Highlights

As a blogger I have written from around the world on Ari on the Web (2004-2017) and An Ant in Tokyo (2017-).

I have also written features, news and commentary for a range of outlets across Australia and Asia. Here are some highlights.


What is the point of politics?
The Canberra Times | August 11, 2017

So long as we celebrate ideological bellicosity and discredit pragmatic deal-making, our political system will be stuck spinning its wheels. To get our political system working again we need to reframe compromise.


Conspicuous consumption could save the online news business
Mumbrella | August 7, 2017

We all know that a news outlet offers a world view through which it interprets events, and overwhelmingly its consumers share that world view. … But what if readers are not just choosing their news outlet because it reflects how they see the world, but because it reflects how they see themselves?


Just cause: everybody enjoys their day in court
The Riot ACT | July 27, 2017

“All rise.” The few dozen people in the public gallery take to their feet, most with a weary hunch, some with a hint of deference and a handful with a military bearing. A snowy-haired magistrate walks to his seat and surveys the cross-section of humanity before him. Court One is now in session.


‘Our baby is taking my wife’s surname, not mine, for a very important reason’
Mamamia | September 23, 2016

Despite much progress being made in confronting the sexism of everyday life, from the workplace to the home to the public arena, many people remain reluctant to grapple with the chauvinism inherent in the naming tradition of our children.


A new dad shares his joy in the baby girl he thought he’d never meet
Mamamia | May 20, 2016

 But the looming arrival of my daughter meant that my survival was not just something I desired so that I could continue to enjoy my life, but was now an obligation I had to another person in order to ensure she had her father in her life. To have succumbed to the disease would have denied my daughter something very precious.


‘My wife is pregnant and I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer’
Mamamia | December 12, 2015

A few weeks back we reached a milestone, when the mysterious growth inside Mel’s body grew larger than the mysterious growth in mine. As the months pass I look forward to seeing Mel’s expand, kicking playfully against her abdomen, as mine slowly shrinks. And by the time hers is ready to leave her body, I hope that mine has left my body as well.


Five steps Jokowi can take to keep Indonesia open for business
Jakarta Globe | October 20, 2014

Generating the growth needed to lift millions more people into the ranks of the middle class requires the president to help restore Indonesia’s status as an attractive investment destination; developments in recent years have prompted foreign investors to think twice about the country.


Jokowi hailed a beacon of hope, but could be a shrinking violet
Crikey | October 8, 2014

When confronting a stubborn legislature, moneyed corporate interests and state companies with a deep sense of entitlement, Jokowi will need to be bold. The early signs are that he will be reluctant to do so.


A tragedy revisited in Banda Aceh
Jakarta Globe | November 24, 2011

Something seems a little tasteless at first about the very notion of tsunami tourists — after all, for many people, the wounds are still raw and the memories fresh. But the Acehnese seem keen to share their story and are thrilled when visitors take the time to learn more about it.


Indonesia and the death penalty
The Interpreter (Lowy Institute) | July 2, 2011

The Saudi execution provides a rare instance where Indonesia finds itself on the other side of this narrative. Such a situation can’t help but influence the thinking of senior Indonesians involved in dealings with Australia.