Australia's lungs have collapsed and Generation X needs to take part of the blame | Paul Daley

It’s no longer the Boomers making the policy and political decisions – or abrogating their responsibilities to do so

The children of many of us Gen X-ers have been saying for years that we are going to bequeath a far worse world than the one we were born into.

I don't have a favourite dog or child. Any more | Paul Daley

When my favourite dog died, I thought nothing could fill the hole in our lives. Enter Olive, a charismatic charmer and our feisty shadow

Friends and family have been emphatic for years whenever I’ve asked: is it OK to have a favourite child?

“Absolutely not,” is the usual, categorical consensus.

Related: I’ve had dogs for much of my life, but Nari found another league in my heart | Paul Daley

There's a new push for the return of looted Aboriginal artefacts – in the name of 'truth telling' | Paul Daley

Government inaction on stolen sacred cultural material and human remains is a continuing insult to Indigenous peoples

Almost 250 years after James Cook’s arrival paved the way for Indigenous dispossession, federal parliament will debate a call for the return of countless thousands of looted Aboriginal artefacts, many of which remain in the British Museum.

What price spiritual connection? Yolngu seek compensation for cultural destruction

Challenge seeks recompense for loss of culture and income from 50 years of bauxite mining in Arnhem Land and could give rise to many similar claims

Australia’s Indigenous traditional owners will closely observe what promises to be the glacial progress of a quest by a north-east Arnhem Land clan for commonwealth compensation for the loss of culture and income from half a century of bauxite mining.

This Remembrance Day, don't turn away from the dreadful, unpalatable truth | Paul Daley

Better to confront the human cost – the horrible deaths and the scarred survivors – than indulge in sugar-coated commemoration

Every 11 November there is a lot of talk from our politicians about the peril of forgetting – “lest we forget”.

We’ll hear it again today, as our leaders in commemoration speak of the “glorious dead” and “the fallen” – the Australians who “sacrificed” themselves in a “spirit” of Anzac, apparently to guarantee the “freedoms” (contestable, and an issue for another column) we now enjoy.

George Johnston's 'majesties of nature and monstrosities of man' is my Sydney | Paul Daley

Fifty years on, the second book in the Meredith trilogy is an evocation from afar by an author lost among his own people

Fifty years after Clean Straw for Nothing won the prodigal Australian writer George Johnston a second Miles Franklin award, the novel has aged as a rich critique of social change, cultural complacency and the rise of smug nationalism in Menzies-era Australia.

Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial | Paul Daley

The war memorial’s council lacks a professional historian and critics say it’s like a hospital being run by homeopaths not doctors

The appointment of the former prime minister Tony Abbott to the Australian War Memorial council has further distanced the popular institution from the public it supposedly serves and, critics insist, still leaves the board without the critical advice of a professional historian.

Captain Cook's legacy is complex, but whether white Australia likes it or not he is emblematic of violence and oppression | Paul Daley

British and Australian regret over Cook’s treatment of Indigenous people would go a long way to enhancing understanding of the continent’s shared history

The British government has issued an oh-so-carefully worded expression of “regret” for the killing of Māori in Aotearoa, today’s New Zealand, at the point of first contact during Lieutenant James Cook’s “voyage of discovery” 250 years ago.

Why a Hann Highway could be a monument to Indigenous genocide | Paul Daley

History implicates the Hann brothers in terrible frontier violence. No highway should be named in their honour

Frank and William Hann are legends in the annals of North Queensland’s white colonial pastoral and settler history.

About 1862, having originally landed in Victoria from Wiltshire, England, the brothers moved to the Burdekin River district of Queensland, the new frontier of pastoral expansion and violent dispossession of Indigenous landowners.