It is estimated that Australia’s population will reach 35 million by 2050. This will put stress on cities, social cohesion and fragile ecosystems.
Even for a country built on immigration, the continuing high rates of population growth are testing the consensus of national identity and demand a visionary approach to imagine a very different future, with a bigger, older population in a world that is bursting at the seams.
A major essay by award winning author and ABC presenter of The National Interest, Peter Mares explores the tensions between a humanitarian and an environmental approach to migration and population, with a look at the emergence of an anti-growth movement and political party and an evaluation of how we measure economic growth and quality of life.
The pressure of how to strike the right balance between environmental preservation, cultural diversity and a robust economy will make population and immigration policies a significant factor in... Read more
Still the Lucky Country? answers these questions with a searing reappraisal of Australia now – the sources of power, influence and fragility – on the cusp of the Asian century.
When Donald Horne coined the phrase ‘The Lucky Country’ with a large dollop of irony, he was pleading for changes to the institutions and attitudes that had made Australia complacent.
The time is right for a re-examination of Australia in an international context, of what we can expect in an era of globalisation and climate change.
Marcia Langton looks at life beyond the Great Divide, where mining companies hold sway; Kathy Marks follows the trail of the new gold rush; Glyn Davis assesses Horne’s contribution; and John Keane explores the way Australians have made their own luck. This edition will be essential reading in an election year.
We are what we eat, and in an era of global warming, food is the canary in the mine.
Food prices are rising, droughts and storms are affecting farmers and the global model of food production is under challenge.
Food Chain explores the dimension of this looming problem, and our complex relationship with the food we eat and the food we drool over.
The source, supply and price of food is likely to change significantly. Policies to reduce the impact of climate change will have a profound impact on the food supply here and around the world. Food is particularly vulnerable to global warming. Droughts, storms, pestilence and the increasing cost of fuel are already taking a toll on the reliable supply of affordable food.
Food Chain explores the dimension of this looming problem, and our complex relationship with the food we eat and the food we drool over.
In a stimulating lead essay Margaret... Read more
A new world is taking shape, driven by globalisation and the increasing complexity of our era. We are at a point in history where the artists and story tellers are best placed to define us to ourselves.... Read more
The global financial crisis is different to other recessions. It challenges many economic fundamentals. Its resolution will fundamentally change the world and the way business is done.
After the Crisis projects this new future, analyses the causes and historic parallels, examines the limits of the growth, and graphically reports what is happening on the front line around the world.
The corruption of banking is at the heart of the global financial crisis. Like an internet virus, it is a contagion that has spread with remarkable speed and destruction. It has highlighted the weaknesses in the financial system and the economic order – the burden is not falling evenly.
In the lead essay acclaimed author and business journalist Gideon Haigh goes beyond the clichés and the predictable explanations to make sense of what is happening and why. His essay critically examines the practices of banking and the finance industry and the consequences for us... Read more
The world is on the cusp of profound change, triggered by the global financial crisis and climate change.
At the same time the internet provides limitless opportunities for civic engagement for new forms of engagement.
This is not a moment for despair. Participation, openness, collaboration, innovation, sustainability and social capital are the new buzz words.
In the lead essay Cheryl Kernot argues that there is a need for swift and decisive action to nurture social entrepreneurs who have the agility and imagination to respond to these challenges.
New forms of participation learn from the past, and range from cyber-activism and micro-loans to a fundamental rethink of the nature of democracy in an information-rich world.
An outstanding collection of writers conjure new models to shape the future and make business as usual a thing of the past.
When Prime Minister Kevin Rudd included the arts and creativity in the 2020 Summit it was more than political window-dressing with famous faces. It was a sign that artists, actors, writers, musicians and others engaged in the creative economy were being taken seriously.
Essentially Creative draws on the insights and debates aired at the Summit to present a bold new agenda. It argues that the arts, creativity, innovation and cultural policy deserve a place at the centre of the national agenda and suggests ways this might be realised.
The arts can no longer be regarded as decorative indulgences. More than ever they define who were are and how we are seen. The skill, dedication and commitment required to produce enduring works of art needs to be celebrated and rewarded. The creativity which inspires those who produce and enjoy these works needs to be nurtured and encouraged.
Helen O’Neil ‘s lead essay argues that... Read more
Money makes the world go around, but when it stops flowing the consequences are profound.
From masters of the universe who lose their magical touch, to remote communities where the unwritten laws of money, sex and power can cause misery.
This edition explores how power is wielded, how it can evaporate and can be renegotiated in unexpected ways. In the lead essay the influential thinker and writer Marcia Langton dissects the abusive nature of ‘big men politics’ in Indigenous communities and the grave effects of lateral violence.
The heady mix of MoneySexPower is unravelled with flair and insight.
From Faustian banking deals to prison codes, virtual identities to the culture of coal mines, the reign of the image and the price of privacy to brothels and the raw edge of political power.
This is contrasted with the intimate choices of desire and exchange and lifts the lid on the potent... Read more
Queensland is the new centre of political gravity in Australia. Twenty years ago it was a repressive and corrupt place out of step with the rest of the nation.
Hidden Queensland explores the most remarkable transition in Australian political history: in the people, the politics and the policies – and also exposes the lingering impact of secrets.
The election of Kevin Rudd as prime minister signalled a momentous change in Australia – political power moved north for the first time. As he said, ‘You can take the boy out of Nambour, but you can’t take Nambour out of the boy.’ This edition explains how this happened and what it means for Australia.
