Culture

  • Week in Brief: 10 November – 18 November 2018

    UK, EU agree on draft Brexit deal In a diplomatic breakthrough, UK and European Union officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Morrison reverses “foolish” decision to cut Foodbank funding Prime Minister Scott Morrison has intervened to boost the Government’s food relief budget to ensure a charity that feeds 710,000 people a month retains its funding. See OPMG’s coverage of this ... ► Read more

  • Amyl and the Sniffers: it’s still passion

    Amyl and the Sniffers are an enigma. The very first time we got the pleasure of seeing these guys play was when they were opening for cult favourites Cosmic Psychos in Sydney. We stood watching the stage for the space of what felt like a millisecond before being electrocuted into the world the Sniffers projected. It was unreal. After showcasing our over excited, mountain-goat-style jumping up and down and ridiculous dance moves for the duration ... ► Read more

  • Stan Lee dies aged 95

    American writer, Marvel co-creator and pop culture revolutionary Stan Lee has died at age 95. Mr Lee passed away early on Monday morning in Los Angeles after being rushed to hospital, his daughter told entertainment outlets. He had battled multiple illnesses in recent years. Mr Lee was the mind behind hundreds of Marvel characters from Iron Man and Thor to Spider Man and Black Panther. Tributes to the comic book great have surfaced across social ... ► Read more

  • Judge rejects Daily Telegraph’s request to call mystery witness in Rush defamation trial

    In the Federal Court today, Justice Michael Wigney rejected The Daily Telegraph’s request to call a new witness to give evidence in the defamation case brought against the newspaper by actor Geoffrey Rush. Mr Rush is suing the newspaper over two articles and a newsagent poster that alleged he was involved in “inappropriate behaviour” toward a fellow actor during a production of King Lear in 2015–16. Justice Wigney said that he would not permit the ... ► Read more

  • Pope Francis open to visiting North Korea

    Pope Francis has indicated that he is open to an official visit to North Korea, a country recognised as the worst in the world for persecuting Christians. South Korean President Moon Jae-in relayed an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Pope during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. The South Korean presidential office said President Moon “conveyed [Kim’s] desire for a papal visit to North Korea”, and that a formal ... ► Read more

  • Duke and Duchess of Sussex land in Sydney ahead of Invictus Games

    Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have arrived in Sydney for their debut royal tour. The couple had a modest reception consisting mostly of media and security and were briskly bundled into a car bound for Admiralty House at Kirribilli. Prince Harry gave a quick thumbs up as he and Meghan departed Sydney airport, as they begin their tour ahead of The Invictus Games. Follow @tendailyau for details on the Aussie royal tour #TenNews #royalsdownunder ... ► Read more

  • Week In Brief: 7 – 13 October 2018

    Government promises to fast track company tax cuts ahead of federal election The Morrison Government has promised to fast track company tax cuts ahead of the next federal election, with legislation to be introduced to Parliament in the next fortnight. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. AFP raids Home Affairs Dept over au pair scandal leaks Federal Police are raiding the Department of Home Affairs over suspected leaks in relation to the au pair ... ► Read more

  • Prosecutors drop one of three sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein

    Prosecutors have dropped one of the three sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, after evidence emerged that a police detective coached a witness to stay silent about evidence that cast doubt on the account of one of his accusers. The 66-year-old former movie mogul continues to face other allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in a hotel room in 2013 and performed a forced sex act on another woman in 2006. He has pleaded ... ► Read more

  • Religious schools shouldn’t expel gay students, Prime Minister says

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would “not be comfortable” with gay students being expelled from religious schools, he said in response to leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious freedoms. A list of 20 recommendations leaked to the media on Friday included the recommendation that amendments be made to the Sexual Discrimination Act to ensure religious schools can discriminate against both students and staff “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or ... ► Read more

  • Controversy over planned use of Opera House as billboard to promote horse race

    The New South Wales Government’s plan to use the Sydney Opera House as a digital billboard to promote the $13 million Everest Cup horse race has proved controversial, despite being backed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Late last week the Premier intervened after broadcaster Alan Jones publicly criticised Opera House executive Louise Herron, who said that words or branding promoting the Everest Cup should not be projected onto the Opera ... ► Read more

  • Evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, Turkish officials claim

    Turkish officials claim to have concrete evidence that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to collect papers for his upcoming wedding. Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since since Tuesday last week when he entered the consulate. Despite Saudi officials saying he left shortly afterwards, his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never came out. The 59-year-old contributor to The Washington Post was once close to ... ► Read more

  • Chin-Leong Tan appointed as next Race Discrimination Commissioner

    Former lawyer Chin-Leong Tan has been appointed as Australia’s next Race Discrimination Commissioner, and says he will not hesitate to call out racism in the role. Mr Tan has held a number of diversity-focused leadership roles and will take up his new post on Monday, replacing departing Commissioner Tim Soutphomassane, who in August warned that “race politics” is back in Australia. Although Mr Tan said he’s “not in the business of criticising people”, he said ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 23 – 29 September 2018

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh faces second sexual misconduct allegation United States Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman, following allegations last week that he sexually assaulted a woman at a party in 1982. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Trump boasts met with laughter by UN General Assembly United States President Donald Trump gave a wide-ranging speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, which ... ► Read more

  • Nyiyaparli community wins 20-year native title battle

    The Nyiyparli community has won a 20-year legal battle to be recognised as the native title holders of approximately 40,000 square kilometres of land in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which includes the mining town of Newman. The Aboriginal community lodged its first claim on 29 September 1998, and Federal Court Justice Michael Barker handed down his decision — which has not yet been published — in an on-country at Coondiner Pool (Kuntinha) hearing ... ► Read more

  • Bali announces crack down on “insolent” tourists

    Authorities on the Indonesian resort island of Bali will issue new rules on visiting religious sites, a Hindu leader said on Wednesday, after disrespectful behaviour by foreign tourists sparked anger among adherents. The Balinese provincial government is preparing a decree to regulate temple visits in order to preserve the sanctity of the holy sites, according to I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, chairperson of the Bali-based Indonesian Hindu Society. A working group comprising of government representatives and ... ► Read more

  • Business group says Indigenous public holiday could cost $3 billion

    The creation of a public holiday to recognise Indigenous Australians could cost the economy $3 billion, according to Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson. On Tuesday Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to growing calls that Australia Day be moved from 26 January by suggesting the creation of a separate holiday to recognise and celebrate Indigenous Australians. But Mr Pearson says that the potential cost in foregone economic activity must be taken ... ► Read more

  • Bill Cosby sentenced to three to 10 years for sexual assault

    American entertainer Bill Cosby has been sentenced to at least three years imprisonment for sexual assault. Judge Steven O’Neill handed down the sentence following a two-day hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday (local time). In April 2018 Mr Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004, but had to wait until September to be sentenced. Judge O’Neill sentenced Mr Cosby ... ► Read more

  • Prime Minister calls for special day to celebrate Indigenous Australians

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested the creation of a new national holiday to honour and recognise Indigenous Australians in response to growing calls for Australia Day to be moved from 26 January. His suggestion comes after his government stripped Byron Shire Council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies for moving its Australia Day festivities, with Immigration Minister David Coleman saying the date should “not be politicised”. Mr Morrison wants a special day to ... ► Read more

  • “Advance Australia Fair”: we might not be responsible for the past, but we can do better for the future

    This is a response to “Harper Nielsen’s protest is nothing more than virtue signalling” by Greg Dewberry. It’s true that current generations are not to blame for the actions of their predecessors, but this does not mean that current generations should be complacent when it comes to correcting the effects of historical wrongs. I have to refuse to accept any blame for the effects of colonialism on Australia, because if I did it would undoubtedly ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 16 – 22 September 2018

    Government, aged-care sector to establish royal commission scope The Government will work with aged-care providers to determine the terms of reference for the newly announced royal commission into the sector, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. China levies new tariffs in response to US tariff hike China has announced it will levy tariffs on about US $60 billion worth of American imports in response to the ... ► Read more

