26 April, 2013

Divisional Social Justice Coordinators

Northern Victoria Division

Name: Alexis Mapleback

Appointments: Assistant Corp Officer, Eaglehawk

Favourite place to holiday: Sri Lanka

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? I would be able to teleport. Travelling just takes up too much time, I would love to be able to snap my fingers and be wherever I want.

Why do you think social justice is important? Social Justice is important because it is about us, you and me! These aren't just issues that we can casually sweep under the rug and they will go away, they are issues that if not dealt with, will impact on us all. Too long have we ignored other people's suffering, it's time we as a people said enough is enough. I know I want to be able to look my kids in the eye and tell them I made a difference and had the guts to change the things I could to help others.

What injustices do you see in the area of Eaglehawk? We in regional victoria are confronted with lots of issues surrounding women, eg. teenage pregnancy is at scarily high levels here and no one knows what to do about it, and the hypersexualisation of children are of real concern.

What is an injustice that is particularly close to your heart? Human Trafficking is something that my heart has recently not been letting me escape from. The fact that there are more slaves in our world today than at any other point in our history astounds and saddens me. Everyday people are being sold into a life they may never escape. At the moment I am trying to beome as aware as possible about the statistics and situations and hope so that one day soon I can report I am making a change and difference.

 Contact: (03) 5446 8135

South Australia Division

Beverley Demopoulos (Major)
Court Chaplain | Divisional Social Justice Coordinator

16 April, 2013

Divisional Social Justice Coordinators

Throughout the Australia Southern Territory, Just Salvos has connected with officers who are passionate about equality, mercy and justice in their local areas. Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing them to you.

Watch this space to meet the Divisional Social Justice Coordinator in your area!

We want to thank them for the amazing work they do in pursuing justice and encourage you to connect with them regarding local social justice issues.

Northern Territory Region

Name: Adye Viney

Appointment: Corps Officer Darwin

Favourite place to holiday: Anywhere there is a bike ride happening

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? I would like to have the power to go back in time and change events to alter the way things are now.

Why do you think social justice is important? So that we can try and have equity , fairness and dignity for all people.

What injustices do you see in the area of Darwin? Unjust treatment of the homeless and disadvantaged, the widening gap between rich and poor.

What is an injustice that is particularly close to your heart? Equality and dignity for indigenous Australia.

Contact: (08) 8945 1947

Eastern Victorian Division
Name: Claire Emerton

Appointment: Assistant Social Program Secretary

Favourite place to holiday: Anywhere I can walk through bush, sit on a beach or connect with nature.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? Power to predict the future so that I could win the footy tipping competition, and prevent any Hawthorn injuries before they occurred...

Why do you think social justice is important? I feel it's not enough for The Salvation Army to assist those effected by social disadvantage but to be active in addressing the structural barriers that cause disadvantage - a focus on social justice reminds us of our mandate to do this.

What injustices do you see in the area of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne? Many! Asylum Seeker access to justice, lack of affordable housing, government support payments below the poverty line among many others.

What is an injustice that is particularly close to your heart? Issues in Australian society that impact on everyone having a fair go.

Contact: (03) 8872 6400

02 April, 2013

National Youth Week 2013

National Youth Week is an annual weeklong celebration of young people aged 12 -25, which encourages youth to share ideas, discuss youth issues, showcase their talents and have a bit of fun. Go to www.youthweek.com for more information..

In our Nation, we ought to celebrate those who represent our future, yet not all about youth is hopeful. In fact there are frightening statistics which point to dislocation and brokenness – 26,000 who have no bed for the night, an average of 6 young people who take their lives every day (1800 – 2000 every year), a rising number of vulnerable children held in un-sentenced detention and so on.

In June 2012, Chris Johnson from the Age newspaper wrote a series of articles on youth suicide, noting a ‘cluster’ of suicides, and bringing attention to a massive need for awareness and collaborative effort in understanding the tragedy of young people taking their lives. Subsequently, a series of ‘Hope Talks’ involved Chris and others in exploring indicators of suicide in youth……

Major Brendan Nottle hosted one of these talks at TSA Melbourne Project 614 in Bourke St Melbourne and later, along with street team leader, Lauren Cockerell, was interviewed by Just Salvos.

Watch part 1 here

In these interviews, Just Salvos explores suicide and the multiple needs of youth. Brendan and those who work in the transit street teams (Lauren heads up these) are certain that there is never one issue which affects the youth they meet – drug affected youth are disconnected from families, mental health deterioration leads to crime and so on. Rescue & relief efforts can go further when accompanied by counselling, working out solutions with help, working with other agencies.

Watch part 2 here

Listen to Brendan’s story of one young person, on the point of suicide because ‘no one cared’, but who now loves life, in stable housing and involved in ‘Young Nation’s Souljahs’. What was the breakthrough point?

What inspires the continuing involvement for workers in situations of desperate need among our youth? Where does the strength come from? For Brendan, it is being fed by the Spirit of God and the early day examples of the Salvation Army, who set up a Suicide prevention Bureau in the 1890’s and set a standard for saving lives. I like Brendan’s quote from Karl Barth: “We should all read the newspaper every day; have that in our left hand and the Bible in our right hand… God will speak to us about how we should respond”.

Be stirred, as some are, to be a voice for others, and become a person who can respond. We are all to be partners in dispensing hope, we have get up off our knees and get out of the church, to be confronted by the sheer hell and be inspired to action.

Marion Weymouth
Social Justice Secretary