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.




Abortion does not raise risk of mental ailment: Experts


A major review by experts concludes that abortion does not raise the risk of a woman suffering mental health problems. But anti-abortion campaigners said the review sought to “minimize” the psychological effect of terminating a pregnancy

Charities & NFP

Interest rate cut hurts charities

David Jean - The Advertiser

Interest rate cuts have dealt an unexpected blow to charity Christmas appeals because they are putting the squeeze on some of the most generous benefactors. A significant proportion of donations comes from self-funded retirees. St Vincent de Paul has experienced a 9 per cent drop in the number of donations to its Christmas appeal this year, while UnitingCare Wesley and the Salvation Army are still well below their gift targets.

Children & Family

Fewer overseas children taken in as national adoption rate falls to record low


Only 384 children were adopted last year in Australia, the lowest number on record, new official data show. The number of both local and overseas adoptions fell in 2010-11 compared with the previous year, confirming a long-term trend.

Child at high risk died after case closed because others given priority

Josephine Tovey - SMH

A child who had been the subject of a report to Community Services and deemed to be at high risk of harm, but whose case was closed, was one of almost 140 children known to the department who died last year, a new report shows.


Minister's TV gaffe starts a Twitstorm

Rachel Olding - SMH

With a slip of the tongue on daytime television yesterday, Stephen Conroy joined a long list of public figures to utter inopportune expletives.

Drugs & Alcohol

Sydney NYE celebrations to be a dry affair

Alcohol bans in fireworks hotspots across Sydney will ensure New Year's Eve is not just about a "drunken handful", police say. NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione on Tuesday welcomed moves by Sydney councils to ban alcohol from more than 40 of the most popular spots to watch fireworks on New Year's Eve.


Using a bed - Couple Receive Human Rights Award


A Melbourne couple have taken out a human rights award for their work with the homeless. Tony and Lisa Clark were selected as the winners of the Australian Human Rights Commission - Community Organisation award at a ceremony in Sydney on Friday December 9. Mr Clark, who founded Swags for Homeless in 2007, started the non-profit homeless charity in Melbourne when he questioned what was given to street sleeping homeless turned away from shelters.


Preschool crucial to bridge indigenous education gap

Justine Ferrari - The Australian

Indigenous students progress through school at the same rate as their classmates but tend to score lower on average because they start school further behind and are never able to catch up. But a seven-year study tracking indigenous students through primary school found that the focus on average scores hides a group of high-performing students, many of whom do better than their classmates.


Another Rudd, another headache for Julia Gillard

Alison Rehn - The Daily Telegraph

It's a familiar name and a familiar problem for the Prime Minister. But this time we don't need to talk about Kevin. Kevin Rudd's sister has quit the Australian Labor Party because she doesn't agree with its decision to back gay marriage.

Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache's labour of love - their new baby girl Alexandra

The Daily Telegraph

Finance Minister Penny Wong has picked up a whole new challenge, but this one had nothing to do with a reshuffle or a budget blowout. Just a week after Ms Wong drove a hard-fought change to the ALP's platform on gay marriage, her partner Sophie Allouache has given birth to a healthy baby girl.

Argent pushes Abbott

Sydney Star Observer

PFLAG Australia national spokeswoman Shelley Argent has written to all Liberal and National members of the Federal Parliament, urging them to apply pressure on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.


Rudd support of Kim Carr

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph

The cabinet reshuffle has sparked renewed speculation about a leadership challenge in the new year, with Kevin Rudd yesterday appearing to question Prime Minister Julia Gillard's decision to dump industry minister Kim Carr. Senator Carr broke his silence to confirm he had been pushed from cabinet against his will and that he had not wanted to go. He is believed to be a supporter of Mr Rudd for the leadership.

Let voters dump bad government, experts decide


Voters should be given the power to force early elections in NSW with a view to dumping unpopular governments, a majority of experts has advised the Premier, Barry O'Farrell.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Al Qaeda cell in Turkey accused of planning to bomb churches

Compass Direct

A large-scale Al Qaeda plot to bomb “all the churches in Ankara,” as well as the Turkish Parliament and U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, was made public today. In an exclusive splashed across the front page of the daily Taraf newspaper, contents of an official indictment against 11 alleged Al Qaeda militants arrested in July revealed the homegrown terrorist cell’s alleged plans to attack Ankara’s churches as well as their Christian clergy.

Hammering the final nails in the coffin of Christmas

Tracey Spicer - The Daily Telegraph

A school in Sydney's inner west has become the Grinch who stole Christmas. Imagine the confusion on the faces of the three-year-olds at their end-of-year singalong (God forbid that they could be called Christmas carols!) for parents at the Inner Sydney Montessori School. Instead of being allowed to sing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", their rosebud lips were twisted into wishing everyone a "Happy Holidays".


Refugees fear rapid influx of boatpeople

Amos Aikman - The Australian

Rebecca Nyaret knows first-hand how hard it can be for asylum-seekers to integrate into the community. As a refugee from Sudan, she struggled to understand our language and culture, to interpret documents and regulations, and to find housing and work. Ms Nyaret, 27, who was granted asylum before travelling to Australia in 2007, fears the increasing number of irregular boat arrivals since the collapse of offshore processing will put more pressure on jobs, housing and services for those already here.

Sexualisation of Society

Our children must be protected from sex and pregnancy

Editorial - Sunday Herald Sun

If ever we needed confirmation of modern society's failure to protect our children adequately, it is writ large in disturbing statistics in today's Sunday Herald Sun. Documents obtained from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health under Freedom of Information laws shine a light on Victoria's dark secret of child pregnancies and abortions.


NSW Greens retreat on Palestine policy

Green Left Weekly

It does not mean the NSW Green Party has abandoned all support for the Palestinian struggle for justice, but it marks a setback for the left inside the Greens and the pro-Palestine movement in Australia.