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Edmund Rice Centre

15 Henley Rd
(PO Box 2219)
Homebush West,
NSW 2140

Ph:  (02) 8762 4200
Fx:  (02) 8762 4220

Int'l Ph: +61 2 8762 4200
Int'l Fx: +61 2 8762 4220


Located just 100 metres to the south of Flemington Railway Station. Link to new location on Google Maps

Brisbane Annexe

5 Abingdon St
(Postal: 84 Park Rd)
QLD 4102

Ph 1: (07) 3103 7376
Ph 2: (02) 8090 1976
Fax: (02) 8762 4220

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media releases publications research submissions resources ERC event photos


ERC Media: COP21 Paris: Australia fails on real increase in support for most climate-vulnerable neighbours. 1Dec2015

Media Release
Sydney, Tuesday, 1st December 2015

The AUD$1billion that Prime Minister Turnbull announced Australia will contribute over the next five years is not a new commitment and is not new money but will be drawn from the Government’s existing aid budget towards building climate resilience and reducing emissions.

"In his Paris speech Prime Minister Turnbull has highlighted the increasing vulnerability of some of our nearest neighbours, however his aid announcement means that Australia's response to their situation is to continue previous contributions, and not increase support in real terms," Edmund Rice Centre Director, Phil Glendenning, said today from the COP21 UN Climate Summit in Paris.

"Whilst Australia's decision to ratify the 2012-2020 Phase II of the Kyoto Protocol is welcome and a positive initiative, it is still disappointing that Australia’s recognition of the increased vulnerability of our neighbours like Kiribati and Tuvalu should be addressed with funds drawn from Australia’s existing and diminishing aid budget," Mr Glendenning said.

Read more.

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ERC Media: Kiribati youth leader hopeful for UN Paris climate summit -- 14Oct2015

Pacific Calling Partnership partner calls for empathy from Australia.
Sydney, Wednesday, 14th October 2015

The Edmund Rice Centre’s climate advocacy initiative, the Pacific Calling Partnership, is hosting a Sydney visit of Tinaai Teaua a youth leader & climate advocate from climate-vulnerable Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati.

Ms Teaua is visiting Sydney as the guest of Oxfam Australia, in the lead up to her participation in the UN COP21 Climate Summit in December in Paris, which she will attend as part of the Pacific Calling Partnership delegation - representing the Kiribati Climate Action Network ('KiriCAN').

"We can work together to make sure that in this world no one will be harmed in the future, I know it is not just Kiribati, but also the whole world. Kiribati is not drowning yet. We are still fighting for our lives."

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ERC Media: Climate change no laughing matter -- 11th Sept 2015

The Edmund Rice Centre and the Pacific Calling Partnership have condemned the Australian political leaders laughing and making jokes about the impact of climate change on Pacific nations.

“The people of the Pacific look to Australia - as the region’s largest developed nation - to support them as they struggle to cope with climate change and developmental challenges. Laughing at their plight is simply cruel.”

“I am utterly staggered that senior politicians in Australia see fit to regard climate change as a laughing matter. Having recently been in Kiribati and seen the human fall-out that occurs when sea level rise threatens the very existence of a people and their culture, it truly beggars belief that Minister Dutton and Prime Minister Abbott regard the reality of climate change as something to joke about,” ERC Director Phil Glendenning said today.

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ERC Just Comment Vol 18 No 3: 'Palyasin' - Go away mining corporations!

‘No to mining, Yes to life’……..Palayasin ‘Go away’

As mining companies engage in human rights abuses, land grabs, environmental destruction, community upheaval, loss of traditional life, militarisation, pollution of vital ecosystems, and vilification and killing of human rights defenders and activists, in the Philippines the Tagalog word ‘palayasin’ (go away) rings out… and is heard throughout Asia, Latin America, Europe, Oceania and Africa. Though companies claim they are responsible corporate citizens, the branding does not match the reality. 

Amidst much suffering to indigenous communities and local people, mining corporations, in amassing much wealth, wield economic and political power over governments, whilst being protected by international trade and financial institutions. But voices, cry out, ‘go away’, ‘no to mining, yes to life’.

The extraction of minerals pollutes areas beyond the actual mining sites and for years after closing operation. Pope Francis referred to the ‘mess’ in our planet in his recent Encyclical Laudato Si’. Governments promote mining and provide incentives to corporations in the name of ‘the national interest’ and ‘economic growth’, whilst the harm and cost to ordinary peoples’ lives, communities and future generations of all species is barely recognised. For governments it is ‘yes to mining, and no to life’ for their people.

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PCP Media: Australia's emissions targets shock Pacific Islander -- 14th Aug 2015

Shocked Pacific Islander fears for the future of her country.
Reaction to announced minimalist 28% climate commitment from Australia.

