, schools, take note. coronavirus ‘clearance certificates’ are a waste of everybody’s time
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Image: Shuttlestock Last week, my two-year-old niece was sent home from daycare for having a runny nose – a sin that would otherwise be commonplace on a windy winter’s day. The daycare centre instructed my sister she would need to produce a medical certificate “clearing” my...

A long way to the top: Australian musicians balance multiple roles to make their careers work

a long way to the top: australian musicians balance multiple roles to make their careers work
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Picture: Danny Howe/Unsplash Over the past three years, our Making Music Work project has mapped the creative, social, cultural, and economic realities of a music career in Australia. We surveyed nearly 600 musicians to understand their working lives, creative goals, career paths and economic circumstances. We also conducted...