Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Friday 29 June, 6pm
Footscray Baptist Church, 60 Paisley Street, Footscray (Mel Ref 42 B4)

  • What are the issues that reflect the true cost of the products we buy?
  • What are the ‘best buys’ for our health, our communities and our planet?
  • How can you find the most sustainable purchase amongst the options available?

Join us to find out more the products, companies and related issues that are part of your weekly supermarket shop. We’ll explore practical ways to help you in making more ethical choices and lighten your impact, with time to share questions, experiences, and to feast on some positive alternatives.

Tours will also be conducted on Friday 27 July, Friday 31 August and Friday 28 September.

COST: $6. Light supper provided.
ENQUIRIES: Contact Nick Ray on 0500 868 498, or email

Supported by the Sustainable Living Directory and the Ethical Consumer Group.

This information is taken from the June 26th Edition of Justice and International Mission Email Update - If you'd like to subscribe to either this weekly email update, or the bi-monthly hardcopy mail out, or if you have an event to advertise, send us an email at

Monday, June 25, 2007

An Opportunity for Action

Dear Friend,

Five years of war in Iraq have produced bloodshed, suffering and violence that have cost thousands of precious and innocent lives. The United Church of Christ is calling on its members and supporters to "join protest to prayer" by calling for an end to the war and promoting peace with justice. Please take action today by signing the petition to end the Iraq War.

Justified as a means to end oppression, the Iraq War has imposed a new oppression of terror on the people of Iraq. We've lost thousands of Americans to the bloodshed, and innocent Iraqi lives are forever altered by fear and violence. In our name human rights have been violated, abuse and torture sanctioned, civil liberties dismantled and lives destroyed.

It's time to end the war and to bring peace and justice in the Middle East.

Today, the Collegium of Officers released a pastoral letter at the opening plenary the UCC's General Synod voicing our opposition to the war in Iraq. We were supported by the UCC's Conference Ministers and Seminary Presidents who joined as co-signers. Now, we are asking you to join us, too, by signing our online petition.

Let us create an unprecedented faith-based movement calling for an end to this war, an end to our reliance on violence as the first, rather than the last, resort. Please sign the petition today.


The Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Here are some more Social Justice Web-based resources for you. Most of these are youth/young adults focussed but the information is for everyone.

JustAct is about taking action against instances of injustice in our local community and our world. It is about being part of creating change, no matter how big or small the contribution is, every voice counts! In signing up you will receive a monthly SMS or email alert informing you a new justice action is up on the web and ready for you to act.

Global Issues is a summary information website on Global Issues of social justice (funny enough). Its about informing us about the Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All.

The Oaktree Foundation is an entirely youth run aid and development organisation. We are driven by young people under the age of 26. We believe that education is the key to making lasting change. This page summarises the latest campaigns that you can get involved in.

Stir Your World is a youth initiative of World Vision Australia, aimed at stirring up young people to take action in an unjust world.

We Are What We Do is a movement. We’d like to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. Whoever they are. And wherever they are. And that includes you. We’ve created 50 simple, everyday actions that can improve our environment, our health, and our communities, making our planet and the people on it much happier. We started by putting these actions in a book, but the whole movement is getting bigger. And bigger.

Get Up Australia!is a new independent political movement to build a progressive Australia. GetUp brings together like-minded people who want to bring participation back into our democracy. members use the latest online tools to act on important issues facing the country. Whether it is sending an email to a member of parliament, engaging with the media, attending an event or helping to get a television ad on the air, GetUp members are always only ever asked to take targeted, coordinated and strategic action.

Monday, June 18, 2007


What follows is taken from TEAR Australia's e-newsletter on Advocacy and Action

TEAR's post-budget campaign email encouraged changemakers to write letters to the editor, or contact talkback media, to put forward concerns about the aid program. We wanted to ensure that in the frenzy of analysis of tax cuts, and tertiary endownment funds, and the like, that our fundamental obligations to assist the poorest people and countries was not lost:

Not many people know that when our Prime Minister signed on to the Millennium Development Goals and agreed to help cut global poverty in half by 2015, he said that he would 'spare no effort to free more than a billion men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.' Sadly, every budget since he signed on to that declaration in 2000 has spared plenty of effort in the fight against poverty.

TEAR Australia doesn't have a sophisticated media analysis machine, but I am aware of two letters from TEAR supporters that were published in the Sydney Morning Herald, two that were published in The Age, and one in the Canberra Times. And it's a fair bet that there were letters published (and comments aired) that I'm not aware of. A fair bet, too, that for every letter published there were several received that weren't chosen.

So, thank you! Together we are shaping a public debate in favour of a more generous and poverty-focused aid program.

Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Information about and commentary on public policy issues, justice concerns, news events, and the activities of our denominational, ecumenical and interfaith partners, from the Disciples of Christ in North America. A great resource from within our own movement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


15th June 7.00pm - Churches of Christ Theological College, 44-60 Jacksons Road, Mulgrave

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"

A personal journey of action and consequence as told by Al Gore, US Vice President under Bill Clinton. A powerful documentary that opens a window onto tomorrow’s life upon planet earth.

Discussion to follow. All welcome.

Free admission

Hope to see you on 15 June.


Sunday 17 June, 12midday
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Join us as we march to join the Multicultural Arts Victoria's Emerge Festival at Fitzroy Town Hall, with food, music and dancing.
Supported by RacVic, Friends of the Earth, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Free West Papua.

Wednesday 20 June, 9am
Lecture Theatre G.02, Victoria University, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne (Mel Ref 1A H2)

June 20 is the United Nations World Refugee Day and this coincides with Refugee week (Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June) in Australia. To mark these important dates, the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA) at Victoria University will be holding a half day seminar on refugee settlement in Australia. The aims of the seminar are to:

  • identify the needs of refugee communities
  • reflect on refugee settlement experiences
  • generate reflection, debate and policy considerations on refugees in Australia.

The new ICEPA report, The Relocation of Refugees from Melbourne to Regional Victoria: A Comparative Evaluation in Swan Hill and Warrnambool, will also be launched.


  • Mr Christopher Callanan, Acting State Director, Department of Immigration and Citizenship
  • Mr Terefe Aborete, Horn of Africa Community Network
  • Mr Phong Nguyen, Chairman, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria University
  • Ms Kim Webster, Senior Program Advisor, Mental Health and Wellbeing Unit, VicHealth
  • Dr Steve Francis, Policy Manager, Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues
  • Professor John McCallum, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University
  • Ms Anita Milicevic, Bosnian Refugee and PhD Student Moondani Balluk, Indigenous Academic Unit, Victoria University

COST: $60 Government or Corporate / $50 Academic or NGOs Non-profits / $25 Public / $20 Student
RSVP: Essential as laces are limited.
ENQUIRIES: Contact Sue Butterworth on 9919 5478 or, or visit

This event is held in association with the Sudanese Australian Integrate Learning (SAIL) Program.

Information taken from the Justice and International Mission Unit 12 June 2007 Update. If you'd like to subscribe to either this weekly email update, or the bi-monthly hardcopy mail out, or if you have an event to advertise, send us an email at

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ballarat Central celebrates all things Sudanese

Ballarat Central have just sent through details of their forthcoming event “Snapshots from Sudan
Saturday 9th June 07. 1pm-4pm.
37 – 39 Peel Street South,
Cnr. of Eastwood and Peel Streets
Tel/Fax 5333 4396

  • 1:00pm Conversation, Culture and Craftwork
  • 2:00pm Songs, stories, singing and dancing
  • 3:00pm Food tasting and refreshments

A time of learning, appreciating, accepting and embracing.
If you are able to support this event in any way that would be wonderful.

Next SJN event – A Focus on Palestine with Sylvia Haddad

The next SJN event will be in conjunction with the CWS Partners4Peace program and the Churches of Christ Theological College. There are actually 2 events on Friday the 20th of July. Sylvia Haddad is the Executive Secretary of the Joint Christian Committee in Lebanon. She is a gifted speaker and will share stories and insights from the Middle East.

“What the JCC is trying in its humble way to do is to help people in any way it can and especially in empowering people with education and skills that will qualify them for employment and jobs.”

