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.

  • What does the new minority Govt mean for the poor?

    Posted by Peter

    8 September, 2010

    Political Engagement Coordinator, Peter Keegan, discusses the election result After more than a fortnight of uncertainty, Australians finally have a Government. But while we've been waiting for the independents to make their decision and the votes to be counted, another set of numbers have continued to dictate the reality of lives across most of the planet. Despite some progress, the number of children who don't live to see their 5th birthday is still almost 8.8 million each year, and 350,000 women don't survive child birth. So while the media's focus has been on the political drama of a hung parliament, for Micah Challenge, the question that really matters is 'What will this new government mean for the global poor?' Prior to the election, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith reaffirmed Labor's commitment to increase Australia's funding for overseas development assistance to 0.5% of gross national income by 2015. This is an important commitment that was initially made during the 2007 election campaign and has now achieved bi-partisan support throughout the… read more

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  • Voices for Justice 2010 - stories of hope and prophetic engagement

    Posted by Micah

    30 June, 2010

    Reflections on Voices for Justice 2010 from John Mark Ministries The events of last week in Canberra were life-changing, and I'm not talking about that dramatic night when the Government brought down its own Prime Minister. I am talking about the annual Micah Challenge Voices for Justice conference. I first went to this event in 2008 and I said then that it was the best conference I have ever been to, as it was a perfect combination of learning and teaching, and then putting it all into practice. So it was with much excitement that about 320 of us made our way to the nation's capital to lobby our nation's leaders on behalf of millions who have no voice. The main asks of Voices for Justice this year were for the Australian Government to increase its overseas aid giving to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015, and to increase action on climate change. The Government has already committed to spending 0.5% of GNI on aid by 2015. This is a commendable move, but it is not enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which Australia, along… read more

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  • 5th Birthday Party Report

    Posted by Micah

    1 June, 2010

    By Carlyn Chen, TEAR Australia From market stalls to city squares, from jumping castles to church morning teas, "Survive Past Five Birthday Parties" are being thrown in all shapes and sizes aroundthe country. Micah Challenge is focusing on the two Millennium Development Goals that are most at risk of not being achieved - Goal 4, Reduce Child Mortality, and Goal 5, Improve Maternal Health. Recent reports have shown progress towards both of these goals, but there is still much more to be done to hit the targets set in the year 2000. Australia still does not contribute its fair share to achieving these goals - so our communities are speaking up. Grassroots campaigners use "Survive Past 5 Birthday Parties" to communicate creatively to our MPs that Australians want our nation's leaders to keep their commitments to the global poor. The celebratory aspects of the parties affirm the importance of children and set a vision for a world where every child can survive beyond the first five high-risk years of life. The serious aspects call people to speak up - to those… read more

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  • Political Engagement: Keys to effective lobbying

    Posted by Micah

    1 June, 2010

    By Guy Barnett, Liberal Senator for Tasmania Political engagement is an important part of the advocacy process - but often an intimidating one. Lobbying our political representatives at various levels can help bring about policy changes that push governments to lead our society to becoming more just. Most ordinary Australians, while having the opportunity to engage with their political representatives, do not engage politically beyond voting - often feeling a sense of powerlessness about being able to bring any change to the system. However, the story of one politician - Tasmanian Senator Guy Barnett, shows that ordinary people committed to building a relationship with their MP can indeed make a difference and help take their MP on a journey. In 2008, Senator Barnett made an Adjournment Speech, explaining that just a few years ago, a young campaigner asked him if he knew about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and what he was doing about them. At the time he had no knowledge of the goals. Over the years and several meetings later, Senator Barnett is now a… read more

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