ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.




Charities & NFP

The gift of helping – Christmas a hard time for charities

Rosemarie Lentini – The Daily Telegraph

IT'S beginning to feel a lot like Christmas - except for charities struggling to help about two million Australians who live below the poverty line. Not-for-profit organisations are bracing for a surge in the number of desperate families by joining forces with major stores to put presents under the tree.

Children & Family 

Self-harm common in teenagers, Australian study shows

Smitha Mundasad – BBC News

One in twelve people self-harm in their teenage years, a long-term study has found. For most people the problem will resolve before adulthood but for 10% it will continue into their adult lives. Teenage girls are more likely to self-harm than boys and are at greater risk of continuing as young adults

All work, no time for family

Elissa Doherty and Brendan Casey – Herald Sun

Growing numbers of mums and dads are becoming "tag team" parents as working hours encroach on traditional family time.The nine-to-five working week is becoming less common, with many people forced to work longer hours and weekends due to time, work and financial pressures, a new report says.

You've got Facebook friends? Try this reality formula

Claire Connelly – The Daily Telegraph

So Facebook tells you you're popular - but if you want to get real it's time to do the maths.Start by dividing those Facebook friends by 11.That’s the number of real friends you’re likely to have, according to a recent poll.


Study finds kids still see too many junk food ads

Emma Rebellato – ABC

Children are still being exposed to too much junk food advertising despite voluntary regulations adopted by the food industry, a CSIRO study has found. The voluntary guidelines were introduced in 2009 to limit the number of television advertisements aimed at children.

Drugs & Alcohol 

Drugs, alcohol at Occupy Melbourne: Salvos

Charisse Ede – SMH

Children as young as 12 have been given alcohol and drugs by Occupy Melbourne protesters, the Salvation Army says. Major Brendan Nottle, its commanding officer for Melbourne, said 12- and 13-year-olds had told youth workers they had sniffed glue at City Square when the protesters were camped there last month.


$100m lost on ACT pokies

Noel Towell – The Canberra Times

Canberra’s pokies losses reached a four-year high of more than $100million in 2010-2011 while the capital’s gambling barons were slashing their donations to good causes by more than 11 per cent. And one club bought itself a new gambling venue with associated commercial property and then tried to write-off the $5.2 million purchase price as a “community contribution”.

Human Rights 

A push for pointless legislation

The Australian

In a nation built and enriched by the efforts and talents of successive waves of migrants, Australians do not need new legislation to enshrine multiculturalism or outlaw racial vilification. At best, such legislation would be a waste of time and resources in a society underpinned by values of democracy, freedom and fairness. At worst, it would be the harbinger of divisive and costly lawyers' picnics over issues already covered by the federal Race Discrimination Act. The act prohibits offensive behaviour due to racial hatred and discrimination on the basis of race in employment, property and many other aspects of life.


The nation’s shame: A racist education system which excludes Indigenous children

Neil Hooley – The Conversation

There is no excuse for Indigenous education in Australia to be in such a terrible and shameful state.  Given the billions of dollars that are allocated to primary and secondary schooling Australia-wide, the basis of the problem must be deeply rooted ideologically and educationally.


Father acts best


Men are less likely to drink, use tobacco or commit crimes after they become fathers, according to a long-term study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. It included more than 200 at-risk males who were assessed annually from ages 12 to 31.  Previous studies have found that marriage can reduce men's negative behavior, but they did not examine the additional effects of fatherhood.


Rudd on uranium exports causes stir

Gemma Jones – The Daily Telegraph

FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd last night said he was never consulted over Prime Minister Julia Gillard's bid to sell uranium to India, which overturns the ban he introduced while prime minister. He waited barely 10 minutes after US President Barack Obama had left the country before delivering the blow, revealing Ms Gillard hadn't even taken her intentions to cabinet or her own foreign minister.


Labor applauds success of reaching out to rank and file

Anna Patty – SMH

NSW Labor took its first step towards democratic reform last night when it named 16 rank and file members to help build the party's future. The members will join 16 union leaders and the Labor shadow cabinet to form the party's new policy forum. NSW Labor's assistant general secretary, John Graham, said electing rank and file members in a statewide postal and online ballot was ''the first internal party ballot Labor has conducted in decades, where we didn't know the result before the ballot opened''.


Independents key to sealing mining tax deal

Phillip Coorey – SMH

THE federal government will try to finish the political year on a high by having the House of Representatives pass legislation for the mining tax before Parliament rises next week. With the government cautiously optimistic it can meet the competing demands of the various independents, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, took the opportunity of Barack Obama's address to Parliament yesterday to meet Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. Today she will speak by phone to the Tasmanian independent, Andrew Wilkie.

Sexualisation of Society

Mum says daughter, 15, is ready for the fashion catwalk

Kim Wilson – Herald Sun

MUM Michele Mullen wants age limits lowered for fashion shows and magazine covers to give her 15-year-old daughter the chance to shine. She says daughter Baylee, who has signed with Melbourne and Los Angeles model agencies, is well prepared to enter the elite fashion world. "I think she's missing out on opportunities now purely because of her age, not because of her ability to cope with it," Mrs Mullen said.


Vatican sues over Pope kissing ad

Daily Telegraph

The Vatican said overnight it would take legal action against Benetton after the Italian fashion label used a photo purportedly showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing a leading imam in a publicity campaign.  The Vatican "has instructed its lawyers, in Italy and abroad, to take appropriate action" to prevent the circulation of the image, including in the mass media, it said.  The image offended "not only the dignity of the Pope and the Catholic Church, but also the sensibilities of believers".

King James Bible translation stands 400-year test of time

Martha Linden, Tony Jones – SMH

LONDON: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has paid tribute to the ''extraordinary'' and ''abiding importance'' of the King James Bible at a service to mark the 400th anniversary of the translation. The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles led about 2000 worshippers at Wednesday's service in Westminster Abbey, where early editions of the Bible were presented at the altar.