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December 2018

1 Sat

World AIDS Day

1976: Appointment of Sir Douglas Nicholls as Governor of South Australia, the first Indigenous Australian to hold vice-regal office.

2 Sun

1st Sunday of Advent

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - ACSJC Resources on Trade Justice

First day of Hanukkah (Jewish Feast of Dedication)

3 Mon

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

1854: Battle of the Eureka Stockade

4 Tue  
5 Wed

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

World Soil Day - ACSJC Resources on the Environment

2013: Death of Nelson Mandela

Thu St Nicholas (Santa Claus)
7 Fri

International Civil Aviation Day

1965: Vatican II Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (‘Joys and Hopes’)

8 Sat


9 Sun

2nd Sunday of Advent

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide - ACSJC Resources on Confronting Racism

International Anti-Corruption Day

10 Mon

Human Rights Day


The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (the Universal Declaration) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
Australia was a founding member of the UN and played a prominent role in the negotiation of the UN Charter in 1945. Australia was also one of eight nations involved in drafting the Universal Declaration.
This was largely due to the influential leadership of Dr Herbert Vere Evatt, the head of Australia’s delegation to the UN. In 1948, Dr HV Evatt became President of the UN General Assembly. That same year he oversaw the adoption of the Universal Declaration. Dr HV Evatt was a prominent figure in Australia politics during the middle of the 20th century. Prior to coming to the UN, he had been a judge of the High Court, Attorney- General and Minister for External Affairs. Dr HV Evatt was renowned for being a champion of civil liberties and the rights of economically and socially disadvantaged people.

What is Australia’s current role in international human rights?

Australia has remained a supporter of human rights throughout international treaty negotiations. Australia has ratified almost all of the major international human rights instruments.
Most recently, in 2008, the federal government took a number of steps towards improving Australia’s protection of human rights, including by:

  • ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • holding consultations about ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT)
  • expressing commitment to formally support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • issuing a standing invitation to UN human rights experts to visit and report on Australia.

Australian Human Rights Commission

For more information:

70th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

1992: Redfern Speech by Prime Minister Paul Keating at launch of International Year of the World’s Indigenous People

11 Tue

International Mountain Day - ACSJC Resources on the Environment

12 Wed

1831: Founding of Sisters of Mercy by Catherine McAuley

13 Thu


14 Fri


15 Sat


16 Sun

3rd Sunday of Advent

17 Mon


18 Tue

International Migrants Day - ACSJC resources for Refugees

1894: South Australian Parliament the first in Australia to give women the right to vote

19 Wed


20 Thu

International Human Solidarity Day

21 Fri

1991: Dissolution of the USSR and the founding of the Commonwealth of Independent States including Russia

25th anniversary of the passage of Native Title Bill by the Australian Senate (1993) - ACSJC resources for Justice for Indigenous People

22 Sat


23 Sun

4th Sunday of Advent

1901: Enactment of Immigration Restriction Act (White Australia Policy) - ACSJC Resources for Refugees

1996: Wik decision in the High Court - ACSJC Resources for Justice for Indigenous People

24 Mon

Christmas Eve

25 Tue

Christmas Day


Christmas wishes from the ACSJC and Secretariat

On behalf of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and its staff, I send you my blessings and prayers for a joyous Christmas and a happy and fulfilling New Year. The birth of Our Lord is an extraordinary gift to us – a gift of reconciliation, love and peace. That is the message the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on the night the Prince of Peace was born.
The word ‘peace’ was constantly on the lips of Jesus during his ministry on Earth. ‘Peace’ is the customary blessing of both Jews (‘shalom’) and Muslims (‘salaam’) who, together with Christians, now make up the great religions of the region where Jesus led his life.
Most Australians are fortunate to live in peace. But that good fortune calls us to remember and pray for those who don’t share in it. We have to ask what Christmas will be like for the people of Syria as the deadly war there grinds on, killing and maiming tens of thousands while millions of others seek refuge in Lebanon and Jordan ... Many Christian communities in the Middle East – the oldest in the world – have been uprooted and scattered. These are only a few of the terrible acts of cruelty we hear of around the globe ...
So as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, let us remember that he came on a mission of love for all of us but especially for the lost and broken. Like Mary and Joseph who contemplated Christ born homeless and rejected, we can learn to recognise the same Christ who does not find welcome and hospitality on our shores, the same Christ who does not find a room in people’s hearts. We cannot worship the Christ child in truth without embracing the most vulnerable. May this Christmas bring you all comfort, joy and peace, and inspire us all to be the love of Jesus to every person.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Chairman, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Christmas message, December 2016

26 Wed

2004: Devastating tsunami in South Asia, killing 200,00 to 300,000 people

27 Thu  
28 Fri  
29 Sat  
30 Sun

Feast of the Holy Family

1987: Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis

31 Mon 1946: Granting of paid annual leave to workers in Australia - ACSJC Resources on Workplace Justice


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