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Ph: (02) 8762 4200
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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
Fax: (02) 8762 4220
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|ERC InTouch||eNewsletter||Friday, 27th April 2012|
With now less than two months until Rio +20 - the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - there is some sense of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. The higher we place our expectations, the more likely we will be disappointed - and yet the less we hope for, the lower will be the pressure on political leaders to make significant progress.
Seen in those terms there is no choice really - but to do whatever we can to raise the pressure for positive outcomes.
Similar to the UN Climate Change conferences, Rio+20 will involve Heads of State and Government and will result in a focused - and hopefully binding - political document. Being held from 20th to 22nd June, the Conference will focus on two themes: firstly, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and secondly, the institutional framework for sustainable development.
Preparatory work to date has highlighted seven issues for priority attention. These are: jobs; energy; cities; food; water; oceans; and disasters. So there are very clear intersections between the RIO +20 agenda and the UN Climate Change COP process. Any strong commitments that are achieved in the document that emerges from Rio +20 could significantly progress the UNFCCC COP process. ERC will work with Edmund Rice International's Geneva-based Moy Hitchen cfc in monitoring progress towards strong and positive outcomes.
Documents that outline specific and measurable commitments are an essential part of the building of international frameworks for global cooperation. An important part of their implementation is the pressure that citizens of nations place on their government to meet their commitments.
So in this context it is of concern to hear speculation that the upcoming Federal budget may delay the progress of Australia's foreign aid budget to meet the 2015 target of 0.5% of GDP that Australia committed to in 2000 when the Howard Government signed the UN's Millenium Development Goals ('MDG'). In a political environment that has been greatly lacking in compassion and empathy the bipartisan support and leadership to achieve our 2015 commitment - especially from Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop - has been a rare point of light.
So, yet another important topic to raise by phone and email with your local Federal pollie: 'foreign aid' - and in particular (a) keeping our MDG 2015 commitment and (b) strong and binding results out of Rio +20.
ERC InTouch Team
In the context of the on-going national debate about constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, NSW Labor MP and deputy-leader of the opposition, Linda Burney, will share her perspectives at a public gathering to be held next week.
Linda, a long-time friend of the Edmund Rice Centre, is the first Indigenous person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament. She has been a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly since 2003, and has spent four years as a cabinet minister.
This special evening is being held as part of this year's commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Christian Brother's founder, Edmund Rice. Please pass details on to others who may be interested in attending.
WHEN: Thursday 3rd May, 2012.
WHERE: St Patrick’s College, Francis Street, Strathfield.
COST: $25 per person
RSVP: ASAP!! Please see flyer and registration form - due April 24th, 2012
As several countries try to pay off huge public debt due to the financial crisis and apply spending cuts - voices of caution say this is ‘a dangerous idea’ because this response indicates there is one set of rules for rich countries and another for poor countries.
The financial ship has been taken into dangerous waters by those at the top and they do not suffer from austerity budgets. We need to listen to those who have suffered from these budgets: children who only get one chance at an education; the sick and disabled unable to support themselves; and seniors too old to work.
This war on the majority of people intensifies as the global business class’ call for austerity ‘hides processes of the uneven distribution of risk and vulnerability.’
Media Release: Research in Afghanistan uncovers grave dangers for deportees from Australia
Deportations research just conducted in Afghanistan by the respected Australian social justice organisation, Edmund Rice Centre, has revealed further horrors confronted by asylum seekers who have been returned there by the Australian Government.
“In this visit to Kabul, further to our previous visits, we met and interviewed another 31 returned asylum seekers. 29 of these 31 are living in extreme danger,” affirmed ERC Director, Phil Glendenning. “We confirmed the deaths of another two returnees and the kidnapping of one other who is now presumed dead.”
Phil Glendenning interview with ABC Radio National's Phillip Adams
ABC Radio National's Phillip Adams has been a long term advocate on Australia's treatment of asylum seekers. As part of his Late Night Live program he recently interviewed ERC director Phil Glendenning in regard to ERC's latest research in Afghanistan.
The interview aired on the evening of Wed, 4th April 2012 with repeat broadcast on the afternoon of Thurs 5th April. ERC has had considerable feedback from a wide variety of sectors in response to the concerns raised during the program.
The recording of the interview may be listened to via the ABC's website:-
Open a new browser window to ABC Radio National's Late Night Live website
Help us to help Afghan returnees -- ERC Donor Appeal -- April 2012
Dear ERC Supporter,
It was a very difficult time and reminded me that if ever we need to mobilise the good will and empathy so many Australians have shown towards asylum seekers, it is now.
There's a lot that has been happening with the Pacific Calling Partnership and ERC's Eco-Justice team lately and over the coming week members will be making climate change presentations at two important national summits:
ERC's Maria Tiimon to represent Pacific Calling Partnership at Australia's Small Island Forum
At the inaugural 'Australia's Small Islands Forum' to be held next week on Lord Howe Island, Pacific Calling Partnership's Maria Tiimon, will address delegates on the environmental challenges facing low lying Pacific Island communities.
