In The Conversation

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Jane Austen, Monet and Phantom of the Opera – Middlebrow Culture Today

22 Sep 2020
Culture has long been stratified as “high” or “low”, or perhaps “high” and “popular” to soften the blow. But what about the in-between? We asked almost 1500 Australians about their cultural preferences and participation, and mapped their responses on a spectrum.....Read more.


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The Sydney Olympics: How Did the ‘Best Games Ever’ Change Australia?

15 Sep 2020
On Tuesday, it will be 20 years since the Olympic opening ceremony in Sydney, kicking off the “best games ever”. Our newspapers and TV screens are now awash with nostalgia about great sporting moments and the spectacle and ceremony of the Olympics.....Read more.


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Cashless Payment is Booming, Thanks to Coronavirus. So is Financial Surveillance

10 Sep 2020
A banknote has been sitting in my wallet for six months now. As time ticks on, it burns an ever greater hole in my pocket. At first I felt uneasy spending it, following COVID-19 warnings to pay more attention to hand hygiene and the surfaces we all touch on a daily basis.....Read more.


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COVID-19 Cases are Highest in Young Adults. We Need to Partner with Them for the Health of the Whole Community

28 Aug 2020
Australian data confirms coronavirus is more common in younger adults. People aged 20-29 have continually had the highest rates of COVID-19 cases. To reduce these rates and support young people to play their part in stemming community transmission, we need to understand their experiences during the pandemic.....Read more.


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Australians’ favourites show Aboriginal art can transcend social divisions and art boundaries

24 Aug 2020
New analysis shows landscape art is the most popular visual art genre among Australians, with Aboriginal art coming in second place, followed by portraits and modern art. But Aboriginal art is more likely to bridge social divides and can dissolve personal prejudices between different kinds of art.....Read more.


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TikTok can be good for your kids if you follow a few tips to stay safe

21 Aug 2020
The video-sharing app TikTok is a hot political potato amid concerns over who has access to users’ personal data.The United States has moved to ban the app. Other countries, including Australia, have expressed concern. But does this mean your children who use this app are at risk?....Read more.


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State arts service organisations effective, engaged but endangered

21 Aug 2020
This week the NSW government’s arts funding arm, Create NSW, removed or significantly reduced funding to arts service organisations including Writing NSW, Playwriting Australia, the National Association of Visual Artists (NAVA) and Ausdance NSW. This short-sighted trend of cutting funding to arts organisations began several years ago.....Read more.


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‘Uprooting, no matter how small a plant you are, is a trauma’: older women renters are struggling

04 Aug 2020
In a report released today, single older women living on low incomes describe to Dr Emma Power how high and rising rents left them struggling to meet day-to-day costs. Many paid rent before they bought food or paid power bills because the alternative was eviction.....Read more.


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We Live in an Age of ‘Fake News’. But Australian Children Are Not Learning Enough About Media Literacy

06 Jul 2020
Today we release the findings from our new research into how young Australians consume and think about news media. Following a summer of bushfires and during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people have told us they consume news regularly.....Read more.


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‘The Neighbours Were Always Very Welcoming and Warm’: Little Things Count to Help Refugees Belong

18 Jun 2020
Successful settlement and integration are shared goals of refugees and the communities where they settle. Research shows the importance of simple everyday encounters and experiences for newly arrived refugees to feel welcome in Australia. We also found refugees’ strong social bonds with family and community do not prevent them developing connections with the broader Australian community.....Read more.


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Tonight We Riot? What Nintendo’s ‘Revolutionary’ Video Game Misses About Worker Liberation

25 May 2020
“In a world where the wealthy elite control the media, elections and lives of working people, we’re faced with two choices – accept it or fight for something better.” That’s the premise of Tonight We Riot, a new video game for touted as a leftist response to the “neocon fantasies” like Call of Duty.....Read more.


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Five Years on From the Earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Heritage-led Recovery is Uniting Community

04 May 2020
Since the Gorkha earthquake killed almost 9,000 people in April 2015, Nepal has been on a slow and arduous route to recovery. Nepal’s vibrant cultural heritage of monuments, religious places, crafts, festivals and traditional practices has been key to this process.....Read more.


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Forget Old Screen ‘Time’ Rules During Coronavirus. Here’s What You Should Focus on Instead

14 Apr 2020
COVID-19 has left parents grappling with the challenges of online learning, entertainment and work. It’s natural the amount of time children spend using screens will now increase. But that’s OK. Screen time recommendations we’ve enforced for so long no longer apply to our situation. There are ways to make the best of kids’ increased use of screens.....Read more.


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Young People Are Anxious About Coronavirus. Political Leaders Need to Talk With Them, Not at Them

03 Apr 2020
Young people in Australia are among the fastest-growing group to contract COVID19. According to the Department of Health, there are now more cases in Australia among people aged 20 – 29 years than any other age group. Our research has found that, contrary to popular belief, many young people in Australia are seriously concerned about the virus.....Read more.