The lead essay by Julianne Schultz provides a fresh and comprehensive analysis of how today’s leaders and visionaries forged their ideals in the ashes of corruption and conflict. She describes the way networks with radical roots were formed and nurtured in... Read more
For the first time in history most people in the world now live in cities. This is an enormous change of profound importance.
The sheer pressure of numbers will test the old adage, that cities are the heart of civilisation. Many already teeter on the brink of chaos.
Climate change is the great new challenge confronting cities and the billions of people who live in them.
The lead essay by outstanding urban planner Brendan Gleeson examines this and other stress points and suggests solutions to make cities better places to live and work. His expansive essay sets the big agenda for a new generation of thinking about the increasingly complex nexus with Nature. Making cities more liveable, more sustainable and more fun is one of the great new global tasks.
The human, cultural and environmental implications of the global drift to cities are evoked in moving essays by outstanding writers including... Read more
Australia is a product of political imagination. The boldness of the vision that turned a continent into a nation was remarkable. It was not without fault, but it was a big idea – pragmatic, progressive and bristling with possibility.
It is now time to re-imagine Australia again, to learn from the past and imagine a future for a new century.
Leading legal activist George Williams declares the system of government has passed its used-by date with antiquated rules of democracy that limit involvement. He proposes a way to repair this and build on the traditions of the past to solve the blame game that paralyses change in Australia. This is a compelling, once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Re-imagining Australia is not a political wish list. It paints the big picture of how the nation evolved and where it might go. It is optimistic and tough minded – personal, political and unpredictable.
In the Neighbourhood explores Australia’s increasingly close connections with Asia from business, trade and education to migration.
But public debate and understanding of what this may mean, has not kept pace. The rapid changes in the region will shape the Pacific Century. This demands tough new thinking. Location provides both opportunities and challenges.
Michael Wesley argues in a provocative essay that history has not ended, but the future will be shaped by a resurgence of the world’s oldest civilisations.
Australian engagement is crucial. This goes beyond business and security to questions of identity, belonging and culture. When Kevin Rudd spoke in Mandarin at the APEC forum, he suggested Australia could play a new and important role in regional geo-politics, on its own terms.
In the Neighbourhood presents a rich tapestry of the diversity of the region – a mosaic of cultural and social interaction that touches the heart. Writers with deep knowledge take us... Read more
Staying Alive goes to the heart of the human condition and the challenges of life and death. Epidemics and war make it a geopolitical issue as well as a personal one.
Twenty million people have died from AIDS globally. Many died because its management was hijacked by those who believed it was caused by sin, not a virus.
Bill Bowtell, one of the architects of Australia’s successful HIV/AIDS policy, passionately and persuasively argues that HIV can be eradicated within three generations. With political will, the lessons of successful HIV prevention can – and must – be applied globally. As the second phase of the pandemic looms in this region, this is an urgent plea.
Wars are also urgent. Donna Mulhearn kept a diary during her time doing humanitarian work in Iraq, and describes four terrifying days caught in the crossfire in Fallujah.
Nor is heroism confined to the battlefield or the global stage: writers... Read more
Unintended Consequences explores what happens when things don’t go according to plan – politically and personally.
It examines both the unplanned triumphs and the unexpected failures, with a particular focus on indigenous relations.
Forty years after the 1967 referendum recognised the first Australians as full citizens, Noel Pearson – Australia’s most innovative and effective Aboriginal leader – breaks new ground and eloquently advocates an agenda that learns from the mistakes of the past.
Some of the best writers and thinkers in Australia go beyond simple explanations and conspiracy theories to examine how unintended consequences shape our lives and our canon of heroes.
Murray Sayle considers how journalism can turn myths into reality, as he reflects for the first time on his chance encounters with Che Guevara in Cuba and the Bolivian jungle.
This collection moves from the big issues – war, bureaucracy, epidemics, planning and media – to compelling and quirky personal tales that... Read more
Australians have never been richer. Or more complacent. Yet despite the good times, divisions are emerging.
The growing wealth of the past decade has not reached everyone. Pockets of entrenched disadvantage remain, even in the richest neighbourhoods.
Geography, work, race, religion, education, health and ethnicity mark the new divides.
David Burchell throws the spot light on the underlying causes of the riots that shocked Sydney.
He reveals a pattern of marginalisation shaped by history, flawed policy and personal incapacity – and finds hope in the remarkable resilience of people under enormous pressure. This challenge is echoed in the reports from around the country.
This issue provides an intimate portrait of the usually invisible fractures even in boom time Australia, with outstanding essays, reportage, memoir, poetry and fiction.
The paradise myth has shaped civilisations for centuries.
The quest for paradise on earth knows no bounds – repeated over and over, until it is now little more than an advertising slogan.
When Christopher Columbus first “discovered” America, it was considered a new Garden of Eden. Later it became a secular paradise in which rights and freedoms were enshrined. In this current time of terror, however, many of these rights are being questioned – there is trouble in paradise.
In Australia, freedom of expression is also under assault. In an important new essay, Frank Moorhouse considers the threat, documents the attack, explores its consequences and challenges us to respond. The freshness, originality and scope of his essay will stimulate and provoke. It is a must-read article.
Martin Amis, Chalmers Johnson, John Kinsella, Kirsty Sword Gusmão and others explore the lure of paradise and its shortcomings.
Level 4, Griffith Graduate Centre
South Bank, Campus – Griffith University
Sidon Street, South Bank 4101 Australia
South Bank Campus, Griffith University
PO Box 3370, South Brisbane 4101, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3735 3071
Fax: +61 7 3735 327