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A new whole-of-Church initiative to help people and communities recover from the current bushfire crisis will set the blueprint for how the Catholic Church responds to domestic natural disasters in the future. The new national collaboration is called CERA – Catholic Emergency Relief Australia – and will serve as a coordination point for Catholic agencies responding to natural disasters. The founding organisations are the Australian Catholic Bishops ConferenceCatholic Religious AustraliaCatholic Social Services Australia and the National Catholic Education Commission. Other Catholic organisations are expected to join the collaboration soon.
In a statement released 23 January 2020, the St Vincent de Paul Society has assured Australians that every dollar raised for the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal will be used to support the people affected by the fires. For more information about how Vinnies is helping, click here, and help spread the word! 
The bushfires we have seen over the past few weeks and months have been devastating. Catholic social service agencies are responding to both the short and longer term planning needs of communities across the country with many others. As a sector we also need to consider how we address the conditions that have given rise to such ferocious fires.
Catholic Social Services Victoria supports a joint statement made by McAuley Services for Women, Uniting Care Vic.Tas. and Anglicare Vic., in expressing concern at the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill. The statement says: A second draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill was released earlier this week, introducing changes that include a broader definition of which organisations can discriminate based on religion.

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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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