Author Archives: Mardi Lumsden

Seeking refuge in music

Philip Feinstein with guitars bound for the Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney.

The simple idea of starting a music class in the Villawood Detention Centre, Sydney, has created a vast network of instrument donors for asylum seekers in detention. Mardi Lumsden explores. Sydney-based volunteer music teacher Philip Feinstein established classes inside the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre around two years ago. He has now expanded the Music for Refugees project to include almost ...

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Hope for the Holy Land

Bishop Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, in Brisbane in September

The Holy Land is stitched into the fabric of the Christmas story. Could Mary and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem in today’s conflict-ridden West Bank? Mardi Lumsden explores hopes for peace in Israel and Palestine. From its beginning, Jerusalem has been a city in conflict, and the regions around have been conquered and fought over for centuries. Despite this, people of ...

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Keeping your eye on the tiger

Director: Ang Lee Stars: Suraj Sharma Rated: PG This is a story that will make you believe in God. At least, that is the hope of the fi lm Life of Pi, based on the 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by Canadian author Yann Martel. The story is a feast of imagination that captures the wonders ...

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The Politics of Food

WITH OBESITY and eating disorders on the rise and the apparent abundance of food in Australia it is hard to think that the lack of food (and its production and distribution) in years to come is already shaping the policies of the world’s most powerful governments. And it’s hard to imagine that something as simple as what we eat can ...

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Poverty and the soul

OFTEN WHEN we think of people living in poverty we don’t think of the family or pensioner next door. United Nations statistics that half the world lives on less than $2 a day and that 30 000 children die every day due to poverty are terrifying and can overwhelm us, particularly those of us who have safe housing and three ...

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Church ethics and corruption

THE UNITING Church has always stood for social justice. It’s in our denominational DNA. In the 1880s and 1890s our former denominations rallied – quite literally – against alcohol and prostitution. From fighting for Indigenous land rights in the nineteen sixties, seventies and eighties, and upholding Tony Fitzgerald during his investigation into police corruption, to the fight today to keep ...

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Corruption reopened: Twenty years after Fitzgerald, what have we learned?

“A watershed in the history and culture of Queensland”. That how ethicist and retired Uniting Church minister Rev Dr Noel Preston describes the Fitzgerald Inquiry. The judicial inquiry by Tony Fitzgerald QC found extensive political and police corruption in Queensland, and the Report went to Parliament twenty years ago this month, on 3 July 1989. “Fitzgerald emerged at a pivotal ...

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Issues unaddressed

17-YEAR-OLDS have no place in adult prisons, the Queensland Synod reminded the Queensland Government in May 2007, but still no action has been taken to implement a policy recommended in the landmark Fitzgerald Report twenty years ago this month. UnitingCare Queensland Director Anne Cross, and former Synod Social Justice Advocate Andrew Johnson, told the 2007 Synod that keeping 17-year-olds in ...

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Youth leading change in Zimbabwe

Rassel Chisango is not your average 25-year-old.  He is the Chief Projects Officer and one of the founders of a Zimbabwean not-for-profit organisation the Royal Youth Organisation (RYO) which provides projects that aim to empower the youth of Zimbabwe to meaningfully participate in critical development issues including the Millennium Development Goals. He is also a star of the most popular ...

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Zack Sabella – Is peace a lie?

Christian Palestinian Zack Sabella lives in East Jerusalem. Around him the 21-year old sees the Israeli ‘Separation Wall’ being built higher each day. The wall, which was condemned by the United Nations in 2004, separates Israel from Palestine and in some sections reaches as far as  6 km into Palestinian territory. Mr Sabella grew up separated from Israeli’s until he ...

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