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Indigenous Australia

Community torn over Kimba nuclear plan
On Saturday 19 August in Port Adelaide, two modern beleaguered groups, one Aboriginal, one non-Aboriginal, shared their current experiences in striving to protect their own lands and ways of life. Their struggle is with the federal government and with the nuclear industry. In contrast to the Gurindji struggle however, these communities are being torn apart amid enticements and pressures, writes Michele Madigan for Eureka Street.

Award winner Cassar-Daley calls for treaty
Australian country music star Troy Cassar-Daley has called for an Aboriginal treaty after taking out top honours at the National Indigenous Music Awards.

See also Eminent Australians call for an end to the NT intervention

Aboriginal healing that starts with deep quiet listening
From the tiny community of Nauiyu, south of Darwin, Miriam Rose Baumann is preparing to meet her next group of interstate visitors.
"It's not a tour where you have to pack your bags and get ready to jump on a bus that's going to be leaving at 6:00am in the morning, to take you to places and be there at certain times to do things," Ms Baumann said.

‘White fella’ draws up treaty with traditional owners for his land
A non-Indigenous family in New South Wales has voluntarily signed over its land to the traditional owners in a unique treaty.

Not hunter-gatherers: Bruce Pascoe on story-telling, history and cultural pride
I think it’s going to be great for Australia. Aboriginal people have always had a story to tell and have always been storytellers and artists and singers and dancers and we’ve just brought this into the general Australian culture and non-Aboriginal Australians enjoy it and are starting to embrace it. I’m hoping that this is the start of a better conversation, says writer Bruce Pascoe after winning the Premier’s award.


Coalition’s Finkel response won’t rule out new power stations – PM
Malcolm Turnbull has signalled the government’s eventual response to the Finkel review will not create any barriers to building new coal-fired power stations, as he secured additional undertakings from energy retailers to be more transparent with customers.

Refugees and asylum seekers

Income support cut for asylum seekers
The Australian Government this week announced that it would cut income support for people seeking asylum, affecting many people who have been transferred to Australia for medical reasons from offshore detention in Nauru and Manus Island.

How our nation killed Hamed: a former social worker speaks out
Alice Krupa worked on Manus Island in 2015-2016. She met Hamed Shamshiripour, a man who died [6 August 2017] after enduring four years of engineered cruelty at the hands of the Australian Government, and Papua New Guinean authorities. Here, she reveals details about life on Manus, and the daily outrages forced on detainees.


Musicians – the canaries in the coal mine
To get a good idea of where employment practices are headed, a good place to start is the music industry. Musicians have been the canary in the coalmine. The gradual removal of their work place rights, and even basic remuneration, points to what happens when there are no effective constraints on employers’ behaviour. Instead, they are being offered ‘exposure’—and, as one muso quips, ‘you can die of exposure’, writes Terry Noone for Eureka Street.

The Political Community

Timor-Leste delays reopening of Parliament
Timor-Leste, Asia's most Catholic country, has postponed naming a new government and the first sitting of parliament since the July general election until former prime minister and opposition leader Xanana Gusmao returns from boundary negotiations in The Hague.

Hundreds arrested at Papua protest
Many injured in clashes in several cities as protesters mark anniversary of agreement that gave green light to annexation
Despite its rich resources, Papua is among the poorest regions in Indonesia and shootings of civilians are very common, activists say.
According to the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, there have been 16 shootings in Papua since August last year — none of the perpetrators have been caught. The latest was on August 1 in which one person was killed and seven injured.

The terror next time: Daesh is not ending
Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, has been reduced to rubble. It has been finally conquered, snatched back from the notorious group, Daesh (known also as Islamic State or ISIS or IS), after months of merciless bombardment by the US-led war coalition, and a massive ground war.
But 'victory' can hardly be the term assigned to this moment, writes Middle East writer Ramzy Baroud.

Online course teaching Sydney's Indigenous history and culture to anyone, anywhere
For 25-year-old Drew Rooke, school education on Indigenous Australia left him wanting … So Mr Rooke enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) run by the University of Sydney called Cultural Competency: Aboriginal Sydney.

Can plastic save the planet?
The world’s 40 million kilometres of roads use thousands of barrels of oil to make the bitumen that binds the various components together to make a road. An engineer in Scotland is trialling waste plastic instead of bitumen.

Helping farmers improve their livelihood
This video by the Poverty-Environment Initiative looks at efforts in Myanmar to work with small-holder farmers and help them with tools to promote more efficient farming, which in turn improves their livelihood.
Watch here  

Charity and justice – either side of a coin
This short video explains the difference between charity and justice and why society needs both.
Watch here  

Prayer for our earth
…from Laudato Si’  

Getting to know Catholic Social Teaching
For many years people have said that Catholic Social Teaching is our best kept secret, but I don’t think this is true anymore, writes Sandie Cornish.  

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Major International Catholic Social Teaching Documents

Key Principles

Human Dignity
Each person, made in the image and likeness of God, has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights.

The Common Good
We are called to work for conditions which ensure that every person and group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their potential.

The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role.

We can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Solidarity encourages us to commit ourselves to the common good.