Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Disillusioned? Some perspective please!

    Posted by John

    14 August, 2013

    Are you feeling disillusioned at the current state of the political landscape as we approach the election? If you are, the anecdotal evidence is pretty compelling that you’re not alone. I could count more than 20 conversations I’ve had with people over the last week who are feeling less than inspired at the prospect of casting their vote in a few weeks time. The same feeling was represented in a recent article that did the social network rounds from a young journalist named Kate Midena. In it Kate outlines her perspectives on various Party positions, then finishes with these words: ‘What do I do? Who do I vote for? There seems no real point of difference between our major parties, and it leaves me at a loss. I don't want to cast an informal vote, and I want to play a part in our nation's future. But at what cost? If I lean one way, I'll be damaging people who come to this country to seek refuge; if I lean the other, I'll be putting thousands of kids in public schools and the welfare of poor Australia at risk.I know that the… read more

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  • Election day announced - Call to prayer

    Posted by John

    5 August, 2013

    I’m no political junkie, but there are a couple of political boffins in our office who are very excited today! If you haven't heard, an election has been called for September 7. The boffins will be colouring their electorate maps in red and blue and watching ABC News in their lunch breaks! As the election approaches, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. It’s been a tough year for the Movement to End Poverty as we have challenged the Government to finish well as the 2015 deadline for the MDGs approaches. The evidence that either of the major parties is wholeheartedly committed to a generous and effective aid program is less than convincing. On the Government side, we’ve seen three major cuts to aid spending in the last 15 months – the latest coming last Friday as Treasurer Chris Bowen announced further cuts to aid totalling $879 million over the next four years in response to reduced revenue projections and the increased costs of their asylum seeker policies. Each time there has been pressure on the budget, the people who manage… read more

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  • Groundhog Week - Government defers aid commitment again

    Posted by John

    13 May, 2013

    I must confess, it feels a bit like groundhog week to me! Every year since this current Government was elected, we’ve heard assurances that they are committed to a generous and effective aid program, and firmly committed to a very achievable timetable of increasing life-saving and hope-giving foreign aid to 0.5% of our Gross National Income. Yet every year we at Micah Challenge, along with our coalition partners, find ourselves campaigning for the Government to fulfil these commitments. And today Senator Bob Carr, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has been in the press announcing that they once again plan to defer their commitment to reaching 0.5% of GNI going to aid by another year. This takes the timetable out from the original 2015 target to 2017. We estimate this represents a cut somewhere in the order of $4 billion from projected funding, at the expense of the world’s poorest people. Mr Carr also confirmed they will once again divert almost $400 million from the aid budget next year to pay for the rising costs of onshore asylum seekers,… read more

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  • Embarrassed but thankful

    Posted by John

    18 March, 2013

    I’m rarely embarrassed. My family is often embarrassed by me, but I’m rarely embarrassed. Tonight I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to be an Australian. Embarrassed to be me. I’ve known Francois for 4 years. We’ve met three times in that 4 years. Every 2 years Micah Challenge Coordinators from around the world gather for fellowship and planning. Francois is the Coordinator of Micah Challenge in the small African nation of Burundi and we are together in South Africa at the moment. I arrived last night and this morning we hugged and renewed our friendship. Tonight we sat together to pray for our nations. We were each given a profile of our nation with various poverty/justice indicators on the sheet. I was embarrassed. This is not new to me. I know there is mass inequality in our world. So tonight I was surprised at how fresh the reality of that inequality was for me as I sat next to Francois. I didn’t want him to look at Australia’s profile because I was embarrassed by it. I didn’t like the way it made me feel.… read more

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