First, Do No Harm

I must have given hundreds of talks and speeches of various types over the last twenty years on the issue of refugees and people seeking asylum – and written plenty of pieces on the topic (not least on this blog).  Last weekend I was speaking to a group of inspiring young medical students at Griffith…

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Teaching & schooling

Last year I did some high school teaching, which I found to be the most difficult paid work I’ve ever done. Definitely way harder than being a Senator – apart from anything else, Senators have staff to help them do what they need to do (& get paid 3 times the money of course). And…

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Onward (& upward?)

Just as well my New Year resolutions of 2015 didn’t include blogging more, as I only did 9 posts all year. Having said that, 6 of those blog posts were in January, so maybe I did make that resolution without remembering it – one of the benefits of not writing resolutions down I guess. I…

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Magna Carta & refugees

My favourite memory of the Magna Carta involved a group of refugees who had recently arrived in Australia after spending years being kept in the detention centre on Nauru. I’d visited them while they were incarcerated in Nauru, where they were uncertain of their future – not knowing how long they would be locked up…

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Daylight Saving Redux

I wrote a piece here nearly ten years ago about how I personally wasn’t a big fan of daylight saving – mainly because I’m a bit more of a night owl than most people.  But it’s an issue that repeatedly raises it’s head in Queensland, and I’ve certainly had countless people mention to me that…

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4ZZZ’s 40th coming up

zzz 40th photo

Brisbane’s independent music radio station 4ZZZ FM hits its 40th birthday this year. (The actual 40th anniversary of the first broadcast is not until 8th December, but it’s something worth building up to!) It was the first community radio and first FM radio station in Queensland. At the time FM – being in stereo, as…

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Goal/Wish List of 2015

The start of a new year seems to be the time for lists – looking back at things that have happened, lives that have changed (and ended), and looking forwards at what might happen next and what might be able to be done differently. It also seems to be the time for wishes – wishing…

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Federal Govt cuts funding to housing bodies

One of the most frustrating and perplexing aspects of the Howard government was their dogged determination to completely neglect housing issues – (apart from regularly spruiking their alleged ability to keep mortgage rates lower). For something as fundamental as basic shelter, it always baffled me that the Liberals quite readily vacated the field. The Rudd/Gillard…

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Democrat stalwart dies

The role of the Australian Democrats as a political force is beginning to recede into history. It is now over six years since the party ceased having representation in the federal Parliament. But I am keen that the very positive legacy of the party is not forgotten and nor should those people who made a…

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The Liberal’s compulsion to turn public assets into private wealth – and get the public to help fund the process

The LNP in Queensland have been softening up the public for a privatisation binge pretty much from the day they got elected in 2012. In recent times, they’ve kindly made the public pay millions for a prolonged wide-ranging advertising campaign – badly disguised as a pretend consultation process called Strong Choices. Naturally, any input from…

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Political donations: buying influence and outcomes.

The furore in New South Wales over developers and resource companies seeking to buy influence through political donations has died down a bit as focus has turned to the federal Budget. Whilst no one is linking Budget decisions to specific donations, it is pretty obvious the Coalition has brought down a Budget which favours many…

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