Monday, 19 December 2016

Notice for all

Telstra is making all local and national calls, including to mobiles, free from any public phone booth from 24 December through to 28 December. 

 Please share this information with your group members as well as with people that you know will benefit greatly from this Telstra offer.

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Monday, 12 December 2016

Season's Greetings

2:34 PM (49 minutes ago)
Description: Young Aboriginal boy with a colourful, illuminated lantern, in the shape of a large bat, against the night sky.

Text: Nimboi’s Bat by Sean Spencer was a winning entry in the 2011 Human Rights Photo Competition.  The photo was taken during the Alpurrurulam lantern parade as part of the Christmas holiday programme for the Community.  The parade featured lanterns made by the children of Alpurrurulam.

Greetings: Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes
Australian Human Rights logo

Professor Gillian Triggs

Australian Human Rights Commission
Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
Human rights: everyone, everywhere, everyday

OWN Australia is very saddened to hear the news of the the passing of Anne Deveson 86,  author, journalist and remarkable women one who gave us so much. We grieve with her loved ones. Aloma Fennell, National President.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

We are wanting to contact Liz Jackson of the ABC (formerly of 4 Corners) can anyone help with this? Yes? please contact

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

What's Gone Wrong With Democracy
The crisis in mainstream politics


Saturday, November 12, 2016 (12pm – 2pm)

Prof. Simon Tormey
  • Political theorist based in the School of Social and Political Sciences at Sydney University
  • Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham in the UK.
  • Author of numerous books, including Making Sense of Tyranny: Interpretations of Totalitarianism,Politics at the Edge (co-edited with C Pierson) and Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism.
  • Appears regularly in the media commenting in particular on European politics for Sky Business, Sky News, ABC News, Bloomberg and the BBC
Dr. Jim Stanford
  • One of Canada’s leading economists
  • Honorary Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney
  • Director of the Centre for Future Work at The Australia Institute
  • Author of numerous books and columns, including Economics For Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism
Dr. Lloyd Cox
  • Lecturer in Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University
  • Principal research and teaching areas ate Australian and US political history and foreign policy, globalization and nationalism, comparative politics and political theory
  • Research interests include questions about Empire and the link between US domestic politics and foreign policy
Dr Olga Oleinikova
  • Part of the Sydney Democracy Network based at Sydney University
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher with main interest in the area of East European Societies
  • Currently driving the establishment of a Ukraine Democracy Initiative (UDI)
Visit our website at for more info
or to view photos & slides from previous events.

The Terrace Room at the Union Hotel • 271 Pacific Hwy, North Sydney
Please click here to RSVP via our website
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

To Christopher Pyne

Dear Minister

I was shocked to hear your discriminatory, ageist, sexist comments on the Insider television program on Sunday. 

These comments, typical of those seeking to perpetuate the discrimination of women, particularly older women, were in response to a question about labor’s “MEDISCARE” campaign. You said, and I quote, ”…ringing old ladies at night scaring the hell out of them”. 

Well for your information very many “old ladies”, we prefer older women, are not so much scared by your comments but enraged by them.  You owe us an apology.
Do you think old men would have been so scared? If not, why not? Why did you not mention them?

For your information, the older women of this country contribute up to 20 billion dollars, each year, in unpaid contributions to society and you think we fear a phone call at night? Time for you to embrace the real world and stop perpetuating sexist discriminatory myths.
Take note Minister, we vote!

Aloma Fennell 
National President
(OWN) Australia Inc.
T: 02 4396 5052
M. 0420 785 335
Email: ownaust@gmail,com
Advocating for the Rights,Dignity and wellbeing of the Older Women of Australia
Statement from Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL)

WEL welcomes the COAG National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women to be held in Brisbane  this coming Friday 28 October.

However WEL is very disappointed that the Summit has chosen not to address crisis services for women and children escaping violence. The need for such services, and for them to receive long-term secure Commonwealth/State funding, is critical to our national goal of eliminating domestic violence. These services are critical in homicide prevention, especially with so many Australian women being killed by their partners each year. Women need safe places to escape to and to receive expert crisis assistance.

The Summit plans to hold roundtable discussions on such topics as ‘using behavioural insights to reduce domestic violence’, ‘innovative uses of technology’ as well as important discussions on the Family Court, on Indigenous insights and experiences and the effects of domestic violence on children, but there is nothing on the agenda about crisis services, including women’s refuges.

WEL has long argued that crisis services for women and their children fleeing domestic violence are needed, and along with many women’s organisations has been campaigning for a Women and Children’s Safety program, a long term Commonwealth /State Funding program for women’s refuges.  (See:

WEL expresses deep concern that the COAG Summit does not see crisis services and their long term secure funding as a key issue in the prevention of violence against women. 

WEL calls on the COAG Summit to include support for long term secure Commonwealth /State funding for women’s crisis services in its deliberations and follow up actions.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

National Rural Women's Coalition

The NRWC, established in 2002, connects with, and provides linkages with rural women’s organisations and individual women for a stronger networking collaboration and a voice for women living in rural, remote and regional Australia.  It is a dedicated rural women’s organisation independent of party politics.

