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Refugees and asylum seekers

Manus: with remembrance goes compassion
The refugees on Manus Island are not simply actors in a dramatic poem. They are human beings like us to whom we have a responsibility. They could have enriched us by their ingenuity and bravery had we accepted them. We should continue to listen to their voices and keep them in our hearts, writes Andrew Hamilton for Eureka Street.
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Doctors denied access to Manus refugees
Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières has been denied access to asylum-seekers on Manus Island in order to assess their health and wellbeing, despite having earlier been granted approval, writes Helen Davidson for The Guardian.
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See also Doctors barred from Manus Island transit centres 

Rohingya sceptical about repatriation deal
Myanmar and Bangladesh agree to their return, but the refugees want international monitors to oversee the process.
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Boat people: the facts
At present, both major political parties favour the use of punitive measures that theoretically stem the arrival of boat people. This theory supposedly creates the facade that if Australia purports a harsh enough regime, hypothetical arrivals will cease, seeking instead their chances with the Taliban. In any case, it's not the Australia we should strive for, writes human rights lawyer Julian Burnside.
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Indigenous Australia

“Shocking failures” lead to calls for detention centre closure
The Don Dale juvenile detention centre must close, and its high security unit should shut down immediately, the Northern Territory royal commission into the protection and detention of children has recommended. The inquiry’s final report has found “shocking and systemic failures” over many years that were known about but ignored at the highest levels.
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See also Five superhuman abilities of indigenous people 

Top academic calls for more targeted data on funding for Aboriginal peoples
The most recent review of spending on Aboriginal people shows the government spends almost twice the amount in direct funding for indigenous peoples as on the rest of the population. So why are the benefits not obvious? ANU associate professor in the college of arts and social sciences, Nicholas Biddle, calls for “higher quality evaluations” to better meet the needs of indigenous people.
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First Aboriginal woman elected to Victorian parliament
The health service became the centre of Aboriginal political life in Melbourne and a young Lidia Thorpe was in the thick of it. The 44-year-old Greens MP, who won the previously safe Labor seat of Northcote with an 11% swing at a by-election last month (November 2017), might be new to parliament, but her politics run deep.
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The threat of indigenous language use
It's become a running joke among friends and family that my husband, vampire-like, feeds on and grows stronger with each criticism of his use of Te Reo (the Maori language) in his role as co-presenter of RNZ's Morning Report. What's less of a joke is the sustained attempts by some who are fighting against the use of Te Reo, writes Emma Espiner for Newsroom.
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The Political Community

Tensions mount in Papua
Fears of civilians being caught in the middle of potential clashes between Papuan pro-independence fighters and Indonesian security forces grew dramatically over the past week after rebels sealed off several villages near a controversial mine and allegedly shot dead a police officer.
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Hidden figures in Bethlehem
A recent trip to the cinema saw me quite by accident stumble across one of the most uplifting movies of 2017, and strangely, it got me thinking about Advent, writes Natalie Acton, for The Good Oil, the emagazine of the Good Samaritan Sisters.
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Hectic Adsy and the closed friggin gate
Last Christmas was the first Adam has spent out of jail since the 90s. He hasn't done anything seriously wrong. He belongs to a caste that is as entrenched in Australia as the untouchables in India. One night, a phone message: 'G'day mate, how are ya, I can't get out of the storage shed.'
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App to diagnose sick kids
High-profile Northland GP and former New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, will receive $1.4 million in Government funding to develop a children’s healthcare app.
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Former climate chief against billion-dollar coal loan
Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has made a rare intervention in Australian politics,urging the Turnbull government not to grant a controversial coal project a near A$1 billion loan.
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My coal dilemma
I can't see the issues around the coal industry in black and white terms, even though I'd vote for any ethical replacement plan in a heartbeat. As much as people build places, places substantially build our identities, and people literally lived and died by coal mines where I grew up.
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Watching and waiting: Advent daily reflections
The Melbourne archdiocese is providing podcasts of reflections for each day of Advent.
Click here for more information 

Ethical Christmas gifts
As a fundraiser for Timor-Leste, Alola Australia has opened its online shop for ethical gifts.
Click here for more information 

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.

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.

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.