  • Wreck of Cook’s HMS Endeavour may have been found

    Marine archaeologists believe they have identified the resting place of HMS Endeavour, the ship commanded by James Cook to Australia on his first voyage of discovery. The ship was scuttled along with a number of others in Newport, Rhode Island during the American Revolution, and its wreck is of historical significance to several countries, including Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. The potential discovery of the wreck has raised hopes that the vessel’s ... ► Read more

  • Government, aged-care sector to establish royal commission scope

    The Government will work with aged-care providers to determine the terms of reference for the newly announced royal commission into the sector, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday. Mr Morrison announced the royal commission in response to findings of widespread non-compliance and abuse of elderly people at aged-care facilities. According to the Minister for Health Greg Hunt, there was a 177% increase in the number of aged-care homes where a serious risk to ... ► Read more

  • Harper Nielsen’s protest is nothing more than virtue signalling

    “Australians all let us rejoice” — that is the opening line of “Advance Australia Fair”, our national anthem in Australia, and to me it speaks for itself. It calls for every Australian to rejoice. I’m an Australian. My great-great-grandparents moved here in 1844. Eddie, the Chinese man who has owned the house next door to mine for 45 years — he’s an Australian. Bill, the Greek man who lives on my other border and drinks at my ... ► Read more

  • Julie Bishop: ‘Aren’t the public justified in feeling contempt for all of us?’

    Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has criticised her parliamentary colleagues, saying she has witnessed “appalling” behaviour she never would have accepted while running a major law firm 20 years ago. Speaking at a Women’s Weekly awards event in Sydney, Ms Bishop discussed her experience of being a senior woman in the Turnbull Government and addressed a number of issues, including the lack of female MPs within the Liberal Party, bullying from male colleagues, and the adversarial nature ... ► Read more

  • New study: women are becoming increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties

    A new study has shown that women are becoming increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties, often showing more radicalism than men. According to the study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), which is affiliated with Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic Party, the number of women drawn to right-wing populist parties is increasing. The report examined right-wing populist voters in Germany, France, Greece, Poland, Sweden and Hungary. Elisa Gutchse, who edited the FES study, argued that ... ► Read more

  • Aus. Government threatens to deny whistleblower Chelsea Manning a visa

    The Australian Government has threatened tour organisers with a visa denial for convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning ahead of her upcoming tour. Think Inc., the tour organisers, announced on Thursday that it had received a notice of intention from the Government to deny Chelsea Manning entry to Australia for her speaking tour which is scheduled to start in Sydney on Sunday. The group is now calling on Ms Manning’s supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 19 August – 25 August 2018

    Scott Morrison wins leadership spill Scott Morrison has won Friday’s Liberal leadership spill, clearing the way for him to become Australia’s 30th Prime Minister. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Government instability in the wake of leadership challenge Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government was rocked by turmoil following Tuesday’s unsuccessful leadership challenge by former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Trump warns American economy would crash if he ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s population: it isn’t so bad

    On 7 August 2018 Australia hit the wonderful milestone of growing to a population greater than 25 million. Australia’s population still remains fairly small in comparison to other nations even with smaller landmass. So, while you may believe we are taking in a record number of refugees, or that foreigners are taking all your jobs, here are a couple of reasons why you should be thankful about our population size and perhaps realise that it ... ► Read more

  • Idris Elba fuels speculation that he may be the next James Bond

    Idris Elba has fueled speculation that he will be the next James Bond by posting a photo of himself on Twitter on Sunday night with the caption, “my name’s Elba, Idris Elba”. my name’s Elba, Idris Elba. pic.twitter.com/kEyyaVg8JX — Idris Elba (@idriselba) August 12, 2018 Rumours around who will play the suave MI6 agent after Daniel Craig’s 12 year run as Mr Bond have continued to circle throughout the media and the internet. However, the rumour ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s population will hit 25 million tonight, claims Bureau of Statistics

    According to projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population will reach 25 million tonight, with net migration continuing to increase faster than births. Australia’s population currently increases at about one person every minute and 23 seconds, and the new record is expected to be set at about 11:00 pm. Author and political commentator George Megalogenis said that the 25 millionth person will most likely be a young female Chinese student or skilled worker, ... ► Read more

  • Craig Emerson quits Sky News over Blair Cottrell interview

    Craig Emerson resigned from his regular commentary spot on Sky News on Monday in protest of the network’s interview with far right ‘activist’ Blair Cottrell on Sunday night. The former Labor front-bencher announced his resignation from Sky via Twitter, saying the broadcaster’s interview “Neo-Nazi Blair [Cottrell]…was another step in a journey to normalising racism & bigotry in our country.” Mr Emerson tweeted: I have advised @SkyNewsAust that I have quit as a Sky commentator. My father ... ► Read more

  • Remains of ancient public library unearthed in Germany

    The remains of an ancient Roman public library that may have held up to 20,000 scrolls have been discovered in Cologne, western Germany. Dating to the second century AD, the walls were first uncovered in 2017 during an excavation on the grounds of a Protestant church in the city centre. Archaeologists were initially mystified by niches in the walls, but have now identified their purpose. “It took us some time to match up the parallels ... ► Read more

  • Lee Lin Chin signs off on her final SBS broadcast

    Veteran broadcaster and fashion icon Lee Lin Chin hosted her final bulletin for SBS on Sunday night, after announcing her resignation last week. At the end of the program, Ms Lin addressed viewers, saying: “As we approach the end of this evening’s news, my final bulletin on SBS, I take my leave with sadness.” “Over the years, all my colleagues have featured very prominently and positively in both my life at the network and in ... ► Read more

  • TEDx’s talk labelling pedophilia a ‘sexual orientation’ is disgusting and dangerous

    We live in a divided world. We live in a world where people will disagree on anything, while people fight for their rights, support their politicians and back their own sides; there is few things that we can all agree on. Now, while it is often said that you cannot make everyone happy, and that may be true, what most functioning human beings can agree on whether you’re left-wing or right-wing is that pedophilia is ... ► Read more

  • Kuwaiti Insta-influencer upset migrant workers allowed four days off a month

    Kuwaiti beauty blogger Sondos Alqattan has received criticism for her comments regarding the rights of Filipino migrants to have one day off a week. Kuwait’s new Kafala system provides one day off work a week for Filipino migrant workers, a change that sparked racist comments from the 27-year-old social media influencer. The system, which sponsors unskilled workers in much of the Middle East, has been under fire from the Human Rights Watch and the international ... ► Read more

  • Trevor Noah faces calls for boycotts after 2013 racist clip resurfaces

    Trevor Noah is currently facing criticism for a 2013 video that has resurfaced which shows the comedian and television presenter making racist jokes about Australian Aboriginal women. “All women of every race can be beautiful,” he said during a 2013 stand-up routine. “And I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘Oh Trevor… I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine.’ But you know what you say? You say, ‘Yet.’ Because you haven’t seen all ... ► Read more

  • Archaeologists discover hidden shrine in Aztec pyramid

    Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a shrine hidden in the remains of the great pyramid of Teopanzolco, near Cuernavaca. The shrine was discovered during the ongoing clean-up efforts following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 19 September 2017. Archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered the shrine while using radar technology to scan the pyramid for structural damage. Atop the pyramid are the remnants of two temples, one dedicated to the Aztec ... ► Read more

  • Sarah Palin slams comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for “truly sick” humour after being tricked in an interview

    Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has slammed British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen after he duped her during an interview while posing as a disabled war veteran for his upcoming television series Who Is America? Ms Palin attacked Mr Cohen on Facebook on Tuesday night, writing: “Mock politicians and innocent public personalities all you want, if that lets you sleep at night, but HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country. ... ► Read more

  • Our safety is not your choice

    We often walk home in the very early hours of the morning as a pair. On one particular walk home we were being yelled at by two adult men. They had gotten off the train like we had and were both much larger than the two of us. They were jeering and commenting on our appearances, and how exciting it was that we are identical twins. Of course we couldn’t ignore them, but we couldn’t ... ► Read more

  • European Parliament reopens debate on controversial copyright directive

    The European Parliament voted to reopen debate on the controversial Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on Thursday, giving Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) more time to debate the directive ahead of another vote in September. The directive is part of a bundle of proposed legislative measures to harmonise certain aspects of copyright law across the European Union’s member states. Copyright owners, creators, publishers, record labels, journalists, and their respective representative industry ... ► Read more

