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.

  • Public aid perceptions and Lowy's latest poll

    Posted by Steve

    30 June, 2011

    A quick scan of today's headlines reveals that European economies are struggling while the Australian dollar remains strong, Google is taking on Facebook, the Pope's on Twitter, and McCain's 500g Family Cheese and Bacon pizza has been recalled from supermarket shelves. But that doesn't really give us an accurate picture of what is going on around the world. Does it? Sometimes it's hard to know what is really going on in the world, and this is certainly true for Australia's aid budget as much as anything else. Do Australian's really know how much money is being spent on overseas aid, or is this story also being lost in the newsreel? A recent poll by the Lowy Institute reported that on average, Australian's think we spend about 16% of our budget on overseas aid. In reality, just 1.3% of the 2011-12 budget will be spent on aid (or just 0.35% of our Gross National Income). This demonstrates a drastic overestimation by those polled of how much Australia is contributing to the fight against poverty and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by… read more

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  • Voices for Justice: Go!

    Posted by Micah

    28 June, 2011

    Voices for Justice participant, Adam, reflects on his time in Canberra last year In order to attend Voice for Justice last year I had to get two days off work (and as I as I was new at a new job at the time, it was all the leave I had); pay a fair amount of money for plane tickets, food, and conference registration; and visit a distant city to do something I have never done before without a single person I knew in sight. I do not regret it. So what did I learn? I have learnt that politicians are people, and not just the nameless, faceless cogs of government I thought they were. It is true - some MPs will not make waves, preferring to do what is politically convenient; yet others went far beyond the call of duty, organising our security passes and encouraging other MPs to meet us. I know now that lobbying does make a difference. To make big change I think you need public support and political support. Voices for Justice has secured a lot of political support. Rudd and Abbott described us as the nagging prophets asking for justice. I would say the description… read more

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  • Senior church leaders meet Federal politicians - a lot of love in the room!

    Posted by John

    24 June, 2011

    5.45 am yesterday I pulled myself out of bed and ventured out into a dark and bleak Canberra morning. For the first time, Micah Challenge were pulling together a significant group of denominational leaders in Parliament House for a day of lobby meetings with Federal Politicians. Love wasn't a word that was on my mind. Any who have tried will know that bringing churches together to do things is not always easy - let alone adding Federal politicians into the mix. But God was gracious. A group including senior representatives of the Anglican, Baptist, Vineyard, Australian Christian Churches, Salvation Army, Churches of Christ and Uniting churches had 32 meetings with MPs and Senators in one day. There was an open door for our collective voice to be heard. The day started with a Parliamentary breakfast where we presented the creative petitions that many of you sent to Kevin Rudd as part of our Mothers Day midwife crisis campaign. Mr Rudd accepted and acknowledged them. He spoke well - as he usually does on this issue - indicating that health indeed should be a… read more

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  • A moment to celebrate - child health

    Posted by Simon

    16 June, 2011

    Every now and then something happens that captures - in a single moment - why those of us involved with Micah Challenge do what we do. Last Sunday we had one of those moments. During his speech at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) pledging conference in London on Sunday, Kevin Rudd said: "I don't know how we could spend our aid dollars better than in saving the lives of children" The GAVI Alliance is a unique global health partnership that aims to save children's lives and protect people's health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. Since its inception in 2000, GAVI's cost-effective programs have prevented an estimated 5.4 million deaths and immunised a total of 257 million children from diseases. Over the weekend, while most of us were enjoying a holiday in honour of the Queen, GAVI's pledging conference was being held in London, hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Donor countries (such as Australia) were invited to pledge money to the organisation for the next three years. Overall, the GAVI… read more

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