The practice of “confession” is under scrutiny following the announcement of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
A number of State and Federal MPs have come out against absolute secrecy when dealing with confessions – an idea Priests are calling “inviolable”.
The centuries old practice requires the congregation to tell their sins to their Priest in absolute confidentiality in order to be absolved.
2SER’s Sam Buckingham-Jones spoke with Professor Sarah Joseph, Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, about the legal obligations of confession.
The staff of the ABC are about to get their own representative on the broadcasters board of Directors.
After a six year campaign to have the position of “staff elected director” reinstated, the Gillard government has now passed the legislation and an election will be held early next year.
The elected staff position was introduced in 1975, but it was abolished by the Howard government in 2006.
Veteran ABC presenter and journalist Quentin Dempster previously held the position and was keen to stand again, but due to a technicality in the law, he is now not eligible.
But another leading ABC reporter is planning to stand for election and has Dempster’s backing.
Matt Peacock has worked at the national broadcaster for over 30 years and his book on James Hardie was recently made into the TV drama, “Devils Dust”
He spoke with 2ser’s Mark Robinson.
In Cuba last week, 37 nonviolent protesters, among them journalists and intellectuals, were arrested by authorities in Cuba for lobbying the government to ratify United Nations Human Rights protocols.
John Suarez, a human rights activist based in Miami, Florida, has for the past four years run a blog called “Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter”.
Having previously worked with the UN Human Rights Council, he is passionate about highlighting the human rights issues in his country of descent, from which he has been barred from entering since he was a child.
Reporter Eliza Goetze spoke to him about the recent arrests, the international climate and the current situation in Cuba.
Last month Julia Gillard made waves globally with her highly emotional speech against misogyny in Canberra.
The Australian population responded favourably to the Prime Minister’s comments, but would her stand against misogyny have fared as well in other countries, such as Britain?
A recent article in The Guardian has argued that Australian culture is much more mature when it comes to accepting an equal standing between men and women.
But is this really the case?
2SER’s Oliver Crossan reports.
For over five years the Federal government has been promoting its plan for a mandatory internet filter, but yesterday it backed out the scheme saying it was too broad.
Instead, Communications Minster Stephen Conroy said he’s come to an agreement with internet service providers to block a small number of child abuse sites.
Most observers say the move was a massive backflip, while some Christian groups said they were disappointed.
Free speech group “Electronic Frontiers Australia” welcomed the back down.
Mark Robinson asked the group’s executive officer, Jon Lawrence, if he was surprised by the change of heart.
This week the Communist Party of China assembled it’s congress for a week-long meeting at which the party officials will decide on a new leader for the country.
The Party Congress will nominate and select people to fill some of the country's top political and military positions for the next 10 years.
The six-day meeting began on Thursday but it is expected to be at least another week before China's new cabinet will be revealed to the world.
Professor John Lee from Sydney University’s Centre for International Security Studies joined 2ser’s Rory O’Gorman to discuss what some of the implications of China’s leadership change might be.
The Federal Government this week launched a new initiative to get more women on public and private boards.
Despite some gains in recent years there are very few women serving as directors in senior roles in Australia.
But the new plan, entitled “Board Links”, has already come under fire.
Feminist and UTS academic Eva Cox, says BoardLinks doesn’t address masculine board culture.
Amy Rathbone reports.
Every day six Australians take their own lives, making deaths by suicide higher than the national road toll.
To raise awareness about suicide, The Salavation Army started a Memory Quilts project in 2009.
The quilts weave together the photos of those who have died by suicide, and tell personal stories of the family and friends they leave behind.
This year, five state-based quilts have been made – with the first of them launched last week in Sydney.
2SER’s Yash Pandya attended the launch and spoke to Alan Staines, head of The Salavation Army’s Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Service.
Despite all their success, Australia’s female sports stars receive little recognition. But why is this?
After all while our men have been struggling recently Aussie women have dominating and achieving global success in a variety of sports.
There's our Olympians, Sally Pearson and Anna Meares who won gold at the London Olympics, 4-time world surf champion Steph Gilmore, Tennis superstar Sam Stosur as well as the women who just won the cricket world cup.
Last month at the Asia-Pacific World Sport and Women Conference, Sports Minister Kate Lundy addressed gender inequality in the sporting world saying Australian female athletes are competing against men who have hundreds of years of history on their side.
However, it seems things are slowly changing. For instance, in 2008 national competitions for woman’s soccer and netball were launched.
But while women's sports are drastically improving, there is still a long way to go, especially in regards to media coverage.
Ask people about women and sports and you will get hundreds of responses.
2sers Joel Moss reports
A recent paper has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice may be a mere four years away.
Author of the paper, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University is one of the world's leading experts on climate change and Artic sea ice.
His paper explains that a global disaster is now unfolding in northern latitudes of the planet as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded.
He warns that climate change is no longer something we can aim to conquer in a few decades' time.
His paper raises the importance of not only reducing CO2 emissions, but of the need to consider new approaches to tackling global warming.
Professor Wadhams spoke with 2ser’s Rory O’Gorman