Friday 23 June marked the 30th anniversary of Bob Hawke’s promise to ensure that “By 1990 no Australian child will live in poverty”.
Right now 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).
Last Thursday Fr Frank Brennan, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, joined other leaders in the social services sector, for a vigil on the lawns in front of Parliament House to remind our elected representatives that they can, and should do more, to rescue Australian children from the grip of poverty. Continue reading
18-24 June 2017
By Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees
Refugee Week 2017 (18-24 June 2017) is a time to celebrate Australia’s rich diversity and shed light on the success stories of migrants and refugees in our communities. Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day on 20 June 2017.
During Refugee Week Australians come together and celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees have made to our country. Australia has a rich multicultural heritage, adding to is diverse heritage. Australia’s success as a Nation is in part due to this rich diversity. Continue reading
The Board of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPS) today announced the appointment of Ms Sheree Limbrick as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Ms Limbrick has a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement and management, strategic planning and policy development, as well as more than 10 years experience in executive leadership in social services.
Ms Limbrick has most recently worked with CatholicCare Melbourne as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and prior to that as Director of Operations. Previously managing Statewide Programs for Berry Street, a service provider for vulnerable children and families across Victoria, Ms Limbrick established support services for Forgotten Australians.
In welcoming Ms Limbrick’s appointment, the Chair of CPS, Geoff Giudice AO, said: ‘CPS has a unique role in the history of the Church in Australia and carrying out that role will not be without challenges. The Board is confident that we have a CEO who will provide outstanding leadership in meeting those challenges and achieving the company’s objectives’.
Members of the company, Sr Ruth Durick OSU, President of Catholic Religious Australia and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Vice-President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference also welcomed Ms Limbrick on her appointment to this new role. Continue reading
‘I am shocked to learn of the harrowing plight facing millions of people in a number of countries in East Africa,’ Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said today.
‘Sadly, there has been little coverage in Australia of this emerging tragedy. Today, I am lending my voice and that of the Catholic Church in Australia to urge you to help if possible.’
‘Prolonged drought is causing widespread hunger across East African countries. Somalia, South Sudan and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are the worst affected.’
Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, through its international network, is working to support over 250,000 in the affected region. Continue reading
This year is the 110th anniversary of the landmark Harvester minimum wage decision by Justice Higgins in 1910.
The basic objective of Harvester was to set a fair and reasonable minimum wage that would provide a decent standard of living for workers and their families. The Harvester minimum wage for unskilled workers came to be regarded as the Australian living wage.
Harvester was commemorated and invoked by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) in its recent submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review.
ACCER’s submissions traced the influence of Justice Higgins and others on the legislation and decisions that enabled the setting of the living wage. ACCER’s submissions also drew on the assessments of former High Court judge Michael Kirby and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke regarding the influence that Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum had on the legislation and policies that resulted in the Harvester decision. Continue reading
Young people across Australia are being called to share their views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published today by the Australian Bishops.
The survey seeks to capture the opinions and perspectives of young people as part of a national consultation process that will inform an international conversation in Rome next year.
Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today’s world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events.
At a recent gathering of young people in Rome which has informed and helped to prepare this process, Ashleigh Green, a young social worker from Sydney said, one of her hopes for the Church in Australia is that ‘we can better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians’.
‘I hope that we can use the common yearning for social justice as an avenue to engage youth and I hope that we can create new spaces for community within the Church,’ Ms Green added. Continue reading
Matt Maher is arguably the biggest Catholic name in global contemporary Christian music and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is delighted to announce he will be coming to Sydney for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival from 7-9 December 2017.
The internationally acclaimed Canadian songwriter and worship leader is heading to Australia with his band to join with 15,000 young people at the biggest Festival of its kind to be held in the country. He will perform, lead worship and provide engaging input on each day of the three-day Festival at Sydney Olympic Park including Sydney Showgrounds, Qudos Bank Arena and The Domain.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth made the announcement today.
‘Matt Maher’s music is a powerful tool to reach young people and we’re so pleased to be welcoming this highly acclaimed artist for the ACYF,’ Archbishop Fisher said. Continue reading
Bishop-Elect Michael Morrissey
The Holy Father has today appointed Fr Michael Morrissey, the Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese of Geraldton, as the ninth Bishop of Geraldton.
Bishop-Elect Morrissey is the first Bishop of Geraldton who was born, raised, ordained and has ministered in the Diocese.
Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference welcomed the appointment, ‘On behalf of the Australian bishops, I join priests and people in welcoming Fr Michael Morrissey as Bishop of Geraldton. He has long priestly experience of Geraldton and already has been involved with so many people young and old.
‘Fr Michael is a worthy successor after the twenty-five year term of Bishop Bianchini who has governed the diocese with so much love and care. We wish him many years of Gospel service as the new bishop.’
The Bishop-Elect said his appointment recognises ‘all those small communities scattered throughout the diocese, including Yalgoo, my home town where I grew up on a sheep station’. Following in Bishop Justin Bianchini’s footsteps is very special, he said after working closely with him for the past 25 years. ‘I hope to continue the legacy of Bishop Justin listening to the people and seeing where they would like to go in their faith and life.’ Continue reading
The Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, speaking on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has expressed concern at some elements of the Federal Government’s budget announcement regarding Catholic school funding.
As Bishops, we acknowledge the difficult financial situation currently faced by the Government and the nation. We are fully aware of the need for restraint and responsible stewardship of the nation’s resources. We also acknowledge the Government’s recognition, in its funding proposals, of its responsibility to facilitate parental choice in the matter of education. It is this principle that undergirds the now well-established practice of funding a Government education system and a Catholic education system, as well as hundreds of Independent schools.
We are encouraged that the Government has now announced that there will be a minimum funding indexation for all Australian schools in the medium to long term. The Government’s proposed floating indexation rate had been creating uncertainty for schools, school systems and families. Continue reading
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
With seven months to go, online registration officially opened this morning for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Sydney from 7-9 December 2017.
Among the first to register were a number of the Bishops of Australia while gathered in Sydney for their biannual Plenary Meeting.
The Festival registration process can be completed on mobile or tablet devices. Alternatively, groups and individuals can register online at, www.acyf.org.au.
Groups are encouraged to register early with an additional incentive of a complimentary registration per organisation, for all groups of more than ten, that register before 31 May 2017. Continue reading
The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring program is delighted to welcome BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (BBI) as its inaugural annual partner for 2017/2018.
Launching in late May 2017, the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring program is a national program aimed at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women and encouraging them in their faith.
The program aims to empower women to use their gifts and talents to make meaningful and significant contributions to the Australian Church and, in turn, have a positive impact upon Australian society. Continue reading
Bishop Terry Brady
Australia’s national policy should be directed to destroying human trafficking by 2030, Bishop Terry Brady told a parliamentary inquiry today.
Bishop Brady was giving evidence on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement in Sydney at their hearing on human trafficking. Bishop Brady is Chair of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.
‘Australians have a moral imperative to eradicate the injustice of human trafficking and modern slavery,’ Bishop Brady said. ‘If we know that the human dignity of people is being harmed in this way, we should do what we can to free them from that ill-treatment.
‘As an example to others and to spur reform in Australia, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney announced in March that it would slavery-proof its supply chains. Continue reading