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Prayers for those in bushfire emergencies

THE President of the Uniting Church in Australia Rev Professor Andrew Dutney has extended prayers for those experiencing hardship and loss in bushfires across the country. "Our prayers and condolences go out for those who have lost homes, including several Uniting Aged care staff in Tasmania," said Rev Prof. Dutney. "We mourn your losses with you and share your grief ...

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Christmas Bowl helps refugees head home safely

KAMALA and her husband fled war-torn Sri Lanka with nothing but the clothes on their backs. After five years in a refugee camp in Tamil Nadu, southern India, during which their daughter was born, they have returned home. Support from churches around Australia for the Christmas Bowl has helped this family and many like them to survive, and is assisting ...

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Valuing all Australians

IN which country can a child expect to wait more than two years for a wheelchair? Australia. As Australia moves towards developing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), UnitingCare Community is urging advocates to find the courage to question the assumptions that underpin the NDIS as a reform. Valmae Rose, UnitingCare Community NDIS readiness project manager, says people should ask ...

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Treatment of asylum seekers hits all-time low as public debate sinks even lower

THE Uniting Church in Australia has condemned the Federal Government for the disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru outlined in today's report by Amnesty International. "Amnesty's report on the conditions on Nauru should turn the stomach of all compassionate Australians," said National Director of UnitingJustice, Rev. Elenie Poulos. "The cruel and degrading conditions which Amnesty describes are totally unacceptable ...

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Wellbeing joins the bottom line

AUSTRALIA'S progress can't just be measured in dollars says UnitingJustice Australia Director Rev Elenie Poulos. Participation, progress and better public policy are important long-term goals of the Australian National Development Index (ANDI), a collaboration of 40 leading community organisations, church groups (including the Uniting Church), businesses and universities to develop a national wellbeing index. Journey asked Ms Poulos how ANDI ...

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Budget cuts will bite

THE Queensland State Budget delivered on 11 September announced funding cuts to the community services sector. Community service providers and unions say Queenslanders should expect widespread effects as programs providing vital services in health, education, tenancy advice, job placement and training, and youth and family support are cut or have their funding reduced. CEO of UnitingCare Queensland Anne Cross commented ...

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Reviewing taxi subsidies: what will it mean?

LAURETTE and Barry McLaren, members of the Emmanuel Uniting Church congregation at Enoggera, Brisbane, have relied on taxis to go about their daily lives for many years. Mrs McLaren has cerebral palsy and Mr McLaren has frequent seizures. They can't go anywhere without taxis. The Queensland Government is reviewing the Taxi Subsidy Scheme and other funded transport schemes. The initial ...

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Detained refugees thrown a lifeline

PRESSURE from refugee advocates and churches including the Uniting Church in Australia has contributed to the Australian Government setting up a review process for refugees who wish to contest adverse Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) findings. The Uniting Church Assembly issued a press release on 5 October calling for the government to address the issue. Uniting Church President Rev Dr ...

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New voice speaks up

CONSERVATIVE Christian lobby groups no longer have the only public Christian perspective on political and social issues in Australia. Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, launched A Progressive Christian Voice (APCV) in August not just to put an alternative ecumenical Christian voice into the public space but also to counter Sydney centrism. "We've got membership nationally," ...

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Labor should be ashamed of push to change migration zone

UNITINGJustice Australia, the justice policy and advocacy unit of the Uniting Church in Australia, is dismayed at reports that the federal Labor caucus is moving to include the Australian mainland in the Migration Act excision zone. Rev Elenie Poulos, the National Director of UnitingJustice, expressed extreme disappointment in the enactment of this recommendation of the Houston Panel Report. "This is ...

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