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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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Pokies legislation a win for Australian communities

THE Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce welcomed the support of the Australian Greens for the Australian Government's historic gambling reform legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday 1 November. Taskforce Chair Rev Tim Costello said the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 is a solid platform for further reform. "The federal government–funded National Gambling Research Commission, negotiated by the Greens, ...

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Cycling for a Cause

MANY different faith communities left the car at home last week to walk, ride and even skateboard to worship. Ride to Worship Week is an initiative by multi-faith organisation Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) which was held last week across all states. In rural communities some biked kilometres up to 12 kms from home to worship. Many had ...

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Singing from the heart of worship

"IF you are a fancy worship leader you are getting in the way," was the message of South Australian minister Rev Deane Meatheringham to the annual conference of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations (ACC). Held from 13 to 15 September in the Adelaide Hills, the 2012 gathering with the theme "The Heart of Worship" brought members and interested people together ...

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Working towards wellbeing

ONE person in four will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Church communities have a unique role to play in Mental Health Week, 7 to 13 October, explains Jane Frazer Cosgrove, a facilitator with the Nouwen Network, a grassroots support group that seeks to raise awareness in faith communities about mental illness. "This year's Queensland theme for ...

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