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Viewpoint Magazine Edition 10 out now!
As I looked over the articles for this edition I realised that many of them address opportunities; those that are before us and those that threaten to be lost.

Chris Smyth of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Trixi Madon from the Commonwealth Fisheries Association tackle the Commonwealth's Marine Reserves Network proposal. The key question is whether the balance between environmental conservation and the futures of those engaged in the fisheries industry is correct.

Prof Charles Samford from Griffith University's Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law lays out the legal mechanism used to authorise Australia's involvement in Iraq and offers some more robust and accountable alternatives. With the International Criminal Court obtaining jurisdiction, from 2017, for crimes of aggression, Australia needs to seize the opportunity now to ensure that our law makers do not end up in the dock.

In terms of opportunities lost, Kim Weinert of Bond University's Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy argues that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission missed the chance to enforce serious reform in the sector. Meanwhile, Mission Australia's Dr Prin Ralston faces the reality that the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness is unlikely to continue past mid next year just at a time when much of the hard groundwork has been done.

Rob Oakeshott MP, Independent Member for Lyne, and Malcolm Mackerras, a long time commentator on politics in Australia, debate the merits and results of Australia's second minority government. For those who are desperate not to have another one, you can take comfort in Malcolm Mackerras' observation that there is only a five per cent chance of us having one due to our electoral system.

Paul O'Rourke, Viewpoint's former editor and now CEO of Emily's Voice, asks how it is possible for nations to interpret the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as it suits their position on abortion.

Finally, Dr Miriam Grossman, a psychiatrist and author, reveals the widespread ignorance of sexual health issues and the reasons for it.

Issue 10 Cover

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Issue 9

Human Rights for the Forgotten
The June edition examines a range of issues pertaining to human rights for groups of people who are too easily overlooked. The articles provide practical solutions with many written by authors who have dedicated their lives to championing the rights of people to dignity and wholeness.

Rebekah Redden argues for a change in refugee law to take account of contemporary realities. She argues that by applying common sense solutions we can help to ease the suffering of millions and simultaneously lessen the number of people smuggled across borders. Kate Kennedy provides insights into the plight of women and children who have been trafficked while Dave Martin and Steph Jones ask some uncomfortable questions in their article on the demand side of people trafficking. Continuing with uncomfortable questions, Jatinder Kaur asks why the needs of children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are overlooked in Australia's child protection systems. Dr Lance Emerson explains how the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) is designing a national framework for children's policy. What makes this so unusual is that it is not being designed by a group of adults but by engaging with children and young people directly.

Also in this issue
Toby Hall and Sarah Cleaves, Viewpoint Magazine's editor, both look at cost effective social policy. In these difficult economic circumstances, as taxpayers we should be demanding that our money is spent on programs that are effective and economic. The growing evidence base demonstrates that it is possible to have both.

As Syria descends into total chaos, Senator David Fawcett's article examines the unpalatable fall out of the Arab Spring for religious minorities. Religious freedom and anti-discrimination is also the theme of an article prepared by the Australian Christian Lobby.

It seems that with each passing day the state of politics continues to reach new lows. Mal Fletcher and Prof Charles Sampford take a broader look at the role of trust within a functioning democracy. Finally, Prof Scott Prasser conducts a post mortem on the recent state election in Queensland.

Issue 9 Cover

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Issue 8

The Global Economy
In this edition we take an in depth look at the state of the economy both here within Australia and internationally. We go behind the headlines to come to grips with what has brought much of the Western world to the brink of economic collapse; and more importantly what we can do about it.

Prof Steve Keen from the University of Western Sydney provides a fascinating insight into the causal factors of the USA's and Europe's economic woes while Assoc Prof Gordon Menzies from the University of Technology Sydney examines why Australia has mainly escaped and what we as a nation can do to enhance our chances that it stays that way.

Also in this issue
In our quest for baseload power with lower emissions, Coal Seam Gas is one of the most prominent, and contentious, solutions on offer. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and Dr Marion Carey from Monash University present very different perspectives on this energy source. With protests across the country, and the impact that CSG is having on state politics, the implications are nationally significant.

We also explore factors that affect Australians' hip pockets - gambling (Rev Tim Costello), the housing crisis (Toby Hall), chronic disadvantage (Ruth Limkin) and fragile families (Prof Patrick Parkinson) - which have large knock on effects for our domestic economy.

Senator Helen Polley urges us as a nation to install baby safe havens to avert unwanted babies dying unnecessarily.

Book Review
This issue sees the introduction of a book review section featuring books on topics relevant to politics, society and culture.

Issue 8 Cover

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Issue 7

Suffer our little children
The October edition highlights the crisis affecting Australia's children as portrayed in a series of special features and columns by regular and guest contributors.

Our cover story features Australian Christian Lobby-commissioned research by family law specialist and child advocate Professor Patrick Parkinson from the University of Sydney who unpacks a host of statistics showing our children's health and wellbeing are declining at frightening rates. He makes the indisputable connection between family breakdown and poor child outcomes. He advocates for a preventative, community approach to the many ills besetting those, who for the most part, cannot speak for themselves.

The other major children's feature is by UNICEF Australia, which laments our failure to honour our commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Many of our columnists have also tailored their articles to children and youth, including Mission Australia CEO Toby Hall, writing on mental health, Ruth Limkin on the perils of pornography, and Clare van Ryn on what it means to be a teenager in 21st Century Australia.

