Headlines 

Death in the sun: Australia’s 88-day law leaves backpackers exploited and exposed

The 2017 death of Olivier Caramin joins a growing list of problems backpackers can face in rural jobs, including rape, harassment and underpayment Martin Hand knew something was wrong as he watched a fellow backpacker stagger down the road in the searing heat of a Queensland summer. Hand, a British traveller, had been picking pumpkins on a farm near Ayr, a small country town 10km (6 miles) from the coast, along with other young backpackers including a 27-year-old Belgian, Olivier Max Caramin. The day was hot the temperature had reached…

Read More
Headlines 

Cancer: ‘If exercise was a pill it would be prescribed to every patient’

Leading Australian researchers back world-first campaign for activity to be part of any treatment Exercise should be prescribed to all cancer patients, and not to do so would be harmful, some of Australias leading experts on cancer have warned. The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia has launched Sign up to receive the top stories in Australia every day at noon The lead author, Prof Prue Cormie from the Australian Catholic University, said the statement was based on indisputable evidence. Really we are at the stage where the science is telling…

Read More
Headlines 

Flesh-eating ulcer spreading rapidly in Australia

Buruli ulcer cases surging and now at epidemic proportions in parts of Victoria, researchers say A severe tissue-destroying ulcer once rare in Australia is rapidly spreading and is now at epidemic proportions in regions of Victoria, prompting infectious diseases experts to call for urgent research into how it is contracted and spread. In an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on Monday, authors led by associate professor Daniel OBrien from Barwon Health said incidents of Buruli ulcer were on the rise but researchers were baffled as to…

Read More
Headlines 

Paul McCartney tickets bought for homeless given to Salvation Army leader’s daughter

Major Brendan Nottle defends actions over Melbourne donation but says: We get it wrong sometimes The leader of the Salvation Army in Australia has defended his organisations actions after his daughter was given donated Paul McCartney concert tickets that were supposed to be for homeless people. The seven tickets were initially he told 3AW on Thursday. The manager did the ring-around of other homeless people and volunteer staff and wasnt able to move them because it was so late. He said his daughter had accepted the tickets under the premise…

Read More
Headlines 

‘The difficulty is the point’: teaching spoon-fed students how to really read

When the logic of capitalism means universities are run as businesses, much is lost. Reclaiming literature is crucial to understanding the times we live in Ive recently finished marking 40-odd exams, mostly written by people between the ages of 18 and 21. In them our students had to answer questions about aspects of literature, such as free indirect speech or genre. They also had to write an essay of 1,000 words, on the work of Helen Garner, Christos Tsiolkas, Judith Wright, Jack Davis or Tim Winton. My students are, for…

Read More
Headlines 

Magpie edges out white ibis and kookaburra as Australian bird of the year

Top three birds all backed by more than 10,000 votes in Guardian Australia and BirdLife Australia poll that attracted 150,000 votes The Australian magpie has been crowned Australian bird of the year for 2017, upsetting the early favourite, the white ibis, and winning 13.3% of the vote. The magpie received 19,926 votes, followed by the Australian white ibis with 19,083 votes and the laughing kookaburra with 10,953 votes. They were the only three species to win more than 10,000 votes, to the chagrin of fairywren supporters who feel the chubby…

Read More
Headlines 

South Australia turns on Tesla’s 100MW battery: ‘History in the making’

Jay Weatherill marks the official launch as Elon Musk delivers on his promise to complete project within 100 days The worlds largest lithium-ion battery has officially been turned on in South Australia promising to usher in a revolution in how electricity is produced and stored. Tesla boss Elon Musk has after blackouts last year that critics of the states Labor government

Read More
Headlines 

Monetising millennials: what the corporate world thinks it knows about young people

