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http://theconversation.com/as-a-high-court-challenge-looms-are-there-alternatives-to-australias-indefinite-detention-policy-14498 From "The Conversation" newspaper's website:

The UK was dealing with people against who there was compelling evidence of their terrorist involvement (often with al-Qaeda) and of direct danger to UK citizens. There is no indication that Australia’s refugees with suspected Tamil Tiger links pose an equivalent threat.

If control orders are not possible for some individuals (for example, if the intelligence is too sensitive) there are other means to apply any necessary restrictions. University of Sydney’s Professor of International Law Ben Saul has noted that:Read more... )
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)

From the Avaaz petition website:

In hours, President Obama could finally move to close Guantanamo -- the most notorious prison camp on earth.

With inmates on a 100-day hunger strike and the UN denouncing their force feeding as torture, Obama has been pushed to respond with a major speech about the prison. If enough of us demand a plan -- he could free the prisoners already cleared for release, and appoint a White House official with one mission: close Guantanamo down!

We're at a tipping point. Sign up to demand Obama close this shameful gulag down, and share the shocking facts below so others join this urgent call.

The facts speak for themselves:

• Detainees in Guantanamo now: 166
• Detainees facing active charges: 6
• Detainees cleared for immediate release, but stuck in the camp: 86
• Guantanamo inmates on hunger strike: 103
• Hunger strikers strapped down and force fed: 30
• Prisoners who have died in custody: 9
• Children the US has held at Guantanamo: 21
• Detainees tried in civilian court: 1
• Detainees who can't be tried for lack of evidence or torture: 50
• Prisoners released by the Bush administration: 500+
• Prisoners released by the Obama administration: 72
• Current annual cost to US taxpayers: $150 million
• Days since Obama first pledged to close Gitmo: 1579
• Time since first prisoners arrived at Guantanamo:

11 years, 4 months, 11 days ...
Thanks so much for your help.
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Hi everyone,

Here's some information on charities below:

Below are the websites for organisations where you can volunteer or donate to support children around the world:

http://www.savethechildren.org.au/ Save the Children Australia. Save the Children also works in different countries around the world.  You can also donate here to support people whose lives have been devastated by Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines.

http://www.avert.org/aids-projects.htm    AVERT is a UK based charity that raises money to help people around the world to raise awareness and respond to HIV and AIDS. You can donate at their website. This link has information on how their projects help educate people about AIDS, their legal rights and addressing sexual violence.

http://child-aid.org/ Child Aid raises money to train teachers, deliver books and teach children how to read.

If you can't donate, you can always raise awareness - which makes a huge difference. Thanks so much! :)

Edited to add: I have found information from raremedium.org http://raremedium.org/2007/10/31/charity-navigators-vital-mission-hides-flawed-rankings/ that Charity Navigator has flaws in gathering / interpreting information and deciding which charities are accountable, transparent and spend the most money on the people they assist. I do apologise for putting up information on Charity Navigator before.

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The Break Free Project
The Break Free Project is a string of stories just like Tony's. Our aim is to have Tony's story (Pt 1) on 10,000 DVDs and into the hands of every school student across Sydney's West at no cost, raising the awareness and consequences of gangs and drugs. 
And most importantly provide a way of escape...

http://www.pottershouse.com.au/thoang/?page_id=173 Tony Hoang's story is nothing short of inspiring. Hoang was an ex gang member who is now working to raise awareness among youth about the dangers of gangs and drugs, and how to leave that dangerous world. The article shows how isolated children from abusive families can end up joining gangs for acceptance and purpose. It also shows how forgiveness and support can also lead to someone turning their life around.
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'Half the Sky' (by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn) is THE best book I have read. For the first time in a long time. It shook me up and gave me hope that there are ways that we can help women around the world. We can't change everything about the world, but we can all achieve huge things working together with one another. Half the Sky shows how empowering women is the solution to fighting poverty, war, and extremism.

You can buy it here and at Australian bookstores: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

Here are websites of organisations who support women in struggling nations. Learn how you can join them in helping women around the world: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/get-involved

Education is the key to ending poverty and human rights violations around the world.


Read more... )
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Hiya everyone,

Try a Trade is helping to break to cycle of poverty in Western Australian Aboriginal communities. It's a fantastic chance for Aussie Aboriginal teens to consider a trade - something to brighten their futures. You  can make a difference to the lives of Indigenous families and friends - spread the news! You can read more from GenerationOne below:
The aim of the Try-A-Trade events is to encourage school age and working age job-seekers from all backgrounds to consider a trade as a way to improve their own lives - and help break the cycle in their communities. The program's job seekers are matched with real mentors and role models, helping them seek new career pathways.

