Editor's note

The idea of giving a pet as a Christmas present used to be frowned upon. But as Bronwyn Orr and Mark Westman write the advice has changed, with animal welfare groups now supporting the idea of adopting a pet from a shelter as a Christmas gift. With an estimated 175,000 dogs and cats in shelters in Australia put down each year, it’s hoped that gifting an unwanted pet to a new home could help reduce that number.

Michael Lund

Deputy Editor: Science + Technology

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Beagle X puppies adopted from RSPCA ACT in 2017. Alison Maddalena/RSPCA ACT

Yes, you can adopt a pet as a Christmas gift – so long as you do it correctly

Bronwyn Orr, University of Sydney; Mark Westman, University of Sydney

Around 175,000 dogs and cats in Australian animal shelters are put down each year. But you can gift a pet a new home this Christmas, with the support of animal welfare groups.

Single parents have been made worse off by the Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull governments. It’s time to take stock. Shutterstck

It’s not just Newstart. Single parents are $271 per fortnight worse off. Labor needs an overarching welfare review

Peter Whiteford, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Ben Phillips, Australian National University; Bruce Bradbury, UNSW; David Stanton, Australian National University; Matthew Gray, Australian National University; Miranda Stewart, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

Fixing Newstart isn't enough. We need a comprehensive inquiry into our complex and bewildering social security system, especially as it applies to single parents.

Tight finances are the main reason more older Australians, especially women, are living in share houses. belushi/Shutterstock

Generation Share: why more older Australians are living in share houses

Sophia Maalsen, University of Sydney

While share houses are more a matter of financial necessity than choice, many older Australians are discovering it has unexpected social benefits for them.

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