"I am very frustrated and extremely disappointed at this news," said Ms Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang on hearing the announcement of Australia’s commitment to reduce its carbon pollution by just 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Ms Tiimon Chi-Fang who is from Kiribati is spokesperson for the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnership. "I strongly fear that this means our people’s future in Kiribati is at risk and they will face an even harder life than they have now."

"It is so unjust. We are all part of this globe and we are supposed to care for our neighbours," she continued. "My country is a developing country with few resources and is trying so hard to survive. Every day, the people of Kiribati continue to live with the impacts of climate change: coastal erosion, stronger storm surges, longer droughts, sea-water inundations, and increasing shortages of fresh water and food."

"Australia has the highest per capita green-house emissions in the world. Kiribati people live with the consequences of high emissions. If Australia were to take its responsibilities seriously then the people of Kiribati will have more chance to build up their resilience by initiating more extensive adaptation measures."

“For many years Kiribati President Anote Tong has voiced the fears of his people and has fought for climate justice. I ask Australians to listen to the people of Kiribati and other countries that are vulnerable to climate change. Kiribati and other atoll nations need and depend on serious and effective action right now from Australia and the global community.”

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ERC Deportations Research: Australian sponsored torture in Sri Lanka -- Aug 2015

August 2015: Australia is placing its esteemed international reputation on the line to pursue a cynical policy of “stopping the boats” at any cost. This policy not only uses the respected Royal Australian Navy to enforce a cruel policy on the high seas at the expense of the lives of the asylum seekers but also uses tax payer money to sponsor brutal regimes to contain asylum seekers.

The Australian Government has provided money and material worth millions of dollars to a regime which had, in 2012, a staggering 5671 cases of outstanding involuntary disappearances.

Moreover, Australia toed the line of the Sri Lankan government and opposed an independent investigation by the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in 2014. It did so despite co-sponsoring the human rights council resolution against Sri Lanka in 2012 and despite the fact that many other nations such as the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada voted in favour of investigation.

There is no evidence that Australia's posture reflects any improvement of human rights record of Sri Lanka's Government. The time has come for Australia to acknowledge the errors of this unprincipled relationship between the Governments of Australia and Sri Lanka.

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Invitation: A Climate Change Conversation -- Fri, 21st Aug 2015

The Pacific Calling Partnership invite you to:-

A Climate Change Conversation
with Ursula Rakova, executive director of Tulele Peisa

Located 86km north-east of Bouganville the people of Papua New Guinea's Cartaret Islands made world headlines in 2009 as rising sea-levels of climate change caused them to commence a forced migration away from their atoll home.

Coordination of the ongoing staged relocation of the 2,700 inhabitants to Bouganville is being undertaken by the community organisation established for this purpose, Tulele Peisa Inc. The Carteret Council of Elders adopted the name “Tulele Peisa” - which in the Halia language means “sailing the waves on our own” - as defining their goal: “striving for strength and action through capacity building of our own people”.

"Our goal is to empower the Tulun/Carteret islanders to strive for prosperity and well-being for their families through community organising, skill development and training so that they are able to make informed decisions for their future," says Ursula Rakova the dynamic and courageous founding executive director of Tulele Peisa - herself a daughter of this matrilineal atoll community.

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Small graphic of flyer for the Tulele Peisa Climate Change event

ERC Just Comment Vol 18 No 2: Border Force Act & Whistleblowers

Australian Border Force Act - protection or defense of injustice?
This law has been passed with bipartisan support. Professionals working in immigration detention centres are prevented from raising concerns about detention centre conditions and the physical and psychological treatment of asylum seekers or risk two years in jail.

Despite the wall of secrecy to prevent public scrutiny, a growing chorus of voices is emerging against abuses and poor conditions and in condemnation of this law that is not about stopping the boats or protecting our borders but protecting politicians.

If we witness child abuse in Australia we are legally obliged to report it to child protection authorities. If we witness child abuse in detention centres, we can go to prison for attempting to advocate for them effectively.

The disclosure of illegal, dangerous or unethical activities by governments or corporations is crucial for accountability.  It is important in exposing corruption, mismanagement and fraud. Putting people above the institution and speaking out can save lives, protect dignity and save resources.

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Just Comment Vol 18 No 1: Laudato Si' - Pope Francis' Earth Encyclical

Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Laudato Si’, subtitled ‘On Care for Our Common Home’ underscores its main message: that we share a small interconnected planet which can only become a reality in ‘relationship’ with all creation, people and the Creator.

This relationship calls all to a change or conversion of heart - both individual and communal. The Pope is making a challenging call to all people who seek justice and integrity of creation - not just people of faith.

There is a call to make a space that allows dialogue and engagement to occur. There is a call to inclusion. An exclusion derived from a politics dictated more by special interests and powerful elites has resulted in our most vulnerable sisters and brothers being marginalised.

