They came from somewhere

The explosion on a boat of asylum seekers off the north-west of Australia, killing five and injuring more, has rekindled some familiar issues and debates. From the right of the fence, we’re given the impression (yawn) that Australia is in danger of being over-run by economic refugees arriving by sea to take advantage of Australia’s social welfare system. Take your binoculars to Bondi and play spot the Boat People, kids. Continue reading They came from somewhere

International Women’s Day

When I was at Macquarie University, it wasn’t uncommon for guys to remark ‘There’s a women’s room, where’s the men’s room?’ (The clever answer was ‘the bar’) and you might ask a similar question about International Women’s Day, which is this coming Sunday. Coming from a family with extremely strong women, who haven’t always had it easy, I think a ‘global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future’ is a pretty good idea. You don’t have to look too far to find celebrations of the achievements of men, do you?

Continue reading International Women’s Day

Who our real friends are

The opening From the Bookshelf paragraph from a few weeks ago was from John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, the first of seven in the Tomorrow series for teenagers. It follows the adventures of an Australian high school student, Ellie and her group of friends, and uses the basic idea of ‘what would happen if Australia was invaded?’ as the backdrop for an exploration of the emotional and social pressures faced by teenagers. Continue reading Who our real friends are