Survival – Australia Day -1984. Tali C.

Australia Day & our ‘culture wars’

Peter Whiting

Whatever your view, whether you hold firmly to the idea that Australia Day should continue to be held on 26 January, or whether some other day is preferred, there is a need soberly and openly to discuss at a national level the fact that the day which sets out to celebrate our Australian culture and achievements is for our indigenous brothers and sisters a day reminding them of the lack of recognition for their culture and achievements. 

Let’s not relegate that conversation to the realm of culture wars, with entrenched positions focusing on how we would wish to see ourselves. But let’s see the truth of where we are now as a nation.

Pilgrims with flags. Semilla Luz.

Faith demands action for justice & for the planet: Pope Francis in Panama

Bruce Duncan

In Panama for World Youth Day, Pope Francis drove home his message that faith in Christ demands engaging in the struggle for justice, peace, ecological sustainability, and social equity. Francis was determined to help mobilise the social conscience of Latin Americans for a renewed commitment against poverty and injustice.

By extolling the example of the 1980 martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador, Francis highlighted that work for social justice, equity, and human rights is at the core of the Gospel.

Many of the political and business elites in Latin America, including those in the right-wing populist regimes, as well as President Maduro in Venezuela, would be furious to hear Francis insisting on Catholics embracing their social responsibility vigorously, including through political reform.

SPC Forum with Sr Pat Fox

Increasing resistance to Church & social justice movements in the Philippines

Tuesday 5 March 7:30-9pm
Yarra Theological Union Study Centre, 34 Bedford Street, Box Hill
Light refreshments served at 9pm.
Admission free. Donations welcome.

Sr Pat Fox grew up in Box Hill, and joined the Sisters of Sion in 1969. She began by working with street kids and women in housing commission flats. After studying law in the early 1980s, she worked in legal aid centres in Victoria, before volunteering for the Philippines in 1990. There, she worked in rural areas, and was later elected National Coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. More recently, she has worked with an Agricultural Workers Union. 
Her support for people struggling for human rights and social justice antagonised powerful figures in the Philippines, and she was forced by President Duterte to leave in November 2018.

What has Captain Cook ever done for us?

Ian Robinson

The Prime Minister is intent on making a big fuss about James Cook. He is even promoting, at great expense, a circumnavigation of the continent by a replica of Cook’s ship Endeavour. This is an insult to Matthew Flinders, who actually did circumnavigate the continent, who made a much greater contribution to our nation than Cook, and who, moreover, gave us our name. Forget Cook. Let’s give Flinders his due.

Tens of thousand migrated from Europe after WWII. Here, future New Australians line up on the wharf at Trieste in 1953 to board the Castel Verde. Australian National Maritime Museum.

Australia Day reminds us that we can overcome the fear of foreigners & ‘boats’

John Menadue

The Australia of today is vastly different from the Australia of my childhood. With its widespread racism and sectarianism, it was socially suffocating. For those changes, I am very grateful. There is a lot of which we can be proud. No country has integrated newcomers as well as we have. 

But there have been failures, and remedial action must be taken. We are yet to be reconciled to our indigenous brothers and sisters who watched the European boats arrive in 1788. We are yet to take our share of responsibility for the displaced and persecuted people of the world, particularly for those displaced by our involvement in futile and disastrous wars in the Middle East, which triggered the enormous refugee outflows. 

The gas industry of the future could manufacture and deliver renewable fuels, rather than mining and processing natural gas.

Here’s how a 100% renewable energy future can create jobs & even save the gas industry

Sven Teske

The world can limit global warming to 1.5℃ and move to 100% renewable energy while still preserving a role for the gas industry, and without relying on technological fixes such as carbon capture and storage, according to our new analysis.

The One Earth Climate Model – a collaboration between researchers at the University of Technology Sydney, the German Aerospace Center, and the University of Melbourne, and financed by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation – sets out how the global energy supply can move to 100% renewable energy by 2050, while creating jobs along the way. 

Event. Earth@Peace. How to secure ‘just & ecologically sustainable peace’

23-24 April 2019 9am-5:30pm, and from 7.30pm.
Pilgrim Theological College Melbourne
29 College Crescent Parkville 3052.

Book here. For full information, click here  |  see the flyer.  |  03 9853 3177.

Keynote speakers :

  • Professor Heather Eaton, St Paul University Ottawa Canada. 
  • Professor Bruce Pascoe, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research University of Technology Sydney. Author of Dark Emu: Black Seeds: agriculture or accident,NSW Premier’s 2016 Book of the Year.
  • Professor Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Leading Islamic scholar and advocate of non-violence.

Fabulous launch of An Enabling Life. Fr Kevin Mogg.

Over 160 people gathered at the book launch of An Enabling Life. Fr Kevin Mogg, A collection of reminiscences. Kevin Mogg has held key leadership positions throughout his sixty years-plus as a priest, as Rector at the Corpus Christi Seminary Clayton, as Inaugural Episcopal Vicar, Social Welfare, and as parish priest at three parishes.
Many at the launch have known Kevin through his work as youth justice and adult prison chaplain. Judge Michael McInerney launched the book with humour and insight about Kevin’s life and times.

Serious about theology & social justice?

Consider study at Yarra Theological Union at Box Hill in Melbourne, one of the colleges of the University of Divinity. For nearly 50 years, YTU has offered a wide range of units in the fields of Scripture, liturgy, theology, pastoral studies, moral theology, missiology, history, and social justice. 

Check the YTU website for details. For details, email
98 Albion Road Box Hill 3128 | 03 9890 3371.

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