image-20150205-28598-scut91Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions

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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses to child abuse cases by institutions.

Although the current Royal Commission is focused on cases within living memory in a wide range of institutions, the hearings reveal that Australian churches have a long and sad history of abuse and cover-up. Religious interpretations, changing legal definitions and evolving societal attitudes have all influenced the way child sexual abuse has been handled within churches and in the wider community.

Here I speak with Tim Jones, a Researcher at LaTrobe University, about child sexual abuse within Australian religious institutions, and how the current debate has been framed by past events.


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Music: Free Music Archive/Kai Engel

This article originally published on The Conversation.

 

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Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy

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The emergence of China as a 21st-century superpower has already had profound impacts on Australia. As China reshapes the balance of power, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally, its influence on Australia is likely to increase.

China’s economic and military growth will also challenge the world’s other superpower – and Australia’s traditional security ally – the United States. Caught between these two superpowers, Australia’s ability to manage this difficult diplomatic balancing act could well determine its future prosperity and security.

In this podcast I speak with Kerry Brown, executive director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, about Australia’s place in the Chinese Century and the role diplomacy has to play.


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Image: Shutterstock // Music: Free Music Archive/Kindread, Lo Ka Ping and Chan Wai Fat.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Milky Way in the Bush, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia

We are going great guns with this podcasting caper and #3 is now live. You can subscribe via iTunes to the whole series, or subscribe to this blog for future episodes from me.

Speaking with: Duane Hamacher on Indigenous astronomy

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have between 40,000 and 60,000 years of pre-colonial history that includes stories of constellations they observed in the night sky and traditions that align with the stars and the moon. But until recently, these stories were largely dismissed by the scientific community.

Researchers are now finding that Indigenous oral traditions contain vast environmental and scientific intelligence. These complex knowledge systems have helped Indigenous people survive Australia for tens of thousands of years.

I catch up with cultural astronomer Duane Hamacher about Indigenous astronomy and its complex relationship to history, culture and applied scientific knowledge.


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Image: flickr/Ben Ashmole

Music: Free Music Archive/Chris Zabriskie

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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