(Reflections On) Our Culture And The Arts – New Matilda

The Morrison government’s recent failure to recognise the arts specifically in its reformed structure of ministries is really nothing new in principle – nor even surprising, given the political history of the arts in this country since the Whitlam era, writes Donald Richardson.

Australian governments have rarely taken the arts seriously – a fact that has rarely been objected to by the arts community, which has chosen to keep is head down in a culture …

Tsebin Tchen: a “guardian angel” of multicultural Australia – The Age

Newly sworn in Senator Tsebin Tchen.

A staunch believer of individualism, liberty and aspiration, the Liberal Party was the natural home for Tchen. Being a Chinese-Australian, Tchen undoubtedly stood out amongst his Liberal Party peers – not for his ideologies but his identity.

To obtain any sort of influence and impact, he had to break through every ceiling and barrier imaginable within the Liberal Party, circumstances many Asian-Australians struggle with to this day when it …

Refugee settlement program not properly managed: Audit – The Canberra Times

A program that is supposed to help new refugees settle into life in Australia has run into some financial troubles and success has been patchy and hard to judge, an audit has found. One of the five contractors organising settlement services for refugees has hit a financial wall, according to a report from auditor Grant Hehir on Thursday. Its sub-contractors are operating at a loss. He also found anomalies with the grants that refugees can…

Freedom song: Assyrian refugee depicts escape from Islamic State through music – SBS

As he prepares to perform, Assyrian refugee George Karam feels several emotions, including sadness, anguish, happiness and hope.

The song he’s about to perform on his oud is unlike other pieces he has composed. The song is called ‘The Escape’ and it depicts how the Assyrian community of northern Syria fled an impending Islamic State invasion.

Mr Karam was born in a small village in the city of Al Hasakah in the north-eastern corner of Syria, …