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At the recent Hearing Healing Hope conference (21-23 February, Melbourne), a workshop to garner the thoughts of delegates from around the country was held on one of Australia’s most vexing issues: how should we support asylum seekers? Parishioners and representatives from Catholic service agencies from Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory attended the workshop. Presentations by Sr Brigid Arthur csb (Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project) and Tracey Cabrie (Centre Manager - Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub) were followed by a focused discussion, providing valuable ideas for further action.
Australians will spend about $2 billion on chocolate at Easter and much of it will be chocolate produced using child labour from West Africa. With this in mind, we're asking everyone to please buy and sell only slavery-free chocolate this Easter. This is the message from ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) to everyone intending to buy chocolate, or run chocolate fundraising during Lent.
In this interview with Fatima Measham (of Eureka Street's ChatterSquare), Labor MP Clare O'Neil discusses the persistent gap between the rich and the poor, which has left many people disillusioned about how the economy and governments function, along with the questions: What does growth mean under these circumstances and is it still useful to talk about a working class? Clare presented at the Economics for a Flourishing Society forum, together with Joe Zabar and John Roskam at the recent national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope, held in Melbourne between 21-23 February.
The recent national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope, from 21-23 February in Melbourne, included an array of eminent and highly qualified keynote speakers and workshop presenters. Presentations in audio and PDF formats are available. Video presentations are still being prepared.

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