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Refugees and asylum seekers

More on Manus
The CEO of the Australian Social Justice Council, Frank Brennan SJ, names what is happening on Manus Island a “humanitarian disgrace” and calls on both the Australian government and the Labor opposition to bring the 600 men on Manus Island to Australia for processing. 

See also “We can stop the boats and also act decently, fairly and transparently”
See also “No end to the cruelty…”

Refugee policy comes under more UN fire
The UN’s top expert on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has included criticism of the Australian Government in a scathing global report condemning deterrence-based responses to people seeking asylum. 

Martin Luther on today’s refugee and migrant crises
According to the United Nations, more than 65 million people (23 million of them refugees) are counted as forcibly displaced due to persecution, war and violence. More than half are children under the age of 18. Now more than ever we need to revisit the views of this 16th-century reformer on hospitality. 

Indigenous Australia

From Borroloola to the bush capital
Malarndirri McCarthy has had a whirlwind career. She began as a journalist, before entering politics in the Top End. Then she returned to her first love of story-telling, but now she's back as a politician but this time in the federal arena. 

Environment

Four Corners’ investigation into Carmichael coal under the microscope
The argument against the Carmichael coal mine is strong. But the argument put forward by the ABC, not so much. Geoff Russell explains for New Matilda

Solar hydro power to Whyalla steel works
The clean energy company Zen Energy has approved a $700m solar, battery and pumped hydro project at the South Australian town of Whyalla to power the OneSteel steelworks there. 

Work

The many failures of our wild welfare regime
Increasing the feelings of shame of being unemployed and restricting freedoms doesn't create more jobs and only grinds down a vulnerable group who are subsisting on a meagre payment. But the government is yet to show any meaningful concern over the significant risks of these draconian welfare policies, writes Amelia Paxman for Eureka Street

The Political Community

The Balfour declaration: Britain broke its feeble promise to the Palestinians
There is more than a little irony in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to attend a “celebration” dinner this week in London with his British counterpart, Theresa May, marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
Palestinian objections to the 1917 document are well-known. Britain’s Lord Balfour had no right to promise a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, on the land of another people, writes Jonathan Cook for the Palestine Chronicle

Balfour another colonial distortion of history
The 100-year anniversary of one of Great Britain’s great betrayals is upon us this month, writes Professor Stuart Rees for New Matilda

How Israel engages in “water apartheid”
"The level of unrestricted access to water enjoyed by those residing in Israel and Israeli settlers demonstrates that resources are plentiful, and that the lack of sufficient water for Palestinians is a direct result of Israel's discriminatory policies in water management,” says a 2013 report Water for one people only quoted in Mersiha Gadzo’s article for Al Jazeera


Nothing is impossible for God
Over two weeks in October, parish liturgy teams in the Melbourne archdiocese, attended Advent preparation sessions hosted by the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation. The sessions included a two-part look at the Gospel of Mark and the Advent readings by renowned biblical scholar Rev. Prof. Francis Moloney SDB AO, as well as workshops on preparing the liturgical environment and music. 

A call for Australia to agree on a fair and just boundary with Timor-Leste
For more than a decade, Australia has treated Timor with disdain. We withdrew recognition of international maritime laws, used our disproportionate power as a wealthy nation, and even spied on previous negotiations using bugs planted during an AusAid project. We bullied a fledgling nation - and a dear friend - out of resources that are rightfully theirs. 

What is Catholic social teaching?
Learn about this rich tradition of thought and action for social justice. We offer a simple overview and suggest five ways to get to know the tradition better. 

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’  

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.

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

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