It has been an extremely busy couple of months here in the Justice and Peace Office!
With your help and with the help of many of our excellent local parish social justice leaders we were able to come together with our partners the Sydney Alliance, Vinnies (NSW) and the Everybody’s Home national campaign to hold the biggest gathering Sydney has ever seen for affordable housing and renewable energy. With state and federal politicians from the government and crossbench present along with nearly 2000 citizens, it was a powerful night of civic action. We were able to secure some wins on the night but follow up has already started on how to build on the momentum we created. It was an excellent way for us to bring together people who care about affordable housing from across the diocese and we were delighted to have many new faces join us as well.
If you missed your chance to be involved, our issue also contains a piece on the different ways you can continue to be politically involved, both on election day and on every other day of the year.
In related news, the Australian Catholic Bishops have called on the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage to a living wage and the NSW Premier has pledged to halve homelessness by 2025. We also highlight the results of a report entitled Lives Turned Upside Down which documents the injustice of our rental laws. One item of good news is that the New South Wales government has listed all local government areas in SEPP 70 paving the way for them to create an affordable housing contribution scheme.
In other activities, several representatives of parishes attended the St Bakhita’s Day Ethical Sourcing Expo where the Archdiocese of Sydney launched it’s ethical shopping guide “Shop for Good”. With Easter just around the corner we also have some guidance for you on purchasing ethical easter eggs.
We share with you Archbishop Fisher’s reflection after the tragic massacres at the Mosques in Christchurch and we are already discussing with our partners in the Sydney Alliance the other ways in which we can stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters at this time and well into the future.
As usual we give you a brief overview of things that our social justice groups have been up to and a sneak peak of activities that you might be interested in taking part in over the next couple of months.
—Blessings, JPO Team