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Indigenous Australia

Freedom of speech … racism by any other name
We are one of the few countries in the world that pretended legally that those living in this country before white people arrived didn't exist — paving the way for early colonists to shoot, kill and steal the land of the first Australians, writes Craig Thomson in discussing “Australia’s ugly immigration policies” for Independent Australia.  

The Political Community

Negative gearing the end of the Australian dream
Historically, having a largely home-owning population has ensured both the social benefit of housing, and an economic benefit through enforced saving with long-term growth. In contrast, the negative gearing push splits the cultural and economic meaning of home ownership, because it focuses on investment. Negative gearing promotes property ownership but not home ownership. Thus the social benefits of home ownership that we have come to expect give way to bare economic indicators, writes Kate Galloway for Eureka Street.  

Arch capitalist attacks the Key government’s monetary policy
Strident remarks by Stephen Jennings, one of New Zealand’s wealthiest citizens, on housing, education and the economy suggest that even the business community is tiring of the government’s endless softly-softly, writes Duncan Greive.  

Fighting corruption in Indonesia
In a bid to stamp out corruption in government in Indonesia, a newly established organisation there has been set up to encourage Catholic participation in socio-political issues. It says it wants to help would-be Catholic politicians prepare and run in regional elections next year.  

May day: time for amendment of life
Joe Egerton draws on Christian political theology to analyse the post-referendum crisis in political authority in the United Kingdom. What needs to be changed for Parliament to function with the consent of the people and facilitate the agenda that the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has set out?  

An ASIO file at the heart of the Gospels
Fr Rod Bower of Gosford – The Christian life (the life of the baptised) is a life of discipleship, a life of both contemplation and action. If after having read the Gospels and listened to the words of Jesus, you don't have an ASIO file, you need to go back and read them again.  

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Axed after condemning ‘atrocity’ of camps
The trauma specialist who condemned the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’s offshore detention regime as the worst “atrocity” he has seen has had his contract to work on Nauru terminated.  

National day of prayer and action for asylum seekers
More than 200 school communities across Australia are expected to stand in solidarity with people seeking asylum in September by participating in a new National Day of Prayer and Action organised by the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA).  

Human Rights

The white man in that photo
That white man in the photo is, perhaps, the third hero of that night in 1968. His name was Peter Norman, from Australia, a country that had strict apartheid laws, almost as strict as South Africa. There was tension and protests in the streets of Australia following heavy restrictions on non-white immigration and discriminatory laws against aboriginal people, some of which consisted of forced adoptions of native children to white families.  

Use It

The Caliph
From foundation and evolution to dispute and division. The story of over 1,300 years of succession and leadership.
Watch here  

Is religion the root of the world’s conflicts?
From the Crusades to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), religion is often blamed for some of the world's worst conflicts.

While some use their faith to justify acts of violence, is religion really the root of such conflicts? An interview with theologian, historian and author of Fields of Blood, Karen Armstrong.
Watch here  

From the editor

In pondering the carnage in the past week in Nice, Istanbul and Pakistan and the other conflicts we hear less about – West Papua, Myanmar, to name a few – I turned to one of my Catholic social teaching touchstones, the 1971 synodal document Justice in the World to see what the church was saying then.  

Cecily McNeill
Editor

Quote of the month

Any society is ultimately judged not on how well it manages the economy but on how well it treats thrown-away people.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference A Vote for the Voiceless May 2016

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