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Australian Catholic Social Justice Council is the Office for Social Justice agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. It supports and assists the work of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service and receives advice from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) is a multi faith network committed to action on climate change.
Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV) assists the Catholic Church in Victoria to fulfil the gospel imperatives to stand with and serve the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised; and work for a just, equitable and compassionate society.
Victorian-Tasmania Catholic Anti-Slavery Task Force in 2018 BDSJC joined forces with Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Sandhurst, Sale and Hobart, ACRATH, Office of Justice and Peace – Melbourne and ACU to stand against human trafficking and slavery. The name of the group is ‘Vic-Tas Catholic Modern Slavery Taskforce’. One of the group’s current aims to slavery proof our schools and staffrooms by purchasing fair trade products only.
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) works tirelessly to inform and empower people to take action against the modern slavery and human trafficking that is occurring right here on home soil. ACRATH supplies free resources to help make informed decisions about the products we buy, fair trade and ethically sourced materials in our schools. Every year ACRATH works to raise awareness of forced marriage and human trafficking.
SUPPORTING REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
All God’s Children : Our article titled ‘All God’s Children’ on pages 14 and 15 of ‘Our Diocesan Community’ (October 2019) seeks to engage community members in support of refugees and those those seeking asylum. Here are a number of contacts you may find helpful:
How to get invovled:
Mercy Connect (Mercy Works) recruits volunteers to support students from a refugee/asylum seeker background in Ballarat Schools through their Mercy Connect Project. The project aims to provide mentoring for young people to optimize their literacy development, academic and social learning. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Vincent de Paul: A lay Catholic organisation that assists people experiencing poverty and inequality and works to shape a more just and compassionate society. Vinnies Conferences can be found throughout the diocese.
Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council: Works in partnership with other community organisations, Cultural Associations and members to actively promote multiculturalism, cultural diversity and the well-being of all migrant communities throughout the region.
Ballarat Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Network (BRASSN): A subcommittee of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council. Its membership comprises representation from BRMC, GADRC, R.A.R. House of Welcome, Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY), Ballarat Community Health, Ballarat City Council, ASRC, Uniting Church and the Ballarat Catholic Diocesan Social Justice Commission. Members from this group facilitate fundraising events to raise funds to support the emergency needs of refugee families and much more. The committee also promotes and facilitates events during Refugee Week. Email email@example.com
Ballarat Grandmothers against the Detention of Refugee Children (GADRC) – facebook page: Committed to achieving freedom for all refugee children held by or on behalf of the Australian Government.
Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR): Grassroot movement striving to return compassion and humanity to Australian’s treatment of asylum seekers. There are a number of GRADC chapters in our diocese.
House of Welcome, Ballarat (facebook page): Provides emergency accommodation, advocacy and support for asylum seeker families. Donations of food, toiletries and vouchers can be made. Call 0401175045 for details and a list of donations needed.
Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) is about compassion for people seeking asylum and is an alliance of individuals, organisations, schools and parishes from across the Catholic community who advocate for fair and humane treatment for people seeking asylum in Australia.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is an independent not for profit organisation with programs to support and empower people seeking asylum and refugees to maximise their physical, mental and social wellbeing. As a movement, they seek to mobilise and unite communities to create lasting social and policy change for people seeking protection in Australia.
Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and people seeking asylum and those who support them. RCOA is a nonprofit organisation which is completely independent of government.
News updates can be accessed at:
SUPPORT FOR WITNESS K
In the interests of transparency, fair democratic process, justice and accountability, the Ballarat Diocesan Social Justice Commission recently sent letters to the Members of Parliament within our diocese, as well as all Victorian Senators, urging them to support the establishment of a Senate enquiry into the prosecutions of Witness K and his lawyer Mr Bernard Collaery. Witness K, a former Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer, had revealed information about ASIS illegally bugging the East Timor Cabinet Office in Dili to gain an unfair advantage in negotiations with East Timor over the rich oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap. Witness K and Bernard Collaery are now facing criminal charges in Australia. A full transcript of the letter outlining the Commission’s concerns can be accessed below. You can also read more about the case and sign the online petition which is calling for the Attorney-General of Australia, Christian Porter, to drop the charges.
CLIMATE CHANGE BILL
The Ballarat Diocesan Social Justice Commission, in partnership with Catholic Earthcare, showed significant support for Zali Stegall’s climate change bill, since it was introduced to Parliament in November. BDSJC sent a letter to MHR of the diocese, as well and all Victorian Senators, encouraging advocating for the bill and pointing out that the bill provides a clear, systematic framework for the development of the policy required for meeting the specified emission reduction targets. Last week BDSJC and Catholic Earthcare submitted a subsequent letter of encouragement to the House standing committee. A copy of the letter can be accessed below.
More information on our support of the climate change bill is available by scrolling down.
ZALI’S CLIMATE CHANGE BILL TO BE PRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT ON NOVEMBER 9
In recent times, many members of our diocese have supported Zali Steggal’s climate change bill. The bill was due to be presented in parliament early in the year but was delayed due to COVID19. I received a letter from Zali informing us that the bill will be presented on November 9. If you have not yet shown your support, there is still time. See links below, provided by Zali.
On Friday October 23rd, supported by MPs Helen Haines and Rebekha Sharkie, we formally signed the notice for the Climate Change Bill to be presented to parliament on Monday November 9th. I am so excited that this day is finally here. I want to thank each and every one of you who stands with me, and who has spoken up to support the Climate Change Bill with your friends and colleagues.
Covid has knocked us for six, but the recovery could be a blessing in disguise if we grasp the opportunity to use government investment to build a green recovery. And with the economic benefits of cheaper energy, more jobs and increased international investment, NOW’s the time to commit to a sustainable future through the Climate Bill and secure a safe and prosperous future.
With just over a week before the Bill comes before parliament, there are still many things you can do to help. If you haven’t already emailed your MP and/or the Prime Minister, do it now. Use this template if you don’t want to write your own.
Thank you for your ongoing messages of support. I will never stop fighting for the introduction of legislation in Australia to address climate change so our families, our country and our economy can prosper.
Zali Steggall OAM MP
Help extend the reach of the campaign and use our campaign materials to get more sign ups. Put up a poster in your car, home or place of work. Or print out a QR code mini-poster and ask your favourite café to put it in their window. A range of artwork is available for download from the website.
ClimateActNow Social Media Takeover
Like or follow #ClimateActNow on your preferred platform to get daily updates as Zali prepares and presents the Bill in parliament. Share our posts and create your own to attract more followers, and download our campaign tiles to use as you profile picture so we can take over social media in the lead up to November 9.
Join the live event in Canberra
The People’s Climate Assembly are organising a “Line the Streets” event between 7.00am – 9.00am on Monday, November 9 to greet parliamentarians as they arrive to hear the Bill, and then at a media launch event with Zali on the lawn. These must be held in a Covid-safe way but if you’re close to Canberra and would like to take part, contact The People’s Climate Assembly for details, and get working on some great banners!
Donate to the Climate Act Now campaign
Donations will help us amplify the noise in the days leading up to November 9, potentially allowing us to purchase TV or press ads to broadcast the message. If you would like to contribute, you can do so through our fundraising page on the Grassrootz platform.
The Climate Act Team