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Voices for Justice 2018

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Over two hundred Australian Christians from across the nation came together from 1 – 4 December 2018 to raise a powerful voice for justice. Representing churches and organisations, they gathered in Canberra to show concern for the world’s poor, oppressed and displaced.

The delegates met on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December in the beautiful and reflective surrounds of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C). At this venue we shared in prayer, discussion, and training workshops. We heard inspirational addresses from Micah Australia Executive Director Tim Costello and guests such as US Pastor Adam Taylor and UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer. Delegates heard of the wonderful work already done in the world to reduce global poverty as a direct result of aid.

Despite the obvious positive effect of aid, Australia, as a very affluent nation has reduced spending on foreign aid. We are currently positioned nineteenth out of the twenty nine aid giving nations. Our generosity as a nation is at a record low. At a time when our budget is set to return to surplus and we have one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios amongst the aid giving nations, there is no better time to address this issue. The message is clear 'it is time for Australia to step up.'

This was the message that we delegates took to our elected representatives at Parliament House on the Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 December. Broken into smaller groups of four to six people, we went in to Parliament House to lobby designated MPs and Senators, asking for Australia to become a more generous and compassionate nation.

Among these discussions there was one main targeted ‘ask’ of the Government; That Australia should return to the top half of rich country aid donors by the end of the next parliamentary term. 

To achieve this, Australia could be:

  • Doing more for the world’s poor in regards to disability funding by injecting $1m in the next financial year and commit to indexing this amount.
  • Doing more those trapped in slavery by contributing $17m through the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS)- in line with the UK’s gift. (proportional to GDP)
  • Doing more for the displaced by increasing funding to the UNHCR from current $25m to $100m per annum.

These requests were met with a range of interest and encouragement from most of the Parliamentarians. Many delegates spent time in prayer before and after each meeting, to pray for our elected members to show compassionate leadership and wisdom in the difficult task of decision making.

For more information on Micah Australia's Voices for Justice and to listen to Tim Costello's media address on the lawns of Parliament House visit http://www.micahaustralia.org/voices_for_justice_2018 

And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

 Micah TC    Micah PW1Micah Pw2
Day 1: Saturday - Tim Costello, Micah ED, addresses delegates.    Day 2: Joining the Pilgrim's Walk in the grounds of the ACC&C.
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Day 2: Dr Deidre Palmer (UCA President) shares an address during Sunday,worship.   Day 3: Tim Costello encourages delegates on the lawns of Parliament House.
Micah DP3    Micah EE.NJO 3
Also day 3: Dr Deidre Palmer adding words of support before we begin our parliamentary meetings.   Day 4: Noelene Osora (left) and Emily Evans of the NCCA waiting for our second day of parliamentary meetings.

Noelene Osora and Emily Evans, NCCA Staff