Over the past month, the Try-a-Trade program has been a huge success, visiting five different locations across the NW Kimberley and promoting career pathways in industries experiencing skill shortages. Several young Indigenous school leaders were flagged for future traineeships and careers with organisations such as Rio Tinto and Brolga Developments. Check out GenerationOne's upcoming events.

Even better - you can join! Visit, and learn more here:

The Mobile Try-a-Trade will be visiting Pilbara from September 6 through 10. If you're in the area or know someone that is, check out the events here:http://generationone.org.au/whats-on
email GenerationOne at
info@generationone.org.au if you would like them to attend or promote one of your events.

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Hello everyone,

Please strongly encourage President Obama to back the Rule of Law at Guantanamo Bay. A US Justice Department-led task force recently suggested that the U.S. continue to detain about 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely. This is an outrage. Obama has previously promised to close Guantanamo and stop indefinite detention. We need an independent 2 party commission that will examine and report its opinions about the rules and practices linked to the detention, treatment, and transfer of Guantanamo detainees.
 Urge Obama to keep his promise and restore the US' reputation.

Sign the petition here:


Thanks so much if you sign or raise the heads up about this.
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Hello there everyone,

Here are easy ways you can help people devastated by the earthquake in Haiti.

Click here to donate: http://www.care2.com/click-to-donate/haiti/

Each click will help fund donations to Oxfam America. Oxfam America will use the funds to provide urgently needed water and sanitation to Haiti's survivors.

Help Haiti. Ask global creditors to drop Haiti's 1 billion dollar debt. Do it now by signing this petition here:


By doing this, you are making sure that more money is being used where it's needed the most - to rebuild the lives and futures of people in Haiti. Paying back old debts would only delay and reduce the chances of aid, food, medical aid, shelter reaching people. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. I can't imagine how long it'd take for Haiti to rebuild itself if its debts weren't dropped.

Thank you so much.
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Hi there everyone,

Please read the info below and consider signing or raising this up in your blog/through email/word of mouth. Thank you!

From the Petition Site:

People in the poorest parts of the world will be hit first and worst by climate change. Many leaders are promising to help people living in extreme poverty adapt to the effects of climate change and to help reduce emissions. This sounds great, but unfortunately, on closer examination, it turns out most of this money could be double counted--it's money that has already been promised as development aid.

In other words, some governments want to stretch their much-needed development funding twice as far to try and cover the new challenges presented by climate change. This dangerous double counting needs be exposed--and it needs to stop.

Ask Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to stop leaders double counting money that is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change!

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Hi there everyone,

Please read below and sign the petition at the link below if you are a medical professional:

AMA: Quit the Chamber of Commerce

The American Medical Association has run ads in support of President Obama's health care plan for months. So why is the AMA simultaneously helping fund a massive attack campaign to kill the bill?
The AMA is a leading member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is spending millions attacking the health care bill as a crushing tax increase.
As a medical professional, you have a powerful voice for reform. Can you sign our petition urging the AMA to stop funding opposition to health care reform and quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?


Thanks heaps!
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Hey there everyone,

There are now more than 1 billion people who are suffering from world hunger. According to Avaaz, that's one sixth of the world´s population. This is unacceptable. Nobody should have to suffer starvation, especially not so many people.

Next week, global leaders will meet at the World Food Summit in Rome to discuss how to tackle this enormous dilemma. But some wealthy countries are considering whether they should stop supporting a new $20 billion pledge made earlier this year. This pledge was made to rejuvenate agriculture in the poorest countries.

Please sign the petition below and tell friends. Add your voice to back vulnerable nations and reduce starvation. Avaaz will show this petition to world leaders:


Thanks so much if you do sign or alert others on this news.
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From http://www.actionaid.org.au/index.php/Latest-news/actionaid-responds-to-series-of-disasters.html

Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana, which struck the Philippine capital Manila on Saturday (26 September), has killed at least 330 people in the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

ActionAid's Emergencies and Conflicts Team is working closely with ActionAid Vietnam and ActionAid Cambodia to assess the damage and coordinate a response.

