The Monthly December 2023 — January 2024 issue
Our annual bumper Summer Reading issue is here to see you through December and January in a wide variety of thoughtful, surprising and entertaining ways.
Wrapping up our understanding of the year that was, Sean Kelly offers his customarily astute take on 12 months in Australian politics and asks whether they leave us any better off than we were at the start of the year. It’s commentary that’s paired with Megan Davis’s analysis of the wash-up of the year’s biggest story – the failed referendum on the Voice to Parliament – and an attempt to make sense, without despair, of what eventuated.
But beyond analysis of the past year, Summer Reading is a time for juicy essays on subjects for everyone:
• Tim Winton considers the role of the writer in the fight against climate catastrophe, sharing his reading list, and his thoughts and fears about the challenge ahead;
• Jess Hill, perhaps sensitive to our need for hope as the end of the year approaches, gives us a good news story, about how a combination of research, advocacy and a lot of hard work led to the changing of a bad law, and good news for single parents;
• When it comes to greyhound racing, many of us are already aware of the seamy underbelly of the industry, of the stories about crooked trainers and horribly mistreated animals. But it’s only the start of the story. Katherine Wilson looks into the network of covert investigators working to save the dogs and stop the cruelty;
• Anthony Ham tells us about the history of Kakadu National Park, and how it’s likely to affect what comes next for its protection, and for the interests of its traditional owners;
• From Taiwan, Margaret Simons, accompanied by photographer Dave Tacon, takes in the story of indigenous Taiwanese identity, considering the ways in which it is recognised and denied, and what those faultlines mean for land rights, recognition and mainland China’s attitudes to the island.
Plus tennis, sea swimming, the NGV Triennial, the NGA Emily Kam Kngwarray retrospective, film, books, TV and so much more. Enough reading to see you through what we hope is a long, restful and indulgent summer.
The Monthly November issue 2023
The November issue of The Monthly hits newsstands today, and it’s packed with essays taking stock of where Australia finds itself as 2023 winds down.
In the aftermath of the Voice referendum, Daniel James and Don Watson traverse the result with two searing works of commentary.
After five years of interviews, months of research and many hours in the courts, Sarah Krasnostein has written a magisterial piece of long-form journalism on the sorry case of Adass school principal Malka Leifer. This is a pioneering story of abuse and institutional failure, and the relationship between our legal system and the understanding of trauma.
Elizabeth Finkel takes apart the much-touted theories that Covid-19 began its life with a leak from a lab, and lays out the scientific evidence with clarity, determination and no nonsense.
And Jonathan Green heads out to nature, standing among the tall trees to ask what comes after the end of native logging.
Plus there’s personal writing from Anna Goldsworthy and Trent Dalton, as well as the latest in cultural commentary, reviews and criticism.
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The Monthly October issue 2023
October brings The Monthly’s annual Culture issue, celebrating and interrogating the best in arts and culture for today. It’s also a special edition that – on the eve of the referendum for the Voice to Parliament – pins our colours to the mast and shouts “Yes” from the first page.
The Monthly September issue 2023
This September, The Monthly is looking at the past for lessons, and to the future with trepidation. For the cover essay Joëlle Gergis presents grim prognostications about the upcoming summer, while George Megalogenis reads the tea-leaves on the Voice referendum, Shane Danielsen makes sense of the rise of AI on our screens, and Jackson Ryan investigates how one university has dealt with allegations of research misconduct.
The Monthly August issue 2023
The August issue of The Monthly is here, with multiple questions occupying its writers around the function and disfunction of our major institutions. Judith Brett, one of the country’s most astute observers of politics and Australian public life, delivers a cover story that unpacks the whole sordid PwC affair, and what it tells us about the outsourcing of government, of responsibility and of character. There’s also a major essay from Claire Connelly about what we need next from the Reserve Bank of Australia, and how reducing its level of influence in economic policy may be a damaging miscalculation.
The Monthly July issue 2023
At the heart of the July issue of The Monthly is two major essays on the voice to parliament. Patrick Dodson, the Grandfather of Reconciliation, shares his account of a life’s work fighting for recognition and justice leading up to the referendum later this year. It’s a singular, powerful treatise on why the nation needs to vote “Yes” to move forward. And Richard Flanagan, one of our finest novelists, explores why the symbolism of the vote – often cited as a sign of its inconsequential nature – is vitally important for being able to tell authentic, meaningful stories about who we are as a country. The pair of essays make this edition of the magazine essential reading.
The Monthly June issue 2023
The June issue of The Monthly marks the magazine’s 200th edition, exemplifying why the nation’s only magazine dedicated to politics, society and culture has become an indispensable part of our conversation and our landscape.
Its lead essay is by Sean Kelly, who turns his analytical eye to the Albanese government's first year in office. In the words of Paul Keating back in 1996, “When you change the government, you change the country,” but has Labor’s return to power been matched by the shift that it promised?
