What’s coming up
Human Rights Day
On December 10, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity! The universal declaration remains a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights to which everyone as a human being is inherently entitled—regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The United Nations has published an excellent online book illustrating each of the 30 articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a simple and colourful manner. Each article and its illustration would make an effective poster to display in turn between now and 10 December.
Week in review
Human rights bill for Queensland introduced
In a significant move last week, the Queensland Government introduced Queensland’s Human Rights Act into Parliament. The Bill will require government departments, agencies and public entities to make decisions and act in a way that is consistent with human rights. A period of public consultation will occur in the coming months.
Welcome words on Newstart
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has welcomed the Leader of the Opposition’s acknowledgement that the rate of Newstart is too low, calling on both the major parties to commit to raising the rate.
“We welcome Mr Shorten’s acknowledgement of what has been clear to the community, unions, business and experts for a long time—that $39 a day is not enough to cover the basics of life. We need more than a review,” said ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie.
“We don’t need a review to know that Newstart is trapping people in poverty. We need a clear commitment to immediately increase the single rate of Newstart by at least $75 a week.”
Housing affordability and homelessness
Homelessness is an urgent and growing problem which currently as an end-point gets significant attention. To properly address homelessness, however, problems throughout our communities that push people into housing insecurity need to be identified and addressed. Non‐profits, government, businesses, and residents of Australia all have influence over the housing system that affects the accessibility, affordability, safety and appropriateness of housing. Therefore, we all have a role to play to address homelessness. This new report assembles the evidence about the lived experience of homelessness and housing affordability and sets the foundation for broader engagement with stakeholders.
Early years to 18 mental health
The Federal Government has committed $100 million to fund mental health programs in Australian schools. This will help teachers in over 6,000 schools to identify students who are struggling. Be You is a Beyond Blue program promoting mental health and wellbeing and offering evidence-based online professional learning for educators and learning communities. There is a range of complementary tools and resources to turn learning into action.
The value of a shared meal
The Welcome Dinner Project connects newly arrived people with established Australians over dinner conversation in the comfort of a home. It is a powerful way to build trust, belonging and connection between people and break through cultural, social and other barriers as we share food and stories. Are you new to Australia, established here, willing to host a dinner or to be trained as a facilitator? Visit the website to sign up or find out more.
It’s time to cash in your containers
Queenslanders use close to three billion drink containers every year. The new scheme known as Containers for Change aims to reduce the number of drink containers that are littered and increase Queensland’s recycling rate. It is now time to save up your eligible containers and get your refunds. Or, you can direct the refunds to a registered group. Look here to find out where the collection points are.
Did you know that there is funding for small scale infrastructure projects to help your community group or church set up a donation point to collect containers?