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Banking. GotCredit. flickr cc.

Royal Commission needed on banking & financial services in Australia

Among key election issues is the state of the economy, with very serious problems in finance and banking sectors warranting the close review which can only be brought by a royal commission. At root is the problem of an economic philosophy which favours the rich and entrenches growing numbers in poverty.

politicians on climate
Where are Liberal & Labor on Climate? Darebin Climate Action with the Climate Angels IMG_8773. Takver. flickr cc.

2016 election:
we hoped for better

Looking beyond the at-times exaggerated political rhetoric, Bruce Duncan considers that our politicians cannot resolve the appalling treatment of asylum seekers, or implement effective policies to moderate climate change, without considered bi-partisan effort. Despite cutbacks to Indigenous services and organisations, there are initial signs of progress towards making a Treaty with our Indigenous peoples.

Tortola House Gawler built for timber merchant William Wincey. denisbin. flickr cc

Negative gearing
an election distraction?

Tony French explores the complex debate about negative gearing and capital gains tax, and considers factors influencing the cost of housing, before comparing the policies of the main parties.



_DSC9403. Rusty Stewart. flickr cc

An election campaign in Reconciliation Week?

Amid silence on Indigenous affairs, here’s what must be done

Indigenous affairs have largely been overlooked so far in the election campaign, and Jon Altman laments that the Coalition has failed to deliver on many of its promises for Aboriginal advancement. He argues that there needs to be substantial consultation with indigenous communities which need access to significant resources to manage their own development directly.

somali tank
Signs of Return to Life in Somali Capital. United Nations Photo. flickr cc.

Building a just peace

A specialist in war and peace studies. Brian Johnstone looks at a recent conference in Rome of Pax Christi and the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace, which asked if the just-war theories in Catholic tradition are justifiable in our contemporary world. The conference gave strong support to non-violent means of resistance to unjust aggression.




Immigration Wall Statue. Graham Lees. flickr cc.

Is the Coalition able to manage our borders?

John Menadue disputes that conservative governments have been the better managers of Australia’s borders, arguing that Labor governments had put in place measures to deter boat arrivals. But the Coalition opposed the Malaysian Agreement in 2011, and triggered an upsurge in boat arrivals. John also finds fault with uncritical reporting and mistaken judgements of some refugee advocates.







myanmar refugee child
Girl in the rain. This camp hadn’t had food in 5 days. Steve Gumaer. flickr cc.

Rohingya refugees, & building a regional framework to manage
refugee flows

in 2015, the refugee crisis in the Andaman Sea cost many lives, as the thousands of Rohingya people fled Myanmar, and others Bangladesh. Travers McLeod and his colleagues trace the reaction of the countries directly affected which have struggled to work out a coordinated regional response.

NASA Good Space Flight, flickr cc.

Pope Francis, poverty, & climate change

A YTU unit, Equity & Sustainability

Lecturer Dr Bruce Duncan CSsR

The United Nations has led global efforts to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty, but crises in our economic systems and global warming have set back world development. With his 2015 document, Laudato Sí, Pope Francis has emerged as a new moral voice, mobilising opinion about urgently building a just world to address extreme inequality, and to care for the planet in a sustainable way.
Within the University of Divinity, Yarra Theological Union offers a 12-week unit relating the efforts of Pope Francis and other religious leaders to the ongoing initiatives to lift living standards in developing countries, reform global economic systems, and protect the environment, to ensure a sustainable future.
For information, see the YTU handbook (, or contact the Registrar 03 9890 3771,

SPC video picks


Ten key moments from
Victoria’s historic treaty talks

The crowd getting to their feet chanting ‘treaty’,
led by renowned artist Richard Frankland

video 10 key moments

Victoria takes historic step toward
an Aboriginal treaty

video stan grant

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