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16 Apr 2014

The Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition honours the work and memory of the late Professor Gavin Mooney, a health economist who was a tireless advocate for social justice in local, national and international arenas.

Launched in 2013, the competition seeks to draw public attention to...

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12 Aug 2017

It is clearly the case that ordinary Australians are struggling as income growth has slumped and household debt has soared to record levels. It is clearly the case that inequality in Australia has risen sharply over the past twenty years. And it is clearly the case that the vote for minor...

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10 Aug 2017

The same-sex marriage referendum caravan has meandered into the home straight and, barring a successful High Court challenge, Australian opinion pollsters will soon be grappling with estimating voter turnout by demographic, as overseas counterparts have for decades. The ballots will be sent out...

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07 Aug 2017

If you think it isn’t long since your smartphone started using 4G, you’re right. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone switched on their networks between 2011 and 2013. Adoption was rapid. By the end of 2014, 40 per cent of Australia’s mobile customers were using 4G, although Optus has only recently shut...

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03 Aug 2017

In the early morning, there can be few more beautiful places to walk than along the tropical foreshore of Townsville in north Queensland, with palms framing views across the sparkling waters to Magnetic Island and beyond. The trail leads past cafes, swimming spots, parks and a stunning cultural...

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28 Jul 2017

“It helps a [person] immensely to be a bit of a hero-worshipper,” Sir William Osler remarked in 1889, “and the stories of the lives of the masters of medicine do much to stimulate our ambition and rouse our...

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25 Jul 2017

At the opening session of the annual Economic and Social Outlook Conference, hosted last week by the Australian and the Melbourne Institute, Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris expressed surprise that no one issue seemed to have sufficiently dominated public debate in recent...

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25 Jul 2017

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact date, but sometime in the early years after the global financial crisis the problem of inequality moved to centrestage. Evidence that had once been discussed mostly in academic seminars found a wider audience among people trying to understand what had gone wrong in...

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25 Jul 2017

Every other day the web page of the world’s number one search engine features a cute cartoon to celebrate something like World Chocolate Day or the woman who invented potato flour; occasionally it’s even animated. It’s designed to make Google look like a happy kingdom of approachable hipsters,...

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12 Jul 2017

Let’s be optimistic and say that it’s never too late to start restoring trust in politics and its practitioners. It is not as though we can return to some golden age of democracy, when voters considered politics an honourable and noble profession, because such an era never existed, at least not...

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05 Jul 2017

In the broad picture, the 2016 census has confirmed things we already knew about ourselves. But burrow down into the detail, and you’ll find much that will surprise you.

The key themes are well-known. Australians are getting older: almost five million of us are now over sixty, and almost...