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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Immigration decision sparks outpouring from hundreds of supporters for Iranian asylum seeker

Mojgan Shamsalipoor with husband Milad Jafari

IRANIAN asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor has been granted a further six-month bridging visa allowing her to stay in Australia – but there’s a hitch. Immigration officials have set a new condition on Brisbane-based Ms Shamsalipoor in her long-running battle to avoid deportation – she is not allowed to study. The decision has sparked a bittersweet social media outpouring from hundreds ... Read More »

Royal Commission’s final report urges major changes to child safety across Australia

Justice Peter McClellan delivers Royal Commission final report to Peter Cosgrove

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommends prioritising child safety across the nation, including strengthening national and state laws, changing the culture within churches and organisations and providing for compensation and treatment for abuse survivors. The Commission’s final report was released today, comprising 409 recommendations. Of those, 189 recommendations had not been made until today’s 17-volume ... Read More »

Sunshine Coast aged care facility offers Catholics televised Mass followed by bedside Communion

A CATHOLIC aged care facility on the Sunshine Coast, which offers a new and unique faith connection with the local church, has won a national building award. State-of-the-art St Vincent’s Care Services Maroochydore, which opened this year with about 100 residents, has won the National Lifestyle Housing for Senior Award 2017 presented by Master Builders Australia. One unique feature is ... Read More »

Impossible not to share the anger of survivors, Commissioner Peter McLellan says at final sitting

AFTER five years of inquiry, Justice Peter McClellan has delivered his final sitting address at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – describing the extent of abuse as a national tragedy, and warning that children are still being sexually assaulted. “For many sexual abuse is a trauma they can never escape, it can affect every aspect ... Read More »

Seminarian Josh Whitehead’s barbecue mission for homeless hits the spot

Josh Whitehead and Mifta

IT’S Friday night. Burger patties and onion rings are sizzling on the barbecue hotplate in the grounds of Maroochydore’s new Stella Maris Church. Seminarian Josh Whitehead is strumming his guitar and singing, as some of the regular patrons start to arrive – men, women and children – in need of a free meal and some good company. Maroochydoore’s barbecue ministry ... Read More »

Priest who received free flights to Coen from Jonathan Thurston invites league legend to speak at Aboriginal Cultural Mass

Fr Rob Greenup

COWBOYS’ league legend Jonathan Thurston is to be honoured with an invitation to speak at Mareeba’s annual Aboriginal Cultural Mass. It’s a reward for a good faith gesture that has earned the respect of the town’s Augustinian priest, Fr Robert Greenup. “He’s a thoroughly decent fellow who helps where he can,” Fr Greenup, parish priest at Mareeba’s St Thomas of ... Read More »

Vinnies leader warns stress levels at Christmas will leave many people homeless

A homeless man sleeps on a bench

THE Christmas season is shaping up as one of extreme financial hardship for many families, while an increasing number of people are being forced into homelessness. As the St Vincent de Paul Society launches its annual Christmas Appeal, the organisation is predicting the next few weeks will be tougher than ever before for people in need. “Certainly (there is) going ... Read More »

Homeless on the Sunshine Coast are indebted to this Catholic woman

Annette Baker

STANDING overlooking the sprawling township of Nambour, Catholic woman Annette Baker points to some vacant land where she imagines building affordable studio units for people at risk of homelessness. “About ten units … It doesn’t have to be government-funded, it could be private donors,” Mrs Baker said, outlining her latest plan to provide housing for low-income households. Every night an ... Read More »

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