This is our regular feature in which we briefly record interesting publications and websites that have come to our attention. Inclusion of an item in this format does not preclude a possible longer review in a later issue. We welcome suggestions for inclusion.
“Australia21 is a not for profit research company which specialises in addressing some of the difficult issues facing Australia. Our approach is guided by the evidence and we are not aligned with any political party. Our Board comprises leading thinkers from a range of disciplines with diverse executive leadership experience in the public and private sectors [including Canberra Friend Bob Douglas]. Through our own expertise and our networks we can draw on the latest research and the best thinking in areas as diverse as youth wellbeing, Australian resilience, inequality, assisted dying or asylum seeker policy.”
Recent publications (available for purchase as hard copies, of as free pdf downloads) include Refugees and asylum seekers: Finding a better way (a series of essays by leading Australians), Beyond the boats: building an asylum and refugee policy for the long term (a report from a roundtable conference of experts), Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia, and Placing global change on the Australian political agenda.
“‘Eco-Mission NSW Network’ has been formed as a voluntary team of NSW Christians from diverse faith traditions in response to the call of the National Council of Churches Australia Eco Mission Project to build national networks that link faith and ecology.” “The Gospel is ever new and we see this network as a work of the Spirit in our time. It is a witness to Christ’s continuing vitality and our desire to walk with others.” The Network has information and links of interest across Australia. There is a nice photo on their site of a Uniting Church in O’Connor, ACT with 16 solar panels on its roof in the form of the Cross.
“The Lock the Gate Alliance was formed in 2010 following community meetings in New South Wales and Queensland. All over the eastern states, people were raising concern about the rapid expansion of coal and coal seam gas development. A declaration was made: farmers would lock their gates to these rapacious industries. Four years on and the Alliance continues to gain momentum with rural and urban communities all over Australia stepping up to defend our land, water, and future from the invasive coal and coal seam gas industries.” Lock the Gate is a volunteer organisation. The web site has videos about what CSG mining is about, documentaries of rallies and lots of fact sheets with further links. The struggle to protect land and water is not at all over. Friends in the Northern Rivers of NSW are actively involved as well as Friends in the Illawarra, south of Sydney and the Hunter Valley.
“ourvoices.net is a joint not-for-profit project, run under the auspices of The Conservation Foundation in the UK and GreenFaith in the USA. The inspiration for ourvoices.net came from many people in different countries and from different spiritual and religious backgrounds. It is run by a small team scattered across the world from the Borders of Scotland and London to New York City to Hong Kong. Our Governance Committee, with founding members David Shreeve and Vanya Walker-Leigh, guarantees your data protection and the overall project integrity. This website and the invitation to sign ourvoices.net went live at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on the 7th May 2014, when UN Climate Leader Christiana Figueres urged all people of faith to express their love for the world to the world’s politicians through ourvoices.net. The team is focused on the time-limited task of ensuring a meaningful climate agreement. Once the outcome is known, supporters will be invited to give best ways to collaborate going forward.”
“Our goal is for millions of people of faith and moral belief to SIGN and PRAY in their own tradition for the Paris 2015 UN Climate Summit to succeed where all past talks have failed. By signing you express your love and concern for all our children, for vulnerable people and our precious planet.” “At previous climate summits the world’s politicians have failed to reach meaningful agreement on how to respond. But the UN believes there IS hope of global agreement in Paris 2015 IF the moral call for action is so loud that politicians can’t ignore it.” There are 20 photos of “ambassadors” from different faith traditions and organisations from around the world. We are asked to sign onto the website to add our support.