30 April, 2012

Fair Trade Fortnight 2012

"Be part of Australia’s biggest annual celebration of all things fair trade and celebrate the life-changing difference our Fairtrade choice makes for millions farmers, producers, their families and communities in developing countries.

Come down to Federation Square in Mel...bourne on your lunch break and show your support for social justice through trade.

Help us launch our campaign for 2012 and grab some great giveaways in the process.

The Fairtrade Certification system alone already benefits almost 1.2 million farmers and workers, but if everyone already buying Fairtrade Certified products put just one more of these items in their basket – we could double that number and make our call for trade justice stronger and louder, proving that there is a fairer way to do business, and it works.

Tell your family, mates, collegues, everyone!

See you there!"

17 April, 2012

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - New Website

Letter From The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:

Dear Friends,

This morning we had Julian Burnside launch our new website 'Asylum Explained'.
We are very excited to share our new website with all of you.

It's a practical, plain English step by step guide for asylum seekers on how to navigate the entire refugee determination process.

At each stage we cover all the critical issues for people to be aware of to protect their rights and give them the best chance of gaining asylum.

We think it will be a wonderful resource not just for asylum seekers, but for migration agents and all workers in the asylum seeker sector.
You can also print off for your clients a series of fact sheets under our Resources section.

Please share it with all your workers and clients. We will be adding a section on Complementary Protection in the next week too.

See the website here: http://www.asylumexplained.asrc.org.au/

We welcome any feedback too.

Kind Regards

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM
CEO Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
*'No one chooses to be an asylum seeker'*

Thoughts from Major Marion Weymouth:

Community 'detention' will grow in our suburbs as detainees are placed in supported housing. Make sure you are aware of the facts. Do not allow Myths to circulate where you are concerned. Myths are based on ignorance, causing gossip, pain, fear and rejection.

Is there a way that YOU can be involved in this critical Social Justice issue?

- what is your neighbourhood like? What issues is your local council facing with displaced persons? [Find out from web sites, news items etc.]
- is there a neighbour in your street who feels like a total stranger in the 'friend-lessness" of our society,
- how can you reach out with the welcome that is needed?

- imagine your situation to be like theirs.. what would you appreciate?

[the language of stopping, greeting, interest in children, visiting, hospitality can be amazing]

- What can you do in your local church to do justice for the stranger?

- Explore possibilities of language tutoring, conversation, listening to stories [inviting a story to be shared to the whole church] , sharing meals they enjoy, understanding the painful journeys that have been theirs.

- Should some of us be thinking of helping in the difficult issues of housing?

- Are we able to test our humanity and God-connection in what we are prepared to be and do? What does God tell us about welcoming the stranger?

- How do we get past our comfort zones? Do we need to seek forgiveness for intolerant attitudes, or our indifference?

These questions and more can be part of our growth as individuals, in transforming our communities, and in speaking to our nation.

Change can so easily start with us!

Major Marion Weymouth
Territorial Social Justice Secretary

05 April, 2012

Social Justice Working Party 2nd-3rd April & Easter Greeting

Wow! It's now over.... Since starting the job here at THQ two months ago, one of my challenges has been getting the "tri-territorial social justice working party" underway. Melbourne was the venue and as 'hosts', we joined with Salvation Army eastern territory and NZ territory delegates in 2 days of learning, exploring and planning action in particular areas. There were 22 attending over 2 days, numbers varying with guests and the attendance of those who are 'wanted people'. One of these is Major Kelvin Alley, who represents a united front for the Salvation Army in his role as National Secretary in Canberra - he had to return for critical discussions on gambling reform. The pool of people who gathered were able to formulate work plans on particular issues that will help to streamline resources and hopefully increase efficient use of energy.

Barry Gittins captured a photo on our second day

I perceived the highlights to be: making and strengthening relationships in the sharing process [an important element in any social justice activity], learning from one another [Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto from 'Stop the Traffik' were great facilitators], theological discussion, determination to follow up on some united tasks and in our separate resourcing roles. I am amazed at the collection of dedicated and talented people.

May you keep on engaging with the communities where you are each placed - being agents for God's Kingdom coming on earth, as it is in Heaven. At this Easter season, take time to reflect on Christ our deliverer: put so well by William Booth in 1889 "Christ is the deliverer for time as well as for eternity..... He is the Messiah who brings glad tidings! He is come to open prison doors... to set men free from their bonds. He is indeed the Saviour of the world!

Marion Weymouth