Whats coming up
Human Rights month
There’s still time to learn more about the importance of protecting and promoting human rights this Human Rights Month—finishing on 10 December. The Queensland Human Rights Commission has resources available to help. As of 1 January 2020, Queensland will have the strongest legislated human rights protections in Australia when the second stage of the Act comes into effect. Spend the coming weeks preparing for the Act. Check out the 2019 Speaker Series or download a poster here.
Carols for the Earth
On Friday 6 December from 12.30–1.30pm, Queensland’s Australian Religious Response to Climate Change invite you to join people of faith and the wonderful Riff Raff Radical Marching Band Brisbane and sing the kind of carols that make the earth sing with joy at the thought of humans choosing renewable energy over harmful fossil fuels! The gathering will occur at 145 Ann Street, Brisbane.
The week in review
Are you ready for Queensland’s Human Rights Act?
The second part of this legislation takes effect on 1 January 2020 and the Queensland Human Rights Commission wants to be sure everyone is ready. Resources for public entities are available to download, including posters of the Act (a guide only) and how to act compatibly with human rights, as well as a public entity toolkit and various fact sheets.
Aboriginal men enter conversation on domestic violence in remote communities
A ground-breaking men’s group in central Australia is coming together to prevent family violence and talk and support young men’s wellbeing in remote communities. Read more about this powerful and important initiative.
Domestic violence has direct impact on children’s IQ
New research from Manchester University has found that children of women who report domestic violence in pregnancy, or during the first six years of the child’s life, are almost 50 per cent more likely to have a low IQ at eight years of age. Repeated exposure of the mother to physical violence raised the chance of a low IQ to nearly 35 per cent. Children whose mothers had not experienced domestic violence had a 13 per cent chance of an IQ below 90. Interesting research indeed.
Eco-anxiety: climate change and mental health
Anxiety relating to stress or distress caused by environmental changes and our knowledge of them, can be so intense that a person can be paralysed and unable to act. Mental health workers can provide support for developing active coping skills and promote hope and social connectedness as climate change adaptation strategies. Read more here.
A church of radical welcome
What does it look like in practice to be an intercultural and intergenerational church? A church where people of different cultures and ages living out their faith as God’s people together? The South Moreton Presbytery recently held a three-day workshop aimed to resource leaders to better understand what it means to be a multicultural church.
Welcoming Pacific seasonal workers
ABC radio presenter Tahlea Aualiitia spoke to Uniting Church Tongan Minister Reverend Loni Vaitohi about the work he does in Shepparton, welcoming seasonal workers from the Pacific and helping them out when they need assistance. He is passionate about social justice issues and loves meeting people. Listen to this 8-minute extract from the On Pacific Mornings show.
Renting on Newstart? Think again
The latest Rental Affordability Index finds renting is particularly dire for Newstart recipients and pensioners. PRObono Australia reports that a single person on Newstart would spend at least 47 per cent of their income on rent, up to at least 77 per cent in capital cities. This kind of rental stress causes dangerous flow-on effects eg going without food, health care etc. Increasing the affordable housing supply would seem to be one answer. National Shelter suggest you contact your local MP and make sure they know about the index, and how bad rental affordability is.
Starved of opportunity
The National Union of Students, Young and the Australian Council of Social Service conducted a survey of 862 young people aged 16–31 who receive Youth Allowance (75.2 per cent), Newstart (19.4 per cent) or some other allowance payment (eg Austudy, Abstudy).
The answers they gave to how they manage financially and the impacts this has on their lives are stunning. Some examples: after paying rent, 62 per cent have less than $15 per day to live on; more than nine in ten skip meals; 90 per cent say the low rate affects their mental health. The report is well worth a careful read. Then support the national call to increase these allowances and payments.
Call to action
Alternative Christmas shopping
JourneyOnline’s recent article lists some Christmas gift ideas that will help the community both here and abroad. A Rocha is an international Christian organisation promoting Conservation and Hope. They conduct projects in parts of Europe, the Middle east, Africa, North America and Australasia. They offer a gift catalogue—Gifts with a Difference. Something meaningful! Something that brings hope for the recipient and the planet! Here’s an ethical Christmas gift guide—63 places to shop for sustainable giving.
Target Christmas Appeal
The annual Target Christmas Appeal is underway and given the current bushfire and drought situations, the funds are needed now more than ever before. To meet the high demand for emergency relief at the moment, UnitingCare Australia are seeking support in promoting the Appeal through the purchase of the $1 bauble available in every Target store or donations online. All donations go directly to those in need throughout this Christmas period.
A-Z of tips for a green Christmas
Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of excess if you follow a few simple steps. Find out how you can enjoy the festive season without costing the earth.