The ACL compiles a daily media monitoring services of stories of interest relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. See here to read what's in the news today.



My Charlie, born at 23 weeks, the living proof that abortion limit has to be slashed

Inderdeep Bains - Daily Mail

He was so tiny, he fitted into the palm of his mother’s hand.  Born at 23 weeks and weighing just 1lb 7oz, Charlie Allen was the country’s most premature twin at the time of his birth.  He was given a bleak seven per cent chance of survival, but five years on he has defied the odds by growing into a healthy, happy little boy.



Children & Family

Radical new plan for aged-care funding would save family home

Stephen Lunn and Sue Dunlevy - The Australian

Fire sales of the family home to pay huge accommodation bonds for residential aged-care places would be a thing of the past under a radical new blueprint for Australia's aged-care sector.   Older people would instead be able to use equity from their own home to fund an aged-care place through a form of government-backed reverse mortgage, the Productivity Commission proposes.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Drugs & Alcohol


Indigenous children stay longer in school

Jen Rosenberg - SMH

Retention rates among indigenous students in schools have improved dramatically but the level is still well below that of non-indigenous students, experts say.   The key to engaging children in the classroom and retaining them is to ensure that they are better prepared for school before they start, they say.



Churches punt on PM

Eugene Benson - Moonee Valley Weekly

The InterChurch Gambling Taskforce is taking its campaign for pokies reform to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Representatives of church groups across Moonee Valley and the western suburbs went to Maribyrnong MP Bill Shorten's Moonee Ponds office on Thursday, pressing him to take their cause to Canberra.


Human Rights


Marriage not a right worth the fight

Hugh O'Keefe - SMH

I am a gay man in my 60s. Now it's marriage. Well, good luck to them and, hey, when it happens, be assured I'll be there with the recyclable confetti, hoping to catch the bouquet. There's still time.

Overseas Aid


Religious Persecution

Sharia law in the West goes against fight for reforms

Ida Lichter - The Australian

Attempts to introduce sharia family law into Western societies run against the tide of reforms spearheaded by female activists in the Muslim world.  Many aspects of these laws are unpalatable to a society that has enforced equal rights for divorce, custody, inheritance and court testimony, and criminalised polygamy and forced, under-age marriage.  Moreover, the experience with sharia in Britain and Canada is cautionary. It is estimated thousands of British Muslim men have taken advantage of a loophole in the law against bigamy to avoid official registration and seal polygamous marriages in mosque ceremonies.


Canberra funding legal centre blocking asylum-seeker swap

Cameron Stewart - The Australian

David Manne's Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre is dependent on funds from the Department of Immigration, which provides $1.29 million a year or 68 per cent of its funding.  It must seem ironic to the Gillard government that the man who is proving its biggest obstacle on asylum-seeker policy, Melbourne lawyer David Manne, leads a legal centre funded mostly by the Gillard government.  Mr Manne's Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre has haunted the Labor government at every step as it attempts to find an offshore solution to the asylum-seeker problem whether it be via Malaysia, East Timor or Papua New Guinea.

At least 2.8 million people, including more than a million children, are in critical need of assistance due to a famine affecting southern Somalia, according to the United Nations.  The famine is driving hundreds of thousands of refugees to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya, while other people are pouring into Somalia's war-torn capital, Mogadishu.