keywords: Building Community

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral point of difference between Labor and the Coalition

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 September 2013
    17 Comments

    There was cause for celebration on Saturday night for both the Coalition and Labor. The Coalition was able to claim a decisive victory in the Federal Election, and Labor defied expectations and remains viable. But not so for vulnerable people overseas who will lose their Australian foreign aid lifeline so that the Coalition can fund its election promises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My election campaign hibernation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 September 2013
    25 Comments

    Over a meal with church members and local party officials in a small village outside Xian in China, a local asks after Lù Kèwén (Kevin Rudd). He had heard that Mr Murdoch was being very tough on him! This unsurprisingly is the only mention of Australian politics the whole week. But they were surprised to learn that yet again Australia was likely to lose its only Mandarin speaking PM. They have no idea of the alternatives.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When punishment fails

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 August 2013
    10 Comments

    ABC employee Jill Meagher was murdered by a man who had been granted parole while serving his sentence for a previous violent sexual crime. The largest threat to the security of the community comes from a view that sees punishment entirely in retributive terms. Unless the human development of prisoners is seen as central, imprisonment simply begets further risk. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    A reading list for climate change deniers

    • Greg Foyster
    • 30 July 2013
    29 Comments

    With the release of some frightening reports over the last 12 months, those who deny the scientific consensus on climate change will have to expand their list of 'alarmists' to include some unlikely suspects — the World Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the International Energy Agency. When accountancy firms start sounding like environmental campaigners, the future looks very alarming indeed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Portrait of an empty marriage and absent God

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 July 2013
    2 Comments

    The sense of God as absent is almost suffocating, but is relieved by the hope that if God is absent from buildings and institutions he may be present 'outside' and in relationships. Father Quintana comes into his own when he comes into contact with the needs of ordinary people, as he prays in voiceover 'Christ before me … behind me' and so on.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kevin's bounce

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 July 2013
    17 Comments

    No one knows whether Kevin Rudd's positive impact on Labor's vote will last. While the potential bounce was long predicted by the opinion polls they could never tell us why. But then again he has always been an enigma. His immediate record of popularity after becoming Opposition Leader in 2006 was equally astounding. As the Rudd-Tony Abbott contest begins afresh there is a lot more that we need to know. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pragmatic answers to the asylum seeker question

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 June 2013
    10 Comments

    'I want to outline the contours for a better approach — better than forcibly turning around boats, better than transporting people to Nauru and Manus Island or to Malaysia to join an asylum queue of 100,000 or permitting people to reside in the Australian community but without work rights and with inadequate welfare provision.' Frank Brennan speaks at the Australian Catholic University National Asylum Summit 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Catholic Church's toll on Aboriginal Australia

    • Mike Bowden
    • 25 June 2013
    32 Comments

    Present members of missionary orders, when writing up the story of their predecessors, tend to present these pioneer missionaries as enlightened men and women suffering hardship to spread the gospel. The destructive effect of the approaches taken by some missionaries does not negate the good work of many others. But it is part of the story and should be told.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humiliation at the heart of homelessness

    • John Falzon
    • 18 June 2013
    13 Comments

    Recent ABS data reveals NT has both the highest rate of people experiencing homelessness and the highest imprisonment rate of any Australian state. Former Spanish PM Zapatero said 'a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members'. Successive Australian governments have systematically humiliated citizens on the basis of cultural background or health or social status.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Solidarity on Europe's horizons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 June 2013
    1 Comment

    At present all that seems to unite European citizens is the negative sentiment of 'Euroscepticism'. There's a gulf between citizens' opinions, and the policies pursued to solve Europe's most pressing problems. For committed Europeans the important discussions to be had now aren't just concerned with institutional design, but with 'the fundamental questions'. Enter the philosophers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Turkish democracy gets the shake-up it needs

    • William Gourlay
    • 12 June 2013
    5 Comments

    Turkey's increasingly dictatorial prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid little heed to last week's violent demonstrations, dismissing protesters as looters and blaming social media for inflaming the situation. The protests are hardly on par with Egypt's government-toppling anti-Mubarak demonstrations, yet may still lead to a rejuvenation of Turkish democracy.

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