Friday, 24 March 2017

Disaster Recovery Report

Uniting Disaster Recovery hosted a historic meeting of disaster recovery chaplaincy coordinators from all across the country, with every state and territory represented. This meeting comes at an important time, as the Northern and QLD Synods are involved in establishing integrated, ecumenical, disaster recovery chaplaincy networks.

President Stuart McMillan preached at Darwin Memorial Uniting Church to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin - and a wonderful act of reconciliation by the Japanese salvage merchant Ryugo Fujita.

At the conclusion of the service, Mr McMillan dedicated the Memorial Reflection Pool in the Church’s Peace Garden which features a number of plaques commemorating the ships salvaged from Darwin Harbour in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Don't Change Section 18C

A statement by President Stuart McMillan: The Uniting Church in Australia does not support the watering down of existing legal protections in the Federal Racial Discrimination Act.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Walking Together to Close the Gap

A statement to members on National Close the Gap Day from President Stuart McMillan and Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Rev. Dennis Corowa.

On National Close the Gap Day we would like to reaffirm our Church’s commitment to walking together with First Peoples and encourage all Church members to join us on the journey.

Uniting Church leaders appearing before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse have pledged to survivors to make the Church the safest place it can be for children.

On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia I sincerely apologise to all children in our care who suffered sexual abuse, of any kind, in our Church, whether it happened since union of 1977 or before that in our predecessor Churches.

The legal assistance sector has reached a funding crisis point.

The Government has announced cuts of $34.8 million over the next three years to around 190 community legal centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services around Australia. These cuts represent 30% of the annual budget and will begin from 1 July 2017. This will place more pressure on an already stretched legal assistance sector which in 2014-15 had to turn 159,220 people away.

What do Community Legal Centres (CLCs) do?

  • CLCs are not-for-profit community-based free and accessible legal services.
  • CLCs help over 216,000 people each year who can’t afford a lawyer and aren’t eligible for Government Legal Aid, including:
    • people with a disability (26.6% of clients) and
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (15.3% of clients).
  • CLCs assist with cases involving family violence, relationship breakdown, debt, consumer problems, problems with Centrelink, tenancy disputes and employment issues.

How will these cuts affect our community?

  • People already experiencing disadvantage will become even more vulnerable and be denied justice.
  • Cuts to legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will not help reduce over-representation within the criminal justice system.
  • Unresolved legal problems will lead to further costs for Government and the community.

You can act to reverse this injustice.

Add your message to the #fundequaljustice campaign.

Use the form below to write your own letter to Attorney-General Senator George Brandis - see our letter to the Prime Minister expressing our concern about the cuts.

Please add your personal touch to the letter, such as your background, why you care, and what CLCs have done for you. 

Your letter will be much more effective if you personalise it.

Below is a Pastoral Statement on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse from the President of the Uniting Church in Australia Stuart McMillan.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Friday 10 March 2017 the Uniting Church in Australia will appear at a public hearing for Case Study 56 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

Page 1 of 58