SPC News November 2016. Yarra Institute passes baton to the new Centre for Research in Religion & Social Policy.

Author: No Comments Share:

Follow the links to full versions of these articles.
Download a .pdf of SPC News

YIRSP board members, Bruce Duncan, Jim D’Orsa, Wes Campbell, Therese D’Orsa, Stephen Ames, Rowan Ireland, and Paul Rule.

Yarra Institute passes baton to the new Centre for Research in Religion & Social Policy

Bruce Duncan

Social Policy Connections and the Yarra Institute are delighted to welcome the establishment of the new Centre for Research in Religion & Social Policy by the University of Divinity. It has always been our hope that the Melbourne College of Divinity (MCD), now the University of Divinity, would found such a centre to promote engagement by the Colleges with the wide concerns of social and public policy.

scanned-159-mb-new-jpegSPC AGM 2016 & public forum

Wednesday 30 November 7-7:30pm

The Yarra Theological Union Study Centre
34 Bedford Street Box Hill

Followed 7:30-9pm by an address by
Josh Cullinan
Returning penalty rates to the lowest paid

Josh Cullinan has campaigned for retail and fast food workers for 20 years, including for Bakers Delight, Hungry Jacks, and 7/11 workers. More recently, Josh raised the red flag over the ‘Coles Agreement’, and helped expose massive theft of penalty rates across the retail and fast food sectors. Download a flyer.

Peter Mares book, ‘Not Quite Australian’.

Peter Mares on Australia’s shift
to temporary migration

Bruce Duncan

At the SPC Forum on 19 October, Peter Mares outlined – with an astonishing grasp of detail and great lucidity – changes in the categories and arrangements of visas to Australia, particularly highlighting the implications of people on temporary visas, who are vulnerable to exploitation in the labour market. Many do not know their rights, and are compelled to work for very low rates of pay.

Arnold Heredia

Islamisation & minorities in Pakistan

Arnold Heredia

The total fabric of Pakistan changed with its engagement in the United States’ proxy war against USSR in Afghanistan in the 1980s – a war to vindicate US humiliation in Vietnam.

Scores of members of religious minorities who have the means have migrated to safe countries, while the masses struggle to survive. Discrimination in workplaces, schools, and where they live has forced some to abandon their homes and jobs. They live in hiding to escape being booked under that draconian law. Successive weak and corrupt governments chose to disregard these powerful Islamic militant groups armed with weapons, as well as a host of suicide bombers.

drone. Frank Serritelli. flickr cc.

Drones: morality-free warfare?

Tony French

Are armed drone attacks legitimate acts of warfare, or lethal political assassinations, hence murder and illegitimate? There is no easy answer, unless your view tends to one or other extreme. But, for those of us unsure, the middle ground is a moral morass.

Money Corruption Wall Street Lobbying. Image created for display at Democracy Chronicles. Democracy Chronicles. flickr cc.

Globalisation, market fundamentalism, & the
fall of communism

John Menadue

The achievements of globalisation, liberalism, and openness are under attack. It is important that liberals and reformers demonstrate that, while the benefits of globalism and openness must continue, globalisation must work for all, and not just enrich the few.

The gathering storm really began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism. The wealthy and privileged were restrained by the threat of working people seizing power in some way. But, with the fall of communism, market fundamentalists and the wealthy now show decreasing restraint in asserting their power and privilege.

A relative of asylum seekers held on Nauru cries at a press launch of an Amnesty International report. Reuters/David Gray.

How we came to be so cruel
to asylum seekers

Robert Manne

If you had been told 30 years ago that Australia would create the least asylum-seeker-friendly institutional arrangements in the world, you would not have been believed. How is the purposelessness of this cruelty – which is presently rendering the lives of 30,000 refugees or asylum seekers in Australia miserable – to be explained?

Bill Neville.

Stalwarts for social justice:
Bill Neville & Bernard Carey

Bruce Duncan

Two exceptional advocates for social justice and human wellbeing have recently gone to God. Bill Neville was one of the key leaders in Catholic and ecumenical social movements in Sydney from the 1970s, at the age of 82, in May. And Bernard Carey, academic and administrator, died at only 69, in July. Both were founding members of the ecumenical social justice magazine National Outlook, which in many ways was a precursor of today’s Social Policy Connections.

Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees. United States Mission Geneva. flickr cc.

The new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Gary Harkin

Guterres campaigned for United Nations intervention in East Timor in 1999, after the former Portuguese colony was virtually destroyed  by Indonesian-backed militias when it voted for independence. Yet Guterres will have many critics. The Neoconservative side of the political divide is already out in the high street with guns blazing for Guterres the Socialist. Jennifer Oriel, writing in the Australian on 10 October, declared, “The appointment of Antonio Guterres as Secretary-General of the United Nations poses significant danger to the free world”. Guterres is certainly at odds philosophically with some western governments who seem to orient refugees with jihad. As Guterres has stated, “Let us be perfectly clear: refugees are not terrorists; they are the first victims of terror”.

Serious about social justice?

Consider study at Yarra Theological Union (YTU), or at other colleges within the University of Divinity in Melbourne. Undergraduate to higher degrees. Auditing also possible.

YTU units include :

  • Justice & Human  Rights
  • The History of Catholic Social Thought & Movements
  • Equity & Sustainability: Pope Francis & Social Reform
  • Major Issues in Contemporary Moral Theology
  • Inter-Religious Dialogue
  • Social Teaching & Aboriginal Australians

Contact the Dean of Studies Yarra Theological Union 98 Albion Road Box Hill 3128 admin@ytu.edu.au  |  03 9890 3771.

Download the YTU handbook and a list of other University of Divinity colleges.

Bruce  Duncan speaks on
the Church’s ‘best kept secret’bruce-video-on-pope

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Article

SPC News December 2016. Time to rebuild our economies, inspired by Christian social values.

Next Article

SPC News October 2016. A glimmer of hope? Or just a passing moment?

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *