15 Henley Rd
(PO Box 2219)
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
5 Abingdon St
(Postal: 84 Park Rd)
Ph 1: (07) 3103 7376
Ph 2: (02) 8090 1976
Fax: (02) 8762 4220
- please call for appt
|ERC InTouch||eNewsletter||Tuesday, 5th June 2012|
After the buzz of National Reconciliation Week 2012, we are invited to explore what this shared history means to us as Australians. The week is marked by two milestones in the reconciliation journey — the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum (27th May) and the High Court Mabo decision (3rd June), with this year marking the twentieth anniversary of this landmark decision.
This year's theme, Let's Talk Recognition, celebrates these contributions while reminding us all of what needs to happen. We are challenged to resist just looking from afar, nodding in recognition, and encouraged to delve deeper, reflect, question, take action.
We indeed share a dappled history, with many equally dark and light moments, and there is still much to be written. The Mabo struggle and victorious outcome changed the shape of Australia and continues to bring hope 20 years on, but we must also ask what defines us now? Amnesty’s recent report condemns Australia’s continued human rights abuses under the Northern Territory Intervention, and yet the government explores ways to extend it, despite loud objections. Read below ERC's media release on the recent Yolngu Elders' statement.
Constitutional recognition is another issue on the national political agenda deserving of deeper discussion. It's a complex issue, but is worth the effort to understand its complexities if we want to be part of a greater future. We leave you with two quotes from prominent Indigenous Australians:
Just think what it is like for Aboriginal people looking into your own country and not being able to see yourself. The reflection is blank. We must change the Constitution if for no other reason. -- Linda Burney, [see Linda's reflection piece below]
Recognition of the First Peoples of a country in the constitution actually starts to send a message that you are valued, that you are important, that we want to respect you, we want to deal with the things that have caused us division and discord in the past. -- Patrick Dodson
ERC InTouch team
MEDIA RELEASE: Sydney, Monday 4th June, 2012
The Yolngu Nations Assembly recently called on the Senate not to pass the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures legislation, which will extend the Northern Territory intervention by up to a decade. Edmund Rice Centre strongly supports the call of the Yolngu Elders and their opposition to the Australian Government’s Stronger Futures Bills.
“At some point in our history we have to put an end to the flawed belief that decisions that impact most on the lives of Indigenous communities in northern Australia are best made by Government employees in Canberra rather than by the people themselves”, ERC Director Mr Phil Glendenning said.
“Rather than extending the Intervention, what is needed right now and more than ever is true engagement with Indigenous people as equals and partners, in a relationship based on principles of self-determination.”
Read ERC's media release
The effect of the 'Stronger Futures' legislation will be to extend the NT Intervention for ten more years! ERC urges support for the broad-based advocacy campaign calling on the Senate to reject the 'Stronger Futures' legislation. The legislation is expected to come before the Senate around 18th June 2012. Please call all Senators in your state or territory and ask them to vote against this legislation.
Download ERC Advocacy's contact-list for Australian Senators.
Constitutional Reform: A New Narrative for Australia
Speech given by Hon Linda Burney MP at Edmund Rice Gathering to mark the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Edmund Rice [St Patrick's College, Strathfield, NSW, 3rd May 2012]
I have been invited to talk tonight about Constitutional reform and the rightful place of the First Peoples within the Australian Constitution. Before I do that, given that today is about celebrating the life and enduring work of Edmund Rice, I would like to share with you some lessons I have learned and beliefs I have arrived at from my own life...
I would agree that Constitutional recognition is so fundamentally important – as the basis for our legal system and at the heart of our civil society - that we must address it. It is a basic part of reconciliation - an expression of respect for the important position First People should hold...
As the Rio+20 summit draws closer, strong and concerning trends have begun to emerge.
Currently there are doubts over the attendance in Rio of some significant world leaders. In the preparation of a strong and binding document the likely absence of a number of major heads of state may impact negatively on the capacity for serious negotiation that, through on-the-spot compromise could serve to resolve any items that become bogged down.
In the progress of document development the consultation towards a "zero draft" are tending away from a 'rights-based approach to development' and headed more in the direction of building impetus towards 'greener economies'. Whereas this is important it is unfortunate to see that it might be undertaken at the expense of strong commitments on even 'the right to water' or 'the right to food'.
In regard to climate change issues one possibility that is being considered is for the appointment of an ongoing UN Rapporteur on Climate Change. Whilst a small positive offering, if well-implemented this could serve to raise the profile of development implications of climate-change for poorer climate-vulnerable nations.
Follow developments on the Rio+20 summit website
Parramatta, 15 May 2012
A large audience crowded-in to the Parramatta RSL for the recent Climate Commission Community Forum in Parramatta - including some who needed to be ejected by the club's security - due to their abusive disruptions.
Hecklers interrupted and tried to drown out Commission chairperson Prof Tim Flannery as he presented the projections and findings outlined in The Critical Decade - the Commission's latest report which explores the potential impacts of climate change in NSW. It was not a pleasant atmosphere with what appeared to be an orchestrated rabble who booed repeatedly.
