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Asylum seeker policy shambles

"A Great nation is a compassionate nation" Martin Luther King

The Age has reported that Indonesian officials reported that two boats of asylum seekers were intercepted by Australian naval or Customs vessels in recent days and their 20 passengers put together onto one wooden vessel and pushed back towards Indonesian waters. The asylum boat’s crew reportedly told Indonesian navy investigators that two Australian warships put three extra people on board ...

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UN finds Coleman v Australia case a violation of human rights

Townsville Queensland view over cdb

In 1998 Patrick Coleman made a speech in Townsville’s pedestrian mall without a permit, in breach of a local government by-law. He was fined and subsequently detained by police for 5 days for non-payment of the fine. The UN Human Rights Committee found that his speech was on subjects of public interest (human rights, land rights and mining) and his ...

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L’Arche’s Eileen Glass on inclusiveness

Eileen Glass, International Vice Leader of L'Arche International.

As part of 50th anniversary celebrations, L’Arche Brisbane hosted a jubilee dinner with guest speaker Eileen Glass—the first Australian International Vice Leader of L’Arche International. Her speech is a fascinating exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by diversity. The weakest and most frail are not a burden, she says, they enrich our communities. Eileen begins: One of the significant challenges ...

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A sign for Australia

Rev Rronang Garrawurra is Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC)

In a historic moment in the Uniting Church journey, First and Second Peoples gathered together in front of Parliament House in Canberra, calling for justice and reconciliation. Matt Pulford reports. On 18 March, on the lawns in front of Parliament House in Canberra, around 300 members of the Uniting Church in Australia gathered for an act of public worship. The ...

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UnitingCare is closing the gap

Map of Australia featuring Aborignal flag

While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are living 10-17 years less than other Australians UnitingCare Queensland CEO Anne Cross talked about the commitment of the organisation to engage constructively in actions that help “Close the Gap”. On National Close the Gap Day which focuses on the gap in life expectancy education, incarceration rates, family well-being and health between Aboriginal ...

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A Destiny Together prayer vigil

Rev Elenie Poulos, Rev Rronang Garrawurra, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney and Rev Terence Corkin in front of Parliament House, Canberra.

The Destiny Together prayer vigil took place in front of Parliament House in Canberra yesterday and there are some really wonderful photos already coming from the attendees. We’ll be posting these photos and links to some of the statements made at the event as they become available. We’ll also cover the event in the upcoming edition of Journey, which will be available on ...

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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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We can do better, Tony

Dear Prime Minister, I recently saw the film Philomena and began to wonder whether we, in future years, will be making atonement for our current treatment of refugees. Will people be shocked when they find out what really went on? Will their hearts ache when they find out that these were desperate human beings and not potentially dangerous “illegals”? The ...

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Freddie Steen: Asylum limbo “hell on earth”

Member of the Order of Australia, Freddie Steen is a passionate refugee advocate.

Like a voice crying in the wilderness, Frederika Steen AM won’t be silent about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. Dianne Jensen reports. “I have looked into their faces, I know their names and I have heard their stories of suffering. What else could I do but speak out?” Refugee advocate Frederika (Freddie) Steen doesn’t mince her words when ...

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Confronting Indigenous injustice in the Northern Territory

Rronang Garrawurra and Andrew Dutney

The Intervention has caused controversy since its introduction, and Indigenous Australians are calling for genuine respect and partnership. Rohan Salmond explores. At the Uniting Church in Australia’s 13th Assembly, members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) told their stories about what it is like living under the Stronger Futures legislation in the Northern Territory. The Assembly was ...

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