4 June 2020.
Dear friend of SPC
Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships of Social Policy Connections, and for the donations. Your support and encouragement make SPC possible. Though we may be a small voice in the scheme of things, we hope our newsletter is insightful, relaying to you some of the best articles from other sources as well.
If you would like to renew your membership of SPC, join as a member, or make a donation, please fill out the forms attached and send to us.
The widespread bushfires, the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown, and now damaging economic global consequences – even talk of preparing for war, would you believe, demonstrate the need for a vehicle like SPC to engage closely in debates in the public forum.
SPC debates current issues from the perspective of Christian social values. Pope Francis has invited collaboration with all people of goodwill, of all religions and of none, in renewed efforts to address global problems of inequality, poverty, and climate change.
He has recently highlighted yet again the importance of his signature document Laudato Si’, warning of ‘catastrophic’ threats from climate change, and urging deep changes in our economic systems to promote equity and social justice. In May 2020, he proposed a special year of reflection and activity on the themes of Laudato Si’ to abolish hunger and extreme inequalities.
The global impact of the pandemic has dramatised how closely interconnected we are on our precious planet, and how we must learn to love and care for the Earth as our only home. Hence, it is no coincidence that Pope Francis spoke to the UN General Assembly in September 2015, immediately before it voted to endorse the Sustainable Development Goals, providing a detailed map to help guide each country to a prosperous and sustainable future.
As we have outlined in recent SPC newsletters, these crises can also be an opportunity for carefully thought-through reforms to reverse growing social inequality, the precariousness of jobs, the exorbitant cost of housing, and the decline in public housing for disadvantaged groups, including Indigenous Australians, recent migrants and refugees, and guest workers.
We must not be ‘quiet Australians’ or silent observers. We need improved social and economic policies in Australia and beyond, so that our economies truly serve the wellbeing of all our peoples.
The SPC website
In 2019, SPC revamped its website, unexpectedly halving traffic to it to about 3000 unique visitors a month, making a total of 8,000 monthly visits, and opening 350,000 pages over 12 months. We will need help with professional IT and marketing expertise to expand our reach.
SPC continues to make good use of Facebook, relaying important articles from other media on areas of concern.
SPC, the University of Divinity, & social agencies
Because of the difficulties for all concerned during the Covid-19 crisis, SPC was unable to continue conversation with the University of Divinity about collaborating in its commitment to contribute to debates on current social and public issues. By the same token, we will resume discussions with some church social agencies about collaboration in developing a stronger public voice.
SPC Membership Renewal
Meanwhile, here is your membership renewal form for the year 2020-2021. Subscription remains $40 for individual members, and $80 for organisations.
Please also consider making a donation to help consolidate SPC as an independent ecumenical voice for social justice. SPC still relies on pro bono contributions from writers, helpers, and board members, apart from professional help in posting our newsletters.
Finally, our thanks to our contributors and writers for your contributions to our website with their insights into current affairs. We are, of course, happy to consider unsolicited contributions as articles or book reviews.
Bruce Duncan CSsR
SPC has been involved with the following publications. Most are still available through our office.
- Sufficient for the Day: towards a Sustainable Culture by Geoff Lacey.
- Towards a Better World by economist Arthur Gibbs.
- Social Justice: Fuller Life in a Fairer World by Bruce Duncan.
- Young People, Faith, & Social Justice by Joan Daw.
- A World United or a World Exploited: Christian Perspectives on Globalisation.
- Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities by John D’Arcy May.
- Working with Disaster: Clergy & Bushfires by Lisa Jacobson.
- Bonded through Tragedy, United in Hope. The Catholic Church & East Timor’s Struggle for Independence by Therese and Jim D’Orsa.
- Bridging Troubled Waters: Australia & Asylum Seekers by Tony Ward.
- Of Labour & Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966 by Race Mathews.
- An Enabling Life: Fr Kevin Mogg. A collection of Reminiscences, by Anne Tuohey.