In October 2001, at the start of an Australian election campaign, people were shocked by claims that refugees arriving in Australia by boat were so desperate for asylum that, when confronted, they threw their children overboard, presumably to make their plight more explicit. These claims were false. Ten years later we need to remember how damaging these reports were. We need to make sure we do not fall into that trap again. Our two editorials address this topic. Jon Jureidini and Julian Burnside argue that we are mistreating refugees, many of them are children. Jeanne Daly and Gavin Mooney reflect on some other 2011 anniversaries to argue that we should learn from the past. Their list includes the events of 11 September 2001. Following the editorials is a section, edited by Gavin Mooney, that gives us a range of international views on 9/11, ten years on.
Then we return to important local issues starting with Food and Drink. Julie Henderson and colleagues report that farmers are a more trusted source of information on food than the media, or politicians. Young people are especially distrustful of the media, a finding that may be relevant to the work of Catriona Bonfiglioli and colleagues who show that media reports of sweet, non-alcoholic drinks emphasise how healthy they are, especially if fruit is a constituent.
The section on Indigenous Health starts with a study by Kaarin Anstey and colleagues that analyses Australian longitudinal studies of ageing and shows that we lack information on the experience of older Indigenous Australians. Where we do have evidence, for example from the NSW Midwives Data Collection, the plight of young pregnant Aboriginal women is evident, argue Aaron P. Thrift and colleagues, especially with regard to smoking. Sandra Campbell and colleagues similarly show that high rates of sexually transmitted disease together with risky drinking predict miscarriage in young Indigenous women.
Under Injury, reflecting some of the concerns of the previous section, Pauline J. Gulliver and New Zealand colleagues show just how difficult it is to adjust existing datasets to get a more reliable estimate of Maori ethnicity in order to link it to injury. There is the promise of good news in the next article. Sandar Tin Tin and colleagues show that bicycle riding becomes safer the more we ride our bicycles.
The risk from using Tobacco is a constant theme. Nick Wilson and colleagues report that smokers see menthol cigarettes as safer than they are. Is it time to ban menthol as an additive? Smokers often want to quit smoking, but they need help to do so and Jae Cooper and colleagues argue that we should expand the services available to them.
Under Chronic Illnesses Anthony Hogan and co-authors demonstrate that hearing loss in children puts them at risk of mental health disorders. Andrew Armstrong and colleagues report that some people with common chronic illnesses also use complementary and alternative medicines, with the risk of interactions with prescribed pharmaceuticals.
In Letters to the Editor, there are important short reports. We also recommend the book reviews, which are especially relevant to people teaching public health.