Australians love their pets, so why don’t more public places welcome them?

Pets are a common sight in places like cafes overseas, but are generally unwelcome in many public places in Australia.  Anastasiya Lobanovskaya/Pexels Venture to the local shops and you’ll probably see dogs outside on the footpath waiting for their owners. Perhaps the store has provided...

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

The ways in which older women maintain meaningful social connections are many and varied – in this case, they do volunteer work for a greyhound adoption service. Joe Castro/AAP Who decides what matters in the lives of voters? In the run-up to the 2018 Victorian...

When granny flats go wrong – perils for parents highlight need for law reform

Granny flats are often the result of informal arrangements between parents and children who assume it will all work out well.  Markus J/Shutterstock A “granny flat agreement” is an informal arrangement between a parent and their adult child or children. The parent (often elderly) contributes funds...

Why outer suburbs lack inner city’s ‘third places’: a partial defence of the hipster

The independent owner-operated businesses that bring life to run-down neighbourhoods often have a hipster ethos.  Peter Walters, Author provided One of the stark differences between neighbourhoods in the inner city and outer suburbs in Australia is the quality and type of retail offerings. Gentrifying inner-city suburbs...

Life in a tiny house: what’s it like and how can it be made better?

Although tiny houses take many forms, most are situated in rural or semi-rural areas. Jekka Shearer, Author provided Mention “tiny house” in any social gathering and people almost always say, “Oh I love tiny houses.” The enthusiasm for tiny houses isn’t matched, however, by the take-up of tiny...

Hidden women of history: Mary Jane Cain, land rights activist matriarch and community builder

Mary Jane Cain (centre) with granddaughters Miley Barker and and Molly Chatfield and her great niece Josephine.  The sun dancin': people and place Coonabarabran (Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994) For the communities of Coonabarabran in New South Wales and her grasslands Gomeroi people, Mary Jane Cain is a revered...

It’s not just the isolation. Working from home has surprising downsides

Working from home means taking work into your home.  Shutterstock What if you never had to return to work? Never had to return to work at the office, that is. You’d be able to juggle kids on school holidays. You wouldn’t need to navigate traffic jams....

Hidden women of history: Elsie Masson, photographer, writer, intrepid traveller

Elsie Masson outside Government House, Darwin.  Wayne Collection, Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum. In 1913, at the age of 23, Elsie Masson was travelling on a steamer near Port Essington, 150 miles from Darwin, when it was approached by a small lugger. The boat was manned by...

Is your ‘experience diet’ making you unwell?

Uninviting, car-dominated streets, like this one in Melbourne, reduce our experience menu by discouraging beneficial activities like walking and sharing places with other people.   Just as our food diet affects our physical and emotional health, so does our “experience diet”. This is the day-to-day...

Making New Year’s resolutions personal could actually make them stick

Do you want to learn how to play guitar? Write down why that’s important to you. Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash If you feel you consistently fail at your New Year’s resolutions, you are not alone. Despite our good intentions, we’re pretty poor at changing our own behaviour. We...