There are now nearly 300 cases of COVID-19 linked to passengers who disembarked from the Ruby Princess cruise ship without any health checks from authorities.
Amid public condemnation, video of travellers squashed together in the immigration queue at Sydney airport made the rounds last week on social media.
Border security at both airports and cruise terminals primarily falls under the purview of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Both episodes have raised critical questions about the management of our border security and who exactly is responsible for what during the coronavirus crisis.
Overlapping responsibilities at the border
The first thing to talk about here is Australia’s federal system and the “national cabinet” of C…
G20 leaders have pledged to do “whatever it takes” to minimise the impacts of COVID-19.
Most of these nations are lumbered with welfare safety nets unfit for purpose. They are designed for last century, with a binary way of thinking about employment that’s no longer the experience of casual, contract and gig workers.
The limitations are being thoroughly exposed by a crisis further blurring the line between having or not having work.
A simple solution is a universal basic income – a regular payment to every adult, no questions asked.
For children, school is about more than just learning. This is even more the case for children living in disadvantage as many schools also provide vital food and a welcoming environment.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, many schools are closing and fewer children are attending. In term two, it seems, most Australian schools will be moving online.
We must consider how to replicate the physical, nurturing environments of schools for children living in poverty.
Breakfast clubs at school
As many as one in five children in Australia start the school day without eating breakfast. About 15% arrive at school without lunch, or the money to buy it at the canteen.
It’s hard to know exactly who hasn’t eaten since these child…
Some years ago, I travelled to Israel for a conference on dramaturgy. Losing my way at the train station, I was rescued by a soldier who chatted with me all the way to Tel Aviv. I dreaded what was coming. What was I doing there, he asked? In a region of endless conflict and, for this young man, daily risk, my reply seemed feeble to my ears.
Yet his face lit up as if I had opened a window. Dramaturgy! A subject as far away from war and ancient hatreds as it was possible to get. He would love to talk about it. And so we did.
We are not defined by the calamities that befall us. We are more than the sum of our hazards, hardships and heartbreaks. We are defined, as individuals and as a nation, by the positive content of our …