Little did I know when I appeared in front of a Senate committee last week that I would be at the centre of a national controversy about loyalty tests. I appeared at the Inquiry into Issues Facing Diaspora Communities to present research I had done earlier this year about the representation of culturally and linguistically diverse people in Australian politics. Despite our cultural diversity, Australia does far worse when it comes to representation than other Westminster democracies like the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Instead of being asked about my statement or submission in detail, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric […]
On reading Ali Smith’s Summer When a continent burned and another melted I’m reading Ali Smith’s Summer and I want to not believe her. I want to deny and scoff at that part where the English character Sacha is outraged by the deniers and dismissers of the Australian bushfires. Not even when they see pictures of Australia burning do they admit it. Not even when half a billion dead creatures—meaning 500000000 individual living things dead—is only the death toll from one area. What does Ali Smith’s Sacha know? She’s only a Greta-aged girl on the other side of the world. It […]
The first time Victoria goes into lockdown, our house is taken over by a person-like creature that is halfway hatched from what seems to be a chicken egg. It has a peach-and-cream skin tone and bright blue eyes. It yells things like ‘whey-hey-hey!’ and ‘niiiiiiiiiice work!’ over the pokies-esque sound of virtual coin-eggs accruing in a virtual money bag. As part of learning from home, my six-year-old child, who is in Prep, has been given an account for the online literacy program ABC Reading Eggs. I’m reading the website homepage: Learning to read can be easy and fun! … Children […]
Ania Walwicz was a no bullshit sort of a person. She would never harp on things. She’d just say her one or two sentences on a matter, in a slightly inquisitive, curious way, finish it off with a ‘good-o’, and then change the subject with a ‘so…’ She’d move on from a conversation long before I was ready to. I like to analyse, dissect until an answer reveals itself. Ania would plant questions in my mind, send me home with theories, ideas and perspectives to churn over. We have lost a great creative mind. I always felt like there was […]
Viruses and colonialism are hand in glove, to posit an unsanitary metaphor. As Jared Diamond writes in Guns, Germs and Steel, his bestselling global history, European colonisation, particularly in the Americas and Australasia, cannot be understood without reference to the terrible, at times genocidal, ravages of disease on indigenous societies.
Translated by Omid Tofighian. I’m sitting on the plane, looking out of the window at the boundless blue of the sky. Curses are overflowing from inside me. I am surprised at the situation, surprised at my discontentment. I reason with myself that this is possibly just because I’m heading for something new, and I tell myself that I can handle that. After a short time I see a luscious, vibrant-green island: a beautiful green dot tucked away between the waves of the ocean. I smile. Its pristineness seems to be something to behold—something unparalleled. When I disembark from the […]
At first we laughed at ourselves. The way people looked disapprovingly at a bulging shopping bag. The moral agony about whether to take the last tin of kidney beans. The jokes about toilet paper. None of it was real for me until the day the airlines said they were cancelling all international flights.
there was something,
I don’t know,
echt modernist about it
imagining your walk
to the field of weeds