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English: Past Issue: Trust in Authority: Additional Material
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In a disrupted time of global pandemic and recession, Australia has never been more reliant on clear leadership from its elected representatives, while also requiring greater co-operation among its citizens. Striking a balance between accountability and robust governance is a challenge during an era of reduced trust in political leaders by voters, especially among young people. This book explains how our democratic system of government functions, examines Australians’ levels of trust and satisfaction in their elected leaders, and explores opportunities for democratic reform. How could Australia better function as a modern democratic nation state in the twenty-first century? | Available as both a print book and ebook.
Lack of diverse representation in Government: Background
Women in Australia have a long way to go before we reach parity in federal politics. Despite being among the first countries in the world to grant women the vote, it would take four decades before we actually elected any women to Federal Parliament. Only one in three parliamentarians at a federal level are women, and they — especially those in leadership positions — have often been the target of criticism that’s based more on their gender than their policies. But what if we applied a bit of a heavier hand to trying to fix the gender disparity in Parliament? About half the world uses quotas or designated seats for women.
Last month I wrote a blog post “It’s About Time: A New Era of Diverse U.S. Leadership”, which celebrated the recently inaugurated Biden cabinet for being the most culturally diverse and gender inclusive in American history. Even as this overwhelmingly positive move was lauded as, yes, well past time, another question emerged: as an Australian, why not write about diversity in Australian politics? It is with some reservations, this time, I will. Why did I not want to discuss this initially? Well, without wanting to divulge the answer up front let’s say it will become clear as you read on.
Lack of diverse representation in Government: Articles
Elizabeth Kerekere is one of New Zealand's newest MPs — but she's also one of the country's most diverse. She is of Māori descent and is also a takatāpui, a Māori term for those who identify with diverse sexes, genders and sexualities.
The treatment of women in Australian politics has been dominating headlines, and calls for quotas in the Liberal party are gaining momentum. We thought it necessary to take a look at the gender balance in Australia’s parliament – not simply at a whole, but across several variables – to better understand gender dynamics in politics. The data reveals some fascinating insights. Analysis: While women make up only 31% of the House of Representatives, they’re the majority in the Senate at 53%
By now, you're probably very aware of the national conversation about the treatment of women in politics and what some are describing as a toxic workplace culture at Parliament House. When the Prime Minster stood up on Tuesday and vowed this was a moment of change, many asked what practical measures he had in mind. And as is usually the case when the topic of women's treatment in politics rears its head, the suggestion of introducing quotas in the Liberal Party has been raised. But it seems this time the idea has more support than usual, and quotas may actually be on the table. So, would they make a difference?
We barely see any diversity within the highest levels of politics and government. In a 2018 study conducted during my term at the Australian Human Rights Commission, we found only about 3 per cent of the federal ministry and 5 per cent of members of Federal Parliament had a non-European or Indigenous background. Far below the estimated 24 per cent within the general Australian population who have such backgrounds.
Sarah Hanson-Young says she’s ‘very disappointed’ the Prime Minister hasn’t even read the anonymous letter alleging rape from one of his cabinet ministers and hasn’t ruled out naming him if the PM doesn’t.
Kate Ellis was the youngest Australian to ever become a federal minister, so she knows all too well the casual misogyny women in Canberra face on a daily basis. The former MP has just released a book about the shared experiences of sexism and harassment women in parliament face.
Former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate has delivered a stinging rebuke of Scott Morrison in Senate Estimates, saying she blames the Prime Minister for her dismissal and that he humiliated her in Parliament.
Government attitudes towards women: Background reading
Gender equality is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of whether they are a woman or a man. Many countries, including Australia, have made real progress towards gender equality in recent decades in areas such as education. However, Australian women continue to earn less than men, are less likely to advance in their careers, and are more likely to spend their later years living in poverty. This book examines key gender inequality issues, including sex discrimination, human rights and the law; women in leadership roles; and gender equality at work. What is Australia doing to close the gender gap? | Available as both a print book and ebook.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel humiliated, offended or intimidated. Recent personal revelations of sexual abuse and assault in the entertainment industry have been given voice by the #MeToo movement and publicly illustrated how prevalent and damaging such unlawful behaviours can be to mostly female victims. This title explores the extent and impacts of everyday sexism and sexual harassment. This volume also focuses on sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, and how to prevent and report it. Ultimately, we all need to become champions of change to stop sexual harassment. | Available as both a print book and ebook.
