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CAMPAIGN: KIDS OFF NAURU
‘Kids Off Nauru’ campaign that is being run by World Vision with the support of many church and civil society organisations, along with 60 or more ambassadors, calling for an immediate end to the harm being done to children on Nauru. Every child and their family should be brought to Australia by Universal Children's Day on 20 November and be processed for resettlement in Australia or another suitable country that will welcome them. You can follow the Kids Off Nauru campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share campaign content. To find out more about the campaign and to lend your support, visit here.

Youth Poll on Migration - Share Widely!
The international coalition ‘End Immigration Detention for Children’ is supporting a youth poll on immigration in the lead up to the UN meeting of world leaders in Morocco this December. The meeting will to sign off on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which establishes a common agenda for managing migration and protecting the human rights of all migrants. This is a milestone moment and the coalition wants to make sure that the voices of migrant children and youth are heard by leaders and decision makers. They are urging anyone who may know young people who have been among migrant and forcibly displaced children to take part in a UNICEF poll that can be accessed here.

REFUGEE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA – 23 OCTOBER
The Refugee Council of Australia has called on the government to stop playing politics with children’s lives and urgently bring refugee children on Nauru and their families to safety. Spokesperson Kelly Nicholls said the organisation is relieved that politicians on all sides have recognised that the remaining children need to get off Nauru, but warned that no more time should be wasted. ‘Doctors have repeatedly said that the situation for children on Nauru is critical. This is a humanitarian emergency and children’s lives must not be left in limbo whilst political bargaining continues in Canberra,’ Ms Nicholls said. RCOA’s comments come following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s dismissal of Labor’s conditions to a New Zealand. To view latest news from the Refugee Council, visit here.

NATIONAL CONGRESS DEMANDS CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION
At the end of September, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples demanded Constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples following the Prime Minister’s rejection of the Statement of Heart at Uluru. An advisory body in parliament was outlined in the May 2017 Statement from the Heart. Dr Jackie Huggins, co-chair, National Congress stated, ‘A third chamber to the Parliament is ludicrous and was not the intention of the participants at Uluru. We urge the PM to act responsibly and to look at the proposal again.’ Mr Rod Little, co-chair said, ‘We expect a legitimate voice will enable our rights, our views and expertise to be intrinsic in policies and programs that impact on our families and communities, whilst preserving the Constitution.’ To read the statement in full, visit here.

REFORMS CALLED FOR IN UN Discussions on Corporate Rights
More than 300 civil society groups and trade unions around the world are urging governments participating in UN meetings in Vienna to completely overhaul the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system contained within many international trade and investment agreements. The organisations want change to the ISDS system that: ‘empowers one class of interests – multinational corporations, billionaires and investors – to sue governments outside of domestic court systems for unlimited amounts of compensation, including for the loss of expected future profits.’ The signatories are calling on governments to refrain from signing trade deals that include extraordinary rights for foreign investors and to address fundamental problems in the current system. The letter signed by organisations around the world, including the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network, the ACTU and ACSJC, can be accessed here.

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE FOR THE 2018 WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
The second World Day of the Poor will be observed on 18 November 2018. Its theme is: ‘This poor man cried and the Lord heard him’. The Vatican has released the text of Pope Francis’ Message for that day, available here.

Save the date: CSSA Conference 19 and 20 February 2019
The Catholic Social Services Australia national conference, hosted by St Agnes’ Parish at Port Macquarie, will explore and showcase how the Church’s various ministries and structures can together address the unmet needs of the local community though collaboration and integration. The conference will include an opportunity to examine the political context, the social situation and the economic reality for the Church’s mission in serving our communities. The Program will also include the inaugural Father Leo Donnelly Oration. For more information, please contact Kate Harkins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ACOSS & UNSW REPORT: ‘POVERTY IN AUSTRALIA 2018’
Australia currently lacks a poverty reduction plan. It lacks an agreed definition of poverty, or regular monitoring and reporting by governments. This report by the Australian Council of Social Service and the University of New South Wales seeks to ensure that the Australian community understands the prevalence of poverty in Australia. Despite Australia three decades of economic growth and being ranked as the second wealthiest country in the world, poverty rates have remained entrenched. There are more than 3 million people living below the poverty line, including 739,000 children. Most of those affected are living in deep poverty, on average a disturbing $135 per week below the poverty line. Those experiencing poverty at the highest rates are those relying on Government allowances – Youth Allowance (64%) and Newstart (55%). To access the report, visit here.

AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC HOUSING ALLIANCE
The Australian Catholic Housing Alliance promotes affordable housing as a viable option for Church land, by sharing collective expertise and extending it to other Catholic Dioceses keen to know more about housing developments. ACHA members also work with government, community and the private sector in housing partnerships, as well as advocating for policies and funding that will increase the supply of affordable housing. To find out more visit here.

‘ACT TO END STREET SLEEPING IN SYDNEY’ SYMPOSIUM
The Symposium was held in Sydney in September and was hosted by the Act to End Street Sleeping Taskforce comprised CatholicCare, Catholic Healthcare, Mercy Foundation, St Vincent’s Health Australia and St Vincent de Paul NSW. The Symposium was attended by the City of Sydney, representatives of state government departments and academia. The Institute of Global Homelessness has invited Sydney to become a Vanguard city to end homelessness. The aim is to end street sleeping by 2025 and restore dignity and hope to those who need our help more than ever. To find out more visit here.

MERCY FOUNDATION REPORT: INCREASING HOUSING SECURITY FOR OLDER WOMEN

The Mercy Foundation, in collaboration with a number of universities and advocacy organisations, has issued a publication titled ‘Retiring Into Poverty: A national plan for increasing housing security for older women’. The report outlines the issues facing older women living in housing insecurity or homelessness and identifies needed changes to policies and programs. For more information and to download a copy of the report visit
here.

SACRED HEART MISSION HOMELESSNESS PROJECT: JOURNEY TO SOCIAL INCLUSION
The Sacred Heart Mission (SHM) has released ‘Chronic Homelessness in Melbourne: First-Year Outcomes of Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI)’, which provides more evidence that receiving permanent housing and intensive support is required for people experiencing homelessness to stay housed and improve their health and wellbeing. Improving drug and alcohol issues, reducing nights spent in hospital, staying housed and feeling safe at home has been proven possible, once again, for people experiencing chronic homelessness through a housing-first approach, coupled with intensive support, the project has shown. For more information and to access the report, visit here.

CAMPAIGN: EVERBODY’S HOME
From people wanting to buy their very first house, to others struggling to just find a safe roof over their heads, it’s clear that the housing system isn’t working for everyone – with overinflated house prices, growing competition for rentals, lack of affordance housing and record levels of homelessness. The Everybody’s Home campaign calls for: support for first home buyers, a national housing strategy, better rental arrangements, relief for renters in chronic need and a plan to end homelessness by 2030. To find out more visit here.

 

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