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The Office for Justice and Peace hosted a great Fairtrade Fortnight morning tea at the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to highlight the ways we can buy products free from the taint of modern day slavery. About 24.9 million people are in forced labour worldwide - over 40 million entrapped in modern slavery overall. The Office has joined forces with ACRATH and the dioceses of Victoria and Tasmania on a long-term project to make our dioceses slavery-free.
McAuley Community Services for Women has used its deep understanding of the inter-connecting issues facing women and children who are experiencing family violence and homelessness to contribute a submission to Victoria's Royal Commission into Mental Health Services. As the only Australian family violence agency which also offers employment support, McAuley has also contributed a submission to a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry on family violence and employment.
MacKillop Family Services is piloting a volunteer mentor program in South West Victoria to connect children and young people under the age of 18 with mentors who will engage them through similar hobbies, interests or job skills. And as part of the new HEALing Matters initiative, Mackillop’s Barwon region has engaged a personal trainer to boost the fitness and activity levels of young people in care.
Victoria’s 25,000 people experiencing homelessness, including almost 400 rough sleepers in the city and inner suburbs, can access quicker, more comprehensive and more effective assistance, with the opening of VincentCare’s new Ozanam House, the single biggest investment in homelessness accommodation and support ever in Australia.
The unique and enduring leadership and contributions by women of faith in Australia over the past 75 years was the topic of discussion at the annual John Wallis Memorial Lecture in Melbourne this week. More than 100 people attended the lecture, hosted by Highways and Byways – A Community of Service, to mark the 75th year of the Missionary Sisters of Service.
All are welcome to join with the John Pierce Centre community for its annual Ephpheta Mass on Sunday 18 August 2019, at 11am. The word Ephpheta means "be open" and has been used as a special celebration in the Deaf Catholic Community Calendar for many years. Mass will be celebrated by Fr Wayne Edwards (AUSLAN interpreted) at the John Pierce Centre, 25-35 High Street, Prahran.
Jesuit Social Services welcomes the news that a new youth detention facility will be built close to Darwin and Palmerston, in line with the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory’s recommendation that the Don Dale facility be closed down. It is crucial that the new facility is designed in line with international best practice in youth detention, and that facilities themselves should be small and home-like, with an emphasis on education and skill development. Read the media release, here.
Forced marriage was criminalised in Australia in 2013. Since then, hundreds of cases have been referred to the Australian Federal Police, but no-one has been prosecuted. The ABC's Bridget Fitzgerald spoke to Dr Carol Kaplanian, Kyla Raby and Laura Vidal, Policy & Research Specialist from Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand about ways to support people impacted by or at risk of forced marriage. Listen to the ABC report, here.
Thousands of people come to CatholicCare for support each year, and each year we in the Catholic Social Services sector are finding more and more people who are in need of help. This month the CatholicCare Sunday Appeal is launching in parishes across the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Diocese of Sale. Its is asking for your help to reach more people in need so it can give them the support to break through the barriers they face, and live life to the full.
Unfortunately for the asylum seekers detained in our detention centres, and those trying to come to Australia, our governments, and certain sections of the Australian media, have successfully spread myths concerning them that have become entrenched in the minds of a majority of the Australian voters. The Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project outlines some of the myths and the actual facts that refute them, here.

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