Please click HERE to download a PDF of this newsletter.

It’s a bit rich, Rupert.

By Tony French.

finance mccain speech 342On Saturday afternoons, I take to my couch. Not for a siesta, but to seek, with the weekend editions of the Age and Australian newspapers. What caught my attention was a report in the Australian (6 April) of a speech Rupert Murdoch had given as guest speaker on the 70th anniversary of the Institute of Public Affairs on 4 April 2013. The report, startlingly captioned Markets Radiate Morality, was juxtaposed with an equally eye-catching photograph of the patrician publisher himself. Up to now, I had been unaware of any agreed, let alone neo-liberal, nexus between markets and morality. Had this M&M radiance been obscured by my socialist presuppositions that morality and markets are generally thought to occur on different planets? To read this article in full, click HERE.

Photo McCain speech on economic crisis 9/19/08 by mattlehrer, flickr cc.

SPC Forum

Ms Ged Kearney

President of the ACTU

And Professor Brian Howe

University of Melbourne Centre for Public Policy

The future of work

Tuesday 28 May 7:30pm

Held at the Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union, 34 Bedford Street, Box Hill
Light refreshments offered afterwards.

Professor Howe was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia (1991-95), a member of the Federal Cabinet (1984-96), and held a range of Ministerial portfolios in the fields of Defence, Social Security, Health, Housing, and Community Services. His administration of these portfolios was distinguished by major policy initiatives in Social Security reform of family payments and the introduction of Child Support, the National Mental Health Strategy, and the Commonwealth Dental Scheme. He was also responsible for important Commonwealth State initiatives such as the Commonwealth State Disability Agreement and the Building Better Cities program.

Elected President of the ACTU in 2010, Ged (Gerardine) Kearney was a registered nurse before becoming manager of the Clinical Nursing Education Department at Austin Health. In 2008, she was elected Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation, with its 200,000 members. She believes that unions should not be concerned only with experience at work, but with improving the lives of all Australians. She grew up in Richmond, the second youngest of nine, and has four children of her own aged from 16 to 23.

What I have learned about the churches & public policy

By Pat Power, Bishop Emeritus

Guest speaker at Social Policy Connections Forum 17 April 2013

pat powers cropped 342Based in Canberra as auxiliary Catholic bishop for 27 years, Bishop Pat Power played a key role in civil and political affairs. He has been committed to promoting social consciousness, and to developing collaboration with other churches and religious groups. While acknowledging significant advances in human wellbeing in Australia, Bishop Pat said the churches still have much work to do to support disadvantaged groups, especially among Indigenous Australians, refugees and asylum seekers, and others struggling against hardship. To read this article in full, click HERE.

New Board members for SPC

Michael Liddy & Tony French

michael liddy cropped 342We are delighted to welcome two new members to SPC’s Board of Management.

Tony French is a lawyer who has written our sparkling editorial for May on Mr Rupert Murdoch’s views on markets and morality. We will profile Tony in a future issue of this newsletter.

Our second new Board member – Michael Liddy – has had a 35-year career as a forensic scientist, and in teaching forensic science at La Trobe, Charles Sturt, and Deakin universities where he held honorary appointments as Adjunct Professor.

Michael has been a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria for over 12 years, as a member of the Donvale Conference. He has been President of the Eastern Central Council for over 3.5 years, and on the Society’s Victorian State Council. He has served on several St V de P committees, including chairing the committee overseeing the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepoint in Melbourne, raising awareness of the issues facing more than 100,000 who are homeless or sleeping rough in our cities, and raising funds to support the works of the Society and VincentCare to assist the homeless. Michael was the respondent to Robert Fitzgerald, who presented the 2013 Ozanam Lecture in Melbourne.

Michael’s interests are in the Society’s social justice advocacy, enhancing members’ mission, and supporting initiatives to help those in greatest need.

Martin Flanagan

Spirituality in a secular society

Presented by the John Wallis Foundation. Continuing the vision and mission of the Missionary Sisters of Service.

11 June 2013 7-9pm

Madeleine Centre, Genazzano FCJ college, 301 Cotham Road, Kew.
Bookings at, email Bonita at, or call 03 9873 5520.
Adults $15, Concession $10.

Human rights & the NT Intervention : Issues facing NT Aboriginal people

With Michele Harris from concerned Australians

Monday 13 May 2013 7:30-9:30pm

St John’s Coghlan Centre, 494 Maroondah Highway, Mitcham
Enter via Elizabeth Street (Melway 48/J9). Parking available in school grounds.
RSVP by 10 May to Pia Pagotto 9887 3096, or Howard Tankey

Michele Harris has engaged in human rights work for many years in Australia and overseas. concerned Australians, in association with the St John Social Justice Group, the Combined Churches Social Justice Group Whitehorse, and Whitehorse friends for Reconciliation are hosting this free information evening. Copies of A Decision to Discriminate will be available. To order a copy, view

Positions Vacant

Director (CEO)
Creative Ministries Network

CMN is a faith-based community and agency of UnitingCare in Victoria and Tasmania, committed to integrating arts-based activities into programs dedicated to healing, justice, and reconciliation. Obtain a position description and apply HERE, or call Paula Bradshaw on 03 9251 5477.

Project Officer (part-time)
Office for Justice & Peace, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Contact Mark Clark on 03 9926 5710 or see

Help support SPC

SPC relies on donations to expand the conversation about social justice

You can help by making a donation in one of these ways…

– Send your cheque or money order to our office at PO Box 505, Box Hill, Victoria 3128
– Transfer by Internet to Social Policy Connections Inc, BSB 083159, Account 792617040, referencing your surname and phone number
– Donate by credit card, using the DONATE form on our website.

Books available at SPC

bruce social justice w342 resizedSocial Justice: Fuller life in a fairer world

By Bruce Duncan

$35, or $28 for financial members of SPC, plus $5 postage and handling.
Outlines social justice in the Scriptures, how later generations lived these values, and issues today of the economic crisis, equity, global poverty, hunger, climate change, peace, and indigenous issues. It highlights the contributions of Frederick Ozanam, Barbara Ward, Rosemary Goldie, Helder Camara, Joseph Cardijn, and Aboriginal activist ‘Mum Shirl’.

lacey cover w342 resizedSufficient for the Day: Towards a
Sustainable Culture

By Geoff Lacey

$20 plus postage.

“Geoff Lacey has something new and important to say about the roots of the environmental crisis and the way forward. His combination of deep reflection and practical attention to problems provides a much-needed corrective to a sustainability debate dominated by narrow economic perspectives.” Paul Mees, Senior Lecturer in Planning at RMIT.

gibbs cover w342 resized borderTowards a Better World

By Arthur Gibbs

$15 plus postage.

An SPC member, Arthur worked as an economist. “Towards a Better World is a cautionary tale of what can happen when world leaders and corporations jump on an ideological bandwagon with little reflection about the long-term consequences for all.” Anne Tuohey.

Social Policy Connections featured video

Bishop Pat Power

What I have learned about the churches & public policy

To read Bishop Power’s address in full, click HERE.

Click HERE if the video does not display properly
Click HERE to view more SPC videos

ppower video

Print Friendly, PDF & Email