keywords: Young People In Detention

  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

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

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human rights are more than an inconvenient truth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 December 2015
    11 Comments

    Although they can be inconvenient, human rights matter. It is important for nations to recognise them and for citizens to defend them. The survivors of the Second World War who had seen the gross violations of human rights under both Nazi and Communist regimes clearly saw this. These states regarded human rights as a privilege that they could give and take away as they chose. History spells out in the alphabet of gas chambers and gulags what that attitude meant for their subjects.

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  • RELIGION

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

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 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
    • 27 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

    If only gender-based violence really was unAustralian

    • Tim Robertson
    • 13 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared that violence against women needs to be seen as 'unAustralian'. But sexual violence against women was part of the colonial experience for the Indigenous population, and continues to be a symptom of the punitive measures enacted against asylum seekers that we have a moral and legal obligation to protect. Violence against women is very much 'Australian', and will be until the institutional violence that has defined our past is owned and redressed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bishops' statement challenges politicians' hard hearts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 September 2015
    9 Comments

    The Australian Bishops' 2015 Social Justice Statement on justice for refugees and asylum seekers comes at the right time. It is not likely to receive enthusiastic support from the Government. The Bishops set the tone of their statement with a quote from Pope Francis' uncompromising Lampedusa sermon. Like him, their priority is 'what it takes'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' cognitive dissonance over blaming the system

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Words like rorter, bludger and leaner only ever seem to apply to those who apply for welfare. A politician who draws down unreasonably on entitlements or a banker who earns stratospheric bonuses are seen as passive beneficiaries of the system. It seems the case that only those with power or capital are allowed to blame systems. The rest of us get to be individuals who make choices.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Terrorist or criminal? Why it matters

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 July 2015
    7 Comments

    How we name someone makes a big difference. Criminals are subject to the criminal justice system. They can access legal aid and the prosecution must prove its case. Whereas terrorists can have their citizenship cancelled under the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act if they are a dual national, even without a conviction.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time to ask why refugees are on the nose

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 June 2015
    13 Comments

    Refugee Week has been overshadowed by stories of harsh new laws, reports of government misbehaviour and ministerial silence. Regrettably hostility towards asylum seekers is widespread. We must look beyond this crabbed little world to imagine a polity in which states cooperate to change the conditions that force refugees to flee.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's friendship with Indonesia is bruised but should not break

    • Emily Mitchell
    • 01 May 2015
    13 Comments

    Today, the relationship between Indonesia and Australia — the 'most important relationship' espoused by our Prime Minister — is aching. People are saying we must boycott Bali, that we must not go to Indonesia. While I understand these sentiments, I do not think this is the answer. To stay within our borders would only maintain the status quo. Instead we must embrace our neighbours and rekindle our friendship.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 31 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.  

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