News and Features

This category contains 33 posts

Dealing with discrimination

If you are tall, short, fat, skinny, old, young, have red or blonde hair, wear glasses or have some other physical trait, then you have probably been negatively stereotyped for it. How did that make you feel? For most of us, there is at least a fleeting moment where we feel not so good about … Continue reading

Getting Brisbane’s Quarantine Centre ready for the homeless

Politicians from all three levels of government are arguing about Brisbane’s Quarantine Centre being used to house the homeless, and the media and homelessness services have weighed in on the argument as well. The simple fact is that it is not yet fit for the purpose of housing 500 homeless people, and this article will … Continue reading

The Social Model of Disability Affects Us All

The social model of disability is a framework for understanding disability that emphasises the role of society in creating barriers to inclusion and equal participation for individuals with disabilities. It is a contrast to the traditional medical model of disability which focuses on the individual’s medical condition as the cause of their limitations. In this … Continue reading

7 May in Australian History

Originally posted on Advance Institute of Business:
Here are just some of the events that happened on this day in Australian history. Please feel free to add others that you know of. 1815 – Governor Lachlan Macquarie selects the site of the town of Bathurst, New South Wales. 1908 – Australia’s first coat of arms…

Kids don’t belong in adult prisons

Sending 13 year olds to adult prison is an appalling idea. Send them to prison, yes, but not to adult prisons. As an ex-prison officer, I saw 18 year olds passed around like a plate of hors d’oeuvres, and come out broken beyond repair. It is sickening that certain politicians and segments of the media … Continue reading

How Australia scammed students into welfare debt

Imagine if the Australian government told people they had to willingly repay their social security entitlements, and also pay interest on it. And imagine if people agreed. Sounds a bit far-fetched? Well that’s exactly what happened between 1993-2003. The Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) was a scam introduced by the Australian government 30 years ago, … Continue reading

Centrelink has a communication problem

My case officer at Centrelink has told me that they are not allowed to send or receive emails and the same rule applies with text messages. Apparently they don’t want to commit to anything in writing. This is compounded by the fact that it is near impossible to get through to them on the phone, … Continue reading

Leave Lidia alone, but lessons need to be learnt

Did the Prime Minister say that Lidia Thorpe has mental health issues? No, he did not, though many are misrepresenting what he said to advance their own agendas, claiming sexism and racism. Lidia’s behaviour was inappropriate, but those claiming to defend her are only vilifying her more, and harming the Yes Campaign of the Voice … Continue reading

The need for gun control: A personal perspective

Australia has some of the best gun control laws in the world, and we should not change that. I am sickened every time some crazed redneck in the US points to our gun laws as “proof” that America should not have the same laws. What exactly is the point they are trying to make? That … Continue reading

The changing nature of work: Why we need a UBI

The nature of work is constantly evolving and changing, driven by technological advancements, globalisation, and changing societal norms. Traditional jobs are less common, and for this reason, we need a UBI. This transformation is affecting every aspect of the workforce, from the types of jobs available to the way people work and collaborate with one … Continue reading

Dutton’s Alice Springs claims are dangerous and irresponsible

If Peter Dutton has evidence of the crimes he claims are being committed in Alice Springs, he should present them to the police, not the media. The reality is, he has no evidence and is just trying to stir up racial hatred amongst his followers. This seems to be something Dutton does on a regular … Continue reading

Senator Fatima Payman speaks about The Voice, the RBA, the Greens and other issues

Senator Fatima Payman took to Reddit on Wednesday night to answer questions from the general public. Asked about her thoughts on the coalition opposing the Voice to Parliament, Senator Payman replied: “The Voice is about recognition and consultation, and it’s a shame the Liberals haven’t seized this opportunity to go on this path of reconciliation. … Continue reading

