The pandemic has locked university students out of campuses, thrown many out of their jobs and kept them confined to their homes for most of the year.

International students have been hit harder than most, ineligible for government financial support, suffering from social isolation and lacking support networks.

Mixed emotions: Naman Shama left India for Australia in February, then COVID hit.

Harish Kansal arrived in Melbourne from India on February 19 this year just before COVID-19 hit.

He had hoped to gain a postgraduate qualification, meet new friends and immerse himself in Australian culture and lifestyle.

Instead, Mr Kansal has spent most of the year in his bedroom living an entirely online existence.


Are we sacrificing our young to the pandemic?

What could be more morally compelling than the notion that every life is sacred and therefore, worth saving? This has been the view taken almost universally in Australia, indeed most of the world, since the beginning of the pandemic. Anyone publicly questioning this premise has been met with howls of derision. Just ask Professor Gigi Foster, Director of Education in the School of Economics at University of NSW.

Since appearing on QandA and 60 Minutes, scathing social media mobs have piled on Professor Foster, accusing her of wanting to “kill grandma”. She…


When good men refuse to be silenced

Kabul, Afghanistan Photo by Sohaib Ghyasi on Unsplash

Investigative journalism is an important function of democracy: it serves as a check on powerful institutions and people. There has never been a greater need for public scrutiny and accountability of those holding powerful positions. Associate Professor of Journalism Andrea Carson describes investigative journalism as providing “a check on power in society” that “plays an essential watchdog role in the life of Western democracies”.

Neoliberal policies and an increase in national security laws have been the drivers behind an increasingly corrupt and secretive federal government in Australia. …


Mitchell with his best buddy who stayed by his side during lockdown.

Mitchell Atanasovski, aged 23, was looking forward to finishing his double degree and travelling in 2020. COVID had other plans.

He found the first lockdown hard enough. A self-described extrovert, Mitchell thrives on being around other people and he felt extremely isolated.

His first major setback was when his graduation was cancelled. As the first person in his family to go to university, it was expected to be a proud moment for his mum.

Mitchell’s father passed away the year before he started university, so his graduation was supposed to be a special family occasion. It didn’t happen.

But it…


“It has been a complete disaster for me,” she said.

“I’ve not been able to go out at all and make new friends because I’ve been locked inside my apartment on my own…the mental health toll is the biggest toll on me.”

It has also been hard studying away from family and friends during such an uncertain time.

“Monash was brilliant. I survived because of their support, especially when they assisted me with a grant to continue my studies,” she said.

“I am now doing a double Masters in Journalism and International Relations thanks to their help.”

Even though the…


Better treatments, vaccines under development for COVID-19

Kate McCarthy, September 12, 2020

Vaccine hopes

Promising news was delivered last week when Scott Morrison announced a vaccine deal with the University of Queensland, with biotech company CSL ready to manufacture 51 million doses after clinical trials and approval.

If trials are successful the first doses of the UQ vaccine will be ready for release in mid-2021.

Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty said that while we haven’t seen any data on the vaccines under development, we should see data coming through from human trials by October or November this year at the latest.

“The UQ vaccine is quite a bit behind…


What it’s like living without a roof over your head

October 26, 2019

By the banks of the Yarra, in the well-heeled suburb of Kew in Melbourne’s east, tucked away behind bushes and scrub, is a two-man tent. Inside the tent lives a couple and their entire worldly possessions — a small carry-on suitcase and a weather-beaten back-pack full of paints, paint brushes and small canvases.

Locals using the nearby track for their daily run or cycle, intently listening to whatever is streaming through their AirPods, would be unaware that Sharon and Leroy have set up a home in the bushes a few steps away from the track.

Driven away…


Australian journalists at risk of prosecution

Each of these three cases has two major elements in common: a high-profile defendant and intense public interest. The subject of each case holds a position of power in his respective profession. George Pell, as the highest ranked Australian Catholic, Ben Roberts-Smith, highly respected SAS soldier, and Geoffrey Rush, acclaimed actor, are all well-known Australians. Whilst each of these cases has broad interest, not all of them are in the public interest: with one outlier, the Geoffrey Rush case, falling into the category of public curiosity. I will elaborate on the reasons why later.

The details of each case are…


And why we’re not talking about it.

Are we missing something?

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. Yet, even though we’ve had high profile awareness campaigns and new funding from the Federal Government to stop these killings, the statistics are still showing a very grim reality for Australian women. It seems there is a piece of the puzzle we’re all ignoring, with tragic consequences.

In almost all of the high- profile murders of young women in Australia in recent years, the perpetrator had a mental illness. Due to concerns about stigmatising the mentally ill, journalists adhere to a strict code when reporting on…

Kate McCarthy

Writer, publisher and content manager.

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