Vinnies' special OAM recipients
The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia warmly congratulates those members and volunteers whose efforts were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year. Vinnies was pleased to learn Vincentians, Bob Stewart and Dr Allen Moloney had been awarded Order of Australia awards for providing social and community services to their respective communities in Melbourne and Ballarat. We were also thrilled to hear Barbara O'Brien, who volunteers at Vinnies in Dubbo, received an Order of Australia for the contributions she made to her local community.
Vinnies holds grave concerns about many Budget measures, yet the introduction of a GP co-payment and move to deny young people, who are unemployed access to income support for six months in a year, are arguably the most offensive.
The Record is out now
In the 2014 winter issue of The Record we unpack the implications of the Federal Budget on the not-for-profit sector and the wider community. At the time of going to print, there are still a few weeks before the measures announced in the Budget come under close scrutiny from the new Senate. Economist John Quiggan kindly contributed an article to the 2014 Winter Record as did the Director of Children with Disability Australia, Stephanie Gotlib.
ACOSS passes resolution on the Budget
Vinnies representatives were among more than 300 participants of the 2014 ACOSS National Conference that passed a resolution calling on the federal parliament of Australia to reject divisive and unfair budget proposals.
The Resolution called on the Australian Government to work with the community sector to design policy that is sustainable, inclusive and fair.
Youth not to be blamed for unemployment
On June 13, 2014 the Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Dr John Falzon, took part in a radio interview with ABC 702 Sydney presenter Linda Mottram on the topic of young unemployment.
Open letter on racial vilification
On June 12, 2014 Vinnies was one of 120 organisations to have co-signed a letter urging the Federal Government to abandon racial vilification changes. The letter sent to the Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, was drafted by the Australian Human Rights Law Centre. The letter reads: “Protecting against the serious harm that flows from racial vilification is a legitimate restriction on free speech. The proposed exemption is so broad, and the new protection is so narrow, that the combined changes would almost completely remove the existing Federal racial vilification protections. ” On June 10, 2014, the Vinnies Research and Legal Officer, Rik Sutherland, had an article titled ‘What can we all agree on in the debate about racially insulting language?’ published on a new discussion blog about social policy called www.powertopersuade.org.au Rik presented a legal perspective of the arguments on both sides and suggested a way to move beyond entrenched positions.
Restoring hope to refugees
Vinnies has reiterated its opposition to mandatory detention and offshore processing of asylum seekers in light of a recent High Court ruling. Despite the High Court ruling the Manus Island centre was constitutionally valid Vinnies argued that it did not mean the facility or system of offshore detention was morally valid. National President, Anthony Thornton said experience has shown us that immigration detention is deeply harmful to asylum seekers, and particularly to children.” A point Vinnies also made in its recent submission to the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention led by the Australian Human Rights Commission. This Refugee Week (June 15-21), Vinnies has also called on the Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, to re-instate core funding to the Refugee Council of Australia (RCoA) that was withdrawn two weeks following the Federal Budget. For 33 years RCoA has worked hard to be a strong and credible community voice for the humane treatment for people seeking asylum. Donations to support RCoA’s work can be made at any time.
In the next Social Justice Update...
We will bring you all the news from the 2014 Vinnies CEO Sleepout, as well as, more information on the major welfare reforms expected to impact the sector in the second half of the year.