ERC's Maria Tiimon and Kateia Kaikai attended the Forum in representation of the Pacific Calling Partnership - and Maria showed her determination in standing up to raise the plight of our Pacific neighbours - despite the abusive heckles.
Read a full account and access links to read the Commission's report The Critical Decade.
The proliferation of different certification standards adds - perhaps deliberately - to consumption complexity... An inner cynic might see the scope for a corporate rationale of "if we make it all too confusing then the punters will be less inclined to change their purchasing practices and they'll stay with our big brands..."
Into this mix has arrived the recent announcement from the Italian mega-confectioner Ferrero that by 2020 they will move their entire chocolate range to ethically certified cacao sources.
This news produces a mixed response...
The Edmund Rice Centre invites you to join us for the next Afternoon Tea For the Future "Climate Change: An Artistic Exploration". The first video shows a village devastated by climate change. Video two is a story of reducing the burning of charcoal in Cambodia.
Facilitated by Andrew Lenart, you are cordially invited as old and new friends and supporters to come and be creative with us. Come and share in the discussion and fun of a workshop, exploring our creative responses to the issues. Relaxed small group discussion/play.
WHEN: Thursday 21st June, 2012 at 2pm
WHERE: Edmund Rice Centre, 15 Henley Road, Homebush West (Flemington Station)
COST: $5 or $2, depending on your ability to pay
MORE: download flyer
“The challenge of climate change is unlikely to be gender-neutral, as it increases the risk to the most vulnerable and less empowered social groups. In the formulation of global and national approaches, as well as in the strategic responses to specific sectors, gender awareness, substantive analysis and inclusive engagement will be necessary.”
- Statement by United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon
Join us for our second round of talks for the year on the 25th June as we look at the interactions between gender equality and climate change on low-lying Pacific Islands. Speakers include Kateia Kaikai, who will look at ways of helping women in the Solomon Islands to adapt and become culturally resilient to impacts of climate change; Richard Maguire, discussing action ideas for supporting vulnerable Pacific Islands; and further speakers to be announced!
Throughout the year, we’ll be exploring the diverse links between climate change and the challenges of trade, development, and preserving island culture in our Pacific region. Come along to be part of the conversation, with food and drinks donated by the Vegan society. More details to come!
WHEN: Monday 25th June, 2012, from 6-8pm
WHERE: UTS, 15 Broadway, Sydney
COST: donations appreciated!
MORE: download flier, join the facebook event,
RSVP: contact Maria to let us know if you are able to join us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Be part of this vital process, and see how you can make a difference!
If you're able to offer your experience and time, for more information and how to get involved, please 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 earlier this year and are preparing for the next event in three weeks' time. These popular events require support to coordinate, and thus call for more volunteers to help out. 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.
A sincere thank you to all of you who responded so generously to ERC's latest appeal, touching upon the plight of returned asylum seekers in Afghanistan. It is through your donations and support that makes our work possible. We can't thank you enough.
To help ERC continue projects, research and advocacy such as these, please go to www.erc.org.au/donate
5-8 JUNE: HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS AND FILM FESTIVAL (QLD)
The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival provide a shared site whereby artists, human rights organisations and the Australian public are united in their desire to contribute to social change. HRAFF will exhibit a selection of contemporary cinema, fine art, discussion panels and music, seeking to engage, inspire and entertain. Other dates around Australia. Read more
6 JUNE: FORUM ‘FEEDING THE WORLD – LAND, HUNGER AND HUMAN RIGHTS’ (NSW)
Hunger is the world’s number one health risk. In recent years, this problem has been compounded by changing weather conditions, escalating food prices, the global financial crisis, and the soaring demand for land as investors look for places to grow food for export, biofuels, or as an investment. What can be done to help prevent further abuse of human rights, displacement and to ensure that poor communities can access land to grow food and generate income? Read more
8 JUNE: REFUGEE LANTERN PARADE (QLD)
This is a unique opportunity to celebrate peace and to bring together diverse groups. For refugees particularly, it is a way to thank people who have helped them on their journey and to celebrate the Refugee Council of Australia’s theme for Refugee Week 2012 – ‘Restoring Hope’. Read more
9-24 JUNE: 'LIFE IN LIMBO' EXHIBITION (NSW)
The Refugee Art Project are proud to bring a new exhibition, "Life in Limbo". Following on from last year's hugely successful "fear+hope" exhibition, it showcases new works from current and former detainees of Australia's detention centres. The exhibition will feature inspiring works by asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Burma and Pakistan. Artworks come from numerous detention centres across the country and reflect the diverse talents of our contributors. Read more
10 JUNE: MYALL CREEK MASSACRE COMMEMORATION (NSW)
Held every year on the June long-weekend the annual memorial ceremony commemorates the unprovoked massacre of twenty-eight Wirrayaraay women, children and old men by a group of stockmen in 1838. The story of the massacre, of those who fought to bring it to justice, and of the remarkable ongoing and growing grass-roots reconciliation are told through the annual memorial ceremony held at the site on Myall Creek, between Inverell and Moree in northern NSW. Read more
