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.

  • Looking Forward With Perseverance

    Posted by Steve

    24 May, 2012

    This is an Olympics year, hence the following athletic metaphor. The campaign to increase Australia’s official development assistance to a more reasonable and compassionate level is always going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. We have just experienced a major disappointment in our campaign to raise Australia’s official aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015. It doesn’t even seem a particularly ambitious target, and yet, in the name of fiscal discipline, the Federal Government has reneged on its promised timetable for achieving it. As a consequence there will be $2.9 billion less spent on programs to benefit the global poor over the next four years than was earlier promised. Many, many people will continue in their suffering as a result of this decision. It also means that Australia will not be doing its fair share in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals. Unless, of course, either the ALP can be persuaded to renege on its reneging, or the Coalition can be persuaded to stick to its promise of delivering 0.5% by 2015… read more

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  • Looking Forward With Passion

    Posted by Sarita

    23 May, 2012

    I'd like to take you through the story of how I initially got involved with advocacy, why I do it now and what motivates me to keep going when it gets hard. My advocacy journey started when I was in year 8, when I went to a Micah Challenge training day. I knew that poverty was wrong, and I wanted to do something about it. I had explored ideas, but didn't really come to something that I could do. I was too young for many of the volunteering-type activities, and I was at school during the week! Anyway, I found out about Micah Challenge and went to their training day. There were workshops to choose from, and somehow I found myself at the one on how to visit a politician. I am not sure how. Maybe the other workshops were mostly for adults, or I had already been to them... I am not sure. So I sat in the room, listening to two ladies talking about how visiting politicians really is quite easy and not scary. I didn't believe them. I hated (and still do!) public speaking. I listened, I took notes, I took the papers that I was given. But in my mind I was… read more

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  • Looking Forward With Hope

    Posted by John

    21 May, 2012

    This week's 'Looking Forward' series aims to wrap up our reflections on the Federal Budget, and plant the seeds for what comes next as we continue with perseverance, hope, passion and courage to change the hearts and minds of our nation's leaders. _______________________________________________________ It’s politics 101. You manage the public’s expectations, making them think something is going to be really bad, then you deliver something that is a little better than what people expected. I confess....I fell victim to it. I was overseas when I first heard that the government had delayed their commitment to reaching 0.5% GNI to aid by just one year. I had received word that the budget could be bad, so I thought “that’s not too bad. It could have been worse" Politics 101 - they got me. Since returning home, the more I sit with their decision, the angrier I get about it. Why Mr Swan? Why Prime Minister? At the same time I am asking myself why? I’m a pretty relaxed person, so why am I so angry? Is it broken… read more

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  • Aid budget - the silence of the Opposition

    Posted by Ben

    16 May, 2012

    We know where the Government stands on its aid budget – basically a little bit less and a little bit late. But it's not so clear where the Opposition stands. The Opposition joined with the Government in the Senate last week to vote against a Greens motion to reinstate the commitment to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015. Tony Abbott offered a resounding silence on whether he would stand behind his own words in defence of this commitment during his budget reply speech. Some responses are starting to emerge, however. You can find the Coalition's position (or current lack of a settled position) set out by Senator Birmingham here. In Senator Birmingham's opinion piece, and in communication to Micah Challenge supporters from Opposition MPs, the Coalition seem to be suggesting three things. First, the Coalition asserts that the Government has made it impossible for anyone to achieve 0.5% by 2015 because "we must ensure our aid is efficient and effective." We completely agree with the premise – our aid must be… read more

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