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

My Voting Values. onyxkatze. flickr cc.

Charting a way forward in SPC

Peter Whiting

The Board of Social Policy Connections is currently challenging itself to sharpen its core purpose and reassess ways to promote debate about social justice among our supporters and readers, in a context of faith and ecumenical commitment. The Board will continue its deliberations at our next meeting on 17 August, and we greatly welcome hearing your views, as supporters and participants.

A people-centred approach for the economy

SPC & the Economy of Communion present

Lawrence Chong CEO and Co-Founder of Consulus

Wednesday 23 August 7:30-9pm
Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre
251 Faraday Street Carlton, Multipurpose Room 1 Ground Floor
Supper and informal conversation will follow.

Booking essential Lorraine Lispon | 0419 687 593

Enquiries Lorraine Lipson (as above), or Bruce Duncan | 0419 897 971
Download the EoC flyer, and the SPC flyer.

The Economy of Communion (EoC) was formed 25 years ago on the inspiration of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, and now has some 800 businesses using this model, sharing profits with those in poverty, community groups, and social inclusion projects. The Economy of Communion network involves business entrepreneurs, workers, students, and researchers, and is attracting growing interest in academic circles.

Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have both encouraged the Economy of Communion as a means to link businesses with social needs, especially by encouraging a culture of sharing and giving to advance community development and the common good. See

Lawrence is a featured speaker at global events such as the World Marketing Summit and World Brand Congress. Since 2003, he has spoken to more than 8,000 people in over 30 countries on how companies can innovate through unity, and shape the world. Consulus is an innovation and design consultancy, operating in nine countries, headquartered in Singapore

Free West Papua. Garry Knight. flickr cc.

Increasing calls for self-determination for West Papua

Human rights abuses in West Papua are causing Melanesian and Polynesian countries throughout the Pacific to voice increasing alarm in international forums, and to call for genuine self-determination for West Papuans.

Speaking at the SPC forum on 2 August at Box Hill were Louise Byrne and Rev Peter Woods. He worked for ten years in Java and West Papua in theological education, and is urging Australians not to turn a blind eye to the dispossession of the Papuans and what has been happening.

For information, contact the Australian West Papuan Association.

From the cover of Breitbard 3 August 2017.

Curious Vatican article challenges right-wing US Catholics

Bruce Duncan

A sharp attack by a semi-official Vatican newspaper on the politicisation of right-wing US Catholics last month has highlighted a widening breach among US Christian groups and the manipulation of religion for political ends. The Jesuit-owned Civilta Cattolica often reflects Vatican views, and the authors of the article are strong supporters of Pope Francis. Critics point out that the style is not that of Francis, but supporters of the article, while recognising that it is clumsy and not intimately aware of the nuances in US politics, applaud it for opposing the corrosion of Catholic social teaching by partisan business and political interests.

refugee. brx0. flickr cc.

Fake refugees? Unpacking Minster’s ‘lodge or leave’ policy

Sarah Puls

I was stunned by the cruelty and disingenuousness of Minister Dutton’s statement, accusing those people who have come to Australia seeking safety from persecution and who have not yet lodged their application for protection, as being “fake refugees” who have “refused to apply” for a visa.

The words of the Minister were deeply wrong in their characterisation of a group of people whom I have had the pleasure of meeting. So I want to take an opportunity to answer some common questions arising from the Minister’s announcement.

Sarah Puls is a Good Samaritan Sister, who has been working with refugee services.

Family. Kamaljith K V. flickr cc.

Australians want more children than they have, so are we in the midst of a demographic crisis?

Leah Ruppanner
From The Conversation

Australians want more children than they actually have, according to newly released data. According to data over 15 years, by age 40, Australian men and women desire 1.5 more children than they actually have, and only 30% of Australian men and women report having their desired number of children by age 35.

Memories & Massacres

Henry Reynolds

The Australian frontier was a violent place. Conflict erupted around the fringes of settlement from the last years of the C18th until the second and even the third decade of the C20th. Pioneer ethnographers Fison and Howitt observed in 1880 that the advance of settlement had been marked by ‘a line of blood’. It was a reality which was hidden away and then forgotten during the first half of the C20th. Generations of Australians brought up with a sunny anodyne version of the national story were shocked when historians returned to truths that had been self-evident to their ancestors.

Rupert Murdoch, a reassessment by Rodney Tiffen.

Chilcot – The Iraq War & Murdoch’s war on critics

John Menadue

Our authors at Social Policy Connections strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and disputed the so-called evidence used to justify Australia’s involvement. There has still been no full accountability for the disasters that followed the invasion, with millions dead, countries devastated, and tens of millions of refugees searching for a safe haven.

John Menadue reposted last month in  his blog of 1 July 2014 about the role of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in the Iraq disaster. ‘The Chilcot Report confirms how News Corp publications misled readers and viciously attacked their opponents. News Corp demonstrated that it is indeed a rogue organisation.’

Books for sale through SPC


Of Labour & Liberty: Distributism
in Victoria 1891-1966
(Monash Publishing), Race Mathews.
$30 plus postage.





Bonded through Tragedy, United in Hope.
The Catholic Church & East Timor’s
Struggle for Independence. A Memoir.

(Garratt Publishing). Therese and Jim D’Orsa,
with Hilton Deakin.
$25 plus postage, or at the SPC office.







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