The Monthly May issue 2023
The May issue of The Monthly features a magnificent piece of writing: long-form journalism at its very best. Sarah Krasnostein turns her considerable skills to unfurling the story of Gareth, Nathaniel and Stacey Train, and the circumstances and beliefs that led them to kill two police officers, a neighbour, and ultimately themselves on their property in Wieambilla, Queensland late last year.
The Monthly April issue 2023
The April issue of The Monthly takes in questions of local activity and the global arena: from politics, to business, to climate justice and beyond.
One of our finest analysts of geopolitics and foreign affairs, Hugh White, considers the challenges facing Foreign Minister Penny Wong in her portfolio, and what the AUKUS agreement means for our relationships in the region and beyond. It’s a measured, insightful and urgent analysis of where Wong is coming from and where she might go next.
The Monthly March issue 2023
There’s something about the criminally dishonest – scammers, grifters and con-artists – that makes for irresistible storytelling: the how, what, why of it all is endlessly fascinating. And the March issue of The Monthly is underpinned by three major essays that tease out some truly wild hustles and lies of recent Australian political and cultural life.
The Monthly February 2023
The Monthly kicks off 2023 with a February issue that sets the agenda for the year ahead: our cover story, as the nation grapples with rising cost of living and economic uncertainty, is from the federal treasurer, Jim Chalmers. Laying out the challenges facing us – to our economy, our society and our environment – Chalmers argues for the place of values and optimism in how we might rethink capitalism itself. It’s a major essay and one that offers singular insights into how our government is regarding the road ahead.
The Monthly December 2022 — January 2023 issue
The most reliable indulgence over December/January – if the cricket is rained out, or the Boxing Day sales full of COVID coughs – is the extra reading time. And our annual Summer Reading double issue will get you through those long La Niña afternoons down at the beach. This year’s is an absolute bumper.
The Monthly November issue 2022
The Monthly’s November issue shows the magazine at its very best: a heady mix of considered long-form journalism, incisive political commentary and essential cultural analysis.
In an exclusive interview for the magazine, Malcolm Knox spoke with Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, asking why a man whose key political attribute is consistency is attempting to make over his image.
The Monthly October issue 2022
This October, The Monthly’s traditional Culture Issue is back, and between the pressures of COVID cancellations and locked-down audiences and a change of federal government heralding promises of significant new arts policy, there’s much to discuss from across our creative sectors.
As they head to Oslo to accept the prestigious International Ibsen Award — theatre’s Nobel Prize — Geelong-based Back to Back Theatre are arguably Australia’s greatest cultural export. Alison Croggon joins them on the journey.
The Monthly September issue 2022
The 47th parliament is well and truly under way, and it’s already possible to see key parts of the new government’s agenda taking shape. The Monthly’s September issue has a can’t-miss profile of the newly minted Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, written by the incomparable Chloe Hooper. Plibersek is one of the most recognisable members of the new government, so what does her new posting say about how the battle for our climate-ravaged country might play out.
The Monthly August issue 2022
As winter drags on and the rain continues to fall, eyes are not just on the skies but also on parts of the country that are still recovering from the last one-in-100-years event. When the floodwaters subside, when the decisions are made about whether to rebuild or rethink, we can be too often guilty of looking away and thinking the story is done. For the August issue of The Monthly, John van Tiggelen takes us to Lismore: to the human toll and the logistical quandaries of seeking higher ground in a time of climate crisis.
The Monthly July issue 2022
The recent federal election result upended Australian politics, and the July issue weighs up the implications. Don Watson looks at the challenging road ahead for the new government. George Megalogenis writes about the future of the Liberal party. And in the broad level of support for climate action Rebecca Huntley sees a way to end the climate wars. (Not so fast, writes Royce Kurmelovs, after attending the fossil-fuel industry’s annual conference.)
The Monthly June issue 2022
Following the 2022 federal election, The Monthly June issue features in-depth analysis of the result. Richard Denniss looks at the major swings and political shifts, and Lech Blaine writes about the colour and drama of the campaign trail, and the performances of candidates and leaders in key electorates.
The Monthly May issue 2022
It was billed as the trial of the century: Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe was charged over the killing of young Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker. Anna Krien was at Rolfe’s trial, and her report for the May issue of The Monthly includes stunning new revelations about events leading up to the tragic killing.
The Monthly April issue 2022
There’s a new wave of independent candidates and they threaten to upend Australian federal politics. Margaret Simons meets the most prominent of them, and surveys their policies and prospects for the upcoming election.
The Monthly March issue 2022
One of Australia’s most acclaimed longform journalists, Chloe Hooper, profiles one of Australia’s most intriguing and controversial politicians, Senator Jacqui Lambie. In the lead-up to the federal election, we survey Australia’s overheated real estate market and examine the litany of COVID-related government failures in the aged-care sector.