Equity matters in supporting people hit by floods

Editorial by Peter Whiting.

The traumatic events of recent weeks arising from the La Nina weather event have seen much of Queensland, some of NSW, and a large portion of western Victoria in flood. This devastating experience drew some of the best qualities of Australians to the fore. While no one would seek such tragedy and destruction to highlight these themes, it is nonetheless heartening to see the fine side of the human spirit. However, as we move to the reconstruction phase, the less uplifting aspects of human nature begin to emerge and divisions appear. Who is going to pay to restore the damage to lives and livelihoods?
Are we experiencing the threatened events of climate change and, therefore, needing to make a policy response as well as a financial one? Or is this simply another episode in the long Australian story of droughts and floods? These are not simply questions of political reality, they raise deeper questions of equity: equity for individuals and organisations, and equity between generations. Questions of social justice need to be answered not simply from a consideration of contractual or political issues, but from a genuine appeal for a just and lasting result. Read More Photo: Sunrise7, Flickr CC

SPC Statement on NT Intervention & RDA

Hon Alastair Nicholson AOAt the last of our 2010 series of evening forums, we heard Hon Alastair Nicholson AO (Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia 1988-2004) talk about human rights and the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). Alastair Nicholson has been at the forefront of fighting to change the legislation to ensure full restoration of the RDA. (Missed the event and want to hear an audio of the talk? Please click HERE to read the full speech.Click HERE to listen to the speech, or subscribe to our audio podcast in Itunes or via RSS.)

Social Policy Connections called upon the Federal Government to withdraw the present discriminatory legislation and unconditionally to “reinstate” the Racial Discrimination Act. To read our full statement, click here.

A Further Conversation with Elders

Monday 7 February 2011, 5.45pm for  6.00pm start – 7.30 pm, Theatre G08, Ground Floor, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton (Melways 2B C9). RSVP 3rd February

With support from Social Policy Connections, ‘concerned Australians’ cordially invites you to A Further Conversation with Elders. Hear from Elders from the Northern Territory and Central Australia how the government’s intervention program has had an impact on their communities. Elders: Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM (Galiwin’ku, East Arnhem Land), Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM (Utopia, Central Australia), Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM (Daly River, south of Darwin), Yananymul Mununggurr (Yirrkala, East Arnhem Land), Harry Jakamarra Nelson (Yuendumu, Central Australia), and George Gaymarani Pascoe (Milingimbi, East Arnhem Land). They will share what has been happening and highlight the changes taking place in the various communities/ homelands of the NT.

Introduced by Prof. Alastair Nicholson, AO Facilitated by Jeff McMullen AM

For further information and registrations visit www.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/news-and-events/all-forthcoming-events, or  phone:Dianne Costello (03) 8344 1153 9am- 5pm.

Outgoing SPC Board members

Judy Benson, Paul Rule and Mark Walsh
We are most grateful for the contributions of three outgoing Board members who retired at the December AGM: Judy Benson, Paul Rule and Mark Walsh. However, they will continue to be involved in other ways, especially with the Yarra Institute. Mark is working for a year in schools in the Philippines. Many thanks for the solid work they have done to launch SPC.

New SPC Board members

Livia CarusiLivia Carusi is currently Mission Integration Officer with St Vincent de Paul Community Services, Victoria. Her experience primarily lies within the Victorian Community Services sector, namely in the homelessness, community housing and family violence areas. Livia’s responsibilities have entailed: direct case management, project management, senior social and public policy roles, advocacy as well as a number of senior management roles, including Executive Officer of the Financial and Consumer Rights Council and Manager of the Salvation Army–Southern Territory, Social Policy Unit. In addition, Livia is the Chairperson of Women’s Housing Limited. As well as having a Master of Public Policy and Management, she is currently undertaking post graduate studies at Yarra Theological Union.

Michaela Guthridge is Justice Development Manager for Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (based in Sydney). She oversees resourcing, research and advocacy in five priority areas: human trafficking; asylum seekers/refugees; indigenous Australians; economic justice; and ecological justice. Prior to this role she acted as Paralegal and Community Legal Educator for an Indigenous legal service in rural and remote NSW. Michaela has a Bachelor of Arts (film) and is completing a Bachelor of Law degree (International Law). Michaela is currently undertaking a UN internship with Good Shepherd Representatives in Geneva and New York.

Madeleine MarsonMadeleine Marson is an arts student at the University of Melbourne, and also studying at the United Faculty of Theology. She is involved with MAGiS, the Ignation Youth Network, which provides spiritual underpinnings to the social justice work of its members, nationally and internationally. In 2009, she was a recipient of a Young Catholic Women’s Inter-faith Fellowship. She also received a Mary Ward Grant for 2011, awarded by the Loreto Sisters Australia to support students of theology, spirituality and pastoral ministry. Madeleine is currently acting editor of Faith Doing Justice, an online social justice bulletin, for the Australian Jesuits.

Social Policy Connections featured video

Justice and taxation

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Justice and Taxation

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