Children & Family

Kevin Andrews finds fan in UK MP Iain Duncan Smith


Judith Ireland - SMH



Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has backed a British government move to ensure all its policies support stable family life, even joking that its Work and Pensions Secretary got the idea from him. David Cameron's conservative government has recently introduced a "families test" to make sure all new laws and policies support "strong and stable" families.




Are fathers missing in action in today's families?

Peter West - On Line Opinion



In an address last week, Australia's Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews, stressed the need to support families. Judith Ireland at Fairfax Media wrote: Mr Andrews will talk of the importance of early intervention and prevention to avoid family breakups which he says increases the risks of child neglect and self-harm, and alcohol abuse and unwanted sex among young people. There are many issues here which beg for attention. But in this article let's focus on the role of fathers.




Furness the NSW Australian of the Year

Sky News



Child advocate and adoption campaigner Deborra-lee Furness is the NSW Australian of the Year for 2015. Child advocate and adoption campaigner Deborra-lee Furness has been named the 2015 NSW Australian of the Year. The actor, director and producer has been recognised for her campaigning for the rights of children in Australia and around the world.




Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Victoria clinic sperm demand prompts calls to use overseas donors


Beau Donelly - The Age



Victoria's donor sperm supply has plunged in the past year as fertility clinics struggle to recruit enough men to meet demand, strengthening a push for donor sperm to be imported from overseas. The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority said demand for donor sperm from single women and same-sex couples was outstripping supply, with the number of people accessing donor insemination more than tripling in the past four years.




Drugs & Alcohol

A daughter, a sister, a friend is gone today. All because of one tiny, deadly pill.


Shauna Anderson - Mamamia



Saturday was as warm as a summer’s day in Sydney. For any young woman it would have been one of those days when life felt glorious, vibrant, alive. With tickets to a dance party, a group of close friends and an atmosphere electric with life Georgina Bartter must have been buoyant, joyous.




Rising abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs worries doctors

ABC



New ways to tackle growing abuse of prescription drugs are being discussed by hundreds of medical experts at a scientific meeting in Adelaide. About 500 Australian and international delegates are at the three-day meeting of the Australian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD).




Union rep at desal plant jailed for importing drugs

Stephen Drill - Herald Sun



A CFMEU shop steward at the controversial Wonthaggi desalination plant was convicted of a major drug importation that was linked to an underworld figure. The Herald Sun can reveal that Tony Ilija Crnac was jailed over his role in the 2001 importation of cannabis resin worth $147 million.




Euthanasia

Nitschke challenges medical suspension


Sky News



Euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke is challenging the suspension of his medical licence at a Darwin Tribunal. The controversial figure is facing five days of hearings in a bid to win back his credentials. The Medical Board of Australia says he assisted a man, with information, to end his own life.




Federal MPs should have free vote on euthanasia, Senate committee says

Dan Harrison - SMH



Federal MPs should have a free vote on euthanasia, a Senate committee has recommended. Tabling its report on proposals to legalise voluntary euthanasia drafted by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee said that if a bill on the issue of euthanasia was introduced in the Senate, party leaders should allow Senators to vote according to their consciences.




Homelessness & Poverty

Welfare reform a must says Kevin Andrews


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian



Social Services minister Kevin Andrews has vowed that welfare reform will be one “of the standout achievements of our government” as he stressed the need for radical changes in the welfare system.




Human Rights

Rights & Responsibilities 2014 - Online Survey


Australian Human Rights Commission



Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, is conducting a national consultation about how effectively we protect people’s human rights and freedoms in Australia. The consultation will focus on building understanding and improved protection of our fundamental human rights, freedoms and responsibilities.




Indigenous

Labor calls for clarification on indigenous funding


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian



Labor has called on Tony Abbott to address the “growing discontent and confusion” in indigenous communities around funding available through the indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) which they say is only half as much as the public thought was available.




Marriage

US: Traditional marriage upheld by federal court ruling


Christian Institute



A US federal court has upheld traditional marriage in four states. The ruling, from the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, overturned lower court decisions which had allowed gay marriages to take place.




Politics

Greens form new national council to help boost stagnating support


Shalailah Medhora - The Guardian



The Greens have announced the formation of a new national council in a move that aims to professionalise the party and revamp its stagnating support base.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Exploring the dark world of female child prostitution in Papua New Guinea


Alicia Lynch - Seeds Theatre Group Inc.



Child prostitution, which is a form of child labour, has long been considered one of Papua New Guinea’s most challenging social ills, but according to recent reports, the situation is now reaching pandemic proportions. Statistics gathered by the United Nations (UN) indicate that two in three women between 15-24 years provide sex in exchange for money, food and shelter.




Refugees

Christian protesters target Senator Zed Seselja


Tom McIlroy - The Canberra Times



A group of Christian protesters are targeting Liberal ACT Senator Zed Seselja, staging a liturgy sit-in at his Canberra office on Monday. The Love Makes a Way campaigners are calling for the Abbott Government to release all children currently being held in Australian immigration detention.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

The status of religious freedom in the world


Zoe Romanowsky - Aleteia



Religious freedom has deteriorated in many parts of the world and there are more Christian martyrs today than in the early days of the Church. People of every faith—Christians, in particular—are persecuted and killed for their beliefs every day.




Sexualisation of Society

'Sexting' Canberra children charged with porn offences


Megan Gorrey - The Canberra Times



Growing problem: The ACT will keep an eye on Victoria's new "sexting" laws to see if similar laws could work in the territory. Canberra police have warned young people of the consequences of "sexting" after figures revealed they charged 27 children with child pornography offences in the past five years.




Other

Prince Harry quotes Bible in Remembrance Day tribute


Carey Lodge - Christian Today



Prince Harry yesterday paid tribute to those who died serving the British military in Afghanistan with a verse from the Gospel of John.