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Pages tagged "Micah Challenge"
Hundreds of Christians gather in Canberra to shine a light on global tax dodging
· June 24, 2014 10:00 AM
John Beckett is the National Director for Micah Challenge Australia. ACL's Katherine Spackman caught up with him at Parliament House as hundreds of young Christians from across Australia were there to meet politicians and advocate for the global poor. Particularly they were there to shine a light on global tax dodging.
Shine the Light' on tax dodging and corruption
· May 01, 2014 10:00 AM
Micah Challenge has recently launched a campaign to expose tax dodging and corruption which is robbing poor nations of vital resources for development.
The vast amount of money developing countries lose as a result of these practices could be better spent providing essential services such as healthcare, education and water to millions of people facing poverty around the world.
Micah Challenge is encouraging people to get on board with this campaign by uploading a 'shine the light selfie' to its campaign website and sending it to their politician to raise awareness of the issue and promote change.
To find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit the official website at
Micah Challenge discusses report on overseas aid
· April 01, 2014 11:00 AM
Ben Thurley is Micah Challenge's Political Engagement Officer. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman, Ben discusses the recent report handed down by a senate inquiry on Australia's aid program. The inquiry was established to understand the effect of the Coalition's election plan to cut $4.5 billion from the aid program over the four year budget cycle. The report made 24 recommendations including urging the government release a policy framework for the aid program and for the government to increase its aid program to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2025.
Voices For Justice, June 2014
· February 20, 2014 11:00 AM
Micah Challenge will be hosting
Voices For Justice
in June, a conference aimed at bringing the agenda of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world before our nation's political leaders.
The event will be held from 21st-24th June in Canberra and we encourage you to attend.
Keynote speakers include:
Rev Dr Joel Edwards -
originally from the Caribbean, and now based in the UK, Joel is the International Director of Micah Challenge and has been involved in Micah Challenge since it started in 2000. Joel is a regular commentator on issues of faith in public life for the BBC and is an advisor to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Dereje Alemayehu -
originally from Ethiopia, Dereje now coordinates the work of Christian Aid in East Africa, and chairs both the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the Tax Justice Network Africa
There are some important events in the coming months giving Australia an opportunity to play a role in ending world poverty. In September, the UN Summit will determine a new set of goals to tackle global poverty (replacing the MDGs), and in November Australia will host a forum of the world's economic leaders (the G20) in Brisbane.
Early bird registration for
Voices For Justice
close on 14th April.
For more information and to register, please visit the
Voices For Justice
Micah Challenge on govt cuts to this year's aid budget
· January 28, 2014 11:00 AM
Ben Thurley is the Political Engagement Coordinator for Micah Challenge. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he discusses the recent announcement by the government that it will cut $650 million dollars from this year's aid budget.
The debate we have to have
· December 05, 2013 11:00 AM
"Has the Left abandoned its prophetic role?"
is the title of an article in this month's Eternity newspaper by well-known New South Wales Baptist pastor Karl Faase.
While I do not like binary terms such as 'left' and 'right' to pigeon hole people on the political spectrum, I have, like Karl, been concerned that it is ok to speak out about some political issues but not others.
The key idea of his article, which is not available on-line, is summed up here:
“Where is the left-leaning Christian voice on issues of morality and Biblical ethics in our present community? Why do they remain completely silent? How is it justifiable to use the Bible as a text to call for justice and yet fail to speak for what the Bible has to say about morality, the sanctity of life and the dignity of the individual? Where are the clear statements about issues such as abortion, euthanasia and same sex marriage?”
Karl nominates same-sex marriage as an issue on which some Christian leaders are silent while advocating, often quite vociferously, for 'social justice' issues.
As an organisation, ACL took a strategic decision three years ago to work towards preserving man-woman marriage in the face of what has become a very fierce, intolerant and relentless campaign for changing the definition of marriage.
We live in a participatory democracy and we believe marriage, and the idea that children should wherever possible have the opportunity to know and be raised by their biological mother and father, is worth upholding for future generations.
We are committed to advocating for the public benefits of marriage between a man and a woman but we are also motivated by other issues as well.
When I joined in 2007, one of my first tasks was arranging meetings in Parliament House for the then fledgling Micah Challenge organisation which also campaigns against poverty and injustice.
This week I took a delegation of Australian Syrian Christian community leaders into the Parliament seeking help for persecuted minorities caught in the cross fire of the civil war.
Karl said in his article "Like many Christians I have cringed at the way Christian leaders have spoken publicly about moral issues".
I have learned some hard lessons along the way about the importance of messaging – there have been times where I wished I could have rephrased something I’ve said.
But at the same time, the media environment is very tough in a culture which is increasingly antagonistic to a Christian worldview. It’s also not very forgiving when it comes to making mistakes.
It’s also not always balanced. This week I was asked to do an interview for Channel 10's late night news with regards to the High Court case on marriage. Of the five minute plus package that went to air, I was given nine seconds. The rest was devoted to pro-same-sex marriage commentary.
Whenever I question whether we should continue to speak into the space on this issue, I always come back to my conviction that speaking truth in love to our culture is a necessary part of the Gospel. I’m grateful to ACL supporters for their continued encouragement and support throughout this campaign.
Karl expresses concern that there is sometimes inconsistency when about speaking into the public square. ACL shares this concern and I believe the environment would be less toxic had there been more voices in the marriage debate over the past few years.
The same-sex marriage debate is a debate that has sadly paralysed dissent, leaving a vacuum which the proponents of changing marriage have filled.
It is a debate that goes to the heart of social justice for children, yet we are largely silent.
