Social Action Office

Please note: This site is no longer being updated as the Social Action Office is now closed. Please feel free to use any information that may be useful to you.


BBurma Cyclone 2008 imageurma Cyclone Appeal and Fundraiser

Caritas Australia have launched an appeal for the victims of the cyclone in Burma. To donate online go to the Caritas website or phone Tim O’Connor on 0417 284 831 for more information. The website also has very good resources especially for schools and parish communities.

Oxfam is organising a fundraising dinner for the victims of the Burmese cyclone on Friday 27 June 2008 at 7.00pm at Holt & Heath Rooms, Level 3, Aung San Suu Kyi Building (#21), University of Queensland, featuring speakers, music, dance performances, Burmese buffet menu, and information displays on Burma and humanitarian efforts. All profits from this event will directly fund humanitarian relief for victims of Cyclone Nargis, through the QBBA’s accountable local networks within cyclone-affected areas. Please visit the OxfamUQ website for relief information, reports and photographs. Tickets: $40 Non-students, $30 Students, Children ½ price, free for children aged 3 or less. Please call (07) 3377 2249 or email for more information.


Refugee Week: A Place to Call Home15-21 June

Refugee Week 2008 posterAustralia’s Refugee Week theme of A Place to Call Home encourages people to think about the global themes of protection and human rights by focusing on the fundamental right to a secure place to call home. It encourages us to think about our common obligations to people who have no secure home, as well as to acknowledge the 700,000 refugees and humanitarian migrants over the past 60 years who have made Australia their home.

There are lots of different ways to mark the week from the simple to the elaborate. Here are some suggestions:

  • Organise a cultural celebration with traditional food, dance and music to bring together refugees and non-refugees and share their stories
  • Run a workshop to provide information and raise awareness on some issues that refugees might face
  • Organise an art competition or an exhibition using this year’s Refugee Week theme
  • Invite a speaker to come and present. It can be a person who works with refugees or someone who has been through the refugee experience.
  • Organise a screening of a refugee related documentary and movie
  • Send a positive story for Refugee Week to your local newspaper
  • Attend any of the many events during Refugee Week.

For more ideas refer to the 2008 Refugee Week Resource Kit which is a great resource and can be downloaded from the Refugee Council of Australia’s Refugee Week webpage.


Hope Film ImageHOPE, a film by Steve Thomas, opens 19 June 2008 to coincide with World Refugee Week. Hope is the story of Amal Basry, one of the 7 survivors from the SIEV X, the boat which sank with the loss of 353 lives. Most of those who drowned were women and children who had come seeking refuge in Australia.

For screening dates and places go to:
Dendy Newtown    Dendy George St (Brisbane)   Nova Carlton 
State Hobart          Nova East End (Adelaide)       Avoca Beach Theatre

Please check websites for session times and special previews. For more information contact Gil Scrine Films on (07) 3391 0124, or go to Gill Scrine Films website.


First National Whale Day - 14 June 2008

National Whale Day LogoIn honour of the safe return of the whales to warmer waters, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is celebrating Australia’s first National Whale Day on 14 June 2008. Since the last whaling station was closed in 1978, Australia has become a world leader in whale conservation – National Whale Day recognises this. National Whale Day reminds us that the protection of the marine environment is everyone’s responsibility. We can all do our bit to keep the ocean clean and protect its inhabitants. Be part of the celebration by attending one of the many free events that are being planned all over Australia on 14 June. Click here for more information.


Voices for Justice

Micah Challenge logoThe Micah Challenge National Gathering will be held in Canberra 11-14 October 2008. This program offers opportunities for people to speak out, pray, worship, learn and engage in conversation with our nation’s leaders calling for global poverty to be halved by 2015. For more information and to apply online go to


Youth Homelessness

The Oasis logoMany of you may have seen the documentary on youth homelessness, The Oasis. The report of the National Youth Commission’s Inquiry into Australia’s Homeless Youth was released at the same time. It includes ten essential actions which should be taken in order to address this problem. Click here to read more about the movie, to read the report and for other resources.


Working Against Trafficking in Persons

The JammedJoin a group in Brisbane dedicated to working against trafficking in persons. The initial meeting was held on Saturday 26 April 2008. If interested contact Pauline Coll sgs at or phone(07) 3395 6872 or 0417 498 880.

Click here for a prayer celebration that has been developed using the Public Statement issued by the newly established International Network of Religious Against Trafficking in Persons.


Choosing MercyDeath Penalty Abolition Prayer Service - 1 July

The Death Penalty Abolition Prayer Service will be held on Tuesday 1 July at 7.30pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 28 Chalk Street, Wooloowin (Brisbane). Senator Claire Moore will receive the petitions to the parliament during the service.


Launch of ACSJC Paper on Death Penalty

ACSJC LogoThe Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s latest paper on the death penalty was launched by Archbishop John Bathersby at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Corinda (Brisbane) on 20 December 2007. Archbishop Bathersby’s launch address and the response of Professor Andrew Byrnes can be downloaded from the ACSJC website.


Australians Against Capital Punishment (AACP)

Hands CuffedAACP is a Brisbane-based group formed in February 2007. Their motto is Justice Must Not Kill. The group is opposed to the death penalty in all cases, regardless of the crime committed or the nationality of the offender. While the group is concerned about the plight of all persons facing the death penalty, its immediate aim is to support Lee and Christine Rush in their efforts to save their son Scott from execution. AACP acknowledges that Scott and the other members of the group are at fault for becoming involved in drug trafficking and therefore deserve to face a reasonable term of imprisonment and to be given the opportunity for rehabilitation and re-integration into the community. AACP does not believe that they deserve to be executed for their actions. For more information about Australians Against Capital Punishment and how to get involved in their campaign, go to their website.


United Nations Association of Australia – 2008 National Conference

UNAA LogoThe UN Association of Australia is holding its National Conference this year at Parliament House Brisbane from 21 to 23 August. The theme is The Future is in our Hands – making a difference. Keynote speakers will present aspects of the following topics – Climate Change, Global Compact, Governance, Human Rights, Life-long Education, Peace-Conflict-Resolution, Sustainability. For information and bookings contact Secretary UNAA on phone/fax (07) 3254 1096 or email


Every human has rights

2008 – The 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This anniversary is a time for a global conversation about human rights to consider the values that unite society as one human family and one global village. For the last 60 years it’s been governments that have been asked to sign the Universal Declaration. The Elders hope that 2008 can be the year that individuals, not just governments, sign the Declaration. The Elders are calling for one billion signatures from across the world. They urge you to embrace the values and goals of the Declaration; to protect the rights of fellow global villagers and encourage others to do the same in communities, workplaces and schools. Click here to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


River Murray at Meningie SASave the Murray River Campaign

Please take a few minutes to sign the Save the Murray River petition. Organisers hope to gather 100,000 signatures.


Women for Wik

Indigenous Woman and ChildWomen for Wik, a group of prominent Australian women, including Lady Deane, Tamie Fraser, Lowitja O’Donoghue, Helen Caldicott and Faith Bandler, have re-united to monitor the Federal Action in the NT. Individuals and organisations are encouraged to endorse their action through the Women for Wik website.



National Recycling Week logoWe can recycle wherever we are – whether at home, work, school or around town. When we recycle one aluminium drink can, a milk carton or a single newspaper we may not think we’re doing much for the environment, but together, as consumers and householders, we can all make a big difference by recycling. Click here for more information or email



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