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What Jean Madden is creating could end homelessness

Swags with walls

LIVING on the streets could be a thing of the past if Brisbane entrepreneur Jean Madden’s new cabin project takes off. Ms Madden has launched the “swags with walls” business to shelter the homeless, with a vision to provide life-skills training and potential to create hundreds of jobs. The founder of the not-for-profit Street Swags has set up a factory ... Read More »

New Catholic report tells stories of murder, kidnapping and torture in West Papua

West Papua

ALLEGATIONS of recent military and police intimidation, beatings and torture, kidnapping and murder in West Papua, have been documented in a new Church report. The report documents Muslims being radicalised in the once predominantly Christian Papuan provinces, and “very active” Muslim militias that burn down Papuan houses. The report was compiled by the Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission’s Shadow Human ... Read More »

Dodson’s senate move a positive step

Pat Dodson

CATHOLIC peace and justice groups have welcomed the appointment of Aboriginal man Patrick Dodson’s as senator for the Australian Labor Party. Mr Dodson (pictured) was endorsed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to replace Senator Joe Bullock, who resigned over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Leaders from Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Edmund Rice Centre praised Mr Dodson, ... Read More »

Townsville pastor Bishop Ray Benjamin dies

Bishop Emeritus Raymond Benjamin

TOWNSVILLE’S fourth bishop has died, aged 91. Bishop Emeritus Raymond Benjamin, who served as the fourth bishop of Townsville between 1984 and 2000, is mourned by Catholics in the northern Queensland diocese as a “leader before his times”. Bishop Benjamin turned 91 on February 24. Townsville diocesan administrator Fr Mick Lowcock described Bishop Benjamin as a “real pastor” of Townsville. “Many saw ... Read More »

Student with Down Syndrome told she would never talk gives first public speaking address to hundreds

Olivia Hargroder

OLIVIA Hargroder is a self-confessed “chatterbox”, but she was never expected to learn to speak. Born with Down Syndrome, the 16-year-old underwent major heart surgery and was not expected to live. “My mum and dad couldn’t even cuddle me,” Olivia said.  “So they stayed by my side reading books.” The books helped and Olivia made a full recovery. Parents Kerry ... Read More »

First two days of Cardinal Pell’s testimony

Cardinal Pell testifies

CARDINAL George Pell has told the child abuse royal commission the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” and “let people down” in its handling of child sexual abuse by priests and religious. Cardinal Pell, whose heart condition prevented him from returning to Australia for questioning, testified via videolink from a Rome hotel room, in front of a group of child sex ... Read More »

Graduation milestone for Timor Leste teachers college

Timor Leste graduation

TIMOR Leste has reached an education milestone with the latest graduation of 46 teachers from a college run by the Marist Brothers Province of Australia.  More than 500 teacher graduates have passed through the Instituto Catolico para a Formacao de Professores, since the college was built soon after Timor Leste (East Timor) gained independence from Indonesia. This is no small feat ... Read More »

Fijian tragedy as mother dies saving nine children from cyclone

Family in mourning

AS Fiji’s clean-up after Cyclone Winston continued with international support, there are painful and tragic stories of the night the storm struck, claiming 42 lives. Cyclone Winston tore through on February 19, with winds of 330km/h devastating the region. The village of Oelekuro, a remote community of 400 in the province of Tailevu, is still reeling from the extensive damage ... Read More »

Catholic education staff say action will protect the next generation

Catholic staff take strike

CATHOLIC education staff member Ian Hughes is worried the next generation of the sector’s educators will not last five years under the present workload and wages. Mr Hughes is a full-time audiovisual technician for Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne, and one of thousands of teachers who are taking a full-day stoppage today against working conditions in Catholic schools. Mr Hughes has represented hundreds ... Read More »

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