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Indigenous Australia

Not so level playing field Freeman vs Goodes
Adam Goodes' latest brush with 'national controversy' tells us more about our love of bigotry than our passion for sport. Chris Graham writes for New Matilda.  

NT intervention condemned
“The Intervention to us was like Australia declaring war on us and in the process they demonised and dehumanised Aboriginal men, women and children.”
Rosalie-©‐Kunoth Monks, Elder and Northern Territory Australian of the Year.  

See also
A “gutsful” of failing remote jobs plan – Giles  

Refugees and Migrants

The Rohingya genocide
“Nope, nope, nope,” was Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s answer to the question about Australia taking in any of the nearly 8,000 Rohingya refugees stranded at sea. Abbott’s logic is as pitiless as his decision to abandon the world’s most persecuted minority in their darkest hour, writes Ramzy Baroud for the Palestine Chronicle.  

Long-term detention a 'serious health risk' – Ombudsman
Prolonged or indefinite detention of asylum seekers may pose a 'serious risk' to the mental and physical health of asylum seekers, the Commonwealth and Immigration Ombudsman has reported.  

See also Australia wants to know nothing about asylum seekers’ torture history  

Thousands of children detained
More than 4,000 children are in some sort of detention because of the refugee status of their parents, latest figures show. This includes 3,000 children living in the community on bridging visas and 127 held in immigration detention facilities in Australia as well as those on Nauru.  


My personal climate change bind
Most people think that the effects of climate change are dire but far off. I don't have that comfort. My seafarer father plays a role in generating wealth for miners who then use it as a means to influence politicians – coal, industrial salt, iron ore, writes Fatima Measham for Eureka Street.  

Car company goes into house batteries
The American company, Tesla, known worldwide for its electric cars, has unveiled a new battery which it says could take a home or small business off the power grid permanently.  


US rebukes Israel while handing out favours
Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu's new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members' zealotry with Israel's need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident, writes Jonathan Cook for the Palestine Chronicle.  

Why is the media ignoring Israel's alliance with al-Qaeda?
We can say with confidence that the mainstream press in the West supports Israel, and so does not find it convenient to report on this scandalous Israeli-al-Qaeda alliance in Syria. But it's crucial to understand that this is part of a wider pattern in which the West's alliances with (to say the least) morally-dubious regional actors are ignored, downplayed or actively disguised by the media, writes Asa Winstanley, for Middle East Monitor.  

Milk for Timor-Leste babies
The first week in August is international breastfeeding week and Fundasaun Alola is helping new mothers in Timor to understand the importance of breastfeeding their babies.  

The Political Community

Blessed Oscar Romero’s courageous witness
On May 23, the holy archbishop of San Salvador will henceforth be known as Blessed Oscar Romero. But for the people of Central America, especially the poor and oppressed, he is already a saint, writes Tony Magliano for National Catholic Reporter.  

World Environment Day June 5
Food waste contributes twice as much to global warming as all the world’s air traffic. Have a look at the videos on the United Nations website produced for World Environment Day.  

Or see what waste plastic can do to our oceans  

Environmental sustainability & justice
Sr Carol Zinn SSJ John Wallis Memorial Lecture
10 June 2015 7:30-9:30pm
The Madeleine Centre Genazzano FCJ College 301 Cotham Road Kew
$20 full price, $10 concession / student. Tickets available at the door, or book online, or through Liz McAloon at, 03 9873 5520.
A former NGO representative to the United Nations for eight years, Sr Carol Zinn is a leading US advocate for social justice and sustainability. In this role, she was a representative for 15,000 sisters and thousands of associates in 57 countries. She is President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, and of the General Council of the Sisters of St Joseph in Philadelphia.
For details of Sr Carol Zinn’s talks in South Australia and Tasmania…  

Jesuit doco highlights Honduran injustice
A new documentary that explores violence and injustice in Honduras from the perspective of journalists at a Jesuit-run radio station was released late last month, coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's murder in neighbouring El Salvador.  

A smarter, more humane approach to crime that saves lives and builds safer communities.
Australia’s First Peoples are dramatically over-represented in prison statistics. ANTaR is campaigning to change this unacceptable situation and to end Aboriginal deaths in custody. Join us!  

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.  

Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities
Edited by John D'Arcy May
Professor Frank Brennan, Fr Max Vodola, Revd Gerald Rose, Revd Geoff Pound, Revd Raymond Cleary, Dr Mark Zirnsak, Major Jenny Begent, Fr Shenouda Boutros, and Margaret Coffey examine the social traditions of seven churches for today.
This book is available through Social Policy Connections for $25+$5 postage.
To order  

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees
An education resource with activities for students, focusing on real people and their stories.
The resource is available to download at no cost. For information call 02 8762 4200 or go to

End gender-based violence
With an estimated up to two million people, mostly women and children, trafficked annually for prostitution, forced labour, slavery or servitude, the United Nations’ UNiTE campaign focusing on ending violence against women and children has called for a focus on this issue on the 25th of every month.  

The Call to Justice in Scripture
How do you experience the Scriptures calling you to live justly? This PowerPoint can be used for personal reflection or as stimulus material for group discussion. Reflecting on The Call to Justice in Scripture  



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.