Sumatra earthquake
On Wednesday, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra, flattening buildings in the coastal city of Padang. A second quake of similar magnitude hit the region on Thursday. At least 500 people have been killed, although reports suggests the death toll may rise into the "thousands" with many still trapped under collapsed infrastructure.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is coordinating the humanitarian relief efforts in partnership with national and international actors.

ActionAid's Indonesian office in Aceh was not affected by the quake, with a team on route to Sumatra to begin an assessment and work with local people on the ground as part of the relief and rescue operation.

To find out what you (and others) can do to help the victims of these terrible disasters, go here:


Thank you so much if you do choose to do something about this.
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Hello everyone,

Please read below:

On Wednesday 30th September, a tsunami struck Samoa, hours after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake occurred in the early morning between the islands of Samoa and American Samoa. The wave reported was up to 1.7 metres in height and caused severe damage in island areas that are only a few feet above sea level, with homes and property swept out to sea.

In Tonga, reports indicate that the Niuas Islands and several villages were flooded. Red Cross has mobilised volunteers to provide emergency assistance and conduct further assessments.

This disaster is absolutely devastating. It's heartbreaking, and horrible beyond belief.
You can become a fundraiser or send donations to the Red Cross to help those whose homes and way of life have been destroyed. Thank you so much if you do choose to help in anyway, even if it is something as simple as spreading the word.

Click on the link below to donate or become a fundraiser:

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Hey everyone,

Sierra Leone has the worst rates of mothers dying in the world due to lack of maternal health care. Help women in Sierra Leone get the maternal health care that is they so desperately need and deserve. Sign the petition at http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/sierra_leone/slpetition.php?ICID=P0909A01&tr=y&auid=5377021

Feel free to read more information below.

Thank you so much if you do choose to help.

Email from Amnesty Inernational:

Adama Turay was supposed to be cuddling her newborn. Instead, she was fighting for life after the birth of her first child.

She was bleeding and sick after delivery. Her family knew something was wrong, but they didn't have money for a doctor.

They somehow managed to raise enough for a taxi to take her to the hospital, but during the 40-minute ride to the nearest medical facility, Adama died.

"The fear of what it would cost prevented her from seeking the medical attention that she really needed," said Sarah Kabbia, Adama's sister.

Help women in Sierra Leone get the maternal health care that is their human right. Sign the petition at http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/sierra_leone/slpetition.php?ICID=P0909A01&tr=y&auid=5377021

Amnesty's new report Out of Reach: The Cost of Maternal Health in Sierra Leone1 shows us a bleak, terrifying situation for pregnant women and their families:

• A higher proportion of women in Sierra Leone die in childbirth and pregnancy than almost anywhere else in the world
• Women and their families are forced to negotiate and pay for equipment and medications, and provide their own food and water, while they're in a health facility, at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives
• Most people live far away from a medical facility and cannot afford transportation costs to a hospital or doctor

Sierra Leone is recovering from 11 years of civil war, which ended in 2002. It will take time and a lot of outside help to rebuild what was already an under-resourced health care system.

The good news is that a strong groundwork was already laid during that time when the government declared a policy of free health care for vulnerable people, including pregnant and lactating women. But it's up to us to see to it that those policies are enforced.

Reducing maternal mortality should start immediately. Right now is our window of hope.


Sameer Dossani
Demand Dignity Campaign Director
Amnesty International USA
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Human Rights treates Australia has and has not ratified:


In terms of ratifying human rights treaties: We've come a long way. And yet, we have a long way to go.


Get active. Protect human rights. Shine a light on what's going on:

Frequently asked questions about human rights, Resource Sheet: What are Human Rights?, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the first international statement on human rights.)
and Human rights timeline here: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/info_for_students/essentials/index.html

From http://www.hreoc.gov.au/info_for_students/links/index.html :

Human rights around the globe
One World Online

Brings together the latest news and views from over 1,600 organizations promoting human rights awareness and fighting poverty worldwide.

Derechos Cafe

Links to issues, organisations, resources and discussion groups dealing with human rights.

Amnesty International

Campaigns on serious human rights breaches and to protect the rights of prisoners of conscience.

Read more... )
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Today, I came across wishiwasanocean's post about iLoveSchools.com in the lj community good_ideas

The website is here:


From the website: iLoveSchools.com is a free donor-matching service for education! School teachers build WishLists of equipment, materials and supplies; anything they need for their classroom. Donors locate teachers through our WishList search and offer their donations of new or used items or the cost of the teacher's WishList.