I'm confused. A married mother, who is so tough she's the press secretary of a Morrison government minister, has an affair with her married boss. Yet even this woman is still presented on the ABC's Four Corners as the victim of male culture. Powerless. I don't get it. Are we back to assuming that women are the weakest sex, and can always blame men — never themselves — when lust goes wrong? On Monday, the ABC produced Rachelle Miller as evidence the Liberal Party had a "women problem" and was rife with "sexism". Via NewsBank
When “women in leadership” was chosen as the global theme for International Women’s Day in 2021, few would have anticipated how pertinent it would become. For many of us, it will be harder to celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday — and the progress of so many women — while we are in the midst of a challenging debate about gender and culture in our parliaments.
Around 120 years ago, Australia became the second country where women won the right to vote. But its political arena is still struggling with sexism, as underlined by a series of sexual-assault allegations around the government and lewd acts within Parliament House itself. Tens of thousands of women rallied in March to demand greater female representation and tough action against sexual violence and discrimination.
There's an awkward pause when members of the federal government are asked to name the most senior woman within Scott Morrison's office. After an initial silence, names are offered, but never with conviction.
Brittany Higgins, the former Liberal staffer whose rape allegations sparked a national discussion about the workplace culture at Parliament House, has spoken at the women's March 4 Justice rally in Canberra.Ms Higgins said she was speaking at the rally out of "necessity". "We are all here today, not because we want to be here, because we have to be here," she said. "We fundamentally recognise the system is broken, the glass ceiling is still in place and there are significant failings in the power structures within our institution."
The devastating, widespread experience of COVID-19 has captured the world's attention this year, however epidemics and pandemics are not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, civilisation has endured a number of major infectious disease outbreaks. The novel coronavirus continues its spread, infecting and killing millions of people, with no vaccine currently in sight. | Available as both a print book and ebook.
Vaccines are biological substances that cause the human immune system to build up its defenses against specific diseases. Public health officials recommend a series of vaccines for all children, as well as some vaccines for teenagers and adults. But not everyone gets the vaccines they need. Many poor nations don't have the resources to deliver vaccines to every community. Some parents refuse to have their children vaccinated because they don't believe the evidence proving that vaccines are safe. The effort to wipe out diseases using vaccines continues. Vaccine Investigation recounts the fascinating history of vaccines, their important role in protecting community health, and the excitement of cutting-edge research. | Available as both a print book and ebook.
We live in an era of misinformation, much of it spread by authority figures, including politicians, religious leaders, broadcasters, and, of course, apps and websites. With so much bogus information coming from so many sources, how can anyone be expected to discover the truth? In Debunk It, author John Grant uses modern, ripped-from-the-headlines examples to clearly explain how to identify bad evidence and poor arguments. He provides a roundup of the rhetorical tricks people use when attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, and even offers advice about how to take these unscrupulous pundits down. So if you're tired of hearing blowhards spouting off about climate change, history, evolution, medicine, and more, this is the book for you. Debunk It is the ultimate guide for young readers seeking a firmer footing in a world that's full of holes. | Available as both a print book and ebook.
I was vaccinated on Friday. And, the damnedest thing, now a little voice in my ear keeps whispering: “This is Bill Gates. Buy Microsoft.” No, wait. The thought in my head is actually: Enough! There’s no excuse left for another Melbourne-style lockdown. This must be the last, no matter how many unvaccinated conspiracy theorists then die, crying: “The virus is a hoax!” It is not for governments to force these people to take the vaccine. Our governments had one job: to make sure they offered protection to people most likely to be killed by this coronavirus. Via NewsBank
Melbourne's latest virus outbreak should send Australians a message: damn it, go get vaccinated. It should also send a message to the Morrison government: get off your backside. It’s crazy that Melbourne is once again teetering on the edge of yet another devastating city lockdown, after 15 people got infected. Shutting down Melbourne for the fourth time would represent another massive failure of public policy, this time caused by politicians too complacent about keeping Australians in their golden cage. Via NewsBank
Virgin airline boss Jane Hrdlicka was right: Australians will probably die if we open our international borders, but we should. And the Prime Minister Scott Morrison was wrong to smash her as “insensitive”. He should have said: she’s right: and the borders will open for Australian travellers in, say, March. So get vaccinated by then — or risk death. Via NewsBank