Tongan artist and climate activist Uili Lousi at ERC

We were honoured to host Tongan artist and climate activist Uili Lousi at our Centre in Balmain for our first Talanoa in 2024. During the Talanoa (a traditional form of Pacific dialogue), which included participants from Australian Museum, Climate Action Network Australia, and others Uili talked of his journey to activism, his art practice and climate activism in Tonga and internationally. Uili also highlighted his ideas for creative projects that would allow Australia and the Pacific to come together as a region if Australia secured its bid for the 2026 United Nations climate conference (COP31.) Uili talked about some of the important Tongan philosophers and thinkers who had shaped his own thinking and approach including the late Professor Futa Helu (himself a student of the Influential University of Sydney philosopher–John Anderson) and the late Professor Epeli Hau’ofa. It was an honour to be able to host Uili Lousi in Balmain and help to build relationships between Uili and institutions such as the Australian Museum and the Australian climate action network.

Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude

Fifth Sunday of the Year

The presence of

the incarnate word

shines at the heart

of all creation.

Teilhard de Chardin sj

Some years ago, Stephen Fry said in an interview that God is ‘…an evil, capricious, monstrous maniac - a bastard for having invented cancer and insects that burrow into children’s eyes. Because God is the creator of everything and all-powerful, God should/could do something to change the situation’. Many people speak of 2023 as year that was challenging as they faced loss, illness, and anxiety. For many, hope seemed elusive. No doubt we all know what it feels to be broken-hearted and sometimes despairing. Jesus shows us a God, not a distant uncaring observer, but who listens and sees, and suffers alongside people, builds bridges and is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm). This God is not aligned with those in power, who abuse power, who make war on the innocent, and who build walls rather than bridges.

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Fostering vibrant communities

Last week, The Edmund Rice Centre was honoured to help organize and take part in a heartwarming community gathering for newly arrived refugee families from Afghanistan. The primary goal was to establish connections among these families and lay the foundation for a strong community-based support system. The event was organized in an informal, family, and child-focused manner, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was truly inspiring to witness the power of community coming together to support those who have recently arrived and are navigating the challenges of a new life.

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