100% of donations go directly to a school teacher in need!
How do we do this? Click here for our story.
Each year the average teacher spends over $659 from their own pocket to buy classroom materials for America's kids. To help alleviate this burden iLoveSchools.com acts as a matchmaking service between donor and teacher.

You don't have to be rich to help.

Please consider donating supplies if you can. It can be as simple as donating 30 binders, or sending $30 for schools to buy markers. It doesn't take much effort to help. You can donate classroom materials so that children can continue learning. Help build children's futures, and show your appreciation for teachers. A little bit of help can go a long way.

Teachers' testimonials from the website:
Teacher Stories
Teacher: Karen K.-“I just wanted to say how excited I am about your site! I am a K-1 teacher in an economically disadvantaged rural area. My kids don’t have a lot of things, and as a single parent myself, I can’t do as much for my kids as I would like. Your program gives me an opportunity to expand the learning opportunities for my students. Thank you so much! –

Mableton, GA - “We are in desperate need of books for our students. As a Title 1 school, one of our main goals is that all students will read and comprehend on or above grade level. This year, in order to implement our reading program we are in need of books and supplies that go beyond our budget capabilities. We have an expectation that each of our 21 classrooms have a classroom collection of 500 books.”
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Hi everyone,

This week Obama delivered a historic speech to the Muslim world from Cairo -- outlining his vision for peace. 

I just signed a petition based on Obama's own words, and I thought you might want to do the same -- it will be published in newspapers in Israel and Washington DC to reach decision-makers.

Click on the link below to support the campaign:





Here's the original email from Avaaz:

Dear friends,

President Obama just made a remarkable speech in Egypt, committing personally to building peace in the Middle East. Unexpectedly, his first move is to challenge American ally Israel directly -- pressing its right-wing government to stop their self-destructive policy of settlements, which are illegal colonies set up on territory recognised by the US and the world as Palestinian.

This is a moment of rare crisis and opportunity. Obama’s bold strategy is facing powerful opposition, so he’s going to need help around the world in the coming days and weeks to strengthen his resolve. Let’s start right now -- by raising a massive global chorus behind Obama’s statement that the settlements in occupied territory must stop.

We’ll advertise the number of signatures in key newspapers in Israel, as well as in Washington DC (where some are trying to undermine Obama in the US Congress). Read Obama’s words now and add your signature to them at the link below, then forward this email to friends and family so they can do the same:


There is broad agreement that the settlements are a significant barrier to peace, a view also shared by a silent majority of the Israeli public. Combined with a network of roadblocks and barriers, these colonies now blanket the West Bank, seizing territory and forcing Palestinians to live effectively as prisoners in smaller and smaller pockets (see map at right).


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Hi everyone,

Check out lj user fliboing's post at lj community australian_left: http://community.livejournal.com/australian_left/206115.html?view=1998371#t1998371

It's likely that the Proposed Higher Education Legislation Amendment Bill will be discussed in the AustralianSenate this week.This bill is about the Student Services and Amenities fee. The Howard Government  made the  Student Services and Amenities fee voluntary through introducing Voluntary Student Unionism in 2005.

If this bill is passed, we won't get compulsary student unionism back (compulsory student unionism is where all University students, are members of their Student Union/Guild when they enrol at university). However, it will mean that Universities will be able to charge all students a compulsory fee (the Services and Amenities fee).
The Services and Amenities fee can be no larger than $250 every year, per student. The money paid for this fee will be used for paying for student services like:

-health clinics,        - food
-parking,                  -bookshops   
-counselling, academic support (tutoring) on campus

Universities will get to decide whether they will provide some of this money to student-run organisations like Unions or Guilds. Students Unions and Guilds provide representation and advocacy services to students. The new legislation also includes the option of a HECs style loan. This loan will allow eligible students to borrow funds from the government to cover the Services and Amenities fees.

According to fliboing, because of Voluntary Student Unionism four years ago, Universities have lost $170 million that should have gone towards these vital services. The loss of this $170 million  blew up costs on campus – (fliboing  says it cost her fifteen bucks just for a coffee and a salad at the cafe the other day).

