Celebration, justice and healing: Sorry Day 2014


National Sorry Day in Perth attracted crowds of people this year, Monday 26 May, at Wellington Square in Perth. Among those present was Hon Ben Wyatt, Labour Party member for the seat of Victoria Park ; Reece Harley representing the Lord Mayor of Perth; and Hon Fred Cheney, former Australian Senator and chair of Desert Knowledge Australia.

Groups from a range of public, private and independent schools were also there on the day, experiencing some of the culture and stories of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Continue reading

Leadership camp Jabiru


The smell of buffalo cooking in an earth-oven wafted around the fireplace and voices lifted in praise long into the night as Indigenous church leaders gathered in Jabiru for a three-day leadership camp.

As many as 60 church leaders flew in from Yirrkala, Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku, Maningrida, Warruwi and Minjilang for the camp in April.

West Arnhem/Jabiru Patrol Minister Lindsay Parkhill, who organised the camp with his wife Louise, said it was a time rich in fellowship and sharing. The aim of the camp was to share ideas and experiences from the different communities and work out ways for the future. Continue reading

A budget that challenges the most vulnerable


The national council of the Uniting Church in Australia has urged the Federal Government to maintain the closest possible scrutiny on how Australia’s most vulnerable are affected by the tough changes in the 2014 Federal Budget.

“The Federal Budget lays out an extensive range of program cuts and structural changes,” said President of the Uniting Church Assembly, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney. Continue reading

Budget heavy lifting done by families, pensioners and young people


UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said that this year’s Federal Budget falls short of its own ambition to provide equality of opportunity for all Australians.

“The burden of this budget falls overwhelmingly on families, pensioners and young people.

“Cuts to family payments, income support and pensions are four times the size of the temporary levy on high income earners,” Lin said. “Many of these cuts are permanent, while the high income levy runs for only three years. Continue reading

Investment in people and productivity is the key to prosperity

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said that next week’s Federal Budget should focus on investing in people and productivity to ensure the future prosperity of the nation.

“The Budget offers an opportunity to invest in our nation’s most valuable resource – its people,” said Lin.

“A strong focus on education and skills development, along with support for those transitioning from school to work, will ensure that Australia’s young people are able to find and keep decent jobs. Continue reading

Commission of Audit: time to consider our nation’s priorities

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said that yesterday’s Commission of Audit report set out a raft of recommendations that challenge the way we think about the role of government and our expectations of it.

“While the report contains more than enough recommendations for cutting, transferring, privatising and scaling back to concern most sectors of the community, the recommendations do not equate to government decisions, as the Finance Minister made clear yesterday,” Lin said. Continue reading

Australia must not enable bigots and racists

The Uniting Church in Australia has called on the Abbott Government to drop its proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

“The amendments proposed would diminish protections against racial vilification. This is totally unacceptable in a multicultural, multi-faith society,” said Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, president of the Uniting Church in Australia. Continue reading