  • Australian stars push for streaming service local content investment quota

    High profile Australian actors, writers and directors have urged the Government to mandate a local content investment quota for streaming services such as Netflix. Stars such as Judy Davis, Richard Roxborough and 30 others, told politicians — including Minister of Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield — that the the local screen industry is under dire threat and could be wiped out by the new streaming services. Andrew Knight, the writer of hit television series Jack ... ► Read more

  • Macedonian President refuses to sign off on landmark name change deal

    Macedonia’s President says he will not sign-off on a historical deal reached with Greece on changing his country’s name. The refusal by President Gjorge Ivanov has dashed hopes of ending a 27-year dispute with Greece, which has blocked Macedonia’s entry into the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). On Tuesday, a deal was reached between Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsparis and Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev to officially change Macedonia’s name to ... ► Read more

  • Macedonia changes its name ending a 27-year dispute with Greece

    Greece and Macedonia have reached an historic agreement that will change the name of Macedonia, ending a 27-year long dispute that has kept the smaller, younger country out of international organisations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Balkan country will be officially recognised both nationally and internationally as the Northern Republic of Macedonia, a transition that was announced by Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsparis and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev on Tuesday. ... ► Read more

  • God save our long weekend

    It’s the moment when my daughters’ eyes begin to silently roll upwards; the moment when I, like all dads, begin a sentence with “When I was a boy…”. Well, when I was a boy, the long weekend in June was about one thing — spending all of our pocket money, as well as any extra we could wrangle out of our parent’s pocket, on fireworks. In the 1960s the bigger kids in the street would spend ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 3–9 June 2018

    Australia Victoria on track to enact indigenous treaty law The Victorian Government has agreed to make amendments to its Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 to ensure it is passed by both houses of the Victorian Parliament. The bill establishes a framework and system of representation within which treaties with Aboriginal Victorians can be negotiated. The amendments will add a definition of ‘treaty’ in the bill, define ‘traditional owners’ (who will be ... ► Read more

  • Predictions for the near future

    As humans, it is natural to contemplate and plan for the future. Whether that be with optimism or pessimism, we have an obsession with the future, and often worry about it. Obviously, it is impossible to predict the future with pinpoint accuracy; however, experts and theorists for many years have continued to try their hand at determining what the future for civilisation may hold. From self-driving cars to the food we consume, the work of ... ► Read more

  • Weinstein to face trial over sex crime allegations

    American film producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted for sex crimes by a grand jury in New York and will face a full criminal trial, following a flood of accusations that began in October 2017. Mr Weinstein, 66, is charged with one two counts of rape and one count of committing a criminal sexual act, which allegedly occurred in 2004 and 2013. He faces between five and 25 years imprisonment for each offence. The charges ... ► Read more

  • San Diego Zoo’s Maori dancer blunder could have been avoided so easily, it’s laughable

    One may wonder whether to laugh or be worried by San Diego’s Zoo cultural mix-up this week. During the opening of an Australian exhibition, typically featuring iconic ‘Aussie’ creatures including kangaroos and wallabies, there was another element that was definitely incongruous with that Australian theme: Maori dancers. The mix-up has sparked outrage, but the first and strongest reaction has been incredulity. Is it fair to assume that a zoo, whose job is to exhibit animals of the ... ► Read more

  • Political correctness VS free speech: we’re heading down a dangerous path

    Image credit: Newtown grafitti (Flickr) We are all familiar with the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Well it appears that in a post-political correctness world, words are all you need to do all the damage you’d like. I enjoy free speech, and I am a firm believer that this is a very important piece to the way modern society operates. However, I cannot foresee a ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s oldest scientist ends his life through assisted suicide in Switzerland

    Professor David Goodall has fulfilled his wish and ended his life at the age of 104 through an assisted suicide program in Switzerland on Thursday (local time). The professor was surrounded by his family, including five of his grandchildren who travelled from the US and France to say their farewells. “I’m feeling very emotional but at the same time I’m at peace,” daughter Karen Goodall-Smith told the ABC on the eve of his death. Mr ... ► Read more

  • The stupidity of “cultural appropriation”

