What’s Coming up
National Reconciliation Week
This is an important annual event 27 May to 3 June for all who call Australia home. It begins with the anniversary of the successful 1967 Referendum and finishes with the High Court Mabo land rights decision. This year’s theme is “Grounded in Truth: Walk Together in Courage”. Find events near you. Resources are available from Reconciliation Australia, scroll down this page. Sign up to Common Grace’s daily blog posts and prayers.
Backtrack Boys screening – ANTaR
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) are holding a movie benefit night for their education, policy and advocacy work on Sunday 2 June at 5.30pm at All Hallows Theatre, Dodge Lane, Fortitude Valley. This is a powerful documentary concerning youth justice reform in a community in the Armidale district. Special guest will be Mick Gooda, Gangulu man and respected leader among First Australians. Online bookings are essential. (Language warning)
The greatest environmental challenge
Climate Week—the first for Queensland—will run from 2–8 June. We are invited to participate in a week of arts, music and panel discussions, or to organise events to raise awareness about climate action and inspire action. The whole community needs to unite to take urgent action on climate change. Leadership is needed at every level. The National Assembly has been clear about the church’s role in advocating and taking action to counter climate change. Here’s a prayer you might find useful in Climate Week. How can you and your community get involved?
Week in review
A glimpse of Heaven on earth
Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche movement, has died aged 90. In 1964 Jean, a Canadian naval veteran, invited two men living with intellectual disability, Raphael and Philippe, to leave their institutions and join him in his home in Trosly-Breuil, France. It was a simple act, but with power to change the world. Vanier recalled: “Essentially, they wanted a friend. They were not interested in my knowledge or my ability to do things, but rather they needed my heart and my being”. This was a radical experiment in humanity which has much to say about the value of human life, how we live and how we do faith community. We all have much to learn from this deeply spiritual man and his way of welcome and hospitality.
World’s first zero-waste flight
Qantas has successfully flown the first waste-free commercial flight, using food containers made from biodegradable sugarcane pulp and fully compostable paper cups, napkins and cutlery. Typical flights send 344kg of waste to landfill, but these biodegradable items will be turned into compost and distributed to farms nationwide. Environmentally friendly packaging company BioPak was behind the compostable products. Consider using BioPak products in your church or community.
Call to action
Our Islands, Our Home
Climate change is putting life on the islands of the Torres Strait at risk. The Islanders are bringing the first climate change litigation against the Australian government based on human rights, to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. This is the first case of its kind in the world. The case argues that international human rights law means Australia must increase its emission reduction target to at least 65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Sign the petition to call on the Prime Minister to commit the Australian government to protecting Torres Strait Islanders on the climate frontline.
Help shape the national disability strategy beyond 2020
Australian governments are asking people to help shape the future of Australian disability policy for 2020 and beyond. Ten years ago the launch of the first National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 paved the way for how governments could help improve the lives of people with disability.
The strategy will end in 2020 and all Australian governments are working together to develop a new strategy for beyond 2020 and they encourage people with disability, their families and carers to have their say on the priorities and actions of the next strategy. Consultation is still open by public survey and online forums.