Twas the day before Christmas when all through Punch house, not a reader was stirring except all of youse

Two men say they're Santa, one of them must be wrong

The stories were hung by the interwebs with care, in hopes that the nice commenters soon would be there

We interrupt this doggerel to invite you to share a little goodwill. How about a declaration of love for someone you’ve argued with all year? Dare ya!

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  • Ben says:

    04:30pm | 24/12/12

    Monday 24 December 2012 - Subject ‘The Phantom’ an interesting case study. Limited intelligence and originality (heavy reliance on cliches), possesses a glass jaw (very quick to take offence). When challenged, subject tends to scream ‘shut up’.  Loves dishing it out, so to speak, but is quite hostile when reciprocity… Read more »

  • pa_kelvin says:

    04:06pm | 24/12/12

    AJ ... Have a great Xmas break.. Thanks for your comments above.. ma_k and I had our party with all the grandkids on saturday ,so tomorrow we relax…......... Read more »


We are about to embark on the final parliamentary sitting week of the year, and it promises to be ugly. Speaker Anna Burke will earn her money.

It's SO good to see you

The complete collapse of the Government’s measures to discourage boats loaded with asylum seekers from reaching our shores has the Coalition even more fired up than usual.

Julia Gillard no longer seems to have any defence against the charge that Labor opened our borders to people smugglers when it dismantled the Howard government’s policies.

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  • JoniM says:

    06:32pm | 25/11/12

    @Christian Real According to John Black (ex AWU and ALP rep) today, your mate K Rudd apparently now has 40 nervous caucus votes since the latest Gillard scandal revelations ! I wouldn’t waste your time trying to get rid of Abbott, the Coalition knows he will soon only have to… Read more »

  • marley says:

    01:41pm | 25/11/12

    @Christian Real - fair enough. I don’t see any particular reason why aborigines should all have the same views on issues.  Heaven knows, there’s a lot of difference in experience and viewpoints.  I just don’t get why you would castigate Abbott for wanting aborigines with different types of backgrounds to… Read more »


When my parents arrived in the 1950s as ’10 pound Poms’, Australia was a brave new world. Their street in Melbourne’s Glen Waverley bustled with fellow European migrants eager to create a life for their families. 

Aboriginal veterans being honoured during Reconciliation Week. Photo: Dean Martin

But while our neighbourhood was a snapshot of multicultural Europe there wasn’t a lot of mixing. My parents socialised with others from the old country while their Italian and Greek neighbours went to their own churches and started their own small businesses.

The ‘poms’ and ‘wogs’ in the street lived together quite happily, but separately.

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  • sam says:

    02:41pm | 07/09/12

    yeah thats what it like for me in melbourne, all the spoilt white kids running a muck bashing people to death every weekend, how many non Aboriginals got bashed to death onthe weekend up there? in vic the white kids kill multiple non whites every week, or is it your… Read more »

  • sam says:

    02:32pm | 07/09/12

    Aboriginals are still waiting for non Aboriginal Australians to take the first step, there has been no restitution yet, english law is subject to international law, what happened in australia was illegal and no amount of ignorance will change that, Aboriginal society was alot more productive than current society, the… Read more »


Australia’s reconciliation situation is worse than that of post-apartheid South Africa.

As we celebrate National Close the Gap day, it is time we focus on the real gap that needs to be closed - the gap in trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. For this is one gap that we can all take responsibility for closing once and for all.

When we hear the Close the Gap catch cry we immediately think of the shocking news headline statistics:

  • An Aboriginal man is expected to live 11.5 years less than the Australian average.
  • An Aboriginal baby is twice as likely to die before their first birthday.
  • An Aboriginal girl is 32 per cent less likely to finish her high school education.

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  • Brian McCALLUM says:

    11:01pm | 29/03/11

    It is the wider community who stereotypes the disadvantaged indigenous people in this country. Some of the comments posted by people cannot go unchallenged. Firstly the “benefits” given to Aboriginal people are a complete myth. There are more white people benefitting from the money put into Aboriginal communities. They are… Read more »

  • Jes says:

    10:16pm | 28/03/11

    Erick - I dont hate. Therimu - I like what you say I agree with you wholeheartedly Read more »


It took courage back in 2007 for then Prime Minister John Howard and Indigenous Minister Mal Brough to announce what was known as the intervention in Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory. It was a rapid response to the Little Children are Sacred report, which revealed the terrifying reality of child abuse, health and social degradation within remote indigenous communities.

Squalor in an Alice Springs town camp. Pic: Steve Strike

The intervention was necessarily swift, as large numbers of police and army personnel moved in to communities in crisis.

Alcohol restrictions were put in place, medical examinations were carried out on indigenous children and school attendance was enforced, while 50 per cent of individuals’ financial welfare payments were quarantined for food and life essentials. While controversial at the time, the intervention had dramatic results, improving the health and welfare of children and reduced alcohol abuse in many indigenous communities.