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1 in 10 Children Affected by Bushfires is Indigenous. We’ve Been Ignoring Them for Too Long

03 Apr 2020
The catastrophic bushfire season is officially over, but governments, agencies and communities have failed to recognise the specific and disproportionate impact the fires have had on Aboriginal peoples. Addressing this in bushfire response and recovery is part of Unfinished Business the work needed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to meet on more just terms.....Read more.


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The Safest Sex You’ll Never Have: How Coronavirus is Changing Online Dating

03 Apr 2020
When Tinder issued an in-app public service announcement regarding COVID-19 on March 3 we all had a little laugh as a panoply of memes and gags hit the internet. Two weeks later the laughter has subsided, but the curiosity continues. How will singles mingle in the time of Corona?....Read more.


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Lessons From the Great Depression: How to Prevent Evictions in an Economic Crisis

26 Mar 2020
The queues of unemployed people outside Centrelink offices in recent days are reminiscent of the dole queues seen across Australia during the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time, most states provided inadequate food vouchers rather than cash to people in the form of income support payments.....Read more.


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Why Housing Evictions Must Be Suspended to Defend Us Against Coronavirus

24 Mar 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis affecting public health and the economy. And both aspects are playing out in our housing system – in our homes. More and more of us are being directed to stay home, to work from home, or to socially isolate at home.....Read more.


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3 Ways to Help Children Think Critically About the News

25 Feb 2020
Like adults, children use the news to learn about what’s happening in the world. But the circulation of misinformation, such as the recent spread of fake news about COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), blurs our understanding of events and issues. In 2017, we conducted the first nationally representative survey of how Australian children, aged eight to 16, consume news.....Read more.


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Looking for Love on a Dating App? You Might be Falling for a Ghost

14 Feb 2020
Love requires imagination: a shared vision, narrative or trajectory. In our connected world, this imagination is fostered from the very start of the interaction. It happens from the moment we pick up our phones, tap on an app and consider swiping right.....Read more.


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How to Cope With Extreme Heat Days Without Racking Up the Aircon Bills

29 Jan 2020
Summer in Australia is getting hotter. Extreme heat events, with daytime temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius, are becoming more common and we are getting more of these days in a row. We all need to prepare ourselves, our homes and our neighbourhoods for hot and very hot days.....Read more.


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Australia’s Bushfire Smoke Is Lapping the Globe, and the Law Is Too Lame to Catch It

24 Jan 2020
Smoke from Australia’s bushfires has travelled far beyond its origins. As climate change takes hold and global temperatures rise, bushfires are set to increase in severity and frequency. The underlying cause of the fires and resulting smoke haze are often numerous. Legal and policy frameworks - local, national and international – fail to capture these diffused responsibilities.....Read more.


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The Olympics Have Always Been a Platform for Protest. Banning Hand Gestures and Kneeling Ignores Their History

17 Jan 2020
It is the year of the Tokyo Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee was quickly out of the blocks with new guidelines regarding athlete protests.....Read more.


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Strength from Perpetual Grief: How Aboriginal People Experience the Bushfire Crisis

10 Jan 2020
How do you support people forever attached to a landscape after an inferno tears through their homelands: decimating native food sources, burning through ancient scarred trees and destroying ancestral and totemic plants and animals?....Read more.


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The Government Wants to Privatise Visa Processing. Who Will Be Held Accountable When Something Goes Wrong?

05 Dec 2019
The Department of Home Affairs has begun taking steps to outsource its visa processing to private service providers. This move has sparked an important national debate on transparency, accountability and profiteering in the immigration system.....Read more.


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What Do Sydney and Other Cities Have in Common? Dust

22 Nov 2019
Sydney and its suburbs have been enveloped in haze over the past few days. The haze is a mixture of bushfire smoke and dust blown in from western New South Wales. As particles move from rural locations, like Gospers Mountain in this case, they make grey cities. In Australia, dust blurs the distinction between the bush and the city.....Read more.


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Natural History on TV: How the ABC Took Australian Animals to the People

20 Nov 2019
Most of us will never see a platypus or a lyrebird in the wild, but it’s likely we’ve encountered them on television. Our new research looks at the vital role early ABC television played in making Australian animals accessible to audiences.....Read more.


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Affordable Housing Lessons from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore

20 Sep 2019
Affordable housing is a critical problem for Australia’s biggest housing markets. Five Australian cities are in the top 25 with “severely unaffordable” housing in a 2019 Demographia survey of 91 major metropolitan markets. Sydney was ranked the third least affordable of the 91.....Read more.


