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The Gaza Children's Emergency Appeal is a joint initiative of St John Ambulance Australia and Hadassah Australia. Both organisations have long been at the forefront of efforts to provide a medical response to the needs of Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank.


Please click here to read more and respond to Appeal.

‘I was in prison and you visited Me’ - A Christian approach to criminal justice

 

i was in prisonThe Inter Church Criminal Justice Taskforce, comprising senior Victorian Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army and Uniting Church leaders, has released this brochure to give a Christian perspective on current issues of punishment, imprisonment and rehabilitation, and to offer effective and just ways to reduce crime and increase community safety.

 

In a related development, Victorian Church leaders have written to all Members of Parliament, calling for a 'restorative justice' approach to crime and offending, with a focus on prevention of crime, support for victims of crime, diversion from prison, and rehabilitation of offenders.  Click here for a copy of the letter.

 


Actions you can take to support a fairer approach to victims of crime and those who break the law

1.    If your church congregation has a social justice group, attend meetings and discuss criminal justice issues. See if there are initiatives the group can undertake to support prisoners and their families in your community. Invite speakers to address the group.

2.    Talk to your family and friends about how to build safer and more just communities. Find out more about the needs of vulnerable people in your local community, see if there are ways you can help.

3.    Write to politicians including your local Members of Parliament, ask them for their views about criminal justice, tell them you do not support the ‘tough on crime’ approach.

4.    Give your support to faith-based and other community organisations which help vulnerable groups, prisoners and those recently released from prison.

5.    Contact prison chaplains for your faith community, ask them what you can do to help.

6.    Further Reading and Links

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The attached more detailed paper was written to inform the development of materials prior to the November 2014 Victorian State Election. It is provided as background information for other advocacy purposes.  Drawing on discussions of the Inter-church Criminal Justice Taskforce, the paper seeks to

  •     Reflect best practice policies in each area of concern (refer to the Table of Contents for the policy areas)
  •     Show how government can migrate from current practice to where we would like criminal justice policy to go
  •     Provide cogent argument for policy change – the government is seeking better, more cost-effective ways than the present way. The paper outlines alternative approaches to current problems.

Take the challenge! Eat like a Refugee for a week to support Refugees living on the Thai-Burma Border.

 

Eat the same rations as a refugee from Burma for one week, raise money, and show them they're not alone.

For more: www.actforpeace.org.au/rationchallenge

Please find attached a flyer for the next meeting of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Church Library Association.

Our organisation is very ecumenical  -  our current membership list includes church librarians from at least nine different denominations.  

Please feel free to distribute.

A scheme to help Churches lower their carbon footprint is being launched nationally. Known as NEEN the program is a rich source of information to help Churches be more energy efficient. Further information can be found by clicking on this link.

"A Coalition of Citizens and Organisation calling for a national conversation on Australia's identity and the place of war in its past and future."

'ANZAC Centenary 2015' is a coalition of community and faith based organisations and individuals, initiated by Pax Christi Victoria. Member organisations are active around issues of peace, social justice, human rights, environment, education, local government and interfaith dialogue.'

Read more here.

By clicking here, you will be able to download and view a 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Reflections booklet.

Today (Friday 28th February) we launched the Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter campaign with students from St Bernard’s College, Essendon and students from Penleigh Essendon  Grammar School.

Attached is a copy of flyer that we ask you to read, and share with others.

As we celebrate the core of our Faith – that is the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us not forget that even our smallest actions have the capacity to impact on the lives of others.

The Slavery–free chocolate campaign is designed to free those children, predominantly in West Africa, who are trafficked into picking cocoa to make the chocolate that we, in the developed world enjoy.

This campaign has already had great success, with chocolate manufacturers pledging to source an increasing amount of their chocolate from ethical sources.

The time to keep going is now.

Let‘s ensure that all are chocolate is sourced from workers who received decant and fair wages and conditions and that children receive the necessary education that will assist them to elevate themselves out of poverty.

When you purchase chocolate this Easter will you make sure that it is slavery-free???  Can we make our schools – slavery free???

If your store doesn’t sell Fair Trade Chocolate will you ask the owner or manager – WHY NOT????

Thank you for your assistance and wishing you and your family:
                                                     a Spirit-filled Lent and the joy of Christ‘s Resurrection at Easter.

                                                                       
Mark Clarke
On behalf of the Office for Justice and Peace 

Award

 

Handshake

 

Africa

"This paper has been written to inform the development of a set of policy recommendations which will be presented to political parties and electoral candidates prior to the November 2014 Victorian State Election. It will also be used as background information for a brochure to be prepared for congregations and the wider community, and for other advocacy purposes.
Drawing on discussions of the Inter-church Criminal Justice Taskforce discussions to date, the paper seeks to

  • Reflect best practice policies in each area of concern (refer to the Table of Contents for the policy areas)
  • Show how government can migrate from current practice to where we would like criminal justice policy to go
  • Provide cogent argument for policy change – the government is seeking better, more cost-effective ways than the present way. The paper outlines alternative approaches to current problems.

The paper will be supplemented on the Victorian Council of Churches website with successor documents as they become available."

 

Please click here for the rest of the paper (36 pages)

 

Update:

'I was in prison and you visited Me'
A Christian approach to criminal justice

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO SUPPORT A FAIRER APPROACH
TO TREATING VICTIMS OF CRIME AND THOSE WHO BREAK THE LAW

"This year, summer forecasts show that parts of Victoria are at above average risk of bush and grassfire.

 Although it’s important to prepare your property for fire, it’s also essential to plan for what you’re going to do if a fire starts this summer."

 

Click here for further information (as issued from the Department of Justice).

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