I often stay up late, trying and always failing to catch up on reading and study, only looking up every now and then to watch the workers across the road. It’s my own way of standing in solidarity, a pathetic gesture if ever there was one. On one such an occasion, I came across a tragic news article: having just finished a three-hour cleaning shift, a worker in one of Sydney’s shipping yards walked out of the premises and then doused himself in petrol and set himself alight.
The tumult and the shouting has died down since Julia Gillard delivered a formal apology to the victims of forced adoption, but the single mothers whose children were taken and the thousands of adoptee children affected have not forgotten their pain. It was alleviated by the apology, but big challenges still lie ahead for the adoption community. Not least among them is how a carcinogenic drug so dangerous that today it is legally restricted to use by vets for treating urinary incontinence in dogs was routinely administered to birthing single women in Australia’s leading hospitals.
After my partner left the room, the man in the mechanical repairs shop went on to tell me that one particular machine was ‘idiot and blackfella proof – you can’t break this baby’. He had no idea I was the partner of the Aboriginal man he had just been speaking to. And why would he: in Kununurra in 2014, how many people are in interracial relationships? We turn heads when we hold hands in the street.
Welcome to the Overland Story Wine Prize. The competition aims to discover the finest in original short fiction under a thousand words. The winning story will receive a $3000 first prize and will be published on the label of a Story Wines shiraz, as well as in Overland. Two runners-up will each receive $500.
Only a few months ago, Joe Hockey launched what his friends at the Australian called a ‘bold mission to end [the] culture of handouts’. ‘The age of entitlement is over,’ Hockey explained. ‘The age of personal responsibility has begun.’ Barely had the glorious new epoch dawned when we learned that Hockey’s offsider, Arthur Sinodinos, sat on a board that casually allocated (as you do) $164,275 on a corporate box at Stadium Australia and $28,738 on limousine hire.