Let’s quickly release children and families from detention

Editorial by Bruce Duncan

Child in detention. UN photo, flickr CCPrime Minister Gillard’s intention to release from detention children and family groups seeking asylum in Australia is being welcomed by church and community groups, fulfilling a 2007 election promise.

Yet many Australians would have been shocked to learn that 738 children were being held in immigration detention centres around Australia, some for long periods. Kate Gautier, chair of ChilOut, a group campaigning to remove children from detention, wrote on 30 September that only ten children were in community housing and allowed to move around without a ‘designated person’ or guard, even for those allowed go to and from school.  Read More

Photo: UN photo, flickr CC

Releasing children from detention

Presented by Phil Glendenning,

Phil GlendenningPhil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre will be speaking on mandatory detention, and issues arising from the gradual release of women and children from detention. Entry by donation. Tea and coffee available afterwards.
Thursday 4 November, 730 pm
Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union,
98 Albion Rd., Box Hill.
Best entry via 34 Bedford St.
Click HERE for directions. Contact SPC: 0432 991 085,


Meeting with Senator Jacinta Collins

Senator Jacinta Collins

SPC members, Peter Whiting, Bill Frilay, Bruce Duncan and Audra Kunciunas, met on 12 October with Senator Jacinta Collins, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, and her advisor, John Conlan.
We nominated our areas of concern and expressed our wish to work constructively in the development of public policy.
We were open to suggestions or advice from Senator Collins, and expressed our hope that she would see us as a resource for engaging with church and community opinion. Read More

Young adults and Social Justice

Young adult meeting

Queensberry HotelSPC’s first young adult meeting will be held on Monday 25 October at 7.30 pm in the Queensberry Hotel (593 Queensberry St., Carlton) (http://www.queensberryhotel.com.au/) This will be a perfect opportunity for all interested to meet up and get to know each other. We will discuss SPC’s goals and aspirations, as well as suggest forthcoming events and activities. Please feel free to invite your friends. If you have a facebook account, you can RSVP at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=159916517365658#!/event.php?eid=159916517365658

Nominations to SPC’s Board of Directors

Like other organisations, SPC elects its Board of Directors at its Annual General Meeting, which will be in late November. We wish to expand the Board, and invite nominations from people with energy and skills to promote the aims of SPC as an independent, ecumenical organisation, committed to advocacy on key issues of social justice. We welcome applications from people of various denominations and age groups.
The nomination form can be downloaded HERE, and then sent to: the Executive Officer, Social Policy Connections,
P O Box 505, Box Hill, VIC, 3128
One needs to be a financial member of SPC to become a Board member. To become a member, download the form from our website, or contact our SPC office

Church involvement in the settlement of asylum seekers and refugees

The Yarra Institute for Religion and Social PolicyThe Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy has commissioned research into the settlement services provided by church organisations for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.
Our researcher, Dr Kirsty Sangster, has compiled an initial survey of such church groups. She will examine the services provided and the difficulties involved, and give an assessment of results. The research will in particular monitor current efforts to move women, children and family groups out of detention centres into the community.

Other Events

Act for PeaceIn the week from 24 October 2010, Act for Peace, an agency of the Australian Council of Churches, is urging church communities to raise awareness about the urgency of promoting disarmament. See www.actforpeace.org.au/

Check out the talks and events around Melbourne at http://www.antipovertyweek.org.au/

State Library, Swanston

Rally to end Mandatory Detention
Sunday 7 November, 2pm,State Library, Swanston/La Trobe Sts, Melbourne
Click HERE for a brochure.

Social Policy Connections featured video

Two types of interaction between religion and politics
Click HERE if the video does not display properly
Click HERE to view more SPC videos

Cas Coleman

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