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    Fixing the System

    Why do so many believe that Australia's political and social system is no longer fit for purpose? What's the way forward for the great southern land?

    Australia has never been richer, its people better educated and the country better connected internationally, yet there is a widespread perception that systems and key institutions are broken. Interest groups flex their muscle and block each other. Risk management has paralysed the system. Commentators proclaim the ‘end of the reform era’. They lament the rise of...

  • Contributors Circle

    A hundred in a million
    Peter Stanley

    'O’Meara also returned with ‘delusional insanity, with hallucinations…extremely homicidal and suicidal’. Committed to the insane ward at Claremont repatriation hospital, where he was usually held ‘in restraint’, he died in 1935, his sanity destroyed by the war. By then, another Western Australian VC, Hugo Throssell, had taken his own life in 1933… Curiously, neither O’Meara’s nor Throssell’s trauma seem to attract much attention in the slew of books extolling VC heroes.'

    In his essay for Griffith Review 48: Enduring Legacies, Peter Stanley argues that the emphasis placed on the commemoration of Victoria Cross medal recipients risks distorting awareness of the experience of the anonymous majority of soldiers. VC medal winners are, after all, just ‘a hundred in a million.’

  • Fixing the System

    GJ Stroud – ‘Teaching Australia’

    I was burnt out because successive Australian governments – both left and right – have locked Australian education into the original model of schooling first established during the industrial revolution. Each decision made keeps us stuck in an archaic learn-to-work model, now complete with ongoing mandatory assessment of our student’s likely productivity and economic potential.

    GJ Stroud made the painful decision to quit teaching. In her opinion, standardised testing has been implemented at immense cost to creativity, flexibility, liveliness and human connection between teachers and students. In Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System she poses a lucid, candid and deeply-felt reflection on a profession she loves and its replacement by something that doesn’t resemble, or respect, teaching.

  • In the media

    ‘The collapse of values’
    Julian Burnside on refugees

    The catch cry ‘border protection’ confuses national security with refugee policy. In that confusion we lost our moral bearings.

    In his piece for Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System, ‘The collapse of values’, barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside AO worries that Australia’s apalling treatment of refugees since 2001 has redefined our national character. In light of the High Court’s unfortunate ruling that it is legal to return refugees – including children – to detention centres for processing, how will our government and the nation choose to respond? Can we find our bearings and reassert a collective empathy?

  • Competition

    The Novella Competition IV is open

    Short enough to consume like a single satisfying meal, long enough to linger over with coffee, these novellas deliver us into worlds we don't expect and have a hard time forgetting. For sheer invention and range, the authors showcase the vitality and scope of the short form to create dynamic, visceral and memorable worlds. – Cate Kennedy on The Novella Project III

    Submissions are now open for Griffith Review’s The Novella Project IV competition. Winning novellas will share in a $25,000 prize pool and will be published in Griffith Review 54: The Novella Project IV (26 October 2016). Entrants will also receive a free one-year digital subscription to Griffith Review.

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