Time to Build Bridges not Walls
Saturday 27 May
9.30am – 4.15pm
Centre for Theology and Ministry, 29 College Cres Parkville
Joe Camilleri is Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne and Executive Director of Alexandria Agenda, a new venture
in ethical consulting. His research has centred on: international political economy; religion and culture; security and peace
studies; foreign policies of the great powers and the Asia-Pacific region. Over the past 10 years Camilleri has convened some 20 major international dialogues and conferences, and appeared before several parliamentary and government inquiries, most recently the parliamentary inquiry into the Racial Discrimination Act.
Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon, currently teaches OT/Hebrew Bible studies at the Pilgrim Theological College. She has strong commitments to the (esp. political, social, economic, environmental) marginalized, who, in the Indian context, are the poor,
women and Dalits and she has contributed toward developing Dalit and Indian Feminist hermeneutics and theologies and interpretation of Biblical texts drawing on insights from the social biographies of these communities, their perspectives
and their lived experiences.
Anam Javed is the Secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, and as part of the ‘Speed Date a Muslim’ event, she answers questions about Islam on a daily basis, whether in person or online, and also feels the need to prove her “Australian” identity constantly. Pakistan is home, and always will be, even though going back does not seem to be an option. Turn on the news and you’ll know why. Anam teaches in a large public high school and represents the sum of the ethnic diversity at her school. She hopes to
live long enough see an inclusive Australia that values it’s multiethnic landscape, and offers up its “boundless plains” to anyone who needs a safe haven.
Each year the Justice and International Mission Unit receives feedback from its supporters about how you would like to be resourced. Your thoughts help shape our work and makes the church's voice louder and more effective by focusing our efforts. The Unit is open to working on new issues if enough people wish to be resourced on them. For more info and a list of current issues, please click here.
World Environment Day is celebrated each year on the 5 June. This year's resource is now available. It contains reflections on the lectionary readings for June 5, liturgy and ideas for all age worship, stories from around the Uniting Church, theological reflections from Asian, Pacific Islands and Aboriginal perspectives. Download your free copy here.
In September 2015, in the wake of outrage over the drowning of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Australia would take in 12,000 extra refugees fleeing conflict in Iraq and Syria.
The Uniting Church in Australia and other Churches applauded the Government’s announcement to offer re-settlement to these refugees, recognising the devastating crisis happening in Syria.
However, since that time very few refugees have actually been resettled in Australia. The Uniting Church, along with other members of the Victorian Council of Churches, are concerned at the length of time taken to process and resettle the refugees from both Syria and Iraq.
We are encouraging people to write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton MP, urging them to act on their promise to resettle 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees here in Australia as soon as possible!
Want to run a candidates' debate at your church? The Uniting Justice Federal Election Kit has all the information you need to get things going.
Want to Make Lives Better?
In 2016 we launched a postcard campaign to ‘Make Lives Better’. Each of the postcards focuses on one of the services that makes people’s lives better such as housing, mental health programs, disability support and ending family violence. Instead of these services competing for limited funding, we are campaigning for more money overall by spending and less on the military and tax concessions for the wealthy.
Here’s our progress so far!
The Commonwealth Government announced on 15 September they will rein in some of the unfair superannuation tax concessions.
Individuals with superannuation balances of more than $1.6 million (only 1% of Australians) will now have some of their benefits removed. And 3.1 million Australians, including 1.9 million women, earning up to $37,000 a year will receive a superannuation rebate of $500 a year.
The changes will mean the Commonwealth Government will collect an extra $670 million over the next decade. We now need to ensure this money is spent on urgent needs like supporting people’s mental health.
Unfortunately, despite these reforms, the superannuation system remains very unfair. The wealthiest 20% of Australians, who arguably do not need government income support, will still recieve low tax rates provided through the superannuation system. The JIM Unit will continue to campaign for fairness in this area.
Thanks to all of you who have sent postcards to the Treasurer. Please keep sending cards or inviting others to send the postcards.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9251 5286.
Excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald, October 19th 2015:
"Australia's biggest chicken supplier is facing allegations its contractors are exploiting foreign workers and using bogus business addresses, despite promising to improve standards months ago.
Fairfax Media has obtained signed statements from chicken processing workers who say they are asked to clock off after a full shift, for which they are paid an hourly rate. They are then asked to work extra hours and paid according to the number of chickens they bone.
The Uniting Church is demanding Baiada, "clean up its act" and use reputable labour hire companies after its investigation found the companies appear to be using bogus business addresses."
To watch the video and read the full story, click here.
To take action on this issue, sign our petition to end exploitation on Australian farms.