Tag Archives: Essays


How many times have you read about advanced industrial cultures like ours being in a state of crisis? In spite of breathtaking medical heroics and compared to small-scale traditional societies, we no longer know how to eat properly in order to keep healthy; we have forgotten how to care for our infants, feeding them with […]

Thinking for Yourself: A conference in honour of Professor Robert Manne

At this conference, held at La Trobe university, I was amongst many writers and academics who were invited to speak about the work of Robert Manne in the many and varied fields in which he has made a contribution. Our panel was called “The Public Sphere”. This is an edited version of what I said: […]

A deeply thoughtful review of Best Oz Essays 2012 by writer David Sornig

What a pleasure it is to read a review like this one, where the reviewer seems to have been inside your head as you made your decisions about which essays to choose of all that were available, and how to place them so that they would sing to one another, sometimes sweetly, sometimes in discordant […]

Introducing The Best Australian Essays 2012

  When looking for wisdom it’s a good idea to range widely. Writing in the years after the Great Crash of ’29,  James Thurber noted corporate heads had started to speak double-talk expressed in low, muffled tones  “because nobody knew what was going to happen and nobody understood what had.” In contrast, the voices in […]