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 Around 30 members of Catholic Social Services Victoria gathered in East Melbourne last Monday evening for the first of three workshops in our Pathways to Partnership series planned during this latter half of 2014.

The recent Victorian budget focused on transport investment, but missed an opportunity to focus on the needs of those on the margins of our prospering society. 
The 13 May commonwealth budget seems to have been worse - most of the 'heavy lifting' will be done by those on the margin. 
We need a return to solidarity and dignity for all.  One opportunity to redress these imbalances will be in the run-up to the Victorian November 2014 general election. 
The main message of this book is that the wages safety net is failing to keep workers and their families out of poverty and provide them with a standard of living that is appropriate by contemporary Australian living standards. 'The important issue is why it has been allowed to happen over more than a decade of enormous national economic growth, despite the Global Financial Crisis.’ 

There is much to be done across our society to ensure that all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live in dignity.

Our submission to a current Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into social inclusion for people with disability makes recommendations around promoting a culture of acceptance and of equal citizenship;  provision of enabling infrastructure; effective service design, including services directed at people who experience particular disadvantage, such as young people with disability living in nursing homes; and adequate funding of Government-funded services.

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.

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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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