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President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, has released a statement deploring the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island, stating it is time to bring offshore detainees here to Australia.

The peak body for Catholic Social Services in Victoria is calling for Manus Island and Nauru detention centres to be closed, and for those sent to these centres to be brought to Australia.

We know that this detention harms people, and uses them as means to another end.  The game changer is an emerging consensus that this detention is not needed to meet our immigration goals, and that Catholic and other communities are ready to assist more people to settle in Australia.

Review, Reimagine, Renew: Mission making a difference in a changing world, will be launched on Tuesday 25 October by Archbishop Hart.  
The challenge to make a real difference to those on the margins of Australian society are immense - intergenerational disadvantage, drug and alcohol challenges, increased inequality all cry out for renewed commitment to building a more just and compassionate country.  At the same time, rapid changes in Australian society, in the Church, and in the way Governments work all challenge faith-based organisations in their mission-inspired work.  This book illuminates the challenges and sheds light on the way forward.

The ACRATH calendar, first published in 2015, creates awareness of human trafficking globally and here in Australia. Copies of the 2017 calendar can now be ordered.
A well planned and well executed week of lobbying in Canberra is a feature of the work of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH).
Cabrini Health is pleased with the progress of its new Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub, located at 503 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Officially opened in April this year, its first client was a Medicare-ineligible asylum seeker from the Middle East—the client was seen by Professor Suresh Sundram who now conducts weekly psychiatry clinics at the Hub.
Congratulations to Jenny Glare, Manager of Heritage and Information Services at MacKillop Family Services, who received the ‘Robin Clark Leadership Award’ on Tuesday 6 September.  This prestigious award is made each year by the Victorian Government to recognise best practice and leadership in Victoria’s children, youth and families sector.
In the 2016 Social Justice Statement, released this week, the Australian Bishops challenge a ‘throw-away’ culture that casts older people as being burdensome or even dispensable. They strongly affirm the sanctity of life and call for a culture of compassionate care that values and protects people in their final years. The Bishops call for communities that foster solidarity among the generations and ensure older people have their rightful place at the table.

More than 100 adults and children gathered at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Cheltenham on Saturday, 27 August for the “Reimagining Parish Services Expo”. Together with Fr John Petrulis, Parish Priest of Catholic Parish of Sacred Heart and St Colomba who gave the keynote address, leaders from 15 parishes and six social service agencies exhibited a diverse range of services to their communities.  Our Lady of the Assumption Parish demonstrated service in action as they welcomed the visitors; St Anthony’s Glenhuntly inspired us with meals services for local people, while St Macartan’s Mornington and other parishes on the Mornington Peninsula showed enormous support for Timor Leste.

There was a strong support at the Expo for other parishes to highlight their services and to learn from the work of others. Further Expos are envisaged, and will be announced at www.css.org.au/parishes

The Home Stretch is a national campaign, formed to influence the Victorian government to change the current leaving care arrangements for young people from 18 to 21 years-old, which will increase the likelihood of successful transition into adulthood. 

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