At Sydneys Millennial 20/20 conference the wifi password is SmashedAvo and the attitude is predatory infantilisation Before the opening keynote of the Millennial 20/20 Sydney conference, a man strides up, folds me into a boardroom-firm handshake and gazes deeply into my eyes. His impeccably tailored business shirt, open to the third button, and swept-back blond hair make him look like a more handsome version of the Trump sons, maybe a second cousin. But our meeting is an error; I inadvertently sat in one of the conferences many designated networking spaces,…

Read More
Headlines 

‘Equality for all’: Macklemore issues emotional plea during NRL grand final

US rapper performs Same Love after a week of controversy in Australia due to his support for marriage equality The US rapper, Macklemore, issued a call for equality after an emotional performance of his hit single, Same Love, in a much-hyped pre-game show at the NRL grand final. The performance at ANZ Stadium in Sydney follows previously described Same Love as a song that deals with equal rights, human rights for LGBTI people. This is an issue that I feel strongly about, that I feel passionate about. These people are…

Read More
Headlines 

Philippines president says US, Australia have ‘toned down’ human rights criticism

Rodrigo Duterte claims issue of thousands of drug war deaths was mentioned only in passing in meetings with Rex Tillerson and Julie Bishop The US and Australia have considerably toned down criticism of a drug war in the Philippines in which thousands have been killed, according to the countrys president, Rodrigo Duterte. During meetings at the presidential palace in Manila, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop raised the issue of human rights only in passing, Duterte said. Mostly they have considerably toned down in…

Read More
Headlines 

Marriage equality: UN criticises Australia for refusing same-sex divorce

United Nations says Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who marry legally overseas from getting divorced violates human rights Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who married overseas from getting divorced violate international human rights obligations, the United Nations has found. The UN human rights committee (UNHRC) ruled an Australian woman, Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell, has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end her legal, Canadian same-sex marriage. The UNHRC ruling determined that: In the absence of more convincing explanations from the state party,…

Read More
Headlines 

Cardinal George Pell to plead not guilty to historical sexual abuse offences

Australias most senior Catholic cleric appears at Melbourne magistrates court for first hearing Cardinal George Pell has appeared in the Melbourne magistrates court charged with multiple historical sexual abuse offences. Seated behind his lawyer, Robert Richter, QC, dressed in a simple black suit and clerical collar, Pell did not speak throughout the six-minute filing hearing. Richter said that while Pell was not required to enter a plea unless and until the matter was committed for trial, he would, because of the media and public interest in the case, indicate a…

Read More
Headlines 

Justine Damond’s fiance says he regrets not staying on phone before shooting

Don Damond describes final call as godmother says Justine hoped to return to Australia due to fears of US gun violence The fiance of Justine Damond, the woman killed by a Minneapolis police officer, is haunted by their last conversation. On the night of 15 July, she called to tell him she heard what sounded like a rape happening in the alleyway behind their home. I have played this over in my head over and over, Don Damond told the Malcolm Turnbull, called it shocking and inexplicable. On Friday, Minneapolis…

Read More
Headlines 

Justine Damond shooting: Australian woman’s last moments heard over US police radio

Minneapolis officers recorded calling for backup and attempting to perform CPR on Damond, who was shot dead by police after she called 911 New audio has emerged of the moments around the The officers are heard communicating with their dispatcher over the police radio, including calling for backup and their attempts to perform CPR on Sydney-raised Damond. Shots fired … we have one down, one of the officers says. Damonds death in the alley outside her Minneapolis home just before midnight on Saturday has devastated and outraged family, friends and…

Read More
Headlines 

Canada wildfires: almost 40,000 evacuated in British Columbia amid state of emergency

Australian firefighters called in to help as blazes burning across western province are expected to worsen Canada is deploying military aircraft and Australia is sending 50 firefighters to battle rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia that have forced 39,000 people from their homes. Federal public safety minister Ralph Goodale said the western Canadian province had made two requests to the federal government for military assistance to fight the fires, which he said were expected to worsen. The military has sent two planes and five helicopters to help with evacuations and…

Read More