Space race triumph

Review by ANN BYRNE


IT’S about time – and it’s about space. It’s about gender and it’s about race.

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of three black women working at NASA in the early 1960s – Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), a brilliant mathematician/physicist; Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), supervisor ...

Failing the most vulnerable

I have read three books over the last few weeks – two works of fiction and one non-fiction – all with a common thread, the treatment or mistreatment of children. During this time I also attended Case Study 56 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which focused on the Uniting Church in Australia.

Room ...

Circles of support

Most people have a network of friends they can call on for support, but for those living with a disability these connections may be harder to foster due to stigma and social isolation.

‘Circles of support’ is a concept that originated in Canada in the 1980s to describe a group of people who gather regularly to support the goals, ...

They had no choice

ANIMALS have served in war for hundreds of years, from elephants during the time of Hannibal, to the present day bomb-sniffing dogs used in the Afghanistan conflict.

If pressed to nominate a famous animal who served in war, many of us would mention Murphy (also known as Duffy, or Abdul), Simpson’s first donkey – the Gallipoli donkey ...

Bethlehem University – an oasis of peace in the Holy Land


Students at Bethlehem University face many restrictions in their daily lives, the institution’s vice-chancellor Brother Peter Fray (pictured) told a February public gathering at Elm Street Hall in North Melbourne.

Movement is even more restricted since the 2005 encirclement of Bethlehem by the separation wall, which has four checkpoints on its perimeter.

Travel within Israel/ Palestine ...

Licence to print money


Tasmanian author and Wesley Hobart member James Boyce’s examination of the often cosy relationship between Tasmanian governments and gambling giant Federal Hotels over the last 50 years is certainly timely.

Mr Boyce’s latest book, Losing streak – How Tasmania was gamed by the gambling industry, investigates a litany of poorly conceived government decisions made over ...

Mission focused-future

HOW presbyteries will carry out their pastoral ministry of supporting congregations and ministers and encouraging mission is an important issue facing the church.

The Presbytery Transition Team (PTT) is talking with presbytery standing committees and presbytery ministers and office bearers throughout Victoria and Tasmania.

Formed following a resolution of the 2016 Synod meeting, the PTT works with the Strategic Implementation ...

Seeing the Vision in action

It repeatedly amazes me how the Synod’s Vision and Mission Principles come to life around me: not because of my effort, but rather because I notice something or hear a story. Of course, these things are on my mind a lot nowadays, so that’s maybe why. I’ll share some examples with you …

At a recent education day in ...

Family tragedy



Cult def: a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.

A powerful light has shone through the gloom, the secrecy, and the layers of subterfuge and power to ...

Synod Snaps – April 2017

Members from the East Stonnington Uniting Churches joined in a World Day of Prayer service at St Mary’s Catholic Church in East Malvern.

Every year, members of the Hopkins Region of Churches participate in a Soul Water Walk to mark the beginning of Lent. It is a time to reflect with their fellow travellers as they journey ...

Good call

Review by BOB FASER


THE fifth season of Call the Midwife confronts a range of significant social issues with the same honesty and commitment as earlier seasons.

Set in the early 1960s, issues of the day such as the relationship of thalidomide use and birth defects are strongly in ...