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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Spanish Flu ‘wiped out’ Cherbourg indigenous community, now COVID-19 reawakens bitter history

THERE are bitter memories passed down from early last century about how the Spanish flu pandemic wiped out hundreds of people living in Queensland’s Cherbourg indigenous community. “It just about wiped the whole community out. There were roughly only a dozen people who survived it,” 64-year-old Waka Waka elder Bevan Costello said. “That’s the history. At the moment we are ... Read More »

Plenary Council may be delayed but the thematic papers show the fruits of communal discernment

The Church’s Plenary Council 2020 assemblies may have been delayed due to COVID-19, but six writing and discernment groups have been busy, using their diverse expertise and backgrounds to write thematic papers. Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe says six papers – each tackling a national theme for discernment that emerged from the Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase – signify the latest ... Read More »

Basketball star Atem Atem urging respect in his new role and for all people as violence rages across USA

A REFUGEE from Sudan and former student of Brisbane’s St James College says he understands the fear that young, African Americans feel when confronted by police. As Atem Atem watched last week’s protests over the death of George Floyd escalate into violence and arson in cities across the United States, he recalled his own experience while playing basketball at Northern ... Read More »

Queensland Church gatherings increase from 10 to 20 people from this Friday

THE Church has welcomed a major easing of COVID-19 restrictions for gatherings in Queensland, and will put together an industrial plan hoping permission will be granted for even larger numbers of faithful to return to enter places of worship. The Queensland Government has agreed that gatherings in churches can increase from 10 to 20 from Friday, June 5, with people ... Read More »

Climate scientists say horror fire seasons set to become the Australian norm

CLIMATE scientists have told the bushfire royal commission that tinderbox conditions that allowed the catastrophic 2019-20 fire season are set to become the Australian norm. The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, chaired by retired Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, started two-weeks of hearings in Canberra on May 25 examining the Black Summer bushfires that killed 33 people, destroyed ... Read More »

Isolated communities still months away from Mass celebrations

ISOLATION. It’s almost three months since a priest has visited the Catholic faithful of Coen, a remote indigenous community in far north Queensland. Usually in the first week of each month, Augustinian Fr Robert Greenup packs his swag and drives 500km to Coen, along the partly-dirt Peninsula Developmental Road, that stretches deep into the Cape York Peninsula. His travel companion ... Read More »

Boosting at-home palliative care services could save Australia $450 million, new report shows

A NEW report calls for an overhaul of the palliative care system in Australia, revealing it could save $450 million by boosting funding for at-home end-of-life services. Seen in the light of Australia’s end-of-life debate, the KPMG report bolsters the Catholic Church case that state governments should fix the existing health system, not consider legislation to allow voluntary assisted dying. ... Read More »

Language lessons at St Rita’s College take up international advice on new teaching strategies in pandemic

LANGUAGE students at a Brisbane’s St Rita’s College are benefiting from a variety of new teaching strategies shared by teachers from across the globe during the COVID-19 lockdown. The college’s Japanese teacher Chani-Alia Murtagh said she had been following language teachers in different countries for inspiration via Instagram. “It was a great way to look at different international teaching strategies,” ... Read More »

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