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United Patriots Front and No Room for Racism clash in central Melbourne

John Elder For the second time in a week, members of the far-right, anti-Islamist United Patriots Front have clashed with anti-racism protesters in Melbourne.

Can carbon fibre revive Australian manufacturing in the wake of auto makers demise?

Carbon Nexus

John Elder Car-seat maker Futuris has crash-tested a light weight carbon fibre seat signalling possible fuel savings.

Bendigo: A city split over a multicultural future

John Elder Proposals for mosque have demonstrated a rift in attitudes from people living in Bendigo, writes John Elder.

Is anti-intellectualism killing the national conversation?

A culture of intellectual debate is underrated in modern Australia.

John Elder In the main we get along pretty well, Australians, as long as we don't try to talk to one another about anything complicated.

Open House Melbourne 2015: Backstage at a refurbished Margaret Court Arena

John Elder There's the mood here of a real estate inspection -- of a grand house lived in by many famous people -- by regular folk who can't afford to buy.

Running hot – the Australian taking 3D printing from the lab to the factory

John Elder What Michael Fuller pulls from his briefcase looks like a small piece of plumbing – like something that catches hairballs – but may well represent a levelling of the playing field in...

Kathleen Syme Library opens bringing a new hub to the Carlton community

Omotayo Daib with Matilda Barry at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre in Carlton.

John Elder If books are all but dead, why has the City of Melbourne built three new libraries in the past three years, with a fourth one in the pipeline? These have been big investments.

Solving a murder before play-lunch

John Elder On Thursday, Sam Clark, 14, helped solve a murder.

Cartin' around – how Bernie Dingle keeps the old world turning

Blacksmith Bernie Dingle at work in Nar Nar Goon.

John Elder Blacksmith Bernie Dingle reminds us all of a gentler time and place, before cars ruled the roads.

Spoking fun: Circus Oz performer Derek Llewellin is the wheel deal

Circus Oz performer Derek Llewellin takes his Roue Cyr for a spin. 10th June 2015. The Age Fairfaxmedia News Picture by JOE ARMAO

John Elder Big wheels keep on turning, hopefully. For Derek Llewellin, at 1.9 metres tall, his is a big wheel indeed -- and one that can fall heavily if he loses his balance, or doesn't brace his body correctly...

Good Samaritans - people of great character or circumstance?

Jason Cias (centre) intervened when two women were abused by three passengers on board a suburban train.

John Elder Stand up or look away: why do some people come to the rescue while other witnesses to conflict or disaster stay quiet and look at their shoes? In some cases, a reasonable fear of getting hurt or...

Out of the closet – meet the woman stripping mums of their clothes

John Elder It's been a month now and Ruby Hoppen, 25, mother of one, has suffered through withdrawal and come out the other side.

It's cool to be kind

John Elder A photo project is recording the kind things young people do for others.

Baby whisperer: Sleep consultant Jo Ryan helps infants and parents rest

John Elder Baby sleep consultants are doing a roaring trade both in person and online.

So this is Easter: Melbourne faces off at anti-Islam rally as police on horseback hold factions apart

Police stand guard at Federation Square as warring protest groups clash.

John Elder Hundreds of people  washed spit from their faces on Saturday evening after an ugly stand-off at Federation Square between supporters of Reclaim Australia, an anti-Islamic movement, and No Room...

The names of the worst litterers

A crushed soft drink can typical of litter thrown into the street.

John Elder The least environmentally conscious group in society appears to be from old-school Aussie stock, the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria says.

Sudden death of lawyer threatens to derail euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke's resurrection

Pro Euthanasia campaigner Mr Philip Nitchke.

John Elder Euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke's campaign to win back his registration to practise medicine is in disarray following the sudden death of his pro bono counsel and fellow activist Peter Nugent

Saddled with anxiety: how Horses for Hope is helping damaged equines and people heal one another

John Elder A therapy program to care for damaged horses – "equine assisted narrative practice" – benefits both animal and trainer.

Wetlands better than rainforests at storing carbon, say Deakin University scientists

John Elder Swamps could be 50 times more effective in battling climate change than rainforests, according to new modelling by Deakin University scientists.

When love game comes up shorts

John Elder Just as you marvel at those pioneer mountain climbers who traversed icy slopes in hobnail boots, you can't deny the eye-watering travails of the 1970s tennis star.