Annual Report 2016
Chaplain, Father Patrick, President Anne, Diocesan and Branch Executive and members I present my report. Over the past year a number of social issues have been discussed.
The survival of The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was criticised for failing to submit the agreement to an independent Economic analysis, may not proceed to be signed into law by the new American President.
Earlier in the year researchers from Oxford University reported dangerous climate change has been experienced throughout the world. We like a number of countries continue to experience extreme recent weather conditions.
The Federal Police Force continue to investigate the online pornographic-sharing overseas website which features thousands of nude photos of underage and non consenting school students from at least 70 Australian schools.
I attended the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) conference, The reality of violence in the media. Speakers presented topics relating to the issues including; the effects of saturation of the brain after continually playing violent video games and repetitive viewing of news reports that encourage violence. We were shown glimpses of graphic and disturbing video game clips which led us to question “what sort of messages are we sending our children?”
At a CWLA State Level we have been discussing the topic of introducing a sugar levy on soft drinks. Other organisations are now calling on government to take up the sugar problem and take decisive policy action to tackle the country’s growing obesity crisis. While a recent Health report blamed easy access to bad food resulting in obesity becomes s bigger problem than world hunger .
The latest international evidence tells us that although there is no single cause of violence against women, there are certain factors that drive higher levels of violence. Every person in Australia deserves to live free from fear, but the reality at the moment is that many Australians are not living with these basic human rights.
After concerns by parents and politicians, the Federal Government unveiled changes it made to a controversial Safe_-School’s program in schools. They include limiting the program to secondary schools only. In a recent TV programme it showed that in a number of preschool and primary schools this programme continues.
We as a nation have been shamed as more and more revelations come to light as to the treatment of youth in our jails. It is now hoped that the ongoing Royal Commission will take up the challenge and reveal changes for justice.
Since the sale of Kidman Holding, Australia’s largest private land site to Chines interests, was blocked by the Federal Government, the other companies have offered a purchase price. Hopefully the size and significance of this very large area of our country, if only for security interest, can be retained.
The sleep bus designed and launched in Melbourne is expanding to other capital cities. There is also interest from global charities to allow safety and dignity for many homeless.
The reduction of so many core trade teachers during a skill shortage, when our nation is experiencing a “building boom” continues to be questioned. Other options must be available for young adults who do not wish or are not eligible to further their studies at university. A skilled workforce and employment is essential for a sound economic and social policy.
A Senate Enquiry released a report titled An Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders revealing a gross underpayment, extreme long hours, dangerous conditions and overcrowding accommodation. There are said to be 1.3 million foreign workers on visas, equivalent to one in ten workers, which is becoming a problem as it gets out of control if not addressed. The more controversial recommendations relate to labour hire companies and the $170 billion franchise industry. It has been recommended that Treasury and the ACCC review the franchising code of conduct.
A Senate Inquiry into an emerging tick-born disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients resulted in an excess of 1200 submissions. The Inquiry ceased when the Federal Government went into caretaker mode in May. As a result, those suffering from a Lyme-like illness have been left anxiously waiting to see if the Inquiry will be reinstated. The Federal Government Minster of Health has been requested to recognise the Lyme-like illness that is making Australians sick and make it an urgent health priority while granting medical assistance for those suffering from this disease.
Our leaders need to take a lead on the path to justice and join the call for a fairer world where all people can live with dignity, Australian aid is restored, climate change action is strengthened and the dignity and rights of First Australians upheld.
As we prepare for the birth of the Child Jesus may we as a nation welcome all who are in need of our prayers and assistance.
Social Issues Convenor
Moss Vale Branch
Our morning tea and Tupperware fundraiser, at Sharyn and Brian Wilson’s home in May, raised $1,100 for the children’s refuge in Kiribati. We thank those who attended, especially those who travelled distances.
Our combined Mass for WUCWO and Our Lady Help of Christians feast day, was also well attended with refreshments enjoyed afterwards. our thanks to Father Damian for his support and blessings.
Members, together with local business houses, continue to give generously to support the “Share the Dignity” project that supports a local women’s shelter.
We have started a “Faith Circles” discussion group on the 2nd Monday of the month with a group of fifteen, including men. We enjoy refreshments afterwards.
On 14th September we will hold a morning tea for the Seminarians of the Pauline Fathers in St Paul’s Church Hall, 24 Garrett Street Moss Vale. at 10.00am.
Unanderra Branch celebrated the 80th Birthday of Sr. Joan Goodwin, an honorary member, at a luncheon following our meeting on 14th April. We presented Sister with a gift voucher and a potted plant. She was very surprised and pleased and seemed to really enjoy the gathering.
Sister is a wonderful asset to our parish and is always so busy that it was a pleasure to see her relaxing and enjoying the celebration. There was also a Parish luncheon for her on 16th April
Jan Powell. Treasurer
From left: Cathy Dean, Barbara Farraway, Sr. Joan, Flo McNamara,
Bay and Basin Branch
Members had a most enjoyable fashion parade in April when we were joined by members from Nowra and Ulladulla Branches – in all we had 42 members and friends.
Our members enjoyed a very friendly BBQ at Greenfields Beach on 10th May – the weather was perfect, food great and chatter lively. Congratulations were extended to member Barbara Howard and her husband Keith on their 68th Wedding Anniversary.
Jo Noble. President
From Left: Joyce Gardiner, Margaret Culver, Moira Boylan,
Dale Mood, Jan Gannon, Susan Marr and
Kiama Branch members, Mary Rice, Jeannette Murrell and Helen Waterworth,
promoting CWL at St’s Peter and Paul Parish Expo. We were one of 32 parish ministries represented.
Father Chris Roberts celebrated the 38th birthday of the Branch with Mass on Friday 6th May.