Also in this issue
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen goes head-to-head with Paul Power from the Refugee Council on the vexed issue of asylum seekers, one defending offshore processing as the only effective means of stopping the boats, the latter advocating for onshore processing and community detention as a compassionate means of dealing with unexpected arrivals. Both writers give compelling arguments on a controversial topic.

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Issue 6

The fight for marriage
ACL's June Viewpoint magazine goes beyond the rhetoric and spin to outline in detail what's really behind the highly emotive but often misunderstood topics of same-sex marriage, school chaplaincy and the proposed new charities commission.

The Australian Family Association's Terri Kelleher debates the same-sex issue with Rodney Croome from Australian Marriage Equality. The Family Association outlines a compelling and thoughtful argument as to why marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and highlights the risks and implications of allowing same-sex marriage.

Scripture Union Queensland's Tim Mander skilfully defends school chaplaincy against Greens MP John Kaye, a vocal opponent of any form of religious teaching or pastoral care in schools. Tim details the long and proud history of chaplaincy in schools, as well as in the military and in sporting clubs, and says school chaplaincy is effective and wanted by most school principals.

Not-for-profit specialists, Elizabeth Turnour from Moores Legal and Louise Steer from the Fundraising Institute of Australia outline the implications for churches and charities of the Government's new charities commission, including taxing commercial activities, while Senator Doug Cameron explains why charities and churches should be more highly regulated.

Also in this issue
The June issue also highlights the crisis affecting Australia's children, and the implications of the Greens now having control of the Senate.

Issue 6 Cover

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Issue 5

Islam in the spotlight
Two leading academics, one Christian and one Muslim, debate whether Australians have reason to be cautious about the beliefs and aspirations of the Islamic faith, in timely essays published in the latest edition of Viewpoint, ACL's public policy magazine.

The contrasting views of Professor Samina Yasmeen, a specialist on the role of Islam in world politics, and Christian theologian Dr Mark Durie, give new perspectives on a controversial topic of renewed interest as a result of recent local and world events including the Christmas Island refugee tragedy and the trial of radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir on terrorist charges.

Also in this issue
Leading academics, journalists and experts in their fields outline their views on prostitution, euthanasia and anti-discrimination, while our regular columnists comment on the merits of a hug, Australians' love affair with alcohol, and the "privatising" of social services.

Issue 5 Cover

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Click here to view the questions we've asked on this month's issues

Issue 4

Jim Wallace: A Call to Courage and Integrity in Public Office
Those in public office should have the courage to act with integrity and guard against corruption, scandal and 'backflips'.

Problem Gambling
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has made a deal with the Gillard Government to address problem gambling. Will these strategies work?

Many Christians, and other ethically minded consumers, are switching to Fairtrade products. What is Fairtrade and does it make a difference?

Stem Cells
In 2006 the human cloning ban was overturned to allow embryonic stem cell research. This decision will be reviewed later this year. Have any miracle cures resulted?

R18+ Video Games Debate
Australia currently bans R18+ video games. Should this ban remain?

Issue 4 Cover

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Also in this issue:

  • Welfare Reform: Toby Hall discusses Mission Australia's perspective.


Issue 3

Greens: Balance of Power?
Federal election pundits are predicting that the Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate. What are their policies and intentions? Green's leader Senator Bob Brown and ACT-based journalist Angela Shanahan share their thoughts.

Internet Filtering
Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Geordie Guy, board member of Electronic Frontiers Australia, provide the main arguments for and against internet filtering.

Millennium Development Goals
Tim Costello, CEO Worldvision Australia and Jane Silloway Smith from the Maxim Institute provide different perspectives on whether the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are being effective. Stephen Bradbury, Chairman of Micah Challenge International, asks why it has to be an either/or debate.

Sexualisation of Culture
Catharine Lumby, Angela Conway and Lisa Brick discuss the Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children and the difficulties of dealing with sexual ethics and sex education in a pluralistic society.

Issue 3 Cover

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Also in this issue:

  • Toby Hall, CEO Mission Australia, talks about youth unemployment.
  • Ruth Limkin argues that the strong are protecting themselves in the censorship debate.
  • Clare van Ryn asks what kind of legacy leaders want to leave.


Issue 2

The second issue of Viewpoint, for February - May 2010, is now released for subscribers and politicians and is also available in selected newsagencies. The feature articles on Indigenous Policy are freely available for download (both as a digital online here version and as pdf here). All other articles also have a limited viewing function.

The peer reviewed articles in this edition include:

  • Differing approaches to Indigenous Policy plus responses to each article.
  • Arguments for and against surrogacy arrangements.
  • Debate about the foundations of ethics a non-religious approach and a religious perspective.

The Society and Culture section includes:

  • Reflections on what it means to be human.
  • Today's leaders and what it means to be visionary.
  • Will the Victorian Minister for Respect be able to garner respect?

Political Opinions include:

  • Shayne Neumann, Federal ALP Member for Blair on the Intergenerational Report.
  • Rob Stokes, NSW Liberal Member for Pittwater discussing alcohol laws relating to minors.

Issue 2 Cover
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Issue 1

The inaugural issue of Viewpoint is freely available for digital download. Future editions will be available in newsagencies and via subscription only.

Peer reviewed articles in this edition include:

  • Climate change - plus responses to each article.
  • Religious freedom.
  • Classification decisions.
The Society and Culture section includes:
  • Refugees.
  • Violence among girls.
  • Causes of homelessness.
The Political Opinions section has:
  • ALP Senator Helen Polly talking about Baby Safe Havens.
  • Liberal Scott Morrison, MP reflecting on making poverty history.

Issue 1 Cover
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