Because of the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism, student organisations can no longer provide services at the level of quality they used to. The services they can no longer provide at the bet quality possible include (the following information is from fliboing's post):

Providing students with support that allows them to appeal unfair academic decisions with adequate representation. At ECU there are several full time Education and Welfare Officers who are responsible for supporting students with academic concerns such as student appeals, legal advice, food vouchers, emergency loans, visa information (particularly with International Students), second hand books and computers and so on.

Without the necessary funding we will not be able to afford to employ these people and certainly would not be able to provide this essential assistance to students.

* Running anti-poverty initiatives (ECU Guild Provides free tea, coffee, toast and cereal to students that may not be able to afford the cost of living, as well as running campaigns about the high levels of student poverty).

* Running student Volunteering services and job opportunities.

* Providing students from disadvantaged groups with support and safe spaces. e.g. Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander students, students from rural/regional areas, female students (sexual harassment and assault on campus are still happening, and most student Guilds have a women-only support space or Women’s collective), Students with Disabilities and Students of Diverse Sexuality and Gender.

The Greens are naturally concerned about the flaws of this Bill - the following text in blue is from the Greens' website: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-will-move-amend-flawed-vsu-bill

"The Greens made several recommendations regarding the Bill, including:

• Guaranteeing that the student levy would be directed towards student organisations,
• Subjecting all fees levied to scrutiny, accountability, and transparency,
• Allowing for effective student advocacy and representation to universities and various levels of government, on issues that concern the quality of education and student welfare,
• Not supporting any attempt to restrict funding to student media.

Senator Hanson-Young said the Greens would be seeking to remedy the Bill’s weaknesses.

“We are concerned that the Government’s proposed legislation will impose a new levy on students, without students actually having a guaranteed say in how their money is spent,” she said."

Spread the word about this if you deeply care about your right to be heard, and the rights of others to have affordable services and safe spaces. Tell them it is vital that Student organisations receive the funding they need in order to be able to support students the best way they can. 

Thank you.

Phoning Members of Parliament
Nationals Senate Leader – Barnaby Joyce

Parliament Contact
Phone: (02) 6277 3244
Fax: (02) 6277 3246

Independent Senator – Nick Xenophon

Parliament Contact
Phone: (02) 6277 3552
Fax: (02) 6277 5834

Family First Senator – Steve Fielding

Parliament Contact:
Phone: (02) 6277 3711
Fax: (02) 6277 5713


Nationals Senate Leader – Barnaby Joyce

Via Contact Form

Via Direct Email
E: senator.joyce@aph.gov.au

Independent Senator – Nick Xenophon

Email: senator.xenophon@aph.gov.au

Family First Senator – Steve Fielding

Email: senator.fielding@aph.gov.au


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Hi all,

Check out the following Domestic Violence links here:

http://www.dvrc.org.au/ Info on Domestiv Violence in Australia

http://www.dvconnect.org/ free DV help for people in Queensland, Australia

http://www.iwdvs.org.au/  The Immigrant Women's Domestic Violence Service

http://www.dvsa.asn.au/cgi-bin/wf3.pl Domestic Violence services in South Australia

http://www.speakout.org.au/ From the IWSA website: "Immigrant Women's Speakout Association is the peak advocacy, information/referral and research body representing the ideas and issues of immigrant and refugee women in NSW.The Association also undertakes community development projects and provides direct services including in the areas of domestic violence and employment, education and training. Speakout is a community-based organisation, managed by women of non-English speaking background."

http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/SALV/LANDING/PC_60248.html Salvation Army (provides refuges and childcare facilities for DV survivors

http://ssdv.acon.org.au/gethelp.htm List of helpful links on services (accommodation, counselling, homelessness, Legal Aid) for people experiencing same sex domestic violence.

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The following text in italics is from the website:

Project Respect is a non-profit community-based organisation that aims to empower and support women in the sex industry including women trafficked to Australia.

Established in 1998 we began as a direct service conducting outreach and offering support to women in the sex industry across Victoria.

Project Respect works towards:

  • Adequate support given to women in the sex industry, including trafficked women, such as access to shelter, health care, legal support, compensation, and alternative employment pathways
  • Eradication of the abuse and inequalities, including between men and women, different cultures and different classes, which underpin and are strengthened by the sex industry
  • Individuals, organisations and communities informed and mobilised to support women in the sex industry

You can make a difference with Project Respect by:

  • Donations
  • Volunteering
  • Joining a campaign
  • Staying informed
  • Joining a network

Project Respect at times needs volunteers for various activities, including administration, research, fundraising, organising courses, English classes, translation, etc.


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