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West Papuan refugees – human rights must be paramount

In response to pressure from Indonesia, the Australian Government has stated that Cabinet will review asylum seeker guidelines. Human rights may become less important than international diplomacy. In January of 2006, 43 asylum seekers from West Papua landed in Cape York, claiming persecution from Indonesian authorities. Of these, 42 have had their claims of human rights abuse substantiated according to ...

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Does the correctional system really correct?

In November 2004 the results of a comprehensive investigation into prison release practice and policy in Queensland was released. Given that 99.9% of prisoners in the Queensland prisons will one day return to life on the “outside”, the INCorrections study initiated by the UnitingCare Queensland Centre for Social Justice focused on the impact of the correctional system on community safety. ...

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Mackay churches mourn Rev Tony Paynter’s sudden death

A memorial service will be held in Mackay this Wednesday for Rev Tony Paynter who died suddenly last Wednesday of a suspected heart attack. Mr Paynter had been minister of St Pauls and Armitage Uniting Church congregations and is survived by his wife Beth, four children and six grandchildren. He was 69. His wife reported that Mr Paynter had been ...

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Prison policy: have we got it wrong?

It’s not only the total number of residents that’s exploding in sunny Queensland, the prison population is booming too, but the nagging question remains as to whether there is more to prison than punishment and whether this is the best way to keep the community safe in the long-term. Global trends are moving towards “decarceration” as the most effective mechanism ...

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Uniting Church comes through after Cyclone Larry

North Queensland Presbytery Minister Rev Bruce Cornish reports that while there has been significant damage to property and crops in the area between Cairns and Tully and up on to the Atherton Tablelands, no major damage to Uniting Church buildings and ministers and their families are safe and well.. There has been the most damage between about Fishery Falls in ...

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Finding peace in politics

Brad Chapman is a self-professed high school dropout. The 22 year-old left school as a young entrepreneur to run his own mortgage broking company on the Gold Coast. Here is a young Christian who is exploring the world where religion meets politics. As a teenager, Mr Chapman became interested in both Christianity and politics. Now he finds himself actively participating ...

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Cyclone Larry: a message from the Moderator

My brothers and sisters in Christ, In the aftermath of Cyclone Larry, I feel it is important to communicate with our people regarding the situation in North Queensland. You will be well aware through extensive media reports that the cyclone has caused widespread devastation of property and crops. I have this morning spoken with Glen Loutitt, our minister in Innisfail, ...

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Amazed by School Packs response

As the School Packs for the Solomons project gains momentum, the goal of filling 800-1000 backpacks is drawing close.  “We have been overwhelmed by the response,” said project coordinator Heather den Houting. “This project appears to have touched a nerve in the church and community, and people are responding above and beyond all expectations. “The stories we are hearing about ...

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Vision for Mission Advocate sees a future for the church

Rev Duncan Macleod has been appointed to the new Vision for Mission Advocate position by the Queensland Synod. Synod Secretary Rev Jenny Tymms said the appointment of a Vision for Mission Advocate is part of the Synod’s strategy to seed new mission ventures which will build intentional relationships with people of the wider community. “We are looking to establish new ...

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Should God get a vote?

With family values, abortion and intelligent design firmly on the political agenda the Australian community is reassessing the role of religion in Australia’s political life. While conventional wisdom was never to mix faith and politics, both the Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer have participated in media saturated attendances at the Hillsong Church in Sydney, and the Family First party with ...

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