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Christmas:  Making room for God, whom we find in others
Christmas might well be the most distinctive time of the Australian year.  No other day seems to have the same prominence for such a large number of Australians. 
In our seasonal busyness, would there be room for Mary and Joseph if they were to knock at our door?   Do we recognise our saviour in those through whom he speaks to us: children, the suffering, the abandoned, those who are excluded and the poor of this world?
This conference, to mark Anti Poverty Week 2013, provided great input and good discussion on serveral aspects of human rights in Australia.

Click here for text of Keynote address by Jacqueline Phillips, Director of Policy and Campaigns, ACOSS, on ‘Australia’s human rights future’

Click here for slides from 'Poverty Reduction Strategies in Australia: the disappointing decades?' by David Hayward, RMIT University
'To build a vibrant mission-oriented organisation, we need to continually deepen our understanding of our mission and of how it is woven into a narrative.' Denis Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Victoria, expanded on this theme in a presentation on 5 September 2013 to the Australasian Catholic Press Association.
An address by Denis Fitzgerald to Catholic Chaplains for Health Care, Wednesday 16 July 2013.
In 2011 the National Committee for Professional Standards, established by the Australian Catholic Bishops and the leaders of Religious congregations, issued Integrity in the Service of the Church, which outlines principles of conduct for any lay person who performs paid or unpaid work in the service of the Church. Click here for a copy of the document.
On 22 November 2012, Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Letter, On the Service of Charity, that sets out the positon in Canon Law of charitable organisations within the Church. Click here for the text of the letter.
The proposes new Victorian prison at Ravenhall must achieve best practice in rehabilitation, health services, and transition back into the community. 
The Interchurch Criminal Justice Taskforce has called on the Victorian Government to ensure that its tender process achieves these goals, in order to contribute to a safer and more just society.
In a speech to a VincentCare Victoria staff conference on 30 May 2013, Executive Director Denis Fitzgerald refected on the challenge of presenting the positive message of the Gospel at a time when so many are repulsed by the revelations of sexual abuse and cover up:  it is our fruits that will determine whether we have been true to our mission, and deserve the respect and the cooperation of staff and of society.

In Australia, over many years, the Church has sought to take this day as an opportunity to encourage a pastoral view that embraces our total community as the living Body of Christ. Click here for a reflection from Catholic Social Services Victoria on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, inclusion within Church communities, and the need for continued advocacy in support of that National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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Catholic Social Services Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the Communities where we work.
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