Stories written by Stephen de Tarczynski

Maritime Boundary Dispute Masks Need for Economic Diversity in Timor-Leste

Juvinal Dias has first-hand experience of mistreatment at the hands of a foreign power. Born in 1981 in Tutuala, a village in the far east of Timor-Leste, Dias’ family fled into the jungle following the 1975 invasion by Indonesia.

Battle Lines Drawn Over Indian Mega Mine

Among those leading the fight against the massive Indian-owned Carmichael coal project in Australia’s Queensland state is 21-year-old Murrawah Johnson of the Wangan and Jagalingou aboriginal people, the traditional owners of the land where the proposed mine is to be located.

Australian Activists, Dissenters and Whistleblowers Feeling the Heat

For Australian activist Samantha Castro, it was her association with the non-profit publishing organisation Wikileaks that brought her to the attention of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

AUSTRALIA: Refugee Centres Breed Mental Illness

Concern is growing for the mental health of thousands of people locked up indefinitely in this country’s immigration detention system.

AUSTRALIA: Renewable Energy Wins, Controversially

Australia has taken a major step in reducing its future greenhouse gas output with the announcement of a plan that will initially place a tax on every tonne of carbon pollution produced by hundreds of the country’s major emitters.

Uphill Battle to Save Australians From Execution

Any Australian government efforts to have two of its citizens spared from the death penalty in Indonesia have been made more difficult by past refusals to intervene on behalf of three Indonesian Islamists in the lead-up to their executions in 2008.

AUSTRALIA: More Suicides, No Lessons

Supporters of asylum seekers here say that the government’s response to recent suicides in Australian immigration detention centres ignores what is already well-known: that indefinite, long-term detention in crowded facilities results in deaths.

AUSTRALIA: Pushing Uranium Exports Despite Japanese Crisis

Many countries view nuclear energy as a way to meet growing electricity demands without releasing large amounts of greenhouse gasses. And as a major uranium exporter, Australia is keen to capitalise on future opportunities despite the ongoing nuclear emergency at Japan’s Fukushima reactors.

HEALTH: Battle Against Dengue Finds a New Front

When an outbreak of dengue fever occurred in the hot and humid north of Australia’s Queensland state in late 2008, Nicola Strange was among hundreds of locals that contracted the mosquito-borne disease.

Q&A: ‘Wherever There was Injustice, William Stood Up’

More than 70 years ago, an elderly Aboriginal man led the only known privately- organized demonstration against Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), the mass anti-Jewish pogrom across Germany and Austria.

RIGHTS-AUSTRALIA: In Immigration Detention, Life Is Uncertainty

Mohsen Soltany Zand knows life inside Australia’s immigration detention system. Now an Australian citizen, Zand sought political asylum here after fleeing Iran in the late 1990s.

Protestors call for the entire Hazelwood power station to be shut down. Credit: Stephen de Tarczynski/IPS

AUSTRALIA: Campaign to Shut ‘Dirtiest’ Power Station on Verge of Victory

Environmentalists here are on the verge of a significant victory in their efforts to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution, as the Victorian state government negotiates with the owner of the country’s "dirtiest power station" to shut down the coal-fired facility.

AUSTRALIA: Campaign Continues for Parliamentary Seats for Aborigines

Ken Wyatt stood, draped in a traditional kangaroo-skin shroud. In a voice wavering at times with emotion, the only indigenous Australian ever elected to this nation’s lower house of Parliament presented his inaugural address.

RIGHTS-AUSTRALIA: Activists Wary of Plan to ‘Export’ Asylum Centres

As the Australian government steps up its efforts to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor, refugee advocates remain watchful for signs that any deal could result in the involuntary removal from Australia of people seeking protection here.

AUSTRALIA: Solar Energy Gets a Boost, But Offers Much More

Proponents of renewable energy say that a planned large-scale solar power plant in Australia’s northern Victoria state, which will produce enough output to provide electricity to 60,000 homes, is just a fraction of what could be achieved if federal and state governments were fully committed to harnessing solar energy.

AUSTRALIA: Compensation Isn’t Justice in Aboriginal Death – Critics

Late on a hot summer morning in January 2008, 46-year-old Aboriginal elder Mr Ward climbed into the back of a prisoner transport van for the 360- kilometre, four-hour journey from the small Western Australian goldfields town of Laverton to Kalgoorlie, a larger mining centre, where he was due in court to face drink driving charges.

AUSTRALIA: Marine Biodiversity Threatened by Oil, Gas Exploration

In early July, whales from the world’s largest population of humpbacks began arriving in the warm, subtropical waters off Australia’s north-west coast to breed and nurse their young.

AUSTRALIA: Apprehended Sex Tourists Just ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

The high-profile case of an accused Australian paedophile in India and the recent arrest of an Australian man on child sex charges in Thailand represent just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to Australians involved in child sex tourism in the Asia-Pacific, children’s rights advocates here say.

AUSTRALIA: New PM Called On to Tackle Climate Change

Australia’s newly appointed prime minister, Julia Gillard, has hardly warmed her seat, yet she has already been urged to take action on climate change.

It's big news when Australian soldiers die in Afghanistan, but this country's involvement in the war-torn nation is otherwise rarely questioned. Credit: Stephen de Tarczynski/IPS

POLITICS: All Quiet on the Australian Front on Role in Afghanistan

The lack of debate here concerning Australia’s military involvement in Afghanistan is unlikely to change in the near future despite the recent deaths of five Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in the war-ravaged nation.

AUSTRALIA: Homeless Young Women Defying Stereotype

Geraldine Martin, Sara Stilianos, both 20, and Erin Murphy, 24, are like many young Australian women: bright, articulate, well presented, they have high hopes for their futures. Yet all three are homeless.

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