Articles by Paul Gregoire

Religious Exemption Laws: An Interview With Professor Marion Maddox


Philip Ruddock’s inquiry into whether Australian laws adequately protect religious freedoms began last Wednesday. Malcolm Turnbull announced the controversial review in late November, in response to the concerns of his colleagues and ‘No’ voters over same-sex marriage laws. The expert panel assisting Ruddock with his inquiry comprises Australian Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher, Jesuit priest Frank Brennan, ...

The Top Five Australian Crime Films


Australian cinema has a long history of producing raw and brutal films. And none more so, than those that explore criminal conduct. It could even be said that the outlaw defines the zeitgeist of our colonial times. Perhaps part of the fascination stems from the fact that when the British stormed in to begin their ...

Medical Marijuana Innovation: An Interview With Andrew Kavasilas


In late 1930s Australia, dozens of cannabis-based medicines were widely available, either by prescription or over-the-counter. One of the most popular was Dr J Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne, which was a preparation made from Nepalese cannabis resin. When a Victorian MP suggested that over-the-counter sales of Chlorodyne be stopped, country parliamentarians flew into a rage. The ...

Release Yanto Awerkion: An Interview with Free West Papua’s Raki Ap


West Papuan independence activist Yanto Awerkion is set to stand trial on charges of treason in Timika District Court tomorrow. Mr Awerkion was due to go before the court in West Papua last Tuesday, but the trial was postponed, as the judge failed to attend. Mr Awerkion’s only crime was to address a peaceful prayer meeting ...

Turnbull’s War on Welfare Recipients


As you sit at home in your Point Piper mansion, and it’s getting close to end of year celebrations, what else would one think as prime minister of Australia, but, “Who am I gonna take a swipe at next? Ah, welfare recipients.” And that was the direction Malcolm Turnbull and his Coalition cronies took things ...

Indentured Labour in the British Empire: Slavery Reworked


In 1807, British parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, which banned the practice of transporting enslaved African peoples to the Americas to be sold there. This brought to an end to Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, which began in 1562. It’s estimated that British ships transported 3.4 million slaves across ...

Is Melbourne Really Under Threat from African Gangs?


According to the recent media beat-up, Melbourne is yet again suffering a wave of “African gang violence.” This is despite Victoria deputy police commissioner Andrew Crisp recently stating that there was “no evidence or intelligence to suggest” a string of recent crimes was gang-related. At a New Year’s Day press conference, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull begged to ...

Pill Testing Is Long Overdue: An Interview with Victorian MP Colleen Hartland


The current campaign to trial a pill testing service at an Australian music festival began in February 2016. The push was led by prominent harm reduction advocates Dr Alex Wodak, Dr David Caldicott, and Will Tregoning. The impetus behind the renewed calls to implement this harm minimisation approach were the six drug-related deaths that occurred at ...

Protecting Detainees: An Interview With Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass


The Australian government ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture on December 15. Better known as the OPCAT treaty, the international agreement aims to prevent the abuse and mistreatment of people in detention. The treaty builds upon the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture. The Australian government signed the OPCAT back in May 2009. But, it’s ...

The History of Recreational Cannabis in Australia


The recreational use of cannabis in Australia sowed its seeds in Kings Cross in the mid to late 1960s, even though the plant had been outlawed decades earlier. It was introduced into Sydney’s bohemian hub by US servicemen, who were on respite from the Vietnam War. Over the next decade, the use of the drug spread ...