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Final call for entries: the 60th Blake Prize

Entries close Friday 24 June Artists have less than a week to submit their entries for this year’s Blake Prize, which in 2011 celebrates its 60th anniversary. The Blake Prize is one of Australia’s longest standing and most highly sought after art prizes. The Prize has been awarded since 1951 to a work that addresses a subject of religious or ...

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The Robin Hood Tax

Some of the nation’s best known charities, trade unions, academics and environmental groups have called on the federal Government to support a ‘Robin Hood tax’ in an open letter to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. The 0.05 per cent levy on financial transactions would generate billions of dollars to invest in anti-poverty and climate change programs globally. The levy has ...

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Refugee protection needs ignored in rush to ‘stop the boats’

On 6 June 2011, The Uniting Church in Australia became a signatory to the following statement: The Australian debate about asylum policy has now degenerated to the point where the central argument seems to be about which inhumane policy will cause the least suffering. Neither indefinite detention in the Pacific nor sending asylum seekers to uncertainty in Malaysia can be ...

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Rain doesn’t dampen spirits

Twenty thousand people including volunteers, organisers and guests were evacuated from Easterfest when Queens Park flooded on Easter Saturday evening. The evacuation followed after the main tent partially collapsed during a torrential downfall. Easterfest CEO Isaac Moody said he is appreciative of the “amazing crew and volunteers” during this unexpected event. “These situations are never easy. It was pouring rain ...

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Uniting Church shocked at people swapping plans

The Uniting Church in Australia has today written to all Federal Labor parliamentarians, expressing its shock at the cruel and punitive plan to ‘swap’ refugees with Malaysia. The Church’s National Director for justice, Rev. Elenie Poulos, said, “It is one of the truly low points in Australian politics that a Government has made a deal to trade people like commodities. ...

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Uniting Church objects to plans to re-open Manus

The Uniting Church in Australia is dismayed at reports that the Government is planning to re-open the detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, Uniting Church President, Rev. Alistair Macrae, said. “We are extremely concerned that the Government is proposing a ‘Pacific Solution Take Two’ that will shift Australia’s burden of caring for a relatively small number of asylum ...

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Top award for former president

FORMER UNITING Church president and one of the world’s leading scholars and promoters of interfaith dialogue, Rev Professor James Haire AM KSJ, was awarded Australian Catholic University’s highest honour, Doctor of the University, in Sydney on 5 April. He received the award in recognition of his service to the community, particularly through his contributions to interfaith dialogue. Originally from Belfast, ...

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Gambling Industry Opposes Safety Measure

THE AUSTRALIAN Churches Gambling Taskforce said today that mandatory pre commitment technology on all poker machines will limit the economic and social impact of problem gambling on individuals, families and communities by helping problem gamblers help themselves. Taskforce chair, Rev Tim Costello made the comments ahead of the launch of what promises to be an aggressive, well funded campaign by the ...

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Surveying the lives of churches

ONCE AGAIN Uniting Churches all over the country are getting ready for the 2011 National Church Life Survey – for which each denomination will be allocated a survey month from September to November. The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) is a tool that provides churches with evidence based insight to equip them for ministry and mission. It has helped participating ...

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Churches launch national gambling taskforce

AUSTRALIA’S MAJOR churches met at a national forum in Canberra on 22 March to launch the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce amid calls for urgent action on gambling reform. Senior representatives from the Uniting, Catholic, Baptist and Anglican churches and The Salvation Army attended along with senior representatives from the church-based social services peak bodies. Existing gambling taskforces were also represented. ...

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