Listen: A special look back at the people and stories that took us from dismay to joy and anguish to hope in this Open House 2017 retrospective.
From the biggest refugee camps in history to the miniature world of nano science, Open House covered a vast spectrum of issues in 2017.
At home politics was played out against a constant backdrop of almost farcical proportions as Section 44 of the Constitution cut a swathe through the membership of both Houses.
Human rights issues were to the fore. Proponents hailed marriage reform as a human rights victory, opponents hope 2018 brings clarity about freedom of religion.
On Open House we listened respectfully to many perspectives on the marriage debate, and brought you many views not heard elsewhere.
As significant as it was, this single debate dominated the national agenda while other human rights issues such as the treatment of the Manus Island refugees, claims of genocide against the Rohingya people in our our region and the wider tragedies of ongoing Middle Eastern war received less attention.
We spoke with many advocates and aid workers about the world’s refugee crisis, including Tim Costello’s unambiguous description of his own visit to the Rohingya camp in Bangladesh as being “like walking through the gates of hell”.
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The ongoing struggle of indigenous people for recognition continued in 2017. We covered our first people’s hopes for a Makarrata Commission, and their disappointment at its summary dismissal by the Prime Minister.
Strategic relations in our region were brought into a sharper focus as Kim Jong-un continued increasing both the range of his rockets and the language of his rhetoric.
Meanwhile newly minted US President Donald Trump was a constant source of interest – not always in a good way.
Amid all these the stories that touched us most at Open House in 2017 were those of ordinary people simply sharing their hearts.
Stories of courage, service, achievement, perseverance, love and indeed hope.
In this end of year special podcast you’ll hear dozens of the people who made Open House a joy in 2017.
My Producer Annie Rinaudo and I hope you will join us as we embrace 2018 with the same sense of adventure and wonder – looking at life through the lens of faith, and pointing to hope.