Who is really setting the agenda for Australia’s position in relation to fossil fuels and CO2 reduction?

Freedom of Information documents reveal that the mining sector, capitalising on its access to government officials, has been busy laying the groundwork for Australia’s position in relation to any emissions reduction commitments struck in Paris. The mining industry claims to account for about 11% of Australia’s GDP and more than half of Australia’s merchandise exports. […]

Is medical care on Nauru all it’s cracked up to be?

The case of the 23-year old woman flown to Australia for medical treatment and then back to Nauru last Friday without it has rightly outraged many Australians. As she had been brought to Australia for an abortion, a fairly commonplace procedure that apparently is difficult to access on Nauru, her case also raises questions about […]

Defying the Border Force Act – Newcastle Town Hall 17 September 2015

Thank you for the invitation to join this panel discussion tonight. I think the late Albert Camus was right when he said that one cannot put themself in the service of those who make history but must remain at the service of those who suffer it. That is why we must thank Professor Isaacs, Alanna […]

Juanita Nielsen Memorial Lecture 2015 – Values in an age of uncertainty

I would like to show my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, of elders past and present, on which this event takes place. I would like to thank Senator Lee Rhiannon for the invitation to speak tonight. I have long admired Senator Rhiannon’s ability to ask difficult questions, to organise and attend […]

Australia’s Abu Ghraib moment

Allegations that asylum seekers are being water-boarded while held in detention in Nauru, and their denial by Government,  is reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib scandal that engulfed the Bush Administration in 2004.  What has emerged reflects a likely pattern of abuse that can no longer be ignored by Australian citizens. Even though it became clear […]

Censorship by any other name

Australia’s detention centres have become a propaganda tool of terror. Because of the Government blackout what goes on behind the barbed wire is a mostly a matter of conjecture. We see and hear only what the Government permits us to see and hear.  The murmurings of public opinion are hardly audible, with man’s inhumanity to […]