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  • Sally says:

    10:24am | 25/03/12

    It is sad to read all your well educated words, I am sure all of you have had an excellent education and are very very intelligent. I would like to say ‘I am an aboriginal child that was sexualy abused and all your comments make me sick” I would not… Read more »

  • Shifty says:

    03:10pm | 31/03/11

    I’ve travelled this country extensively and I can tell you the problems in these communities are real and it is very depressing to witness. Some action is better than none I can assure you all. Read more »


Reconciliation, multiculturalism, sustainability (including confronting human-induced climate change), feminism and economic redistribution are five ‘big ideas’ that, not only excite the passions of The Punch readers, but have characterised Australia’s post-War history.

It'd be nice if we could come up with some big ideas a bit more sophisticated than this. Photo: Dean Marzolla

Each one of these concepts represents a noble goal to be achieved in our society. Let me explain by starting with reconciliation. Reconciliation has little to do with ‘saying sorry’ – though it is an important symbolic act – but more to do with confronting the forced and illegal dispossession of the Australian Indigenous population.

Reconciliation is about reconciling the past with the present, as well as defining the type of future we want – one that recognises and celebrates Indigenous culture and finds a way to compensate for things passed.

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  • Shane From Melbourne says:

    12:37pm | 18/12/10

    Economic deregulation worked real well for the United States. A basket case economy kept alive by the artificial stimulus of printing more money. Strange how shrinking the size of government doesn’t include a bloated national security bureaucracy….. Read more »

  • SRS says:

    06:18pm | 16/12/10

    You can’t beat a tried and tested solution. Personally, I would be in favour of a white Australia policy even if it meant I had to go home. I love this country enough to sacrifice my time here for its’ future. It’s people like you who are the real disgraces… Read more »


Every now and then life deals you a moment which overloads your emotions.

Crowds gather outside Parliament House for Sorry Day. Picture: Phil Hillyard.

You’re not sure whether to cry or cheer or run and hide just to catch your breath.

That’s how I felt standing on the sixth floor of NAB’s Melbourne headquarters when watching Kevin Rudd’s apology to my people’s stolen generation.

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  • Affected By Racism says:

    01:44pm | 13/10/10

    Unlike Englands treatment to their citizens there wasn’t mass racism across the board with all segments of the country not being employed. Which relates directly to racism and that impowers the few the whites, as for some people with mixed orgines then you only have to look at NSW most… Read more »

  • John A Neve says:

    07:31am | 15/02/10

    Jeffrey, Much of what you have said I agree with. I don’t deny past mistakes, but I cannot change the past. This and other governments have, in my view, tried to correct past mistakes, in many, not all, cases those who needed help, abused this help. There are now many… Read more »


Why does scare-mongering worry us so much? Because it works. And it is simple to do.

Peter Holmes a Court with Mapoon traditional owner Roberta Toby and Mapoon Mayor Peter Guivarra after their meeting with state government Wild Rivers officers at Cape York this month.

This is how it is done in four easy steps: First, you must have a position of actual or perceived authority. Either’s fine.

Second you proclaim your objectivity, or your access to some knowledge that sets yourself apart from the mob.  Fancy titles, having written a book, or apparently having seen something nobody else has, are all a good start.

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  • BTS says:

    08:37pm | 29/10/09

    I am sure Jennifer Nash that if Lex Wooton had of set fire to your home whilst you and your family were inside you would be praising him as a visionary for the Aboriginal cause.  And of course I imagine you would applaud his right to take the law into… Read more »

  • watty says:

    12:08pm | 29/10/09

    Kakadu repeated. First step…Federal Government declares region (including what was to become Kakadu National Park ) as Aboriginal freehold land. Second step Federal Government decides on boundaries of Kakadu National Park. Third step…Federal Government has Stage 1 (6000 sq km.) listed on World Heritage A futher 14,000 sq km added… Read more »


Aboriginal reconciliation hit the headlines again this week with an extraordinary call for all non-indigenous Australians to make restitution for the crimes of theft and genocide – or leave the country.

Prepared to actually do something: former NT minister Alison Anderson

Dr Peter Adam said that atoning for the sins of the past required such a radical solution.

‘‘No recompense could ever be satisfactory because what was done was so vile, so immense, so universal, so pervasive, so destructive, so devastating and so irreparable,’’ Dr Adam said in a speech to the NSW Baptist Union.

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  • nike free run 2 says:

    04:31pm | 30/10/12

    Thank you for all of the labor on this web site. My mother really loves doing investigations and it is easy to understand why. My partner and i hear all concerning the powerful means you convey efficient tips and hints on this website and as well as boost response from… Read more »

  • Sam says:

    01:08pm | 26/11/11

    Noel person speeks for his well off community and people, if you were half informed on Aboriginal issues you would be aware each community has speakers for their own communitys issues. To Aboriginal people he is seen as   a coconut, he is to disconnected to real Aboriginal issues in… Read more »


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