The Public Trustee is ripping off pensioners

The Public Trustee is supposed to protect people it deems incapable of looking after themselves, but instead they are virtually stealing their money. Take the case of Mark (not his real name), reported by the ABC yesterday. His sister placed him under guardianship, against his will, and the Western Australia Public Trustee now takes 40% … Continue reading

Patrick Gorman MP takes questions from the general public

Patrick Gorman MP took to Reddit on Tuesday night to answer questions from the general public. The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister opened the discussion stating that the Australian Labor Party has been the greatest driver of progress in Australia over the last 122 years of Federation. He added that the Albanese Government has … Continue reading

Homelessness in Honolulu

In 2007, I moved to Hawaii in the United States. While it was meant to be a two week visit, it turned into a six month stay. I was surprised to find that even this tropical paradise has its share of social issues, including homelessness. I had travelled to Honolulu with an old friend I … Continue reading

How rent caps can and will work

Rent caps work in many countries around the world and will not lead to a decrease in supply. Indeed, Australia has had rent caps in the past, and it has not had any drastic effect on availability. Rent caps already exist in the ACT, which has been put forward by the Tenant’s Union of NSW … Continue reading

Mutual obligations should be scrapped

Mutual obligations is a punitive system introduced by the LNP government in their dying days as a final swipe at Australia’s most vulnerable. Under the system, jobseekers must complete a range of tasks each month – such as job applications, education or training, or other personal development activities – to meet their requirements. The various … Continue reading

The homeless in Seattle’s Underground City

In 2007, I found myself in Seattle, in the United States. I was meeting with a friend who wanted to tell me about the homeless in the underground city. The following are my observations from that time: Are homeless people living in undeveloped parts of Seattle’s abandoned underground city? From speaking with some of the … Continue reading

Open forum discussion with Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John

Thousands of Australians took the opportunity to participate in citizen-led democracy on Reddit on Tuesday 15 March, engaging Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens Senator from Western Australia, with questions on a wide range of topics including the NDIS, nuclear submarines, cannabis legislation and inclusivity during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Asked about whether The Greens … Continue reading

Centrelink payments to rise from Monday

Centrelink payments will rise from Monday 20 March, as part of the twice yearly increases driven by indexation. While the rises are welcome, they are still not enough. Single age and disability pension recipients and carers will receive an increase of $37.50 a fortnight, and couples a combined $56.40. The maximum fortnightly pension rate will … Continue reading

LNP single out NDIS cuts to pay for AUKUS

Peter Dutton has called for cuts to the NDIS to help pay for AUKUS, while steadfastly attacking superannuation changes that would affect only the very rich. This is yet another attack by the LNP on Australia’s most vulnerable, and one can only surmise that this was the LNP intention when they first announced the AUKUS … Continue reading

Helping the homeless in Brisbane

In 2005 I was in Brisbane, Australia, working for Big Issue Magazine. It was here that I got to help the homeless get off the streets. After returning from China in 2003, I ended up living on the streets in Brisbane for a short while. Then I found The Big Issue, and started selling the … Continue reading

Open forum discussion with Owen Miller, Fusion Party candidate in Aston

Owen Miller, Fusion Party candidate in the Aston by-election, took part in an open forum discussion on Reddit on Tuesday 7 March. In this discussion, he took questions from the general public. In his opening, he stated that Fusion aimed to bring about a return to real Australian values, innovation and a fair go for … Continue reading

Is superannuation guaranteed?

With Labor introducing changes to superannuation and the LNP promising to repeal those changes, Australians are once again left uncertain about whether they will have enough to retire on. Compounding that issue is the fact that it is now extremely difficult to get a full aged pension. First, let’s look at superannuation. For many years … Continue reading

The LNP want to wreck superannuation

Peter Dutton’s announcement that he will repeal Labor’s superannuation laws if he miraculously becomes Prime Minister is all the proof we need that the LNP should not be in government. The problem is that every government does something similar whenever they gain power, meaning there is no certainty for future retirees about their retirement. This … Continue reading

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