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Ph: (02) 8762 4200
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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
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Ph 1: (07) 3103 7376
Ph 2: (02) 8090 1976
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|ERC InTouch||eNewsletter||Monday, 26th March 2012|
Earlier this month, ERC Director Phil Glendenning was in Afghanistan monitoring the safety of asylum seekers who had been rejected by Australia. What he witnessed, heard and saw over there reminds us that if ever we need to mobilise the good will and empathy of Australians towards asylum seekers, it is now.
Over the past ten years, through the active and financial support of individuals and church and community groups, it has been possible for the Edmund Rice Centre to carry out our Deported To Danger work. On this visit, he met and interviewed another 28 returned asylum seekers. Of these, all but 2 are living in extreme danger. He confirmed the deaths of another two returnees and the kidnapping of other who is now presumed dead. One man had recently survived a rocket being fired through his house. His wife and father were killed instantly. He lives now in hiding in Kabul – along with his six children – all under the age of nine. Most are now unable to live with their wives and children because of the risk their simple presence would pose to them.
The returnees are being actively targeted by the Taliban particularly for having left the country. It was the week when news emerged that US forces had burned copies of the Koran, causing the city to explode into further violence. A week later, 16 Afghanis including 6 children were shot dead. The future looks very grim indeed.
So the struggle continues. Often it can feel like we are stuck in a continuous loop of déjà vu on this. Yet we have had success in enabling a great number of families to find safety through working together in difficult times.
These people dream of being able to take their children to school, in a place where their families can live in safety. That simple dream which still eludes them, enables them to cling to their hope and to their humanity. At some stage, as former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has said, our nation must recover the humanity we lost when we put them in this situation. Whatever support you might be able to provide will be gratefully received and put to work immediately. For more information about other projects running at ERC and justice events, read below.
ERC InTouch Team
The Edmund Rice Centre is a partner with other organisations in sponsoring another of the Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative breakfast eventa. This month the guest speaker is union leader Ms Ged Kearney.
As president of the ACTU Ged has actively sought to go beyond the experience of people at work, in favour of being an advocate for change to improve all aspects of Australians’ lives. She sees within her role a responsibility to promote respect for fairness broadly across the ACTU's wider spheres of influence.
This admirable approach recognises that ethics-oriented leadership will go beyond the more narrowly drawn boxes of the simply managerial approach. There must be room for the most human of aspirations in human organisations.
WHEN: Tuesday 27th March, 2012, 7.30am - 9am sharp
WHERE: Gilbert & Tobin Lawyers, Lv37, 2 Park St, Sydney
COST: $40 (general), $25 members and students
MORE: Contact John Sweeney on (02)8762-4200 or johns [at] erc.org.au
Media Release: 28th February, 2012
“The Edmund Rice Centre is distressed to learn of another asylum seeker death in ‘detention’,” John Sweeney, the Centre’s coordinator of research, affirmed today.
“In the early hours of Monday morning ‘Ali’, an asylum seeker from Iran, died in Liverpool Hospital. Medical advice suggests to us that the ongoing stress was very probably the most significant factor causing his death. Ali had committed no crime. It was cruel, it was inhuman and degrading.”
“The Department had very good evidence that detaining Ali was causing him serious harm and yet refused to respond to protect those fundamental rights. He had no right to appeal whether his detention complied with Human Rights Law before a court.”
ERC's Indigenous Programs recently published the calendar of their 2012 immersion programs.
The Edmund Rice Centre, working in partnership with Indigenous communities, invite you to step out of your comfort zone and be a part of a journey that really is a life changing experience.An Expression of Interest form is also available to be downloaded, completed and returned.
ERC expresses our gratitude to our partners within the Gamilaroy communities in North-Western NSW for making it possible for these valuable Reconciliation learning events to happen.
ERC Indigenous Immersion: Brothers and Others 2012
The Brothers and Others program invites Christian Brothers and all people within the Edmund Rice Networks to walk with Indigenous peoples in North West NSW on a journey in their country.
Let’s Talk: Brothers and Others had a highly successful pilot Immersion program in 2011.
In 2012 this program will coincide with Reconciliation week, 26th May - 2nd June, 2012
A summary report of the ERC EcoJustice forum held at UTS on 12th Dec 2011 at which the recently returned Pacific Calling Partnership delegates to COP17 Durban - Claire Anterea and Sr Geraldene Kearney - shared their insights of the experience.
Other speakers on the night included ERC Director Phil Glendenning, and film-maker Tom Zubrycki, who recently made The Hungry Tide, a documentary focussed on Kiribati and the climate-change advocacy work of ERC's Maria Tiimon.
This summary outlines some of the views, disappointments and hope expressed at the forum.
This year, ERC is joining forces with the Edmund Rice Camps in their annual fund-raising trivia show-down of the year - the Eddy Rice Trivia Night!
Show your support and have some fun in the process with a your friends, family or networks. BBQ and tea and coffee available for sale on the night, or BYO drinks and dinner. Prizes and raffles on the night, including for the best dressed themed table, so be creative!
WHEN: Friday 18th May, 2012, 7pm - 10.30pm (BBQ from 6.30pm)
WHERE: St Mary's Colledge Cathedral Hall (behind St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney)
COST: $20ea at the door, bring a table of 10!
RSVP: book your table by Friday 11th May.
MORE: email email@example.com or phone (02) 8762 4200. Download flyer
Earlier this month, ERC partner HARDA (the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency) sent out an appeal to over 2,000 high schools across Australia. The theme of the campaign was 'Empowering young people to make a difference'. A set of resources was attached which aimed at helping them with fund-raising for the East African Famine. This included a youtube video and a fundraising page as well as flyers and posters. As part of this campaign, HARDA explain that while the aid that the world has delivered so far has saved many lives, the crisis still continues and the need is great.
