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Many of our general community standards of care for older people are not often applied to those in prison.  These include community inclusion, loving care, close contact with family, appropriate physical and social conditions, health care, and respect for the dignity of each person.

Which of these standards should we relax for people in prison?  Which of these can be done away with without undermining the minimum acceptable levels of respect for the human dignity of an older person?  Which of them would we want set aside if an elderly family member were to be incarcerated?

We need to have the conversation.


Christmas is such a busy time - so much is written, and so much consumed!  But the origin of the season is that Jesus came to live among us as one of us, to bring the face of God before us in a radically different way.  And we are invited and challenged to respond, to see him in those around us.

May the peace and joy that the season promises envelop you and yours this Christmas season, and may the spirit of the season guide and strengthen us all in 2016 and beyond,

Warm Christmas greetings, from the Council and staff at Catholic Social Services Victoria.

10 December is International Human Rights Day. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

Click here for a statement from Bishop Vincent Long, Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
Fr Andy Hamilton sj reflects on this day in the following terms:  "For any government, human rights can often be a nuisance. When people protest against breaches of human rights, they bring the actions of the government to scrutiny, try to prevent it from doing what it wants to do, make it rethink its plans and give it a bad reputation abroad."

Dr Maria Harries, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, participated in the recent Synod on the Family in Rome.  Her brief presentation to the synod was in the context that ‘We acknowledge the sacredness of the family and we travel with its sadness and messiness’ 

Maria is also on the Truth Justice & Healing Council, and in that role will participate in the session on sexual abuse at our February 2016 conference, Review Reimagine Renew: Mission making a difference in a changing world, #MissionRenew

Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work. Click for our Reconciliation Vision
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