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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

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 »

Indigenous Australians say Closing the Gap “doomed to fail”

Sam Watson

BRISBANE indigenous community elder Sam Watson has lamented the number of Aboriginal children being taken from their families and locked up. “In 2016 it is the next generation of the stolen generation,” he said, while attending a park event in West End marking 10 years since Closing the Gap was launched to address indigenous disadvantage. “Some areas of disadvantage are ... Read More »

Brisbane communities ready to give jobs to incoming Syrian refugees

Syrians to have jobs in Brisbane

MORE than one hundred businesses and organisations have signed up to provide job opportunities for Syrian refugees expected to arrive in Brisbane in coming months. Last November, the Queensland Government pledged to take 3500 refugees as part of an Australia-wide intake of 12,000. In response, Multicultural Development Association, the independent, non-government settlement organization, launched a Queensland-wide campaign to find 500 work-experience ... Read More »

A bishop for the people

Bishop Raymond Benjamin

BISHOP Raymond Benjamin, Townsville’s fourth Bishop, was laid to rest in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Townsville on March 17. The cathedral congregation joined Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Townsville diocesan administrator Fr Mick Lowcock and many other bishops and priests to farewell Bishop Benjamin, 91, who died earlier this month. Fr Orm Rush, on behalf of the priests of the ... Read More »

Sisters are simply living the Josephite life

Josephite Sisters

A SEARCH of Mary MacKillop on the Internet today highlights just how far the saint’s influence has spread. Dioceses have her as their patron, schools and child care centres and ministries carry her name, and the work of the sisters extends across the globe. And yet, with an average age of 78 many Catholics may question “What is the future ... Read More »

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