How Does Australia See Itself?

The colour, beauty and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. — Phil Johnston


The classless nature of pubs in Australia. — Barton Quilkey


Herds of Emus. Hundreds of them out by Booligal or Ivanhoe. — Davis Straub


Universal health care. — ‘Kurt van der Walde


King George Whiting grilled with chips and a lemon wedge. — Andrew Browne


But wait, you’re not done yet! Now, click or scroll through again and find some of Ilya’s own additions.

See, for example, if you can identify the statue at the center of the piece. There are other hidden winks to Australiana as well.

I’ll share some of them in next week’s newsletter, but feel free to send your guesses and feedback to

We also hope you’ll share the piece — and this newsletter (sign-up) — with those who might enjoy a version of Australia that looks nothing like Canberra.

Seriously, it’s mostly meant to be fun, and another thank you to all of our readers who make this newsletter and The New York Times such a vibrant community.

One more thing: We really wish we could have found a way to assign art for all of your input, but alas, we’d need a museum for that!

Now here are our stories of the week, from Australia and beyond, plus our recommendations for what to stream this month.


Let’s start local this week, because we have a lot to highlight.

We’ve been trying to double down on context, deep reporting and an international perspective and we had three pieces this week that exemplify that:

1. Our examination of Peter Dutton’s au pair scandal. Australia has given “God powers” to its immigration ministers allowing Mr. Dutton to make an already opaque immigration system even more vulnerable to abuse. Few other developed democracies do it this way. We explain how it happened.

2. Is the way Australia funds the arts a recipe for mediocrity? That’s the provocative question at the heart of our deep dive into government funding for the performing arts.

3. Australia wants to take government surveillance to the next level. In Opinion, Lizzie O’Shea writes about Canberra’s decryption efforts, noting that “Australia, which has no Bill of Rights, is a logical place to test new strategies for collecting intelligence that can later be adopted elsewhere.”

The New York Times Opinion section published a bombshell today, taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-ed from a senior official in the Trump administration.

The piece should be read in its entirety, but it lays out the ways that people inside the administration are doing everything they can to protect against what the author describes as Trump’s amorality, bad instincts and short attention span.

The Opinion editors are taking questions from readers. Our reporters are covering it as news and adding context from Washington.

There’s also a robust discussion on it going on in our NYT Australia Facebook group, which you should join, of course.


President Trump’s other recent enemies include big tech companies like Google, which he has accused of suppressing positive news about him. Here’s an explainer on how search really works, or at least as much as we know.

And how well do you trust your disinformation instincts? We made a quiz that asks you to separate authentic posts from fakes.

Then there’s the story of Steve Jobs and his daughter. A nuanced family portrait or a hit job?


… And We Recommend

Looking for something to watch on Netflix? Here’s our monthly guide. I’m just finishing up “The Americans,” which all feels a little too relevant at the moment.

I’m looking forward to something else. Maybe “Paddington 2”?

Damien Cave is the new Australia bureau chief for The New York Times. He’s covered more than a dozen countries for The Times, including Mexico, Cuba, Iraq and Lebanon. Follow him on Twitter: @damiencave.

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