the back issue

Too many cookies in the education jar

Much is being said of the government’s support of private over public education of late. Last week was accentuated by the Private school, public cost report suggesting private funding will soon overtake public, with other opinion pieces echoing its sentiments....

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Those who can’t afford, rent.

With so many budding photographers around Australia, it’s surprising the housing affordability conversation is so out of focus. It seems the pressure is on people paying hundreds a week into someone else’s investment, not on those depositing hundreds of thousands into...

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Affordability, it’s a matter of expectations

There is no doubt that Australian property prices are increasing at a rapid rate. Affordability, however, may depend on expectations. There is a difference between something being unaffordable and it rapidly increasing in price. The topic of housing affordability has...

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How Aus $ affects Aus votes

There is no correlation between an electorate’s socio-economic standing and its preferred political party, at least not in the 2013 elections. The simplistic view of politics suggests one party proposes policies which help poor people and the other party angles to...

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Smoking the poor

Australia’s 2016-17 budget announcement included “four annual 12.5 per cent increases in tobacco excise and excise equivalent customs duties”, claiming it will raise “$4.7bn over the next four years”.¹ This is unlikely to face much opposition. After all, taxing...

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A tale of two culinary cities

Food and its enjoyment might be a very personal and subjective thing, but Australians are obsessed with quantifying it. Today was the Australian Financial Review’s turn to put out a list of Australia’s top 100 restaurants. This one has the distinction of being voted...

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Funding a safety net for private education

Private education allows parents to segregate their offspring based on various socio-economic boundaries.  It limits kids’ socialisation across the wider community, and diminishes awareness of how others live. I don’t believe private schools help create a better...

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Death Tree

Not quite as cool as the Death Star, this Death Tree breaks down the 153,580 deaths which occurred in Australia in 2014, by cause: Interpreting the Tree Size of the box shows relative number of deaths, compared to all other deaths. The colour represents the sex...

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Everyday people, everyday deaths

You may not have read it in the newspapers this morning, nor on social media, but 421 Australians died yesterday. And the day before. And most likely today too. Roughly speaking of course, averaging out the 153,580 who died over the course of 2014¹. (Coincidentally,...

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If Australia were 100 stereotypes

For as long as I can remember it’s felt like we’ve been breaking down barriers and tearing down the regimes of acceptability. Traditional roles are no longer the norm, travelled by choice not momentum. Everybody’s road-fork a choice to be made. But despite the...

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De-constructing the ‘g’ gap

Last week was International Women’s Day so everyone should be up to date with the latest estimate of the gender pay gap (17%), and very well versed on at least three theories behind it. Now, then, might be the perfect time to ask why the social progress and workforce...

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Australia’s war on what

The incarceration rate in the U.S. is ridiculous, but it wasn't always like this. The 1970s kicked-off the 'tough on crime' and 'war on drugs' period, which has had such an impact that the U.S. now has the highest prisoner rate in the world (discounting Seychelles),...

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Out of the dog house

I’m not sure whether it’s the cute-dog youtubing or an improvement in general humanity, but something is making Australians euthanize a lot less dogs than they used to. The number of dogs euthanized per year by the RSPCA¹ has dropped by over three quarters since the...

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Tassie’s brain haemorrhage

For many, university represent freedom - intellectually, socially and economically. Tertiary education can stretch our horizons, taking us to places beyond. For Tasmanians, it seems, University often takes you off the island. This is beyond a brain drain. In 2013, 14%...

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Alternative music drowns out the call for change

Like many of my generation, I have fabulous memories of Australia Day from my teenage and Uni years.  In fact, I used to claim Australia Day to be my favourite public holiday. This is in no small part for two reasons: I’d not given the history of day much thought...

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Messi and the Media sitting in the tree…

The Media loves Messi. As well they should! No player has forced me into a YouTube vortex as much as Leo since Ronaldhino, or el Diego on more nostalgic nights. But for whatever reason (be it his modest demeanour, or his boy-next door looks), it seems the Media can’t...

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No cause for celebration

With the end of year festivities behind us, those of us fortunate enough to have a job have one thing on our minds… the next public holiday. Unfortunately our next public holiday is one which comes with mixed feelings. Sure, it’s a day off in the Australian Summer,...

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Australians flying off-the-charts

In this age of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, it seems Australians have coordinated a national group exposure therapy for one of the most common fears… aviophobia. In 2014, 52 million people boarded domestic flights in Australia¹. That’s 2.2 flights per capita (or 1...

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Wealthy fare well from welfare

In 2013-14, the Australian Government dispersed a Robin Hoodesque $105 billion across the community through income support payments. That’s roughly 30% of its tax revenue. Unlike Robin, however, Kevin, Julia, Tony and their merry men gave much of their loot to the...

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