First published by Crikey, 13 July 2015 Mullumbimby, a hippie heartland since the 1970s, is one of those places where all the contradictions of rural life bump up against each other in the most incongruous of ways. To get there you pass through Queensland’s sugar cane belt from the north, or the dairy and cattle farms of the NSW coast from the south. But once you … Read More In a hippie heartland, trying to sway the intractable anti-vaxxers
First published by The Hoopla, 19 February 2015 We are just seven weeks into 2015 and already 14 women have been violently murdered in Australia. That’s two women every week – much higher than Tony Abbott acknowledged last month when he said: “Every week, one Australian woman dies as a result of domestic violence.” The grim statistics are collected by the Counting Dead Women project, … Read More 14 Women dead this year and counting…
First published by The Hoopla, 2 March 2015 The endless Liberal leadership speculation was punctuated last week when Julie Bishop responded to a Today show interview question with an emoji face. And Mike Baird looked like he was auditioning for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, not for another stint as NSW premier, when he released a youtube video of himself reading mean tweets. Bishop and Baird provided rare moments … Read More Pollie want a crack-up?
First published by The Hoopla, 1 February 2015 If, as looks almost certain, Labor forms government in Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk will become Australia’s first female state opposition leader to take her party to victory. Another glass ceiling will be smashed, another milestone notched up. Carmen Lawrence, Joan Kirner, Anna Bligh, Kristina Keneally and Lara Giddings all became premier when their parties were already in office, … Read More Annastacia Palaszczuk: Smashing glass ceilings
First published by The Hoopla, 4 February 2015 Khadija Gbla, who suffered female genital mutilation as a little girl, has given birth to a baby boy in Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital. It was the child she thought would never be born. Speaking exclusively to The Hoopla from her maternity ward, Khadija said of her new baby: “He is my own victory against FGM. It’s a miracle that … Read More Defying the odds on female genital mutilation
First published by The Hoopla, 18 December 2014 This wouldn’t have happened in Texas. That’s what pro-guns Senator David Leyonhjelm has said today, calling Australia “a nation of victims” because they are not able to defend themselves with guns. The Liberal Democrats senator told ABC radio today that “one or two” of the hostages probably would have had a concealed weapon, and that Man Haron … Read More The Lindt siege wouldn’t have happened if they had been armed?
First published by The Hoopla, 6 January 2015 Just before Luke Foley was elected Leader of the Opposition in NSW this week he described himself as an “unlikely leader”. Foley, you see, is a member of the left faction in a state where the right of the ALP has traditionally had the numbers to anoint the party’s leader. The Sydney Morning Herald reported his installment as: “Foley’s rise … Read More Gen X in Power: Spot the Difference
Thanks to Selma and Sabin Zahirovic for sharing their story with me for the Good Weekend (published 25 October 2014). Hairdresser Selma Zahirovic, 25, and her husband, geologist Sabin, 28, were childhood friends in Bosnia. When war broke out in the early 1990s, their families were separated and they ended up on opposite sides of the world. They reunited in 2009 and married in Sydney in … Read More Two of Us: Selma and Sabin