Category Archives: Commentary


Look Who’s Talking: A Birth Story

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou Waterslides had always been my greatest fear before I had a baby. When I was really little my dad had to bribe me with a packet of jellybeans to get me to go … Read more »

The Other Railwayman: A Diagram of Disaster

The pages of the report pertaining to Inquest No. 51/1003 – ‘Inquisition before Coroner sitting alone’ – are held together by a split-pin fastener that’s been in place so long its rust has pressed into the paper. There are sixteen foolscap sheets including a doctor’s report and … Read more »

Edges, Centres and Futures: Reflections on being an Indigenous Speculative Fiction Writer

My name is Ambelin Kwaymullina. My people are the Palyku, of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I write speculative fiction for young adults. And I often think of the words of Wunambal elder and poet Daisy Utemorrah, who wrote: ‘Do not go around the edges/or else … Read more »

Brave New World: The Social Impact of Hooking Up in the Internet Age

Since its launch in late 2011, Tinder, a dating app designed for GPS enabled smartphones, has gained a meteoric base of users and wide-spread media attention.  According to Tinder’s co-founder, Sean Rad, the app is responsible for more than 150 marriage proposals. As of March 2014 its … Read more »

New Wave Rising: The Stunning Success of Indigenous Australian Film and Television

‘We’re telling our own stories now. That’s the turning point. We’ve got that creative control now. And when you’ve got that creative control, you can really push boundaries.’ – Deborah Mailman ‘This night is our night as Indigenous Australians…We’ve controlled our stories, and through that, people have … Read more »

Of Monsters and Monogamists: In Search of Love

This is an adapted extract from an unpublished memoir, The Dangerous Bride. The night before I married Noah in the oldest synagogue in Australia, I kissed a girl dressed in a nurse’s uniform. She was a willowy, pretty redhead with serpentine lips, her plastic uniform dangerously short. … Read more »

Into the Crater: Public Nudity on a Japanese Volcano

I was going to Hokkaido to climb a volcano. I’d already been in Japan for a while with my girlfriend, mostly travelling around the Kansai and Tokyo regions looking at Shinto shrines, eating noodles, drinking sake and staring at Mount Fuji. After two weeks she returned to … Read more »

Randolph Stow: An Ambivalent Australian

The hawks wheel in the dawnlight, the dawn breeze blows from the heart of drought, from the hungry waiting country – and what have I to leave, but this encumbering tenderness, like gear for ever unclaimed. From ‘Ishmael’ by Randolph Stow   In 1997, when I was … Read more »

Silk Road: The eBay of Illegal Drugs

Half a dozen people sit around a lounge room in a funky inner-Melbourne apartment, sipping on beer and wine, each tapping away at a laptop. They’re all on their favourite website competing with people from around the world. But this is no geek-fest full of pasty, anti-social … Read more »