    Today’s society is a confused one. We currently live in a world where we simultaneously do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and all feel included, but also want to segregate ourselves and claim things that we can enjoy, but others cannot. I am of course referring to what some call “cultural appropriation”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “cultural appropriation” is defined as “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is ... ► Read more

  • First Australian pill-testing trial a success

    The trial for pill-testing at music festival Groovin the Moo in Canberra has uncovered some lethal and obscure ingredients in what attendants thought to be party drugs. The festival, which spans over the course of one weekend, is the first instance where pill-testing has been attempted in Australia. A total of 85 substances were tested by the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE). The most troubling discovery was of two extremely ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 22–28 April 2018

    Story of the week Historic meeting between Korean leaders Kim Jong-un became the first leader of North Korea to step over the military demarcation line into South Korea for 65 years last Friday. The meeting between Chairman Kim and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, is the first inter-Korean summit in over ten years. After stepping over the line into South Korea, Kim also invited Moon to step back over into North Korea with him, which ... ► Read more

  • The animal hierarchy

    Image credit: Daniel Stockman (Flickr) Animals have played an integral part in the lives of humans since the beginning of time. We have since learnt to domesticate and live alongside some animals, and many households today couldn’t imagine their lives without the companionship of their family pets. According to Canstar Pet Insurance, over 62% of Australian households own some kind of pet, whether it be a cat or a dog, a bird or a rabbit. ... ► Read more

  • Avicii pronounced dead at 28

    Swedish musician, DJ and producer Tim Bergling, widely known by his stage name Avicii, was pronounced dead in Muscat, Oman on Friday afternoon (early Saturday morning Sydney time). ► Read more

  • OPMG Collective: the Ruddock Review and religious freedoms

    The Religious Freedom Review, an expert panel to inquire into the protection of religious freedom in Australia, was announced on 22 November 2017.  The expert panel, with Philip Ruddock as its chair, is due to hand down its report on 18 May 2018. In the wake of the same-sex marriage debate, the findings of the review promise to be controversial, and to re-ignite the debate on the role of religion in society. For OPMG’s second ... ► Read more

  • The problem with [insert stupid idea here] challenges

    Image Credit: Jason Chen (Youtube) They say that with each year you grow a little older and a little wiser. However, in a broader societal sense, that seems to be quite the contrary. In our modern world we are lucky enough to be blessed with the internet, a magnificent tool that has expanded the realm of possibility for society and made information more readily available than ever before. However, instead of learning new skills, researching ... ► Read more

  • Easter: more than bunnies, eggs, and buns

    For many people, Easter is just a long weekend holiday that is associated with eating chocolate, spending time with family, running around looking for eggs, maybe having a bit of a rest, and hot cross buns. Oh, and being advertised way too early in the stores, just like Christmas is. Many people probably know the basic story of Easter. Jewish religious guru gets a bit too big for his boots, the other Jews develop a ... ► Read more

  • The debate that has gone on far too long

    I had previously believed that we had passed the age of believing that video games were the source of your child’s anger or aggression. But as time goes on, I continue to see news articles and stories that show me that we are indeed not past this phase; and for some odd reason, parents continue to believe that video games and violent television are a significant issue in society. Now, while I do believe too ... ► Read more

  • Has diversity become more important than skill?

    Most people born in the twentieth century would define equal opportunity along the lines of it being the principle of treating all people the same, and not being influenced by their race, religion, gender etc. However, in 2018 equal opportunity is rapidly being redefined along the lines of the Orwellian novel Animal Farm where “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Case in point, the University of Sydney Union, one ... ► Read more

  • Society’s unhealthy obsession

    In today’s fast-paced, modern era, we are all connected to our smartphones and devices more than ever. We are saturated with internet stars, movie stars, and musicians all over our news feeds and social media pages. In a world where even chefs can be regarded as celebrities, it is no surprise that a large portion of society looks up to these people as idols or role models, and feel connected to them in some way. ... ► Read more

  • 90th Academy Awards (2018)

    As always, the Academy Awards — better known as the Oscars — are highly sought-after and much-contested, and their presentation is looked forward to with enormous anticipation by those both within and outside the film industry. People all around the world lean in to see which of their favourite films, actors and directors are awarded a coveted Grouch — er, Oscar. We’ve put together the list of winners of the 90th Academy Awards! Best picture: The ... ► Read more

  • Five songs that made our summer

    As the end of February approaches, it is with angst that we must say goodbye to summer. This summer we found ourselves doing a lot of new things and having lots of fun experiences. While doing so we had a lot of songs that we regularly listened to, and more we discovered along the way. We have compiled five songs that, in their own way, made our summer a memorable and joyful one. Camp Cope — ... ► Read more

  • Love is in the … wallets?