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Keeping the City Cool Isn’t Just About Tree Cover – It Calls for a Commons-based Climate Response

18 Sep 2019
A recent report by the Greater Sydney Commission singles out urban heat as one of four priority areas given our coming climate. It identifies tree canopy as the top response for reducing city temperatures and delivering amenity. However, the public conversation about urban heat often misses the complex relationship between trees, people and the built environment, which challenges this response.....Read more.


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On an Average Day, Only 1% of Australian News Stories Quoted a Young Person

03 Sep 2019
On one unremarkable day in April this year, just over a third of news stories were about issues likely to impact young people, such as policies to address climate change, school teacher training, the impact of automation on future employment and proposed social media regulation.....Read more.


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Ben Stokes: England Cricketer’s Triumph Over Adversity is a Classic Hero’s Tale

03 Sep 2019
In August last year, England cricketer Ben Stokes stood with head back and eyes closed as he was found not guilty of affray in a Bristol court. On Sunday, Stokes stood in a similar pose with his head back and his eyes closed. But now he was roaring in triumph having pretty much single-handedly won the third Ashes Test match for England against the old enemy Australia.....Read more.


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Australia’s Art Institutions Don’t Reflect Our Diversity: it’s Time to Change That

03 Sep 2019
For most of us, it is easy to pass judgement on others while finding it difficult to reflect on ourselves.Diversity Arts Australia recently undertook a research project, Shifting the Balance, with the assistance of Western Sydney University and BYP Group. We investigated representation of culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CALD) Australians in leadership positions within our major arts, screen and cultural.......Read more.


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Will time tear us apart? Exploring the Appeal of Joy Division 40 Years On

03 Sep 2019
In a previous century, I conducted doctoral fieldwork among the abandoned warehouses, smoky pubs and crumbling squats of the British post-punk, independent rock scene. How strange that I should become re-acquainted with that scene at the shimmering Sydney Opera House.....Read more.


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Most Migrants on Bridging Visas Aren’t ‘Scammers’, They’re Well Within Their Rights

03 Sep 2019
Recent articles in the media have raised concerns about the rapid rise in migrants living and working in Australia on bridging visas, whose numbers have more than doubled in the last four years.....Read more.


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Our National Anthem is Non-inclusive: Indigenous Australians Shouldn’t Have to Sing It

06 Jun 2019
It is traditional at major sports events to begin with a rendition of the national anthem. At the State of Origin rugby league clash between New South Wales and Queensland on Wednesday, however, at least four Indigenous rugby league players have vowed to remain silent – a protest against an anthem they feel doesn’t represent them.....Read more.


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How to Know If Your Child Is Addicted to Video Games and What to Do About It

06 Jun 2019
If your child spends long hours playing video games, you might be worried they’re addicted.“Gaming disorder” is real, and has now been classified as a disease in the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). The new ICD will be adopted in 2022.....Read more.


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Is This a Housing System That Cares?

30 May 2019
Growing numbers of Australians are locked out of home ownership or struggling in insecure and unaffordable private rental markets. There are concerns about home owners drowning in debt. And for lower-income earners, high housing costs mean that paying for food, energy bills and health costs is an ongoing challenge.....Read more.


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Don’t Fall for It: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Kids from Online Hoaxes

19 Mar 2019
It’s a parent’s responsibility to protect their children from harm, no matter where that threat of harm comes from. But what if the threat is a hoax?We’ve seen recently a rollercoaster of panic from parents trying to protect their kids from a supposed online threat known as the Momo challenge, that has for months been debunked as a hoax.....Read more.


Young Voters May Hold the Key to the NSW State Election: Here’s Why

14 Mar 2019
Young Australians are more connected, educated and informed than previous generations. They are also more likely to have higher debt and less economic independence into their 30s. Many feel excluded from traditional politics and policy making and are turning to local action and global issues to express their political views.....Read more.


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More Can Be Done for Housing in Western Sydney

11 Mar 2019
Housing affordability, a woe not simply for the rich.A great deal has been made of the ongoing investment into infrastructure in Greater Western Sydney – the recently-named Nancy-Bird Walton airport and the Metro West spring to mind. While these investments and the jobs they bring are welcome, it is perhaps time to focus on the most critical infrastructure of all, our communities and how people can live well in them.....Read more.


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Rugby League May Finally Have Reached Its Tipping Point on Player Behaviour and Violence

11 Mar 2019
St George Illawarra and NSW State of Origin player Jack de Belin has become the first player to be banned under a new “no fault stand down” policy introduced by the National Rugby League (NRL).....Read more.


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One Infinity Explores Tension and Connection Between China and the West

07 Feb 2019
In an age of growing mistrust, the Chinese-Australian artistic collaboration One Infinity demonstrates the ability of dance and music to navigate tensions between different cultures.....Read more.