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Refugee Children in Immigration Detention Protest Broadmeadows
Free the children – Refugee Children in Immigration Detention Protest Broadmeadows Takver, flickr cc.

GST increase: a surrogate debate

Peter Whiting

Taxation reform has become urgent for Australia, but, as Peter Whiting writes in our editorial, arguments to increase the GST must be seen in the broad perspective of fairness, equity, and providing opportunities, especially for struggling families and individuals. Social Policy Connections continues to scrutinise these issues, as well as that of the refugees.



kids in detention banner 2
8 Christian leaders face Perth Court. Photo: Louise Coghill, Love Makes A Way, flickr cc.

Australia’s moral crisis: shipping babies & families off to Nauru

Bruce Duncan

Bruce Duncan outlines the growing protests about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, especially about sending babies and their families back to Nauru. The public mood has changed about the fate of these babies, urging Mr Turnbull to change government policy.


syrian kids
Children of Zaatari camp, Oxfam International, flickr cc.

What has happened to the 11,990 Syrian refugees?

John Menadue

John Menadue asks why it is taking so long for the government to process the 12,000 refugees it offered to take from Syria. He points out that Canada is processing its Syrian refugees much more quickly than Australia.



turning up the heat
The pressure to pledge for 1.5℃ grew throughout the Paris summit, Reuters/Jacky Naegelen, courtesy The Conversation.

Turning up the heat: how the diplomatic push for 1.5℃ unfolded in Paris

Bill Hare

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Bill Hare, in The Conversation, traces how the Paris climate conference chose to aim for a temperature rise of just 1.5 degrees, and considers obstacles to restricting global warming to that level.



iran mosque
Iran Mosque, Tony French

A new gold rush in Iran?

Tony French reports on his impressions of Iran after a recent visit

SPC board member, Tony French, reports on his recent visit to Iran with his daughter, Kate. They were struck by the beauty of the country, its ancient culture, and the friendliness of the people.


(February 23, 2011) In support of workers fighting for their rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and across the country. Hundreds of middle class workers from DC area gathered for a solidarity rally outside the offices of Gov. Scott Walker. - Washington, DC - Photo © 2011 David Sachs / SEIU
DC Rally Supporting WI Workers 22, SEIU, flickr cc.

The economic foundations of family life are being undermined: rumblings beneath

Brian Lawrence

Chairman Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations 2007 to 2015.

Expert commentator and advocate, Brian Lawrence, analyses current debates about wages and living standards. He argues that living standards for many are being undermined. He explains how church and union groups have insisted on the essential morality of fair wages and living standards, and how these are threatened today.

Serious about
social justice?

Consider study at Yarra Theological Union (YTU), or at other colleges within the University of Divinity in Melbourne. Undergraduate to higher degrees.

YTU units include :

  • Justice & Human  Rights
  • The History of Catholic Social Thought & Movements
  • Equity & Sustainability: Pope Francis & Social Reform
  • Major Issues in Contemporary Moral Theology
  • Inter-Religious Dialogue
  • Social Teaching & Aboriginal Australians

Contact the Dean of Studies Yarra Theological Union 98 Albion Road Box Hill 3128  |  |  03 9890 3771.

Download the YTU handbook and a list of other University of Divinity colleges.


Review, reimagine, renew: mission making a difference in a changing world

Catholic Social Services Victoria

24-26 February 2016

Bookings Lucia Brick 03 9287 5566  |
Full program $450. Discounts for groups and concessions, available.

Details here.

Wednesday 24 February 3-8pm.
Confronting family violence

Thursday 25 February 9am-5pm. Conference dinner 7pm.
A servant Church in a changing world, noted US commentator, John L Allen.
Dinner speaker Cathy McGowan AO MP

Friday 26 February 8:15am-4pm.
Addressing & preventing sexual abuse, Robert Fitzgerald AM, Maria Harries AM, Micaela Cronin.
Hearts & minds together for action, Julie Edwards.
Catholic social teaching in action, Professor Frank Brennan.


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