Daily News - Wednesday 16 July 2014

Posted 16 July 2014 8:00am

Deadly Awards founder Gavin Jones dies after funding cut
Rick Feneley, Sydney Morning Herald

The Aboriginal founder of the Deadly Awards, the annual celebration of indigenous achievement, was shattered last month when he learnt that he would lose federal funding worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gavin Jones, 47, was found dead on his farm at Goulburn on Saturday. While his family did not want to discuss the nature of his death, they and his friends were aware of his devastation at the loss of funding affecting his ventures, which had spawned radio and television productions, the national Deadly Vibe magazine, the annual Deadly Awards, sport, dance and hip-hop events, and much more.


Peris pushes for overhaul of domestic violence laws
Dan Harrison, The Age

People who fail to report suspected domestic violence by their neighbours, friends or family could be prosecuted under changes advocated by Labor senator Nova Peris.

On Tuesday, Senator Peris, the first indigenous woman to be elected to Federal Parliament, called for all states and territories to emulate Northern Territory laws that make it a crime for any adult to fail to report domestic violence to police.


Human Rights Disability Forum Announced
Pro Bono News

Human Rights Commissioner Susan Ryan has begun her term as Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner, announcing she will convene a National Disability Forum in September to meet with people with disabilities and their representative bodies.


The NDIS One Year On
Toby O'Connor, Pro Bono News

It’s now one year since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial began in the Barwon region. The Scheme exists because of a committed, public campaign by people with disability, their families and friends and disability charitable organisations. Many of these charities were established by parents well before governments provided any funding to partially pay the real costs of delivering support. In Geelong, that campaign was led by Karingal.


Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA)
Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

The Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) program is a targeted small grant program, designed to support projects and activities that benefit and support older people living in small rural and remote communities.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available and eligible projects and activities include those that ...


Rising Homelessness Needs Urgent Funding
Pro Bono News

The Victorian Government should urgently reinstate mental health funding to housing and homelessness agencies in Melbourne, according to homelessness services Not for Profit Homeground, following reports of a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the city.

The latest City of Melbourne StreetCount has revealed a 40 per cent increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the CBD in the past two years.


UK - Insights from a new evidence base suggest a way forward in tackling exclusion and homelessness
Julia Unwin, LSE, British Politics and Policy

Poverty is a scar on our nation, but it is neither uniform nor simple to describe. For one group of people – those facing multiple needs – poverty is just one of a series of issues such as homelessness, substance misuse, mental health problems, street activities like begging or prostitution, and experience of institutions such as prisons – which combine to place people at the margins of our society.


Housing circumstances of Indigenous households: tenure and overcrowding

The housing circumstances of Indigenous Australians are described in this paper using Census data. The topics of housing tenure and overcrowding are covered, with trends considered, as well as differences according to factors such as remoteness, jurisdiction and socioeconomic status. In 2011, Indigenous households were about half as likely as other Australian households to own their home and more than 3 times as likely to be overcrowded.


Fair pricing for power
Tony Wood and Lucy Carter, Grattan Institute

Reform of electricity tariffs is urgently needed to prevent all Australians paying too much for power and some people paying more than their fair share.

... Policymakers should consult with welfare agencies to examine how tariff changes may affect vulnerable consumers. It is important to recognise that, in many cases, vulnerable customers are among those paying too much for power to subsidise other users. Yet, in cases where evidence shows some vulnerable customers will face substantial bill increases, transition or support measures should be provided. Such measures are important to protect these users. They will also reduce the risk that negative consumer reactions could pressure decision makers to abandon or delay reform.


Life, Family and Freedom
Endeavour Forum

The Regional Event of the World Congress of Families which Endeavour Forum Inc. together with other WCF partners is convening on 30th August 2014 ...

... Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey are encouraging more mothers to leave their pre-school children in long day care and enter the paid workforce, no doubt hoping to enlarge the tax base. This encouragement includes Abbott's extravagant Paid Parent Leave policy and child care subsidies but no equivalent payments to full-time mothers who care for their children themselves.

