The dream of SPC is one for every generation.

Peter Whiting Editorial.

The decision (communicated in our May SPC News) to put SPC into a ‘care and maintenance’ mode is about making space to explore how SPC or a successor might best continue as a much needed Christian voice on social policy.

It would be deeply regrettable to think of SPC falling silent. The need for such a voice is even more urgent than ever at a time of such challenge and opportunity. SPC is the outcome of the work of many volunteers who shared the aspiration of creating a vibrant independent Christian voice on social policy. These volunteers and the many supporters who have travelled with us are too numerous to name here, and even to include a few would inevitably mean others as worthy are overlooked.

It falls to me then, as president of Social Policy Connections, on behalf of the Committee of Management, to thank those who in so many ways have assisted us on the journey. It is our fervent hope that SPC will rise again like the phoenix (maybe I should have used a more Christian analogy than this). What remains clear is the acute need for such independent, ecumenical Christian voices in the area of public policy.

My future matters. Julian Meehan. flickr cc.

Learnings for the future

Bruce Duncan

The experience of SPC confirms my belief that stronger ecumenical collaboration and engagement in debates on public policy are needed, and would be broadly welcomed in the community. Indeed, in view of the increasing religious diversity in Australia, we should also grow inter-faith collaboration.

To be successful, such a network of religious organisations and social agencies needs two things : firstly, the ability to make judgments and statements on its own independent authority, even if partly reliant on funding from some of the same organisations, and secondly, to secure enough funding and resources to maintain professional staffing and activities.

Love & protect our earth
John Cameron. Unsplash.

Social Policy Connections & Yarra Institute: an historical sketch

Compiled by Bruce Duncan June 2021

SPC did not claim to speak for the churches, but rather in its own name as an independent organisation inviting serious collaboration among people inspired by Gospel values. SPC drew from the traditions of social activism in the churches, including the writings and experience in Catholic social traditions, along with the advocacy and commitment of Anglican, Methodist and non-conformist traditions.

After advice from Sir Gus Nossal that we would need a strong institutional foundation, SPC also initiated conversations in early 2006 with Sr Kathleen Williams RSM, Dean of the Yarra Theological Union, Dr Gregg Brett, president of YTU, along with Dr Paul Beirne and Dr Charles Sherlock from the Melbourne College of Divinity, about the need for an institute for research and teaching, initially under the name, The Institute for Religion & Social Policy.

Rerum Novarum Webinar videos

Webinar 15 May 2021

Sponsored by the Cardijn Institute Australia, Social Policy Connections, and Yarra Theological Union.

Why Pope Leo XIII’s landmark encyclical ‘On the Condition of the Working Classes’ remains so relevant 130 years later.

With Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, a lecturer on Catholic Social Thought, and Megan Cavanagh, principal in a prominent law firm and chair of the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations.

130 Years of Church Teaching with speaker Megan Kavanaugh

Bruce Duncan on Rerum Novarum: 130 Years of Church Teaching

SPC book sale

Special 30% reduction on quoted prices.
Free postage. Stock limited.

  • Young People, Faith, & Social Justice (Yarra Institute, 2013). Joan Daw. $20.
  • Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities. Edited John D’Arcy May. (Adelaide ATF, 2014.) $25.
  • A World United or a World Exploited: Christian Perspectives on Globalisation. Edited Peter Price. (Adelaide ATF, 2014). $25.
  • Working with Disaster: Clergy & Bushfires. Lisa Jacobson (Yarra Institute & Creative Ministries 2016). $15.
  • Bridging Troubled Waters: Australia & Asylum Seekers. Tony Ward. (Melbourne Australian Scholarly Publishing 2017). $25.
  • Of Labour & Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966. Race Mathews. (Melbourne Monash Publishing 2017).  $30.
  • Bonded through Tragedy, United in Hope. The Catholic Church & East Timor’s Struggle for Independence. A Memoir. Therese and Jim D’Orsa, with Hilton Deakin. (Garratt Publishing 2017). $25.
  • An Enabling Life. Father Kevin MoggA collection of reminiscences. Anne Tuohey. (Yarra Institute 2018), $20.
Contact Social Policy Connections
PO Box 505 Box Hill VIC 3128 | 0409 897 971

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