What’s coming up
“Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future”
That’s this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, reflecting three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement, “From the Heart”. Learn more about the theme. We are invited to walk in a movement for a better future.
This year’s beautiful poster reads, “Early dawn light rises over Uluru, symbolising our continued spiritual and unbroken connection to the land. Our message, developed through generations, is echoed throughout the land: hear our voice and recognise our truth.”
Read about the artist, Charmaine Mumbulla and the meaning of her artwork “Awaken”.
Events are being held in many locations across the state.
Plastic Free July is nearly here!
Joins millions of people across the world to reduce your plastic waste. Be part of the solution to plastic pollution—so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities. Be part of Plastic Free July by taking the challenge to choose to refuse single-use plastics.
Resources such as posters and videos are available online.
Week in review
“Unlike any other democracy”
The Australian Human Rights Commission has said that the Australian onshore immigration detention system is becoming “more and more like prison” and unlike similar operations in any other liberal democracy. The commission’s latest report also noted that people are now being held for an average of about 500 days, and that restraints are increasingly used. Read more …
Kaldor principles for refugee policy
Set out in a comprehensive paper as well as in a summary with Key Priorities, the Kaldor Centre Principles are grounded in evidence and informed by good practices, providing real-world examples of how a more humane, sustainable and manageable approach can benefit both refugees and the nation.
When Australians talk about people seeking asylum, the discussion tends to be “emotional and often not very thought through”, but the Kaldor Centre Principles for Australian Refugee Policy challenge us to change that debate, said UNSW Chancellor David Gonski AC as he launched the evidence-based policy agenda recently.
The Uniting Church has long been vocal about improving policy for people seeking asylum. Check out what the church says and compare the two.
What will Australia be like…
Economically, socially and environmentally in 2060? This is exactly the question the 2019 Australian National Outlook has investigated. This project was initiated in 2015 and was CSIRO’s first attempt to understand and analyse the connections in Australia’s physical economy many decades into the future. This new 2019 report signals a “Slow Decline” for Australia if no action is taken on the most significant challenges. But, if the challenges are tackled head on, we can look forward to a positive “Outlook Vision”. Are you concerned about opportunities for future generations? Take a look at this interesting report. UnitingCare Australia was a participant.
Our response to the “groaning of creation”
The Good Samaritan Sisters committed to ecological conversion a year ago. This article reflects on some of the challenges and the sisters’ initiatives to respond to the global environmental crisis.
“The whole creation has been groaning,” wrote Apostle Paul some 2000 years ago. This generation hears and feels that “groaning” in a new way. Read more …
Women and homelessness
Women are the hidden victims of homelessness, but it isn’t just a case of sleeping rough. This may happen with the loss of a partner through divorce or death, the gender pay gap and a lack of financial skills contributing to the problem. Older women are less likely to be sleeping on the streets. They may be in cars, or couch surfing with friends and family, or even house-sitting. This ABC News article includes in interactive map of homelessness by suburb in Australia. It is certainly eye-opening to see just how many people are without stable long-term housing. Check it out.
Mental health in rural and remote areas
In this NSW Country Hour audio presentation (12 minutes), Professor Ian Webster says that rural and remote communities are doing a lot of good work keeping an eye on locals with mental health problems. He speaks of the power of the great phrase “R U OK?” in breaking down the isolation so many experience in tough times. Communities getting together in a variety of ways can be very helpful—such as forming groups, having BBQs, providing practical support to families via their deliberate networks of relationships. Worth a listen.
Call to action
End gambling sponsorship in the AFL
The AFL has a $50 million gambling sponsorship with BetEasy, which is due for renewal. Gambling harm is pervasive in the AFL, with a recent report suggesting more than 120 players and coaches experience chronic levels of gambling harm. Some have lost more than $1 million!
The AFL needs to do more to look after players and the community, particularly our children, who are exposed to harmful gambling messages at each game. It is plastered across our TV screens, newsfeeds and stadiums.
The Uniting Church recognises the harm gambling can causes to individuals, families and the whole community. Add your voice to ask the AFL Chairman to end all gambling sponsorships in the AFL.