State of the Nation

Short pieces offering a perspective on where Australia’s at right now.

Death of a Sellsword, or, Hunger is the Best Spice

Death of a Sellsword, or, Hunger is the Best Spice

Patrick Marlborough
Winter 2024
I freelance because I am a freak and a failure. A lifetime with the vibe and energy of a character in the third act of a Safdie brothers movie has made me all but unemployable in the industry that I’ve ...
Some thoughts on the common toadstool (or, the intruder)

Some thoughts on the common toadstool (or, the intruder)

Ben Brooker
Winter 2024
In Adelaide’s Museum of Economic Botany, the charming centre-piece of the city’s Botanic Garden, is a display case containing 210 papier-mâché models of fungi made in the nineteenth century by Heinrich Arnoldi and Co in Gotha, Germany ...
Renewing democracy with collaborative reasoning

Renewing democracy with collaborative reasoning

Michelle Sowey
Winter 2024
Some years ago, I met with the principal of an elite private school to pitch the benefits of a program of philosophical inquiry for students ...
There is no beginning

There is no beginning

Na'ama Carlin
Pain, suffering, hope, humanity, and revolution are universal and do not necessitate the safety of one peoples to the exclusion of others. We are not free until all of us are free ...
The land of silent screams

The land of silent screams

Amy Remeikis
When Brittany Higgins came forward with her allegations, the nation split into two camps ...
Place my hands in the water

Place my hands in the water

Phoebe Grainer
Rain fell on my spirit and buried it somewhere in the dirt. It’s eight days post-referendum ...
Palestine as liberatory praxis

Palestine as liberatory praxis

Sara M Saleh
The People of Gaza insist on living—and so we must not assign them to their death ...
Defying racism with love and care

Defying racism with love and care

Thomas Mayo
Summer 2023
Uluṟu stands still at the heart of the nation, an omnipresent red rock surrounded by an ocean of ochre. Immovable. The dark emu emerges each night, a silhouette among the stars. Unreachable. As sure as the sun will shine on ...
The thylacine icon

The thylacine icon

Kate Kruimink
Summer 2023
The thylacine is an easy symbol of Tasmania’s exceptional wildness and beauty. You also receive the benefit of nostalgia from its image because it’s dead. You see it in shop windows felted, painted, sculpted and printed. It is available in ...
Lowering the cost of courage

Lowering the cost of courage

Kieran Pender
Summer 2023
At a recent event in Melbourne to launch the Human Rights Law Centre’s Whistleblower Project, a new legal service for those who speak up about wrongdoing, an interesting divergence of views emerged. It revealed much about the troubled state of ...
State of the Nation?

State of the Nation?

Gary Foley
Spring 2023
This apparent inability of most Australians to come to terms with their own history persists to this very day. As a university teacher and professor of history, I have for the past twenty years encountered and taught thousands of Australian students, ...
Journalism and the Referendum

Journalism and the Referendum

Dan Bourchier
Winter 2023
‘A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?’ This is the question all enrolled Australians will be asked later this year. Yes ...
Prised Wide Shut

Prised Wide Shut

Jo Dyer
Winter 2023
It’s not the end of the world at all. It’s only the end of us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan’t be in it. Nevil Shute, On the Beach Political winds swirl wildly these days ...
Stayin' Alive

Stayin’ Alive

Jasper Peach
Winter 2023
You rock up to the emergency department of your local hospital with a jagged piece of bone protruding from your leg. Despite seeing the inside of your body on the outside, the medics who made an oath to do no ...