Speaking of Social Justice

In March 2022, the Justice and Peace Office launched a podcast called “Speaking of Social Justice”. Each week or so, our host Julie Macken will welcome a new guest to critically and philosophically discuss the many social justice issues we face today through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). ‘Speaking of Social Justice’ aims to give its audience a greater insight into the economic, social, political, cultural, and spiritual underpinnings of domestic and international affairs. The Justice and Peace Office (JPO) welcomes you to join this ongoing journey of learning, self-examination, and consciousness raising in order to become a strong ally in the social justice movement.

Episode 11: The Struggles & Challenges of the NGO World

Episode 10: The Article 17 List & Australia

Our host Julie Macken guides us through a recent major event – Australia failing to meet its human rights obligations and becoming the first OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member nation on the United Nation’s non-compliance list; Article 17. Julie discusses how Australia failed to abide by and implement OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment) regarding access to our places of detention; such as, immigration detention centres and aged care centres, and how this negligence may impact the future of Australians.

Episode 9: Armed Neutrality: It’s a thing

Out host Julie Macken is back to discuss the idea of armed neutrality in the context of Australia and its defence. Julie explores what this may mean for peace, sovereignty, and how Australia is one of the only countries that has the capacity to be neutral.


This week, we bring to you the audio from JPO’s ‘No More Just War’ event with guest speakers including JPO’s very own Fr Peter Smith, Senator Deborah O’Neill, Sr Susan Connelly and Fr Claude Mostowik. Our esteemed guest panel discusses Just War Theory on whether war can be morally permissible, the destructive power of modern weaponry in the arms industry, and our right to safety and security. 

Disclaimer: Audio from this week’s episode has been taken from a live streamed event and as a result, audio quality in some areas may vary. We appreciate your understanding.

Episode 7: The Upcoming Federal Budget

In episode 7, our host Julie Macken discusses the impacts of the upcoming Federal Budget and what it means for Australians; particularly, its under 40s. Julie brings our attention further to how a Federal Budget may determine what the government values as a fair distribution of funding regarding the cost of living, unemployment, and homelessness.

Episode 6: Engaging with the Curious Grace Model

In episode 6, our host Julie Macken welcomes the JPO’s very own Dr Robbie Lloyd and Cailey Sharp to discuss the Curious Grace drop-in centre model which offers a unique chance for community connection and the honouring of lived experience. Cailey also offers her complementary program Buddy Up! – under the Curious Grace banner – to combat feelings of disconnect and foster intergenerational remedy. We invite you to visit the ‘Curious Grace Toolkit’ page for more information

Episode 5: The Inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework

In episode 5, our host Julie Macken discusses the limited human rights protections we currently have in Australia, reminding us of the harsh realities that come to fruition in the absence of a federal Human Rights Act. She also signals a strong call to action, urging our listeners to exercise their civic powers by visiting this link
and submit a submission of their own to the parliamentary committee.

Episode 4: The Struggle for Young People: Gen F’d?

In episode 4, our host Julie Macken welcomes the JPO’s very own Dr Michael Walker to discuss economist Alison Pennington’s book Gen F’d?: How Young Australians Can Reclaim Their Uncertain Futures and its relevance for the struggle of our overburdened youth. They seek to unpack three key themes raised by Pennington – precarity of work, housing, and neoliberalism – and the recommendations that follow.

Episode 3: The IPCC Report 2023: “There is no time left…”

In episode 3, our host Julie Macken discusses the confronting realities revealed in the Sixth Assessment Report from the United Nations led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and what it means for Australians. She also draws our attention to the ‘dark money’ of hefty political donations made by the fossil fuel industry to cement their development and profitability in Australia.

Episode 2: War, AUKUS, & the Media: What is it good for?

In episode 2, our host Julie Macken discusses the pro-war rhetoric cropping up in Australian media narratives and across the pervasive Speech Act of our politicians. She particularly highlights the pitfalls of war propagation encouraged in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and in the recent multibillion dollar AUKUS deal.