  • focuses on the recognition, wellbeing, participation, economic security and safety of women in Rural, Remote and Regional Australia in partnerships with our member organisations       
  • supports and grows vibrant, rural, remote and regional communities throughout Australia 
  • Represents the diverse views of rural and remote women   
  • Provides advice to the Australian Government on policy issues relevant  to the views and circumstances of rural and remote women
  • Contributes to building a positive profit of rural women
  • Celebrates the achievement of rural and remote women
We do this through the values  which underpin our work:
  • Respect – recognising and showing commitment to the diverse views of Rural, Remote and Regional women
  • Innovation – challenging and improving connections with Rural, Remote and Regional women
  • Professionalism – acting with integrity and transparency
  • Empowerment – promoting equality, diversity and inclusiveness

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Major report to reveal extent of poverty in Australia
Who: ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie and Catherine Yeomans, CEO of Mission Australia; people living in poverty, and representatives other community welfare agencies.
When: Start time – 10.30am Sunday 16 October 2016
Venue: Mission Australia Centre (MAC) Kingswood
Address: 46 Bringelly Road, Kingswood, NSW 2747
ACOSS and leading charities will reveal the latest snapshot of Poverty in Australia at 10.30am on Sunday 16th October 2016.
The report will identify the number of people living in poverty in the country, which groups of people are affected by poverty, and poverty trends.
For the first time the comprehensive report will include comparable data over a 10-year period that allows a deeper trend analysis of how we are fairing as a nation in the fight against poverty.
Media outlets and journalists are encouraged to attend the press conference which will include the voices of people living in poverty and representatives from a range of community welfare agencies.
Also present will include:
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, ACOSS
  • Catherine Yeomans, CEO Mission Australia
  • Brad McIver - Lieutenant, Salvation Army Community Service Operations Manager (Doorways/Moneycare/Communities for Children)
  • People with lived experience of poverty and other representatives of Australia’s community welfare sector.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Inequities in wealth and income are one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. It’s important to address these inequities for three key reasons.
Economic costs: Inequity undermines the well-being of a nation’s economy and impedes efficient economic growth. Being financially reliant on and influenced by a small few also builds vulnerability into the economic system.
Social costs: Inequity erodes daily living conditions, wastes human capital and reduces social cohesion. Each of these is necessary for a flourishing, cohesive and secure society.
Health costs: Inequity harms people’s sense of self and prevents access to the conditions necessary for health. Poorer health results in greater health-care costs for the nation.
So how do inequities of wealth and income manifest in Australia? And what are the implications for the nation’s health?
Not everyone has a fair go at living a long, healthy and prosperous life. People at the bottom of the social hierarchy tend to have worse health than those in the middle, who in turn have poorer health than those at the top.
This observation, known as the social gradient in health, is seen in countries around the world including Australia. It applies to a number of health outcomes including depression, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
“Who” you are and where you come from has a remarkable impact on your health. Take Anna’s story, for example.
Anna is 44 years old and lives with her elderly mother in one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged urban areas in the country. She is quite overweight, smokes a lot and suffers from depression, but is not inclined to visit her doctor.
Like Anna, the poor consistently gain less from health services than the better-off, which leads to untreated disease. This is known as the inverse care law.
Anna left school with very few qualifications. Like her economically disadvantaged peers, Anna was always more likely to do poorly in school and to drop out earlier than students in the wider population. These teens grow into adults who have lower incomes and are less empowered to provide for themselves and family.
The growth of temporary, part-time and informal work in high-income countries has affected working conditions, with declining job control, financial security and access to paid family leave and flexible working hours.
Anna works in a call centre for a large telecommunications company. Her job involves dealing with customer complaints all day, every day. She has no control over the nature of her work or how it gets done, other than to use the mute button on the call.
On the up side, Anna has a permanent position with six weeks of holidays per year. But her wage hasn’t increased in the past five years.
Anna is financially reliant on her single wage. She cannot afford to buy her own place, which is why she lives at home with her mother.
People such as Anna who work in precarious or low-paid jobs don’t have the easy choice of living in areas close to their work. House prices are partly to blame for this social disconnection. The land value gradient growth in many Australian cities in recent years is reinforcing a very strong social stratification of choice and opportunity for generations to come.
The quality of working conditions is related to mental health. For people such as Anna, poor-quality work can in fact be worse for health than not having a job at all.
Income inequity is related to the rates of poorer health in a number of areas, from alcohol-attributable hospitalisations and deaths, to child health, to oral health.
But health is not determined by absolute wealth. Rather, it is contingent on those around us and how wealth is distributed and spent – what people are able to be and to do.
Three interconnected pathways may explain the association between income inequity and health inequities.
The “social capital” hypothesis suggests higher levels of income inequity in a society increase the status differentials between individuals. This reduces social mixing across groups, thereby reducing levels of interpersonal trust.
This can give rise to feelings of social exclusion, insecurity and stress, as well as leading to decreased life expectancy.
The “status anxiety” hypothesis argues inequity damages individuals' perceptions of their place in the social hierarchy. In other words, less wealthy people see themselves as less worthy.
The perception of inferiority induces shame and distrust, which directly damages a person’s health via processes in the brain, but also by reducing levels of social capital.
The “neo-materialist” hypothesis suggests there is systematic under-investment in social infrastructure and services in more unequal societies. Social infrastructure influences the level of individual financial resources and provides services such as education, health services, transportation and housing.
One example of this under-investment is the Commonwealth government’s proposed removal of the energy supplement. This means people who are unemployed, living on A$38 per day, face losing a minimum of A$4.40 a week. For people on Newstart, A$4.40 buys essentials such as bread or milk.
As elsewhere, modern Australia has not served all social groups equally. The systematic differences in social and health outcomes suggest the opportunities open to people were not equal to start with.
In a society where material rewards are used as the yardstick of success and failure, it is hard for those who fall behind to flourish. As a society we need to redress the inequities in people’s material resources, the degree of control they have over the conditions that affect their lives and the amount of political voice they can express.
Author Sharon Friel
Director, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and Professor of Health Equity, ANU, Australian National University