Australia: Military chaplains could be atheists if discrimination complaint upheld

schaplain

​The requirement for military chaplains to belong to a recognised religious denomination is discriminatory, according to a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission brought by a humanist chaplain.

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Australia: Proposal to replace the parliamentary prayer with an invitation to prayer or reflection

On 27 June 2018, the Senate referred the following matter (proposal to replace the parliamentary prayer with an invitation to prayer or reflection) related to the Senate Standing Committee on Procedure for inquiry and report by 22 August 2018.

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National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, will deliver a National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on Monday, 22 October 2018.

The Australian Government’s decision to deliver this National Apology follows the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse releasing its final report in December 2017.

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Grand Mufti of Australia Mufti passes away

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi, has died in Melbourne after being elected to the role only four months ago. He is being remembered as a leader committed to working with the nation’s youth.

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National: Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry

Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry is a conference focussed on an ecumenical conversation on the task of rebuilding and renewal after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Conference will take place at the Melbourne City Conference Centre, over three days, commencing 27 August.

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NAIDOC Week 2018

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. In 2018, NAIDOC Week will be observed from nationally from Sunday 8 July and continue through to Sunday 15 July. The theme of the 2018 NAIDOC Week is Because of Her, We Can!

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Senate inquiry into dowry abuse in Australia to probe ‘devastating’ impacts on women

A Senate inquiry into the nature and prevalence of dowry abuse in Australia will examine its “devastating impacts” on women in Hindu and Sikh communities amid growing concerns about a recent significant increase in dowry-related domestic violence, murders and suicides.

The inquiry will for the first time assess the adequacy of Australia’s family law system and migration law system in addressing dowry abuse after an ABC News investigation found the cultural practice had resulted in a spate of horrific deaths in the past decade following a wave of migration from the Indian sub-continent.

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Senate Inquiry: The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia

On 26 June 2018, the Senate referred the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 December 2018. The terms of reference are outlined on this page below. The deadline for submissions to this inquiry is 17 August 2018.

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Australia: Pope Welcomes Governor General

Pope Francis on June 25, 2018, received in audience in the Apostolic Palace the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

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Canberra: PM invites youth for Eid celebrations

The Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull MP held a multi-faith Eid morning tea celebration, inviting 14 young people to the Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 18 June 2018. The event was organised by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and led by Mr Ridwaan Jadwat, Ambassador Designate to Saudi Arabia.

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Reconciliation Week: Gap between aspiration and action in indigenous justice and engagement in churches

Indigenous and non-indigenous relations in Australia are a core part of the nation’s history and are an important element in ongoing debates about justice and identity. Recent research by the National Church Life Survey indicates a gap between actions and beliefs – in church activities – with regard to indigenous reconciliation.

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Living the Change launched in Australia

The Australian chapter of a new and ambitious global campaign, “Living the Change, was launched on May 3 at a national gathering of the multi-faith Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). With a byline, “faithful choices for a flourishing world”, this is a fresh faith-led initiative which aims to champion the role of more sustainable lifestyles in protecting the earth from global warming.

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Australia: Social Justice for Newly Arrived Migrants

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018 will extend waiting times and cause hardship to newly arrived migrants in many circumstances. The Harmony Alliance – which provides advocacy on the multiplicity of issues impacting on experiences and outcomes of migrant and refugee women in Australia is sending an open letter to Female MPs and Senators, calling on them to oppose these measures, on the basis that they will disproportionately target safety nets accessed by migrant women.

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