13 JUNE: BREAKFAST Q&A 'EMPOWERING WOMEN FARMERS' (NSW)
Join the panel discussion and Q&A to explore “How can public policy and practice empower women farmers to enable them to feed themselves, their families and communities?” The discussion will be led by Oxfam Australia’s economic justice policy lead, Kelly Dent, who will be joined by two special guests from Oxfam partner organisation, ‘Women on Farms Project.’ Roseline Presence and Gertruida Baartman will share their experiences of working as women small scale farmers in South Africa. Read more
13 JUNE: PUBLIC LECTURE: ‘WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RECONCILIATION?’ (VIC)
Speaker Larissa Behrendt is a Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman. She is Professor of Law and Director of Research, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology, Sydney. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of the ACT and NSW as a barrister and was the first Aboriginal Australian to graduate from Harvard Law School. Hosted by Raimond Gaita. Read more
15 JUNE: ‘LISTENING TO THE DEEP SPIRIT IN THE LAND’ DINNER CONVERSATION (NSW)
Aunty Ali Golding was awarded female Elder of the Year at the Deadly Awards for her advocacy and work in education and reconciliation. She will speak on the need for deep listening to what the spirit of the land is saying to all of us as we prepare to vote for Aboriginal recognition in the Australian Constitution. Read more
16 JUNE: AUSTRALIAN REFUGEE FILM FESTIVAL (NSW)
This festival aims to raise awareness of refugee-related issues by the screening of a selection of short films. Read more
17-23 JUNE: REFUGEE WEEK ‘RESTORING HOPE’. (Global)
Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. United Nations World Refugee Day is held on 20 June and the theme this year is ‘One refugee without hope is too many’. International events and resources are also available from UNHCR. Read more
20 JUNE: ETHICS AND EUTHANASIA (NSW)
Should we have the right to decide on our own life and death? Can euthanasia ever be justified? Is there an ethical difference between killing someone and letting them die? ACU invite you to join the heated discussion, led by award-winning journalist Geraldine Doogue and key speaker Dr Bernadette Tobin, as a diverse expert panel discusses ethics and euthanasia at the University's third ACU Voice public speaker event. Read more
21 JUNE: IN CONVERSATION ‘MANUWANGKU, UNDER THE NUCLEAR CLOUD’ (NSW)
Come and hear photographer Jagath Dheerasekara and ARTHERE curator Sandy Edwards discuss the stunning photographic exhibition, "Manuwangku, Under the Nuclear Cloud" currently on display at Customs House Library from 6pm. This exhibition is a perceptive portrayal of a Northern Territory Aboriginal community under threat due to the potential dumping of nuclear waste on their lands. Jagath received the Amnesty International Human Rights Innovation Grant 2010 to begin work on this exhibition. Read more
23 JUNE: HARDA CULTURAL NIGHT (NSW)
As part of Refugee Week, the Horn of Africa Relief & Development Agency invite you to the celebration of Horn of African culture. HARDA's annual cultural night brings together those from the Horn of Africa countries and the wider Australian community to promote peace, multiculturism and integration, and to showcase the success stories of our Horn of Africa refugees. Read more
25-28 JUNE: YOUTH CLIMATE EMBASSY: ‘ONE PLANET, ONE FUTURE’. (ACT)
This embassy is standing up for the rights of future generations on the lawns of Parliament House. It will include a display of posters, art, and video clips, about the hopes of young people for a safe climate future. Read more
28 JUNE-1 JULY: ETHICS, VALUES AND CIVIL SOCIETY (QLD)
The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics invite you to the 19th annual AAPAE conference on the issue of Ethics, Values and Civil society. The conference will focus on the ethical concerns within and around civil society, including within the structure of organisations, participation within the organisation and their interaction with outside influences. Read more
1-8 JULY: NAIDOC WEEK ‘SPIRIT OF THE TENT EMBASSY: 40 YEARS ON’ (AUS WIDE)
The Tent embassy became a powerful symbol of unity; its founders instilled pride, advanced equality and educated the country on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To move forward, we must acknowledge our forbears, learn from their experiences and ask ourselves … what have their sacrifices meant for me and my family today? Read more
9-11 JULY: NATIONAL CONFERENCE: ‘TEACHERS ARE DEADLY’ (SA)
This conference will bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators, to plan effective Indigenous teacher workforce strategies within the schooling sector. With presentations by leading Australian and international Indigenous educators, this conference is an important opportunity for delegates to network with colleagues and get their voices heard – directly influencing sustainable change within the industry. Read more
14 JULY: BUILDING COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS IN TIMOR-LESTE (NSW)
The University of Western Sydney invite you to their Inaugural NSW Timor-Leste Forum, creating a space for new dialogues between organisations and community groups that have experienced the challenges of and developed expertise in collaborating with Timor-Leste communities. The forum will facilitate opportunities for collaboration between those committed to change in Timor-Leste who are currently involved in the provision of aid in the country. 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.
To subscribe: click here
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.
Please donate now so that this work may continue. Your donation is tax deductible!