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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Pacific Island bishops make surprise but welcome visit to Papua

Papuan visit

VISITING Pacific island bishops have heard of on-going violence and repression faced by Papuan people during a rare visit to Indonesian’s most easterly province. A delegation of 20 bishops from the Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands were also told of Papuan desires for independence from Indonesia, during a visit to the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura. ... Read More »

Too many indigenous Australians in jail, trends show

Indigenous incarceration

ABORIGINAL deaths in custody are in decline, but indigenous Australians remain grossly over represented in jail. There were 339 recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody in 1991.  And 25 years later, Aboriginal people are still over represented in our prison system, despite many of the recommendations addressing this issue.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners ... Read More »

Pope releases document on marriage and family

aRCH-MARK2

Update: April 13, 2016 POPE Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love) presents a pastoral approach to the most vexing marriage and family issues,  including the reintegration into the Church of Catholics who divorce and remarry in civil ceremonies. A striking aspect of the 256-page document is Pope Francis’ exploration of individual conscience in guiding adult faith.  “I ... Read More »

What will be Brisbane’s monuments of mercy?

Monuments of mercy

POPE Francis has asked Catholic dioceses around the world to set up a permanent memorial of the Year of Mercy. It’s a new and sizeable challenge, but also offers a unique opportunity to meet the needs we see around us.  How could the Archdiocese of Brisbane best respond to the Holy Father’s request?  Pope Francis said the idea came to ... Read More »

Catholic refugee advocates: End immigration detention of children

Children in detention

REFUGEE advocates have demanded the Federal Government put an end to children ever being held in immigration detention again. The detention of children has been described as a contributor to long-term trauma, a violation of duty of care and morally wrong by refugee advocates. Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission welcomed the April 3 announcement by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to ... Read More »

South Sudanese refugee believes work sows seeds of hope and dignity

Apande Gong Speaking

APANDE Gong believes work is the key to a person’s hope and dignity. The 37-year-old single mother fled war-torn South Sudan as a 19-year-old in 1998 and began a new life in Australia, first in Coffs Harbour and then finding her way to Brisbane. Apande shut her eyes, shook her head and drew a sharp breath as she thought about ... Read More »

Sir Julius Chan played the game to win

Sir Julius Chan

SIR Julius Chan played a pivotal role in shaping Papua New Guinea’s first 40 years of independence.Playing the Game is his fascinating account of the exciting birth of PNG as a nation, and the challenging years that followed.It is also the story of a man who grew up with a fight-to-win determination, shaped by his humble upbringing, and his formative ... Read More »

Food shortages continue in PNG with millions affected

PNG Food Shortage

REMOTE villagers in Papua New Guinea remain critically short of food with predictions that severe weather conditions will continue until the middle of the year.According to a World Food Program operational briefing paper, quoting PNG Government figures, more than 2.7 million people are affected by extreme El Nino climate conditions, which started a year ago.One WFP briefing paper source, Dr ... Read More »

Humans vs Robots: the artificial intelligence debate grows

Artificial intelligence

THE World Science Festival held in Brisbane in early March confirmed that robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning were now part of our lives. Thousands attending the festival came to watch, touch and play with cute, shiny robots capable of dodging objects, following commands and engaging in smart banter. However, if the future has arrived, now we have to deal ... Read More »

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