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An aboriginal flag hangs next to an Australian flag in front of a blackboard. A reconciliation concept is shown in the image.

Social responsibility review – 16 May

What’s coming up

National Reconciliation Week

This year from 27 May until 3 June, learn more about Indigenous culture and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a Church and a nation during National Reconciliation Week.  “Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. The Uniting Church in Australia has a Covenant relationship with its Indigenous members. The Queensland synod recognises this week as a priority for prayer and action. What does this mean for your congregation? National Assembly has released resources to help you. Other prayers for this week are available here.

Reconciliation Australia also has some helpful general resources and events around the state; or you can register your own.

Where do we go from here?

Displacement and relocation challenges of climate change for communities in the Pacific Islands region: a three day event in Brisbane 25-27 May.

We hear a lot about the impacts of human-induced climate change – some focusing on Small Island Developing States including those in the Pacific region; whole communities have already had to face the challenge of moving to safer locations and adapting to lifestyle changes. Australia needs to review its role and responsibility. The event consists of two one-day forums, an evening Pasifika youth event and an ecumenical church service, with an impressive range of speakers and topics to be covered. The National Assembly will be considering this proposal regarding these issues in July.

Week in review

All the lonely people…

Renowned Queensland journalist Frances Whiting writes about the affliction touching so many people around the world. Is Australia the lonely country? She focuses on people generally, the shut-in, carers and lists some tools to stay strong.  

“Does Australia need a Minister for Loneliness?”: Lifeline Research Foundation executive director Alan Woodward is considering the question.

“I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but we certainly do have an increasing problem, and we definitely need to look out for our neighbours much more than what we do.”

Time for a true contest about Australian Aid

Andrew Johnson reflects that “last week’s budget confirms once again the ongoing and seemingly inevitable decline of Australia’s aid program to the backwater of Australian budget policy.” The last couple of years have seen devastating cuts to the program. Although there wasn’t an actual cut to the budget this year – which we certainly fought against – there is no increase in line with inflation.

So, really, effectively it is a cut. We need to understand what this aid money does, how much it actually is, what can be achieved in developing nations and what won’t happen now. We need to contact our politicians about why this is important. By showing them that it matters to us, maybe there’ll be the political will to do something about it.

Quiz: how much do you know about surviving on Newstart?

Last week Liberal MP Julia Banks said she could survive on $40 per day. Take this quiz to find out if you think it is feasible.

The choirmaster

This week’s Australian Story focuses on a charismatic choirmaster who took a group of women from Central Australia to Germany on an unlikely and remarkable road trip. 

German missionaries brought their hymns to Central Australia 140 years ago and translated them into local languages.

The Central Australian Aboriginal women in Morris Stuart’s choir sing in language and take these hymns back to audiences in Germany. This is a remarkable tale, and includes excerpts from the new documentary The Song Keepers.

Call to action

Do something about it

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. The Queensland Government invites your community to get engaged in preventing violence and supporting those affected. There are lots of events happening around Queensland – or you can organise your own – perhaps an awareness raising event or a community activity? In association with UnitingCare Community, the Eidsvold Rugby League Club is taking a stand.

As an individual, the Government’s Bystander campaign has information and advice on when and what to do if you are concerned about someone.

Griffith Uni has a Mate Bystander Program for young people in preventing violence and harmful behaviour.

Help urgently needed

Romero Centre supports people seeking asylum who have lost their government support – well over 100 families.

Their free pantry is in urgent need of a top up: coconut milk/cream, flour, honey, jam, coffee, cooking oil, olive oil, basmati rice, tea bags, chickpeas, nappies – 5kg, 6-11kg and 16-12 kg, washing powder, dishwashing liquid or shopping vouchers from Coles, Woolworths or Target. If you can support, please drop items to the Centre at 20 Dutton Street, Dutton Park or phone 3013 0100.

This is a great opportunity for congregations and neighbours to be involved by organising a collection.



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