Episode 1: Discussing the Uluru Statement from the Heart

To launch season two of our podcast, our host Julie Macken discusses the importance of accepting the invitation to walk with Indigenous Australians via the Uluru Statement from the Heart. She reaffirms its significance in inclusive nation-building and challenges the alleged ambiguity surrounding what the statement can practically achieve.

Episode 10: Addressing Australia’s Gig Economy

In our final episode of season one, our host Julie Macken welcomes Social Justice Facilitator at the Justice and Peace Office, Dr Michael Walker, to discuss the ethical dilemmas surrounding Australia’s welcoming of a gig economy. They seek to analyse the impacts of neo-liberalism and the precarious state of employment inflicted on the ‘working poor’ in Australia. They propose ethical alternatives and ways to opt out of seemingly inescapable way of living.

Episode 9: The 2021 State of the Environment Report rings alarm bells

In Episode 9, our host Julie Macken welcomes JPO Intern, Emilia Nicholas, to respond to Tanya Plibersek’s launch of the latest State of the Environment Report. They seek to analyse the devastating findings in this report whilst highlighting the severity of this ecological issue, finally urging the community to take immediate climate action.

Episode 8: Reflecting on Australia’s Fifth Plenary Council

In Episode 8, Dr Robbie Lloyd welcomes James Camden, Head of Mission Engagement at the Diocese of Parramatta to reflect on the fifth Plenary Council of Australia. They seek to explore how the power of the Spirit flowed throughout the event and discuss where the community should move next post-listening.

Episode 7: Post-Election Results 2022 – What this means for the community?

In Episode 7, the JPO team engage in post-election analysis through the lens of social justice advocacy to acknowledge the success and stirring power of the community. The team addresses how the community can once again strategically leverage the government – and realign as a collective pressure group – to materialise their declared election promises and deliver their hope for a better Australian future.

Episode 6: Approaching the Ballot Box – Federal Election 2022

In Episode 6, our special guest host Dr Robbie Lloyd welcomes back Fr Peter Smith, and Joelle Sassine to discuss the need for Australian civic society – whom now begin to approach the ballot box – to practically champion Catholic Social Teaching (CST). They seek to examine the importance of policy education in the lead up to decision day and the need to return to amplified social justice activism in order to denounce injustice.

Episode 5: Voting for the Common Good – Election Kit 2022

Our host Julie Macken welcomes Josephite Justice Network Coordinator and activist Sr Jan Barnett to discuss the Voting for the Common Good (VFTCG) 2022 Campaign. They seek to explore the intersection between Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and the pursuit for social justice within the Australian policy agenda via Catholic solidarity. They will also unpack the Election Kit resources produced by the VFTCG team and its purpose in preparation for the Federal Election 2022.

Episode 4: Justice for People Seeking Asylum and Refugees

Our host Julie Macken welcomes Nishadh Rego from Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to discuss the Australian Government’s policy position on refugee and asylum seekers in light of the 2022-23 budget report. They seek to analyse the highs and lows of the Federal Budget fund allocations in regards to protecting the rights of people seeking asylum, refugees and displaced people.

Episode 3: Lent and Social Justice

Our special guest host Dr Robbie Lloyd welcomes Ruth Moraes to discuss how lent breeds a fertile ground for social justice engagement. Under the framework of Catholic Social teaching (CST), they seek to explore the practical ways in which we can express our passion for justice during this Lenten season.

Episode 2: Reconciliation in Action

Our host Julie Macken welcomes Dr Robbie Lloyd to discuss the unfolding process for the Sydney Archdiocese to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). They seek to voice their commitment to this strategic document and highlight the importance for the shared Truth Telling and deep listening to First Nations Peoples about past and current injustices.

Episode 1: Discussing Just War Theory

In our first episode, our host Julie Macken interviews Justice & Peace Promoter Fr Peter Smith to discuss and reposition our understanding of a ‘just war’ through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). They seek to analyse this political and philosophical theory through the contemporary case study of the Russia-Ukraine War.