The first event planned is a youth forum with Sylvia Haddad. We are aiming for 18-35s who may have an interest in social justice and/or the Middle East. It will be 5-6pm at CCTC and entry is free.

The second event is a dinner hosted by CCTC. Cost is $25 for dinner and talk or $5 for talk only. SJN would like to host one or two tables, so come along and enjoy Middle-eastern food and music and hear Sylvia’s story. RSVP to Kristen Hobby (03) 9558 7462 or email

Monday, June 04, 2007


Environment Sunday is being celebrated on Sunday June 10th 2007, as the closest Sunday to World Environment Day. Below are some communities who are offering resources to help integrate this event in your worship time, and also offer suggestions as to how your community can be more environmentally conscious.

A United Kingdom based community who aims to encourage churches to consider environmental issues within a Christian context and enable local churches to make positive contributions in their life and mission. The web site contains plenty of free resources for practical and worship use. Some things may need to be 'Australian-ised' but a quality website.

A Rocha - Christians in Conservation
A Rocha is a Christian nature conservation organisation, our name coming from the Portuguese for “the Rock,” as the first initiative was a field study centre in Portugal. A Rocha is now a family of projects working in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North and South America, and Asia. A Rocha projects are frequently cross-cultural in character, and share a community emphasis, with a focus on science and research, practical conservation and environmental education. The link above is to the British based website, which contains Resources for Environment Sunday. They say
"Environment Sunday is the closest Sunday to World Environment Day, and each year A Rocha produces materials to help churches celebrate creation, and encourage action. This year the theme is Noah’s Ark - with flexible worship material for liturgical, informal and all-age worship, as well as sermons, bible studies, children’s activities and practical suggestions. The pack is also linked to ‘Operation Noah’, the Churches’ Climate Change Initiative."

Eco-faith Ministry
Ecofaith is an environmentally aware worshipping community which has its origins in the Scot's Church (UCA) in Adelaide, South Australia. In community with the Rev
Dr. Jason John Eco-faith is a worshiping community, on a journey of discovery about who we are and who God is. We celebrate life and our growing understanding of its evolutionary past and ecological present. We are more concerned with where people are heading than where they are at. All people of good will, whether they have two, four or zero legs are welcome to join us! Goodwill includes a relaxed, open minded and friendly approach, just like the rest of us! Rev. Dr Jason John presented the recent G.R. Stirling Lecture at the South Australian Churches of Christ Annual Conference. The Website contains information and resources on incorporating a theology of ecology into worship services and into the worshiping existence of life.


In less than a week, G8 leaders will have the power to save millions of lives by fighting global disease and extreme poverty. All they have to do is fulfil the promises they already made to the world's poorest people.

Next week's G8 summit in Germany is do or die time, not just for the G8's promises, but for the millions of people who depend on them. It's not too late to do something.

Please sign the petition calling on the G8 to get back on track to keep their historic promises to the developing world. The commitments which have been kept are already saving millions of lives, but if every G8 country were to live up to its promises, we could save many more.

We are closing in on one million signatures from around the world on this crucial petition, please act now to push us over the edge before the G8 summit.

The G8 promised to make poverty history. Let's hold them to it, it's our promise too.

Please take action by signing the petition calling on the G8 to renew their commitments to the world's poorest people.

Thank you for your voice,

Josh Peck,

Friday, June 01, 2007


MORE than $600 million of Australia's foreign aid over the past two years never went overseas but was swallowed up in the coffers of a small Federal Government agency in Pitt Street, Sydney.

This is just one example of a shift in policy under which the Government dresses up as overseas development assistance money that never leaves Australia or is used to prop up its immigration policies......

Almost $1 billion which the Government has identified as official aid is being spent on programs in which no new money flows to the countries said to be getting it, Aidwatch says in a report to be released today.

Counting as much expenditure as possible as aid has become increasingly important since the Prime Minister, John Howard, made his pledge to the United Nations 18 months ago to increase official aid to $4 billion a year by 2010.

But the Herald found that much of the money has never left Australia, and that 10 private companies held almost $1.8 billion in contracts let by the Government's official aid delivery agency - AusAID - last year....

To read the rest of the Sydney Morning Herald Article click here: Phantom aid never leaves our shores