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The Southern Cross : April 2012
April 2012 Page 11 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross news | The Federal Government's proposed expansion of compulsory income management, its punitive welfare policy, and the pursuit of SEAM, a measure which purportedly aims to improve school enrolments and attendance, has come under fire from the Sisters of St Joseph. "The Bill seems to be at cross purposes with the Government's own social inclusion principles," said Sr Anne Derwin, representing 3000 Sisters of St Joseph and their associates across Australia. "The rights of Aboriginal people are not sufficiently protected, and the new legislation was developed even before the evaluations of the previous programs were concluded. "We are particularly disturbed by the continuing failure to include the Aboriginal communities in genuine and adequate consultation and participation. The considerable disquiet among Aboriginal people is indicative of the levels of anxiety and alienation caused by these latest proposals." The Sisters have expressed ongoing concern over a number of issues; • the selective and limited consultation with Aboriginal communities and leaders, • the fact that, of all the proposals related to SEAM (Improving School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure), only the most punitive was chosen, • the rejection of the maxim that community-led and community- owned solutions are more likely to succeed than top-down punitive measures. Following ongoing consultations with Aboriginal communities with whom they are involved, and after making submissions to Government regarding their concerns about the legislation, a number of Sisters and their associates travelled to Canberra to take part in the rally opposing the new legislation. "With many Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous, we are feeling let down that the commitment of the government at the time of the Apology seems to have become little more than rhetoric," Sr Anne said. "The Josephites are urging the Government to engage in meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal communities, to look at the evidence on the ground and listen to the experience Aboriginal people have of living with the Intervention. "Only in this way can our Government ensure that both the requirements of the Racial Discrimination Act are honoured, and that any new legislation restores to Aboriginal people the rights they ought to enjoy as citizens of this nation." Government failing Aboriginal communities IN HARMONY: Staff and migrant representatives from the Adelaide Archdiocese celebrated Harmony Day last month with a sumptuous array of dishes from different countries. The celebration aims to raise awareness and promote the spirit of living in peace and harmony with each other in this "wonderful land of many cultures", said Sr Nien Tran, Facilitator of Catholic Multicultural Communities & Multicultural Pastoral Services. Since 1999 more than 25,000 events have been held around Australia to mark Harmony Day. Pictured from left are Sr Sheela Thomas, Basia Gebski and Sr Nien. Church of the Sacred Heart, Kadina will celebrate its 75th anniversary on May 27, 2012, beginning with Mass at 10.30am followed by lunch on the Church property -- cnr Goyder Street and Doswell Terrace, Kadina. All past and present parishoners are invited and welcome. RSVP: May 13, 2012 -- This is essential to allow for catering purposes. Contacts: Fr Adrian Noonan -- Parish Priest -- 8821 3943 Michael Turner -- Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson -- 8821 1328 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Celebrating 75 years Church of The Sacred Heart, Kadina INVITATION Let us help you make a difference. Living Catholic means showing concern and compassion for others in the community, addressing injustices and expressing solidarity with those who are suffering. It s also about generosity of spirit and giving what you can when you can, to help others less fortunate than yourself. kwp!CES10073 But sometimes we don t always have the time, the opportunity or we are simply unable to do this on our own, and that s where Catholic Charities can help. During the Easter break, we ask you to pause and think about others. If you would like to make a difference, contact us to find out how. For more information, call 8210 8125 or write to: Reply Paid 912 GPO Adelaide SA 5001