Latest National news

Canadian bureaucrat may lose job after his cheesy song went viral

Tony Turner, a public servant at Environment Canada, who wrote and sang the protest song Harperman.

Markus Mannheim 2:08 PM   Protest tune sparks national debate about public servants' freedom of speech.

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AFP presidential bodyguard denied compo

Australian Federal Police

Michael Inman 12:20 PM   Former AFP officer who claimed he suffered depression from acting as a bodyguard to the East Timorese president loses compensation bid.

Overseas students to fight for more hours of legal work

International students will campaign to legally work more hours after an investigation uncovered systemic wage fraud across Australian 7-Eleven stores.

Ross Peake 12:02 PM   Campaign to be launched to allow international students to legally work more hours to avoid exploitation by employers.

Program aims to eliminate every childhood cancer death

Nikki Quinn survived cancer as a child, but the chemotherapy has left her with other health problems. Photo: Janie Barrett

Harriet Alexander 11:09 AM   Nikki Quinn does not know why she was the one to survive childhood cancer when so many of her friends did not, but it eats her up.

Centrelink must do better

Centrelink's online and telephone services came in for particular criticism.

Noel Towell 11:09 AM   Centrelink is trying to improve, but there is one big thing holding it back from better customer service.

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Hospitals overwhelmed by increases in sickest patients

Emergency departments are under increasing pressure, with patient numbers havinge risen by 25 per cent over the past five years.

Amy Corderoy 12:55 AM   NSW emergency departments are facing huge increases in the number of seriously ill patients, with doctors saying the system cannot cope without more beds and more money.

Human Services' computers keep disabled out of work

A screenshot of one user's attempt to login to the MyGov online portal, which has left clients blocked from the system for up to two weeks.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Disabled workers are caught in bureaucratic limbo by problematic computer systems.

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Geelong Grammar students afraid to report abuse

Boarding house horror: There have been accusations of sexual abuse at Geelong Grammar.

Henrietta Cook 8:23 PM   Students at one of Australia's most prestigious private schools suffered serious sexual abuse up until 2007, with victims afraid to report the abuse due to a "code of silence", the royal commission has heard.

Myer takes stake in Topshop, plans to have outlets in 20 stores nationally

Topshop was founded in England in the 1960s and has over 500 stores worldwide.

Rachel Wells 8:08 PM   Fashion industry experts say Myer's 25 per cent stake in Topshop Australia will help refocus the department store's fashion offering after a "mish mash" approach in recent years.

Magpies target their unwitting human prey, research suggests

Feel like magpies are picking on you?

Kate Aubusson and Leonie Thorne 7:16 PM   Have you ever felt like magpies were out to get you? You might be onto something, according to a new Australian study.

Pay gap 'unacceptable': outgoing sex discrimination commissioner

Better sharing of paid and unpaid work between men and women is critical to advancing gender equality, says outgoing Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

Timna Jacks 6:13 PM   Gender pay gaps in Australia of nearly 20 per cent are "unacceptable" and will define the struggle for gender equality going forward, says outgoing Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

Fallopian tube bank to become a repository of wisdom

New mother Fiona Patterson with two-month-old Kenzy.

Harriet Alexander 7:00 PM   The first stocks in an unusual bank won't help their female donors, but they may hold the cure to health problems for future generations.

Gymnast drowns while rock fishing, local community mourns

Zou Li Min, who drowned after being swept off rocks at South Durras on Sunday.

Christopher Knaus 5:22 PM   Tributes flow for world-class gymnast who was swept off rocks on NSW South Coast on Sunday.

Hospital's coffee and tea under lock and key

Coffee and tea supplies at the Canberra Hospital will be kept locked due to budget restrictions and theft

Henry Belot   Workers at Canberra Hospital have been told their coffee and tea supplies will be kept under lock and key due to budget restrictions and theft.

Hotel threatened, hundreds evacuated as plumes of smoke blanket city

adelaide fire

Liam Mannix   There are reports a┬álarge hotel in the centre of Adelaide is ablaze, with hundreds of people being evacuated.

Flops at the top: what public servants really think of their bosses

There's plenty of positive thinking in the top ranks of the APSC.

Noel Towell   Canberra mandarins quite pleased with themselves, survey finds. Rank-and-file not so sure.

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'Prestige' university courses are twice the price

AFR 120523  photo by Louise Kennerley generic university students study graduation

back yellow

Inga Ting   The importance of fee-paying students in Australia's universities goes well beyond their contribution to total revenue.

What the Border Force wants in new recruits

The Australian Border Force logo.

Nicole Hasham   Wanted: men and women to join Australia's newest national security agency. Must be willing to take an oath, use force, and fire a gun.

Hungry Jack's caught pitching to kids

Hungry Jack's breached a children's food advertising code the highest number of times in 2014.

Esther Han   Hungry Jack's breached a children's food advertising code nearly three times more than the previous year, prompting public health advocates to slam the code as ineffective.

The final word on reading: six easy steps

Comprehension: progressing as a reader requires more than identifying words.

Fiona Villella   A western suburbs primary school with many students from non-English speaking backgrounds has successfully transformed its NAPLAN reading results by adapting Diane Snowball's six comprehension strategies to produce strong readers.

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Three popular psychology studies that didn't hold up

A test relating to moral judgments was, on being redone, found to produce different results depending on whether the cohort was English or American.

Benedict Carey and Michael Roston 12:15 AM   In an unprecedented analysis, a team of 270 researchers redid about 100 studies published in three top psychology journals. Only 35 held up.

Productivity Commission's public sector myth-busting


Public Eye   Finally, an official denial of the nonsense at the heart of the government's wage bargaining policy.

Heat is in the air: spring to burst onto the scene

If it doesn't feel like spring yet - it should do soon.

Peter Hannam   After the coolest winter in years, the mercury is ready to rise, forecasters say.

Yongah Hill detainee in hospital after reports of self-harm

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition.

Neelima Choahan   An Afghan man detained at a West Australian detention centre required hospital care amid reports that he tried to take his own life.

IT 'disaster' could have built 20 schools

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10:  NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli poses with School Children at Condell Park Public School in Condell Park on September 10, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by James Alcock/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Eryk Bagshaw   The bungled roll-out of a new IT system across the state's public education system could have built up to 20 new schools.

Health Check: do you need to stretch before and after exercise?

Josh Hazelwood stretches with Nathan Lyon during an Australian nets session.

Rob Herbert   Does stretching increase flexibility, reduce the risk of injury, reduce soreness and enhance sporting performance?

Is the 'mad genius' a myth?

There are parts of the brain that control the number of spontaneous thoughts someone has, and how much they daydream or let their minds wander.

Quincy Wong   The link between neurotic unhappiness and creativity has been highlighted in revelations of the personal battles of artists, writers, musicians and other people pursing creative endeavours.

Thor arrives to tackle busy fire season

Thor unleashes at Richmond.

Peter Hannam   Another year of above-average fire risk is on the way as the long-term decline in cool season rainfall combines with a strengthening El Nino.

Sailor considers appeal after losing compensation case over unwanted pregnancy


Mark Russell   Lawyers representing a sailor who sued the Department of Defence over an unwanted pregnancy are considering appealing a judge's decision to throw the case out.

This cheap drug could save your life


Amy Corderoy   An inexpensive drug could hold the key to saving the lives of heart attack survivors