Clearly here is a response to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

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Image of front page of ERC Just Comment 18.1 Laudato Si'

Stronger Targets towards a Carbon Pollution Free Australia -- 16th Jun 2015

An Open Letter from NGO's to Australian Parliamentarians calling for commitment for Australia to achieve net zero carbon pollution by 2050.
Dear Australian Parliamentarians,

We are a diverse group of 51 leading civil society organisations, representing a broad cross section of Australians. We encourage our leaders to take on the responsibility to do more to cut Australia's carbon pollution and do our fair share to limit global warming.

As world governments prepare to commit to new pollution reduction targets at the United Nations meeting in Paris, December 2015, we call on you to commit to carbon pollution reduction targets for Australia that:
  • are in line with limiting global warming to the globally agreed upon goal of less than 1.5-2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent below 2000 levels by 2025, at least 60 per cent by 2030, and to lay out a clear pathway for Australia to achieve net zero carbon pollution as soon as possible, by mid-century at the latest.

A net zero carbon pollution pathway to 2050 is achievable, affordable and desirable.

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Open letter to Australian Parlimentarians calling for zero carbon emissions by 2050 -- 16 Jun 2015

PCP Media: Climate change is human rights issue -- 5th Mar 2015

Interview opportunity with Ms Pelenise Alofa: Sydney, 10th to 14th March 2015

Pelenise Alofa, climate advocate and coordinator of KiriCAN – Kiribati Climate Action Network - has addressed the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In her address delivered today in the United Nations in Geneva Ms Alofa  called on the Human Rights Council to speak out: “We cannot continue to discuss this issue at the UNFCCC or the UN General Assembly alone. It is paramount that this Council provide a strong voice to reach the negotiations at the UNFCCC.”

“We have a right to survive and to live,” she insisted. “Climate Change is a global injustice and one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Climate Change also touches every aspect of our lives.”

Read more

PCP Release: Pelenise Alofa at UN Geneva

Refugee Council release: Attacks on Human Rights Commission distract from protecting children -- 25th Feb 2015

Attacks on Human Rights Commission distract attention from protecting children Baseless attacks on the Australian Human Rights Commission and its President, Professor Gillian Triggs, serve only to distract attention from protecting vulnerable children under Australia’s care, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) said today.

... “Under the Rudd and Gillard Governments, record numbers of children were detained, reaching a peak of 1,992 in July 2013.

“In its first year in office, the Abbott Government reduced the number of children detained in Australian centres from 1078 to 603 but the average length of time in detention for children and adults blew out from 115 days to 413 days. As at 31 January 2015, 211 children remained in detention in Australia and 119 in Nauru, nearly all of them detained for well over a year.

... “Rather than attacking the Australian Human Rights Commission for doing its job, the Government should be getting on with its own job: protecting the vulnerable children under its care. It should immediately introduce legislation to prevent the detention of children and ensure that this shameful policy is never repeated.”

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Refugee Council release: Attacks on HR Commission distract from protecting children -- 25th Feb 2015

Patrick Dodson: Tribute to Faith Bandler -- 24th Feb 2015

Hers was a life of activism in Australia, whether for equal wages for Aboriginal workers, the rights of those who had been stolen into slavery from the islands of her father or the recognition of Indigenous people in the Constitution of the nation. For this Lady injustice was not defined by colour nor creed, nor racial origin. Injustice for her was simply unacceptable and when identified could not be tolerated or left in place to fester and corrupt the soul of the nation.

... This dear Lady was confronted with the reality of injustice from the day of her birth and fought against its tide for her entire life.

Her message of justice and humanity will not disappear with her passing into the spirit of the land and waters of her country where she travels today but will have its echo in hearts of future generations.

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ERC Media: End detention of asylum children once & for all -- 13th Feb 2015

MEDIA RELEASE, Sydney, Friday, 13th February 2015
"End mandatory detention of children once and for all"

In response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention which was released yesterday, the Edmund Rice Centre joined with 201 other Australian organisations and community groups to sign a joint statement calling all members of the Australian Parliament to take action to end the detention of children.

"The Australian Human Rights Commission report The Forgotten Children is a well-researched, detailed and deeply disturbing account of the harm inflicted on vulnerable children as a direct result of decisions taken by successive governments. Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs and her team should be congratulated for their work in once again bringing the nation's attention to the horrors inflicted on vulnerable children," Mr Glendenning said.  

"Both of Australia’s major political parties are responsible for deliberately putting in place policies and practices that harm children. The Rudd and Gillard Governments set new records for the numbers of children detained, while the Abbott Government has seen the average length of detention blow out from three months to more than 14 months in its relatively short time in office. The Australian Government has no plans to expedite their release. This is unacceptable. This is wrong. It must stop," Mr Glendenning affirmed. "Every individual member of Parliament has a duty to act. Cruelty to children can never again be seen as an option. The country has had enough."

