Oprah and Australia's 'socialist' healthcare

First published on Eureka Street.com.au  in 2010. Oprah is here. With a US TV audience of seven million expected to tune in to discover our beauty rich and rare, what will Australia showcase? Should we highlight this country’s external magnificence? Or could now be the time to really show off by exposing the US to […]

Does swatting up on Oz make us better citizens?

First published in The Age in 2008. I ADMIT it: I didn’t know that Nancy Bird-Walton’s aviation teacher was Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Nor could I recognise “whose rights and liberties I respect” as the fourth line of the Australian citizenship pledge. But I had better memorise those facts — and several hundred others — if I […]

Stuck in the immigration sieve

First published on Eureka Street.com.au in 2008. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised when the rejection letter arrived in the mail. After all, the Immigration Department is entrusted with separating the sheep from the goats, and our family, apparently, has some black sheep. We are not alone. Every year thousands of immigrants line up, hoping to […]

How to organise a revolution

First published in The Big Issue in 2008. I love West Wing. My husband says it’s because of Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), but actually it’s pure escapism that draws me to it. The grim reality of eight years of the Bush presidency is enough to send me digging frantically through our DVD drawer for favourite episodes. In West Wing, I can […]