    February 14th — a day of sending people red roses, and heart-shaped cards, and boxes of chocolates big enough that they don’t mind that you’re not actually there, right? A day following in the tradition of St Valentine, who did…er…something to do with romantic love? Well, while many are worried about their wallets when Valentine’s Day comes around, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of the day. Most people know that ... ► Read more

  • We shouldn’t live under two flags

    Hot on the heels of the recent “Change the Date” debate regarding Australia Day, has come the debate over flying the Australian Aboriginal Flag along side of the Australian National Flag. NSW Labor is backing the online campaign by a young indigenous woman named Cherie Toka, to permanently have the Aboriginal Flag fly alongside the Australian National Flag and State Flag at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Before we get into it though, ... ► Read more

  • Optimistic Nihilism: the positives of being negative

    If you have read some of my other articles, I’m sure you may have come to the realisation that my opinions and views can be quite negative and depressing. Although it may be true that I usually hold a pessimistic outlook on life, and that my expectations and hopes for humanity are currently at an all-time low; I personally am actually quite happy. I am entirely content with my personal life and the way things ... ► Read more

  • Why we shouldn’t change the date

    Australia Day used to be a day off from work, filled with beach, barbeques, fireworks, flag-wearing and other festivities. For decades now there have been protests from the indigenous community against this celebration, declaring it either a Day of Mourning or Invasion Day. Are the indigenous groups accurate in their assessment of what Australia Day stands for? Is it a day of mourning? Well certainly the history of European settlement can detail, among other things, ... ► Read more

  • Why not changing the date is denying history

    What makes a national day? In the United States, as with the majority of nations, it is a commemoration of defiant independence. France celebrates the storming of a fortress – a moment of fire and blood that gave way to the Republic.  Over the border, it is a day of unification, when East and West reunited as one Germany. In short, it is a day where a country looks to the past to celebrate the ... ► Read more

  • Fake news isn’t the problem, we are

    Image credit: Mike MacKenzie (Flickr) – CC BY 2.0 After copping criticism over the spread of “fake news” via Facebook during the 2016 US Presidential Election, Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook is introducing measures that will prioritise “trusted” and “informative” news sources in users’ Facebook News Feeds. According to Mr Zuckerberg: “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if ... ► Read more

  • The bully has never been more cowardly

    In my days as a kid, an era known as the 1970s, there was nothing new about schoolyard bullies. The difference between then and now is that the bully, or bullies, had to physically be within cooee of you in order to bully you. The late 20th century gave us many wonderful advances in technology. One that most of the civilised world takes for granted now is the internet, which has enabled so many useful ... ► Read more

  • MLA’s summer lamb ad is a definite flop

    Another summer, another lamb ad. Every time a lamb ad is launched it is followed by controversy. Someone, somewhere is always offended and feels the need to vent on social media. It appears Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) latest attempt will be no different. Ok so #lambad is…well…annoying. 2.5 minutes of awkward political satire to try sell people a dead animal. Seems like a good strategy? #definitelyisnt — Joseph O'Sullivan (@jjosullivan) January 11, 2018 Tone ... ► Read more

  • Do we love the Royals?

