Search Results: Angus Houston

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Being clear eyed and misty eyed about human rights and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 October 2016
    8 Comments

    Australia's policy is unique and unrepeatable by other nations because it requires that you be an island nation continent without asylum seekers in direct flight from the countries next door and that you have access to a couple of other neighbouring island nations which are so indigent that they will receive cash payments in exchange for warehousing asylum seekers and proven refugees, perhaps indefinitely. The policy over which Turnbull presides is not world best practice. It's a disgrace.

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  • RELIGION

    Time to defuse Nauru and Manus Island time bombs

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 August 2016
    23 Comments

    The suggestion that those camps need to remain filled in order to send a message to people smugglers is not only morally unacceptable; it is strategically questionable. Those proven to be refugees should be resettled as quickly as practicable, and that includes taking up New Zealand's offer of 150 places a year - just as John Howard did when he accepted New Zealand's offer to take 131 from the Tampa. It's time to act. Ongoing inaction will send a green light to desperate people to do desperate things.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Human Rights Day tribute to the Northern Territory's Tony Fitzgerald

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2015

    I first met this Tony on my regular visits here to Darwin when he was working at the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and then when he set up the mediation services under the auspices of Anglicare. In later years I knew him when he was your Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. He was a quiet, considered, gentle, strong and principled man. On Human Rights Day, it is only fitting that I honour Tony by offering some reflections on the architecture for human rights in Australia, on the contemporary human rights controversies, and on the way forward for better protection of the human rights of Aborigines and asylum seekers, two marginalised groups who had a special claim on Tony's sympathies.

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  • RELIGION

    'Equal laws and equal rights ... dealt out to the whole community'. How close 161 years on?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 December 2015
    1 Comment

    'Tonight, gathered here in the Southern Cross Club in the national capital, gathered as Eureka's children. We affirm that there is room for everyone under the Southern Cross. I hope you will return to Canberra carrying the Southern Cross flag when we proclaim the Australia Republic on 1 January 2020 which will be two elections after Australia last had a monarchist leader of a major political party. Tony Abbott is the last of his type. Whether the prime minister honoured to witness the proclamation is Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or another matters not.' Annual Dinner for Eureka's Children, Southern Cross Club, Canberra, 3 December 2015.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border control gulags have had their time

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 October 2015
    28 Comments

    Anyone hoping a Turnbull government will be more accommodating of boat people than an Abbott government will be sadly mistaken. But that is not the end of the matter. Now that the government has firmly closed the entry door to Australia, there is no warrant for maintaining the chamber of horrors in the Pacific which was set up as a 'circuit breaker' deterrent. Turnbull needs to admit that a purposeless chamber of horrors is not just harsh; it is cruel, and it is unAustralian.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    China syndrome haunts Abbott's Japanese jaunt

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 08 April 2014
    3 Comments

    The two powers in Asia on whom our economy and security depend, Japan and China, have reached an impasse. That should not constrain Australia from reaching out to both on the basis of mutual interest and shared values. China has a keen appreciation of the former and an abiding suspicion of appeals to the latter. Distinguishing one from the other and acting accordingly is the first great test of Abbott's statecraft.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection word games

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 December 2012
    19 Comments

    On Saturday Scott Morrison's border asylum meter registered the arrival of the 150th boat since Julia Gillard's announcement of the Pacific Solution Mark II in August. If the 'no advantage' principle is coherent and workable, the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers and Gillard have very different understandings of its operation.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a more ethical way to stop the boats and deaths at sea

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 September 2012
    4 Comments

    In the lead up to the election, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison are sure to continue insisting that the Gillard Government's Pacific Solution Mark II will not work. In all probability this will undermine the efficacy of the Gillard Solution in stopping the boats. Read the full text of Fr Frank Brennan's address to the Migration Institute of Australia, Menzies Hotel, Sydney, 14 September 2012 

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  • RELIGION

    Houston report's high cost of deterrence

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2012
    27 Comments

    Amending the Migration Act to make the old style Pacific solution less susceptible to judicial review errs on the wrong side of decency. The Coalition and the Greens should unite in the Senate to oppose it. In the protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, deterrence must come second to decency and accountability, even when we are trying to beat people smugglers.

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  • MEDIA

    Sex scandals and SNAG soldiers

    • Lyn Bender
    • 20 April 2011
    5 Comments

    Listening to the Defence Force top brass talk about the 'female' cadet scandal is like taking a trip back to the 1940s. The stoic military 'warrior culture' can be tempered by encouraging men to develop appropriate self-disclosure and empathy against the dehumanising effects of training.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sex and humility in the church and the military

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 April 2011
    16 Comments

    In the wake of the defence force Skype sex scandal, former diplomat Bruce Haigh pointed out that things start to go wrong when commanding officers forget that they are there to serve, and instead act to protect their reputations. His point holds true for unions and churches.

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