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Sloppy Editing

Lesley Canold argues that the use of shame and humiliation in the hoax on Keith Windshuttle was justifiable. I disagree. At one level, I am enjoying seeing an opponent in the culture/history wars “hoisted on his own petard”. Sarcasm, ridicule, satire and irony are effective weapons of mass amusement. However,…
Sarah Russell
January 9, 2009
Health Care

Definition of family: mum, dad, kids? No way

Last week two controversial bills were debated in the Victorian Parliament. MPs in the upper house passed the Abortion Law Reform Bill. In the lower house, MPs voted 47 to 34 in support of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill, which proposes expanding access to IVF. The bill also creates greater opportunity…
Sarah Russell
October 14, 2008
Health Care

The politics of test-tube parenthood

There has been a lot of talk lately about surplus embryos and what to do with them. In Victoria, there are three options: surplus embryos can be donated to research, disposed of, or donated to other infertile people. Recently, the Infertility Treatment Authority announced that it is considering a new…
Sarah Russell
September 3, 2007

Mother Of All Myths That Only Mums Mother

Looking for the perfect gift for Mother’s Day? Forget the dust buster. It’s a myth buster. Motherhood is a fertile breeding ground for myths. Remember Bill Heffernan’s comments about Julia Gillard: that women who don’t give birth are “barren”? When we put this myth into the myth buster, we find…
Sarah Russell
May 11, 2007

Community service

My four month old labrador puppy, Bronte, is already devoted to her community service – picking up, and sometimes eating, rubbish in our local streets and parks. Bronte is particularly excited about walking along the footpaths after the rubbish bins are emptied. While some rubbish is emptied successfully into the…
Sarah Russell
November 29, 2006

Brand Power

Rather than policies and principles, political parties now rely on “branding”. May I suggest some popular breakfast cereal brands such as Rice Puffs for ALP, Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes for Liberals, Fruit Loops for Family First, porridge for People Power and Just Right for the Greens. First published as a…
Sarah Russell
November 27, 2006
Mental Health

One in five Australians

One in five Australians has become a fashionable statistic. We see it on billboards, media releases and websites. This trend to use a "one in five statistic" indicates a bias towards trivialising social experiences. According to Google, one in five Australians experience some form of mental illness, is affected by…
Sarah Russell
June 28, 2006

Live aid and Live 8: one hit wonders?

It was the Live 8 concerts, not the G8 summit, which placed Africa centre stage. Once again, musicians, not politicians, were instrumental in bringing the plight of poverty and hunger to our attention. With a worldwide audience around 5.5 billion people, these concerts put poverty back onto the political agenda.…
Sarah Russell
August 2, 2005