Food security remains the worst in the world, and under‐five death rates are up to six times the already high rate for sub‐Saharan Africa. Even the smallest thing the students can do to help will make a difference. We would encourage anyone who has any connections with a high school to raise our campaign with them and encourage their participation.
Also if anyone wants to run their own fund-raising event after Easter to help victims of this famine they may find our website fund-raising page useful. For more information, please contact HARDA through their website: http://harda.org.au
LAST DAYS: YOU AM I EXHIBITION (VIC)
An exhibition of contemporary Australian Muslim artists, which showcase the works of both professional and up and coming artists. It aims to share with the wider community the richness and diversity of the Australian Muslim community. Hosted by the Islamic Council
of Victoria. Read more
NOW - 15 APR: DIVERGENCE: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM ELSEWHERE (WA)
"Divergence: Photographs from Elsewhere" is a monumental showcase of contemporary photography by over sixty artists based in fifteen countries. The project will transform the Midland Railway Workshops into a panorama of images that demonstrate photography’s unique ability to communicate across cultures, connect diverse people, create debate and stir emotion. Read more
NOW - 26 MAY. EXHIBITION: ‘FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW: FIGHTING FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS 1920-1970’ (QLD)
This exhibition tells the largely unknown story of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists who fought together for justice and equal rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 1920 to 1970. It details the achievements and sacrifices of the struggle through personal stories, rarely seen objects and protest material. Read more
29 MAR: REFUGEES - HUMAN RIGHTS AND OUR ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS (NSW)
Is it ethical to detain individuals who have fled from persecution and war? How long is too long? What role do we as a country play in protecting their human rights? And how does our treatment of refugees compare to other developed nations? You are invited to join the ACU Voice debate of 2012 as key speaker Dr Deborah Zion explores the ethics surrounding the treatment of refugees. Read more
29-31 MAR: THE MIGRANT PROJECT: JUNCTURE (NSW)
A team of young people from Sydney’s Inner West with ancestries from across the globe come together to share their stories and investigate what happens in the space where cultures and identities collide. There will be a short discussion forum after each performance. This show is part of The Migrant Project initiative, originally conceived by CuriousWorks & developed by Ashfield Youth Theatre. Read more
30 MAR: WORLDCHANGERS FAIR TRADE AND ETHICAL MARKET (NSW)
Interested in making a world of difference by the way you shop? Come to WorldChangers Fair Trade and Ethical Market, a one-night festival featuring beautiful, ethical products from all over the world. Market-goers can also enjoy Fair Trade and international food, live African drumming, hear about local and global justice issues. Change the world, one purchase at a time! Read more
31 MAR: AN AFTERNOON WITH BOB GRAHAM AND CHRISTOBEL MATTINGLEY (NSW)
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) invite you to come and listen to Bob Graham and Christobel Mattingley, Australia's nominees for the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Award, discuss their work. Books for sale and signing. IBBY is a non-profit organisation and international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. Read more
31 MAR: EARTH HOUR, 8:30PM (Global)
Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history - Earth Hour. More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with many going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause. Join the global movement. Read more
31 MAR: PEACE MATTERS FUNDRAISING CONCERT (VIC)
This concert will feature internationally esteemed singer John Lander accompanied by respected local pianist Matthew Field. The concert will explore episodes from Mr Lander's life in the Australian Diplomatic Service, enriched by music from composers including Schubert, Schoenberg and Faure. All proceeds will go to the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project. Read more
3 APR: ANITA HEISS – AM I BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU? (NSW)
Robynne Quiggin launches Anita Heiss' memoir on identity, Am I Black Enough For You?, and considers themes raised in the work including what it means to Anita be an Aboriginal woman in the 21st century. Anita is a successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney.Read more
3 APRIL. FESTIVAL: ‘BOOIN GARI – COME THIS WAY’ (QLD).
Indigenous culture and heritage is the focus of the Booin Gari festival. The event will feature a range of guest presentations from local community, artists and performers, including cultural and art workshops, bush tucker tastings, traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games, dance and didgeridoo workshops. Read more
21 APR: PUBLIC FORUM - POLITICIANS, PROMISES AND PRISONS (NSW)
Prior to the 2011 NSW State elections the Community Justice Coalition (CJC) made a submission to the political parties asking them to commit to a list of major reforms designed to make the justice and the prison system more just, effective in rehabilitating prisoners, lowering the recidivism rate, making the systems more socially effective and less costly, to cease participating in the media “law and order” campaigns which led to the doubling the prison population at a time when the crime rate was falling. The CJC and International Commission of Jurists Australia (ICJ) are holding a public forum on the progress made over the last year, on reforms in process and on each party’s commitment to reform. This is your chance to question the politicians about these important policies issues. Read more
23-29 MAY: NATIONAL INDIGENOUS YOUTH PARLIAMENT (ACT)
The National Indigenous Youth Parliament is the first of its kind in Australia. This exciting program run by the Australian Electoral Commission in partnership with the YMCA is an opportunity for 48 young Indigenous Australians to speak up on issues that affect your community and country, learn about how laws are made and how you can get involved and have your say. Applications close soon! Read more
ERC publishes the most up-to-date details to hand, however occasionally event details change. We encourage you to confirm event details with organisers.
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Fact-sheets on key issues:
ERC initiative the Pacific Calling Partnership promotes awareness of the devastating effects of climate change on low-lying island communities of the Pacific. The PCP campaign goes beyond both the science and the spin to make evident 'the human face of climate change'.
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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