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Indigenous Australia

Thousands commemorate birth of indigenous land rights battle
In droves, they flocked to the remote Aboriginal community of Kalkarindji last month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off. Years of exploitation, violence and murders of Aboriginal people in the region and in protest against poor conditions, meagre wages and rations in return for hard work, Vincent Lingiari led 200 people off the Wave Hill cattle station laying the foundations for the Indigenous land rights battle.
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Treaty holds key to robust environmental law
When I read this week that Tony Abbott and John Howard will hear no talk of a treaty with Aboriginal Australia, my first thought was 'Who listens to these blokes from ancient political history?' writes Bronwyn Lay for Eureka Street.
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Human Rights

New Zealand’s homeless living in cars and garages
New Zealand was once a pioneer of the social welfare state, but now one in every 100 New Zealanders is homeless.
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Yes, I’m a real Māori
I guess you could say things have changed since that day, back in 1961, when a teacher hit me across the head whilst proclaiming, for all to hear, “You’re not on the pā now, hori!” I was 11 years old and had just arrived at boarding school from a small rural village on the East Coast of the North Island, writes Ian Taylor who is best known internationally for developing computer animation and such sports graphics as ball tracking in cricket.
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Māori dying too young
Māori living on the East Coast have a “perilous state of health”, a report commissioned by the local iwi has found.
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Philippines church, rights groups denounce farmer killings
Philippines church and human rights groups are calling for an investigation into the September 3 killing of four farmers on land claimed by the rural poor and the military in Nueva Ecija province. Unidentified gunmen shot the farmers who were resting inside a hut in the middle of the disputed piece of land.
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Pakistan activists welcome new human rights taskforce
Rights groups in Pakistan have welcomed the establishment of the nation's first human rights task force but remain to be convinced that it will change anything for persecuted minorities.
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The dark history of Israel’s stolen babies
In July, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s minister for national security, became the first government official to admit that hundreds of babies had been stolen from their mothers in the years immediately following Israel's creation in 1948. In truth, the number is more likely to be in the thousands.
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English helps sow the winds of change in Myanmar
If the values of the students in Maryknoll Father James Kofski's English language classes are typical, the future of Myanmar looks bright. The La Salle English Center, where Father Kofski teaches, challenges its students to develop critical thinking — an essential skill in Myanmar's emerging democracy.
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Aussie bishops ahead of the curve on “grayby” boom
We see a growing trend, that’s probably only at the beginning, of elder homelessness, for instance. It’s often a real plight for older people having to set up their own situations, without help from their families, leaving themselves exposed to not being able to come up with the resources to care for themselves.
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Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Ten steps towards justice for refugees and asylum seekers
Sunday 25 September is the day when the church focuses specifically on social justice. The Australian Catholic bishops have issued a statement in which there is a 10-step program to bring us closer to justice for asylum seekers and refugees.
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Use It

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

This month’s Faith Doing Justice news focuses on indigenous peoples on both sides of the Tasman fighting for the right to be heard. The Aboriginal people have been asking for a treaty to protect their culture and heritage for many years and New Zealand Māori are continually calling for the Treaty of Waitangi agreed in 1840 to be honoured.  

Cecily McNeill

Quote of the month

"Every boat we intercept, every child we detain, is a reminder that we can be part of the problem, or part of the solution."

Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen, chair, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

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