Budget hit and miss

By Nigel Tapp

THE President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, was not overly concerned about the national deficit unveiled in the Federal Budget last month.

But, the deficit of justice and compassion in a number of policy areas, particularly in relation to asylum seekers, did trouble the Church’s leader.

The Church has long advocated ...

Are your roses the proceeds of crime?

THE world’s largest supplier of cut roses has been taken to court for tax evasion by the Kenyan Government.

Indian-based Karuturi Global Ltd produces 580 million roses a year from its operations in Kenya, Ethiopia and India and supplies the global market, including Australia.

In late 2012, the Kenya Revenue Authority ruled that Karuturi used transfer mispricing to ...

Eviction for 50 families

A LEADING UnitingCare agency in Melbourne’s east has stepped in to stop more than 140 children and adults living at a 50 bed rooming house in Oakleigh from becoming homeless after its owner closed the facility.

The 50 bed property – originally an aged care facility – was transformed by its owners into an emergency housing facility for up to ...

UCA joins call for factory safety in Bangladesh

FOLLOWING the terrible tragedy of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, claiming the lives of more than 1,100 people, the new moderator, Dan Wootton, has written to Woolworths, Coles, Target, Kmart, Cotton On and Pacific Brands.

He has requested they sign up to an internationally binding agreement around building safety for their suppliers in Bangladesh. Rana Plaza included garment factories ...

Cooking up history

THE history of Australia’s longest running cookbook is being launched this month, with proceeds going to the mission of the two churches.

From Suet to Saffron journeys through the life of the 113 year-old PWMU Cookbook – the combined Presbyterian and Uniting Church publication well established with generations of home cooks and households. More than 500,000 copies have been printed.

Killing highlights Philippines’ corruption

By Berlin Guerrero

THE Astejada family was on the way to Infanta, Quezon to celebrate Pio and Amelita’s wedding anniversary when they were ambushed by motorcycle-riding men.

They just came from the Sunday morning worship at their local church, General Nakar Christian Church – UCCP. With them were their three teenage children Pamela, Samuel Bien Sandro, and Piel Amihan.

Pio ...

Stepping into the role of Moderator

EVERY day, five days a week, Dan Wootton walks four kilometres to his local station and catches the train to work. As we enter into winter and the days are getting shorter, it is dark by the time Dan steps off the train at the end of the day to walk the four kilometres back home.

But the road home ...

Two principals

ANDY Müller was installed as the new principal of Launceston’s Scotch Oakburn College, a Uniting Church day and boarding school

for boys and girls in April.

And the following month the man he replaced, Andrew Barr, was officially installed as the 11th principal in the 152-year history of The Geelong College.

Both installations were conducted by the ex-moderator of the ...

Deadly secrets

A RESEARCH report released by the Uniting Church’s Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit – Secrecy Jurisdictions, theASX100 and Public Transparency – found 61 of the top 100 Australian companies currently have subsidiaries operating in secrecy jurisdictions.

These include countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Panama, Samoa, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

The (JIM) ...

Protection polices a big step forward

Official policies are now in place on how to respond to anyone in congregations with a propensity for sexual offending. The Creating a Safe Environment for Children and Vulnerable Adults (CSECVA) policies are the next move by the Culture of Safety unit to establish a best practice identification, response and reporting process to prevent sexual abuse in congregations within the ...

Advocate facing prison

Moderator Isabel Thomas Dobson has written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr, seeking his intervention for a human rights defender in Thailand.  Anti-trafficking researcher, Andy Hall, a British national, is facing lengthy imprisonment and a fine of up to $10 million for publicly discussing research conducted for Finnwatch, a Finish non-government organisation.

Mr Hall, who previously partnered with ...

Pope Francis welcomed

The Uniting Church in Australia has welcomed the election of Pope Francis. Pope Francis was elected to the papal office to replace Pope Benedict XVI on March 13. Pope Benedict XVI, 85, resigned from the position in February citing his age and ill health as reasons for being unable to continue.

The new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics ...