essays

Black and white photo of a bushranger man with a beard wearing a hat alongside a woman in a long dress standing on a dirt road surrounded by trees and a wooden house and barn in the background

To be continued: making (and discovering) Australia’s literary history

Literary historians have long known that nineteenth-century Australian newspapers published fiction. But the size of the newspaper archive and the difficulty of exploring it meant we had only partial knowledge of the stories and the importance of newspapers to the history of reading and writing fiction. The National Library of Australia’s (NLA) digitisation of historical […]

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‘Being in the Room Where it Happens’: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Musical “Hamilton”

The broad appeal of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mega-hit musical about one of the founders of the United States of America, may initially seem unlikely given its hip-hop soundtrack and rap lyrics. Hamilton premiered in 2015 off-Broadway in New York before transferring to Broadway, then touring the US and subsequently overseas including Sydney and Melbourne, with

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Poverty

For Mr Justice Higgins it was a straightforward metric: a man’s wage needed to be sufficient to support husband and wife and three children, calculated on the cost of rent and food and clothing. The Harvester Decision of 1907 was remarkable for its time, but as a preventative against poverty, it left out a lot

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A woman with short brown hair, wearing green glasses and a pink corduroy blazer, sits at a desk next to another person with wavy hair. There is a laptop on the desk. The woman with green glasses is sitting in a wheelchair. A small dark blue pause symbol is in the top left-hand corner of the image. A small white triangle is to the right of the woman in the wheelchair.

Disability Training: Transforming Professions or “Not Seeing Us” Yet Again?

When disabled people enter a school, hospital, or workplace, whether as a service user, a job seeker, or, still too rarely, a worker, they often bring memories based on a long history of unsafe, difficult, and discriminatory encounters with professionals at all levels of the institution or industry. Running since 2019, the Royal Commission on

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Women’s Ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia

The Anglican Church in Australia has made great strides in its approach to women and women’s leadership over the past thirty years. In 1992, women were first ordained as priests in Perth, with Adelaide and Melbourne quickly following. Soon, many other dioceses (geographical regions) joined them. In 2008, the first women were consecrated as bishops,

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We Say Sorry

Readers are advised that this article includes discussions of suicide. The language is very careful. The choice of words, the clarity, the respect. Reading the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide reveals the acute sensibility of the Commissioners. We are here to listen, they insist. We acknowledge harm and suffering,

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Women in Politics: Gillard’s ‘Misogyny Speech’ a Decade On

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard rose to deliver what became known as the ‘misogyny speech’ in October 2012, she had occupied the office for two and a half years. The novelty of the first (and to date only) female Prime Minister had ignited hateful and misogynistic pornographic images and abusive language on social media. In

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Robodebt and the Dangers of Datafication: Fast Machines and Fallible Humans

The Federal Government recently announced that the Royal Commission’s investigation into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system (aka ‘robodebt’) will focus, among other things, on how to avoid similar debacles in the future. This is a crucially important point of inquiry, given the ongoing automation of bureaucratic and administrative operations. We live in an era of

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.