Other presenters at the Forum include conservationist and former Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery; Curtin University's Professor Mal Bryce; Island Conservation's Dr. Ray Nias; and WA Senator Louise Pratt.
Maria, originally from Kiribati will also present the film The Hungry Tide to assist in making clear the devastating impact of climate change and rising sea levels on her nation's small Island communities.
More information on the Forum can be found on its website: www.asiflordhoweisland.com
This weekend: Australia's Climate Action Summit 2012 at UWS Parramatta, NSW - 27 to 29 April.The Pacific Calling Partnership will be presenting two workshops at this event:
- Discussion Paper: Rising to the Challenge
This PCP Discussion Paper looks at the viability of adaptation initiatives to deal with climate change in the Pacific, focusing on the island nation of Kiribati.
Despite recent commitments of ‘fast-start finance’ from donor countries, small-island states have repeatedly singled out access to climate finance as a key obstacle to implementing adaptation strategies on their islands.
Prepared by PCP volunteer Katerina Lebedev the research draws on official and secondary sources as well as primary interviews conducted with Kiribati people.
- Discussion Paper: Climate Justice & Food Security
An overview of the first evening of the 2012 series of PCP's Pacific Climate Talks @ UTS. The evening explored the links between Food Security and Climate Change for low-lying Pacific Island Countries such as Tuvalu.
Invited speakers included:-
In preparation for Fair Trade Fortnight 2012 - running from 5th to 20th May - ERC Fairtrade Program is seeking news from on any activities that may be programmed in schools nationally - and would be very happy to assist with resources. ERC's Fairtrade team will itself be running a stall on the 5th of May at Leichhardt Council's Fair Trade Showcase at Loyalty Square in Balmain in Sydney's inner-west.
To find out what is happening in your area see Fair Trade Australia's events calendar for Fair Trade Fortnight 2012.
The Edmund Rice Centre's Fairtrade program continues to focus its work on promotions through school communities. Last month this work included presentations on fair trade at the Justice Symposium held at Mulgoa in Sydney's west. The day opened up discussion about a broad range of justice issues - reaching out to c.60 students from 10 different schools in the area.
Following an ERC presentation at Sydney school Waverley College, students were inspired to take action and are now working with Waverley Council in efforts to encourage local retail stores to sell fair trade coffee and other fair trade products.
The Edmund Rice Centre co-sponsored the recent Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative breakfast event with guest speaker ACTU President: Ms Ged Kearney.Those who missed this event may watch it online to hear Ms Kearney share her insights into her experiences of industrial relations and ethics - reflecting on her own practice.
This year ERC is joining forces with the Edmund Rice Camps in their annual fund-raising trivia show-down of the year - the Edmund Rice Trivia Night!
Show your support to these great initiatives and have some fun in the process! BBQ and tea and coffee available for sale on the night, or BYO drinks and dinner. Plenty of prizes and raffles to be won, including for the best dressed themed table, so be creative!
Download flyerWHEN: Friday 18th May, 2012, 7pm - 10.30pm (BBQ from 6.30pm)
WHERE: St Mary's College 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 trivia [at] erc.org.au or phone (02) 8762 4200.
Layout Editor for educational materials for schools project
We are looking for a volunteer to assist with graphic design, editing and text formatting for a project developing educational material for secondary schools.
If you're able to offer your experience and time, for more information and how to get involvedplease contact Marisa Brattoni by email: marisab [at] erc.org.au or by phone on (02)8762-4200.
Young adults invited to join PCP Youth Action Team
The Pacific Calling Partnership youth action team ran a very successful first Pacific Climate Talk last month. We are running three more talks this year and are looking for more volunteers to help out. You will be able to learn more about the impacts of climate change in the Pacific, while developing your skills in event management, team work and leadership.
If you want to be part of this dynamic team, please contact Maria or Vanessa as soon as possible by email mariat [at] erc.org.au or vanessap [at] erc.org.au or by phone on 02 8762 4200.