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ERC Media Release - Asylum children out of detention.

PCP Media: 'Climate justice!' Pacific call at UN SIDS conference in Samoa - 29th Aug 2014

MEDIA RELEASE Sydney, Friday, 29th August 2014
Delegation leaving Sydney to promote human rights perspective on Pacific climate change impact.

A delegation of four climate change advocates from the Pacific Calling Partnership will leave Sydney today for the Samoan capital, Apia to promote the calls of Pacific communities for 'climate justice' at the 3rd UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, 'SIDS'.

“The fears of Pacific Island communities in climate-vulnerable atoll nations continue to grow as impacts of climate change incrementally disrupt traditional living in our home villages,” said Pacific Calling Partnership spokesperson Maria Tiimon Chi-fang.

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PCP Media Release

PCP Media: Young Pacific Leaders deliver urgent call in Canberra -- 27 May 2014

Release - PCP Media: Canberra, 27th May 2014
Young Pacific leaders deliver urgent call in Canberra:-
    "We have a right to our future in our island homes"

A group of young leaders from Kiribati and Tuvalu are this week visiting parliamentarians in Canberra to encourage the parliamentarians and the people of Australia to rethink their climate change policies.

Spokesperson for the group, Maina Talia from Tuvalu, said: "We have come all the way from our islands because we care about the lives of our children whose contribution to climate change is next to nothing but who may not be able to call Kiribati or Tuvalu home."

"For us this is not about politics, nor economics, but it is about survival of culture, our language and our identity." said Boraueanimakin Tiannere (Tebby) from Kiribati.

The young leaders are in Australia as part of an initiative of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) a program of the Edmund Rice Centre.

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PCP Media Release

ERC International Human Rights Immersion: Central America -- July 2012

A formation program for people wishing to develop new and profound perspectives to their existing frameworks and commitment to social justice & reconciliation. The program will emphasise the use of a rights-based approach in development work and in systemic advocacy for social justice.  
The immersion aims to foster engagement with the international partner organisations visited, and to bring about transformational education for justice. International immersion experiences develop a new and internalised sense of our world, and of structures of inequity within it, from the perspectives of the economically excluded.    
El Salvador & Guatemala: Within processes of post -conflict social reconciliation, few places provide better examples of the use of programs of ‘recovery of historic memory’ as human rights strategies to confront structural impunity and to build social justice.  In our visit to the region we will meet with people who have risked all in the struggle for social justice in these countries. These are people who continue to be willing to put their lives on the line for the construction of a better society.

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ERC Human Rights Immersion - July 2012

A Well-Founded Fear -- Nationally televised documentary on Asylum Seekers

Sign the on-line petition to reopen the cases of Asylum Seekers that Australia has "deported to danger"
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SIDS2014 -- Initial perspectives - Sat, 30th Aug 2014

We were met at the airport by the friendly SIDS bus team and arrived at the Wesley Motel at about 1.00am to a very warm welcome.

Accreditation. After breakfasting late, we met up with Apisaloma who had arrived from Kiribati a few hours earlier than us and headed for the conference centre.

As we went through the process of registering our accreditation as representatives of Edmund Rice International, we talked excitedly about the fact that this was the very first time for Api to be accredited to a UN conference. It was a big moment for him and one we rejoiced in as we believe that as a young leader he may well be bringing the voice of the Pacific to the UN many more times in the future.

Planning and exploring possibilities Api showed great promise when he took part in the leadership training program that PCP held in May, the Kiribati-Australia-Tuvalu Exchange Program (KATEP).

The rest of the day we spent getting familiar with the venues, sorting out how to use the specially provided SIDS SIM cards in the 2 phones we are going to communicate and organise with over the next few days.

We also took many opportunities to tell Api stories of previous UN conferences and shared with him some of the lessons we had learned and explaining to him our ideas on how we could best make a contribution.

Latest News: (1) Teacher Resource 7/15 Asylum Seekers & Refugees (2) PCP Open Letter: Zero emissions by 2050 (3) Just Comment 18.3: Palayasin - Go away mining corps


Recent Publications from ERC

Asylum Seekers - Schools Resource

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource Student Activities


ERC's publication Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource provides activities for students which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy. 

This 52 page resource is available for download at no cost, and offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, with students with special needs, and with community groups.

Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.

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URGENT! Support our work for asylum seekers.

Update: ERC Director, Phil Glendenning, recently returned to Australia from Afghanistan after 10 days interviewing returned asylum seekers again in Kabul.

ERC is redoubling our efforts to find a third-country resettlement option for those returnees from Australia with whom we have been able to make contact. We need financial support to achieve this.

Such work uncovers high levels of risk for the deportees (and for our researchers). Research publications are available here.

Listen to Phil speak of the visit to ABC Radio National's Phillip Adams.

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