Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010). AAP/Paramount PicturesCOVID-19 is changing the way we live. Panic buying, goods shortages, lockdown – these are new experiences for most of us. But it’s standard fare for the protagonists of young adult (YA) post-disaster novels.
During lockdown, we have seen an increase in demand for domestic violence services in Australia and around the world.
The United Nations recognised this problem in April, declaring a “shadow pandemic” of violence against women and girls.
In less than three months, New Zealanders will vote in the world’s first national referendum on a comprehensive proposal to legalise the recreational use of cannabis.
Unlike cannabis ballots in several US states in which the public only voted on the general proposition of whether cannabis should be legalised or not, New Zealanders have access to the detailed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. It outlines how the government proposes to establish a “controlled and tightly regulated” legal cannabis market.
The approach is not like the Brexit referendum, which had no detailed plan of action for a yes vote. Neither is it like New Zealand’s much maligned 2016 flag referendum, in which people knew exactly what they were voting for…
After managing the first stage of the COVID-19 crisis so effectively, the government now faces a bigger challenge: getting us back to work.
The official employment figures indicate the scale of what’s needed. In the past two months number of Australians with a job has fallen by 835,000. Millions more are in jobs kept on life support by JobKeeper.
Employed Australians, total
Includes Australians regarded as still employed because they are on JobKeeper.
The Reserve Bank’s latest public forecast has the unemployment rate peaking at 10% and then falling to 6.5% (baseline scenario) or 5% (optimistic scenario) by mid-2022.
In Grattan Institute…
The recent release of global university rankings and the way these are reported raises important questions about the role and reputation of our tertiary institutions.
Are universities measured and ranked according to what we really value? Or are they ranked and valued only by what is measured? And are those measures authentic and trusted indicators of quality?
There was a time when no one feared that a university might slip a quality ranking or two in the eyes of the world, the taxpayer, benefactors or students considering domestic or international study. Nowadays, however, universities see no limit to the black hole of global rankings. Its gravitational pull consumes their attention.
The Australian government’s investment roadmap for low-emissions technologies promises more taxpayers’ money to the gas industry but fails to deliver the policy needed for people to support a transition to renewable energy.
It ignores what academic experts, the CSIRO, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Industry Group and several premiers and energy ministers are all saying: renewable sources of energy are already cheaper than gas or coal generation, and wind and solar could provide up to 75% of Australia’s electricity by 2025. The technologies could also drive employment in a post-COVID renewables-led recovery, enabling Australia to “rebuild stronger and cleaner”.
Last month, the Australian Academy of Science published a report showing the COVID-19 pandemic would disproportionately affect women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines.
The report noted before COVID-19, around 7,500 women were employed
in STEM research fields in Australia in 2017, compared to around 18,400 men. The authors wrote:
The pandemic appears to be compounding pre-existing gender disparity; women are under-represented across the STEM workforce, and weighted in roles that are typically less senior and less secure. Job loss at a greater rate than for men is now an immediate threat for many women in Australia’s STEM workforce, potentially reversing equity gains of recent years.
Today is a far cry from what we hoped for and expected from 2020.
After Australia’s disastrous summer of bushfires, the unprecedented upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen serious social and economic effects for us individually and collectively.
Many of us have felt grief. And with grief can emerge feelings of hopelessness and resignation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need for connection to our local community and the health challenges of the retirement village model.
We know that, as we age, most people prefer to stay in their own homes and communities instead of moving to retirement villages. Some have gone so far as to say retirement villages have had their day. However, the reality is not quite that simple.
I’m reading Thomas Carlyle’s poetic classic, The French Revolution, published in 1837. It occurred to me that the historical narrative of Australian universities and their relationship to government is like that revolution, but in reverse.
Carlyle summarised the goal of the French Revolution with the refrain “victorious analysis”. This was the foundation of Australia’s modern, rational system of government, achieved with universities. It was a triumph that turned out to be deeply flawed, as we will see.
Reversing the revolutionary process, in recent years universities have descended into the kind of aristocratic excess Carlyle described in pre-revolutionary France. This leaves a large scholarly workforce facing ....
We know it can seem easier to bury your head in the sand, when it comes to the hideous issue of child sexual abuse.
But child sexual abuse is disturbingly common.
Last week, the Australian Federal Police announced it had busted an alleged child sex offender network, warning
child exploitation in Australia is becoming more prolific … this type of offending is becoming more violent and brazen.
The good news is when parents are empowered with accurate information, we can better protect our children.
Why children need to be taught more about their human rights
We are researchers in the prevention of child abuse, working across psychology, education and law.
Three quarters of a million Australian children are likely to be experiencing employment stress in the family as a result of COVID-19. This is on top of around 615,000 children whose families were already dealing with employment stress, whose situation may have worsened.
Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show 2.7 million people left their job or had their hours reduced between March and April. This means the jobs crisis is affecting 1.4 million Australian children, according to new modelling from the Mitchell Institute.
The stress and anxiety facing parents who have lost their ...
We have seen ten days of protests in the United States over the death of George Floyd.
While thousands of people have gathered to express their outrage peacefully, some demonstrations have been marred by vandalism and violent clashes with police.
Stay-at-home orders and the economic crisis have increased the burden of energy costs on lower-income Australians. Poor housing quality and unequal access to home energy efficiency are hurting our most vulnerable households. With the next stage of the national recovery program expected to include cash grants for home renovation, now is the time to turn to housing retrofits that support health and well-being as well as boost jobs.
Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic increases households’ energy consumption and costs. As one in ten Australians might lose their jobs, the pandemic is adding to the energy hardship of people who were already struggling to pay their bills.
The other …