There is a salutary warning to these politicians - and their equivalents in the Labor and Green parties who are not any more supportive of full-time homemakers. An Australian National University study based on four waves of longitudinal data over six years, found significant negative academic outcomes for preschoolers who spent more than four hours a day at child care centres. Once they crossed the 21 hours a week threshold, children were found to have more trouble adjusting to school later on and had poorer marks on a key questionnaire rating strengths and difficulties. These children were at greater risk of performing below average in maths, literacy and academic achievement.

Event flyer: "Life, Family and Freedom” (pdf)


Victorian State Attorney-General Robert Clark to address hardline pro-life event
Josh Gordon, Heath Aston, The Age

State Attorney-General Robert Clark is set to address a hardline pro-life event in Melbourne organised by a controversial US-based group dedicated to preventing abortion and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Less than three months before the November 29 state election, Mr Clark will deliver a "welcome to Victoria" speech to the World Congress of Families – an event which also features an American doctor promoting a discredited link between abortion and breast cancer, a promoter of Russia's "crusade" against homosexuality, and representatives from the hard-right Rise Up Australia Party.

The conference, which will take place late next month, will be opened and closed by federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, who, according to the flyer for the event, is an international ambassador for the congress.


Why We Shouldn't Blame Voters For Our Appalling Asylum Policies
Tad Tietze, New Matilda

It is almost universally believed that being tough on asylum boats is a vote-winner and that this explains the political race to the bottom on the issue. Tad Tietze argues the evidence suggests this explanation of politicians’ behaviour is incorrect and this mistaken belief leads refugee supporters to isolate themselves from ordinary Australians on the issue.


Let’s have a really freewheeling Senate: Bernardi
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

Controversial Liberal senator Cory Bernardi will challenge the power of executive government and its desire to dictate to its senators, in a provocative speech this week.

Bernardi, a South Australian who is close to Tony Abbott but had to resign as his shadow parliamentary secretary over comments claiming same sex marriage could be a slippery slope to polygamy and bestiality, will argue that the Senate should fulfil its originally-conceived function of being a states house.


US - Can a personal narrative impact policy?
Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC (video)

Piper Kerman, author of the book “Orange is the New Black” digs into the idea that a personal narrative can impact policy.


The staid young: Oh! You pretty things
The Economist

Today’s young people are held to be alienated, unhappy, violent failures. They are proving anything but.

Take Britain. In 2008 Time magazine described Britain’s youth as “unhappy, unloved and out of control”; a nation gripped by an “epidemic of violence, crime and drunkenness” was scared of its feral youth. Polling by Barnardo’s, a charity, found that 54% of people thought that children were “beginning to behave like animals”—perhaps because, in television programmes such as “Skins” and films such as “Kidulthood”, hoodie-wearing teenagers occupied themselves largely with cocaine, wild sex and stabbing one another. David Cameron—now prime minister, then leader of the opposition—denounced a “broken society”, arguing that “we have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, deferring gratification instead of instant gratification.”

Mr Cameron’s claim, hyperbolic then, has since become ludicrous.


Vatican questions accuracy of latest papal interview
Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

The Vatican said the latest published interview with Pope Francis, in which he says fighting sex abuse and the mafia will be priorities of his pontificate, should not be considered a record of his exact words.

According to the article, published Sunday in the Rome daily La Repubblica, the pope also spoke about failings of the modern family, the nature of divine forgiveness and possible changes to the discipline of priestly celibacy.


The Pope and the Vatican Bank
New York Times

Pope Francis is showing that he means business — sound fiduciary business — in his campaign to clean up the Vatican Bank. Since the pope made his promise of credible reform last year, investigators and bank officials have vetted and closed out 3,000 suspect and unwanted accounts.

... The pope’s ambition to change the bank’s culture was underlined by the announcement that Cardinal Pell’s new responsibilities would also involve reform of the Vatican’s media practices. Chris Patten, the former BBC Trust chairman, was appointed to run an advisory committee to overhaul the Vatican’s newspaper and broadcast operations, with an emphasis on the digital future and social media — including the pope’s popular Twitter feed.

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