LAST DAYS (5 - 28 APR): EXHIBITION ‘PORTRAITS FROM THE EDGE’ (ACT)
The small Republic of Kiribati, a series of atolls situated in the Equatorial Pacific, is slowly and surely going down. The people of Kiribati remain now, literally on the very edge, as the most vulnerable of peoples, living with climate change. ANU's School of Art Gallery hosts the work of Jon Lewis, portraying the vibrant social system and culture of Kiribati. 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
27-29 APR: CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT 2012 (NSW)
With major environmental problems arising from coal and coal seam gas in NSW, and an alternative clean renewable energy future possible, this is a great opportunity to meet with and learn from scientists, MPs and successful climate action campaigners. These include Greenpeace's John Hepburn and leaders of organisations like Climate Action Network Australia, 100% Renewable Energy, Beyond Zero Emissions and local climate action groups, who will be sharing their campaign strategies. The summit starts on Friday evening with a public forum "Beyond the Carbon Price". Read more
30 APR: POVERTY AMID PLENTY: EXPLORING IDEAS FOR A MORE EQUITABLE WORLD (NSW)
Is a more equitable and sustainable world possible? If so, how do we achieve it? Paul Gilding, the former Executive Director of Greenpeace International and author of The Great Disruption, has posed this question to audiences around the world. Now it’s Sydney’s turn. He will be joined by Clover Moore MP, Ross Gittins AM, economics editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, Sam Mclean, Deputy National Director at GetUp!; Ben Waters, Director of ecomagination, GE and Rachel Botsman, social innovator and author of the influential book Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live; and others. Read more
1 MAY: REPOWERING AUSTRALIA FOR A SAFER FUTURE (NSW)
The latest climate science tells us that we must transition to renewable energy as quickly as possible if we are to avert dangerous climate change. We are used to hearing about the problem, but what about the solutions? Beyond Zero Emissions, an independent, not-for-profit research group has come up with a solution that shows how Australia can make the switch to 100% renewable energy in 10 years. Australian Religious Response to Climate Change is pleased to host a presentation by Katrina Byrne from Beyond Zero Emissions. Read more
1 MAY: MAURICE SAXBY LECTURE (NSW)
Respecting the role of literature in education, the Children's Book Council of Australia invite you to the inaugral Maurice Saxby Lecture, which continues the tradition of education about Australian children’s literature. Led by the man himself, the event recognises the contribution made to the CBCA by Dr Maurice Saxby AM, as first National President, and his ongoing involvement and support over more than sixty years. He is one of the most significant people involved in the development of children’s literature in Australia, as a highly-respected lecturer, writer, reviewer and mentor. Read more
1 MAY: OUR LAND, OUR WATER (NSW)
The NSW Farmers along with major environmental and rural groups have launched the "Our Land, Our Water" campaign. Take part in a demonstration outside Parliament House on the first sitting day in May to send a strong message to Premier O’Farrell that NSW communities won’t let his government tiptoe away from the strong action on land and water protection we were promised. Read more
4 MAY: BOOK LAUNCH "NT CONSULTATIONS REPORT: BY QUOTATIONS" (NSW)
Concerned Australians invite you to the launch of the sequel to the highly regarded ‘This Is What We Said’ and ‘Walk With Us’. In 2011 the Australian Government conducted Stronger Futures Consultations in Northern Territory communities with the stated purpose of finding out what worked and what didn’t work under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) - commonly called the Intervention - which started in 2007. Beautifully illustrated, this hard-backed book gives voice to the views of Aboriginal people living under the Intervention. Read more
7 MAY: HARDA'S COOKING POT (NSW)
Ethiopian food, Australian food, South Sudanese food, Italian food, Somali food...cooking sessions with a difference! HARDA is running 6 cooking sessions for Horn of Africa women and women from non-refugee backgrounds. Show the class how to cook your favourite meal, enjoy sharing it together and share the stories behind the meals. Read more
14 MAY: GLOBALISATION AND THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLES LECTURE (QLD)
Fr. Daniel Groody CSC presents the Mary Ward Justice Lecture “Globalisation and the Movement of Peoples”. Daniel Groody, theologian, author and film maker, will draw on his many years experience of pastoral work along the US-Mexican border, and subsequent research and theological reflection on issues related to globalisation and immigration. Events also happening in SA, VIC and NSW. Read more
18 MAY: SHIFTING SAND PERFORMANCE (NSW)
Nui invite you to celebrate Fair Trade Fortnight with this special opening night performance of TaikOz Shifting Sand. The performance starts at 8pm, with Fairtrade coffee on sale outside the theatre from 7pm. Shifting Sand is a powerful evocation of the ocean’s many faces. From the delicate play of light on the surface of the sea to the raging fury of winter storms, TaikOz’s thunderous taiko drumming and dynamic movement seeks to capture the beauty, majesty and force of the ocean. Read more
19 MAY: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM - HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL (NSW)
Come and join in a stimulating discussion about an important issue, listen to our great speakers, be thrilled by special entertainers and enjoy a selection of short films about human rights made by local film makers! The most popular film will win a prize. Bankstown Arts Centre. Read more
25-26 MAY: POSITIVELY REMARKABLE WOMEN EXHIBITION (NSW)
The exhibition that includes a protrait of the Pacific Calling Partnership's Maria Tiimon will be held at the Women's College at the University of Sydney. Friday 25th May will be a dinner/fundraiser for the College, and invites all interested to attend. The theme is on women leaders, balanced with an exclusive viewing of Diane Macdonald’s photographic exhibition of fifty Australian women, Positively Remarkable. Saturday will be a more open event for families and friends and especially younger women, with an open exhibition and a lively panel discussion. 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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