Last night a Christian friend approached me at a function, complimented me on the fine job ACL was doing but then proceeded to say same-sex marriage was inevitable.
I wonder if he realises what he is conceding in a statement like that?
I believe only death and taxes are inevitable. It is time we as Christians found a bit of Churchillian "we will never surrender" spirit and applied our faith in a miracle working God.
Yes, we should and must be gracious in our public pronouncements. But we should also be clear. It is ironic that on other 'social justice' issues it is quite ok to be voiciforous.
It is also ironic that we are on the cusp of seeing the the political campaign to change marriage sidelined for many years and yet many think it is inevitable.
I am hopeful the High Court will overturn the ACT's same-sex marriage laws next week. There have been eight failed legislative attempts in the past three years to change marriage and advocates have all but run out of options. It will be the ninth failed attempt if the High Court overturns the bill.
We should not give up, we should be prophetic across the full range of Biblical teaching. Future generations will thank us.
Micah Challenge: Who will pay for our aid cuts?
· October 10, 2013 11:00 AM
Micah Challenge has launched a campaign urging the government to reverse its planned $656 million cut to foreign aid. We encourage you to join with them in calling on MPs and the Prime Minister not to cut aid.
*Please note: the below information is from the Micah Challenge team*
Whether you've been campaigning with us for a long time, or have only just recently come on onboard, we know you share our deep disappointment with the Government's intention to remove $4.5 billion from Australia’s overseas aid budget over the next four years – including cutting $656 million from this year’s budget.
This $656 million cut, if it proceeds, represents:
11% of the 2013-14 aid budget,
the largest ever cut to Australia’s overseas aid budget,
and the first cut in aid since Prime Minister John Howard signed on to the Millennium Declaration and committed Australia to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.”
At just 1.4% of the Federal Budget, aid represents a small investment by the Australian Government, but one that provides huge returns in human welfare and improvements in stability, security and opportunity in our region and beyond.
Among many other things, Australian aid in 2011 helped:
almost 500,000 children in Bangladesh
receive vaccinations and over 125,000 women receive skilled medical care during pregnancy and childbirth, reducing the maternal mortality rate twice as fast as the national average in four targeted districts,
an additional 2.3 million people in Vietnam
gain access to clean water,
more than 20,000 households in Cambodia
produce at least one extra rice crop,
the people of Timor-Lest
e receive better services by increasing government direct tax collection revenues by 38%,
29,681 extra children in Papua New Guinea
enrol in basic education,
370,000 malnourished children in Somalia
receive urgent medical treatment.
The question is, who will pay the price if this cut goes ahead?
Please take urgent action
before Parliament resumes, calling on your MP to tell the Prime Minister, “Don’t Cut Aid!”
1. Email your MP
, urging them to call on the Government to reverse the planned $656 million cut.
2. Share the stories
of effective aid and the communities who will potentially be affected by this cut. We have infographics on our website showing the impact of Australia's aid program in six different countries which you can share on social media, email, or print out.
3. Invite others to join our campaign
to hold the Government to account for ensuring Australia makes a full contribution to help end extreme poverty around the world.
Click here to visit the campaign page on the website and take action.
John Beckett on the Political Spot about UN report on MDGs
· July 16, 2013 10:00 AM
John Beckett is the National Coordinator for Micah Challenge. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he discusses the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals Report 2013
released last month.
Aid budget increases but funding target delayed
· May 16, 2013 10:00 AM
This year’s federal budget is a ‘mixed bag’ according to the analysis of
The aid budget will grow by $518 million from last year, reaching almost $5.7 billion dollars, or 0.37% of Gross National Income (GNI). And while this is very welcome news, lifting aid to its highest level as a proportion of our national income since 1985, it's also not the only side to the story.
The commitment to increase aid to 0.5% GNI has been pushed back for the second year in a row – now expected to be reached in 2017-18. The effect of these two delays has been to remove around $4.8 billion from planned aid spending over the period 2012–16 . . .
The Government confirmed as well that they would again use $375 million of the aid budget to process, detain and support onshore asylum-seekers, making Australia the third largest recipient of its own overseas aid, after Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
In particularly good news, the funding to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) programs increased by 70% from $164 million last year to $279 million in this budget.
Read more at
Micah Challenge Australia
Tell the PM & Treasurer: ""Don't Divert Aid""
· April 16, 2013 10:00 AM
Australia was one of the 189 member states of the United Nations that signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015.
Last year, the government diverted $375 million away from its foreign aid commitment in order to pay for the cost of detaining, processing and providing for onshore asylum seekers, and will likely try to divert more aid when it announces another "tough budget" on 14 May.
ACL has continually lobbied for government to reach the target as outlined by the MDGs, and advocates strongly for Australia's willingness to be generous to the poor by helping developing nations implement poverty-reducing strategies. In the lead up to this year's federal election, ACL will be urging the major political parties to recommit to the MDGs.
Micah Challenge has launched a campaign in the lead up to the May budget announcement, with the message: "Don't Divert Aid." This is designed to place pressure on the government to stop the diversion of overseas aid money.
Join with Micah Challenge in speaking out against the poverty and injustice, and encouraging our leaders to keep their commitment to reducing world poverty.
You can do this by contacting the offices of the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to tell them that Australian aid should be used to support poverty reduction and sustainable development overseas, and that you support the Government's commitment to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2016, but you do not want to see more aid funds diverted away from our overseas aid partners to meet the costs of detaining, processing and supporting asylum seekers:
Call Prime Minister Julia Gillard's office on (02) 6277 7700
Call Treasurer Wayne Swan’s office on (02) 6277 7340 or email
Micah Challenge campaign page
to find out more about how you can support.
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