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock of late, or have been taking a break from social media, you’ll likely have heard of the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle (of Suits fame). Their wedding day is already confirmed as May 19, about six months after they were engaged. Not having had such an event for many a year, the various magazines and the like are going a little bit crazy over it all; talking about ... ► Read more

  • The difference between Americans and Russians

    If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. — John F. Kennedy The first American I recall meeting was a middle-aged male tourist from San Diego. He was the most stereotypical American tourist one could conjure up. He had a classic goatee, and was dressed in baggy cargo shorts, an oversized black t-shirt, velcro strap sandals, and a cowboy hat. He was walking around Adelaide Zoo snapping ... ► Read more

  • How not to talk about sexual assault

    Hi! Are you a society grappling at long last with a systemic fault line in your culture? Are you trying to form a hot take about how to go about it? Well, here are a few pointers to show you what to avoid. DON’T blame the victim I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved ... ► Read more

  • How we fell in love with Sydney’s music scene: An ode to the Idiots

    A while back, we were on our way to see Pist Idiots, a Western Sydney-based garage-rock band and one of our favourite local acts. After awkwardly bumbling our way through Newtown with a stomach full of nerves and a terrible navigation app leading us into unknown territory, we finally arrived at the gig. Puffing from running and jittery with nerves, we had instantly become deer in the headlights as we watched Pist Idiots play their first ... ► Read more

  • Breaking: Australia passes marriage equality law

    Photo credit: Australian Associated Press. The issue of marriage equality has finally been resolved in Australia, after the federal Parliament passed legislation on Tuesday to allow two people to marry regardless of their sex or gender. After four days of debates and discussion of many proposed amendments, the House of Representatives voted in favour of the Bill on Thursday evening. The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 received Royal Assent on Friday, and will ... ► Read more

  • We need a new standard

    Over the past weeks it seems that rather a bright light has been shining on a lot of people around the issue of sexual harassment. Most recently, Don Burke has been accused of this by multiple people with whom he used to work, and many others are saying that they were well aware of the issue at the time. As more comes to light about the allegations, it's being likened more and more to the recent spotlight on Harvey Weinstein — a large number of accusations and many people seeming to have known about it at the time, but yet only now is it coming to light. ► Read more

  • Is religion outdated?

    Regardless of your own faith or beliefs, there is no denying that religion has been a major influence on human societies since the beginning of time and continues to be to this day. Religion continues to dictate the foods people eat, the choices they make, and how they spend their free time. Ultimately, how one chooses to spend their life is their prerogative. However, with all the conflict and crisis that our world sees today ... ► Read more

  • Amyl and The Sniffers: It’s all passion

    Currently based in Melbourne, four piece punk-rock band Amyl and The Sniffers are a force to be reckoned with! We finally got the chance to see these guys play live when they opened for Cosmic Psychos here in Sydney, which they will continue to do for the Better in the Shed Tour spanning across November and December. We were met with nothing but pure energetic passion from the quartet as they belted out their well ... ► Read more

  • A Christian on the other side of the postal vote

    Before I launch into this, necessary proviso: the views expressed herein are my own, and not necessarily the views of any church or company that I am a part of or affiliated with, et cetera, et cetera. All good? Bueno. You have, by this stage, probably read post after post about the “postal vote” on same-sex marriage. Or “postal survey”. Or “very-expensive, non-compulsory, non-binding community poll”. And you’re probably tired of hearing about it — ... ► Read more

  • A match made in heaven: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile amaze with ‘Lotta Sea Lice’

    When I heard whispers that Aussie sweetheart Courtney Barnett was in the States working with alternative rocker Kurt Vile, I instantly knew that this pairing was a match made in heaven. I can't believe I hadn’t seen these two as potential collaborators before! Released on 13 October, Lotta Sea Lice was a very long time coming for me, even though it was released just months after the two artists announced they were working together. I couldn’t wait! And I must say, I wasn't disappointed. ► Read more

  • Five up and coming acts from Sydney you need to see

    Sydney’s music scene is crawling with talent. Going to live gigs and performances is a great way to engage, discover and admire said talents — but how do you choose? Here is a list of five up and coming Sydney-based artists you need to see! ► Read more

  • On the ground at the marriage equality rally

    There were a few initial hints that the turnout would be as massive as it turned out to be — the snatches of overheard conversation on the train into Town Hall, the mass of people a full thirty-five minutes early crowding the narrow construction bollards and milling around in the square near St. Andrew’s, selling badges and the Red Flag in equal measure, signing petitions for Safe Schools, handing out posters for the march. Already ... ► Read more