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HELL YES. :D Go, ACT! Go, go, go , go, go!!

Basically the Australian Capital Territory's Marriage Equality Bill supports same sex marriage. The current Prime Minister Tony Abbott is opposed to this legislation, but here's to hoping that it'll pass!
I heard about this on Triple J radio station and I am VERY happy about this. There was a standing ovation when the bill was passed! And so there should be. Damn it, Australians have fought hard for this!

From the article:
Read more... ) I'm a Christian, and I support gay marriage. There are Christians and other people from different religions / non religious beliefs that support gay marriage too. I am SICK and tired of people saying that gay couples shouldn't get married because children they won't have a female and male role models. Chidren can have male and female role models in their families if they have gay parents! Through their cousins, uncles, grandparents, aunts, godparents, and siblings.

On a different tangent, I am sick of people online and on the radio sending out the message that gay people can't be good parents. Many orphans need loving, responsible families to raise them. And there are plenty of caring and mature gay couples willing to care for children too.
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
http://alltogethernow.org.au/news/category/discussing-racism/ All together now.org promotes multiculturalism and prevention of racist behaviour through social marketing. :) The people there seem quite nice and inclusive, and explain things in ways that are easy to understand. There are videos on people's experiences in Australia regarding multiculturalism and racism. Some videos include "Were you expecting racism only to be welcomed, which made me happy. Other videos include L Fresh the Lion's (the great hip hop artist) thoughts on racism.

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's website seems to be down for somereason.:/ They can be contacted for questions on how to address racism on a smaller or larger level.

For the state of NSW in Australia:you can speak to your human resources department. They can explain if further action can be taken. If they are helpful, then that's great. Read more... ).

For multiculturalism resources in the state of Victoria, in Australia: http://justitia.com.au/race-discrimination/racism-in-the-workplace This link has other links to the Fair work commission, Fair Work Ombudsman,Vic lawyers Health Line. It also has much needed information on how racism affects people's lives (in the workplace and your legal rights.

http://jimhines.livejournal.com/647393.html Jim Hines'fantastic post. This post is extremely helpful and important reading. On addressing sexual harrassment the right way. Backing someone up and Not Creeping.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/18/the-big-idea-michelle-sagara/ A lovely article/post by John Scalzi. On portrayals of female friendships, Aspergers, and great female characters.

Quote from Michelle Sagara's informative and helpful post on Asperger's:"I get a little bit tired of having Asperger's brought up as an excuse for harassment. It's not. My son is fully aware that he doesn't always parse or notice social signals Read more... )Holding someone else responsible for the "wrongness" of his thoughts would never even occur to him."
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Hi everyone,

Here's a must see article - it's on the abuse and discrimination faced by prison inmates with intellectual disabilities:


Read more... )People with intellectual disabilities face hurdles of intellectual disability, on top of the dilemmas and dangers of being in prison. 

While I believe that people who commit crimes should receive the penalties appropriate for their crimes (whether it's fines, community service, jail), that doesn't mean that their human rights should be ignored. We're all entitled to having our human rights respected, regardless of who we are or what we've done.

Trampling over human rights of others can lead to trampling of more people's human rights (including the rights of innocent people). I think if a society protects the rights of criminals, they're more likely to respect the rights of everyone else.
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Hello everyone,

Read this. http://community.livejournal.com/australian_left/211061.html

Five white men verbally abuse and harrass several Aboriginal people, and terrorised them with a gun. Finally, they beat Ryder (an Aboriginal man) to death. They drove off without checking to see if their victim was still alive. Justice Martin failed in his duty to interpret these facts. He concluded that this ‘crime is toward the lower end of the scale of seriousness for crimes of manslaughter’. Not enough violence was inflicted, and the defendants supposedly could not have foreseen a serious risk of death from their violent attack.

Read more... )What can you do about this? You can write a letter or phone Justice Martin about his shameful decision: http://www.supremecourt.nt.gov.au/contact/judges.htm

You can also contact Northern Territory newspapers about this too:

Read more... )
Thank you so much if you choose to help.

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Hello everyone,

Please read the email below. Shoot a message to Immigration Minister Chris Evans NOW to stop this. Australia has become the first developed country in the world to stop processing asylum-seeker applications from Afghanis & Sri Lankans. These refugees are fleeing persecution in their war-torn countries. This policy is obscene. Seriously? These are people escaping from torture and war. Many have loved ones that are missing or dead. They've been through enough already. Why would anyone in their right minds shut the door on them and refuse help?
The Rudd government should be ashamed of themselves! We should not be turning our backs on people fleeing war. This is not something we should avert our eyes from. I don't want to return to the grim Howard years. Thank you so much if you do spread the message!

On the day of the Government's announcement, a young Sri Lankan teenager gave in to despair and attempted suicide, after languishing in detention for 11 months on Christmas Island. Today there's news of more desperation, with a hunger strike by 50 Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers.

Can you take a stand against this frightening return to the dark days of refugees in custody? Tell Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, that Australians reject a return to this shameful past:


Read more... )

Stuck on what to write? Don't worry. The link above has some good pointers. Also, if you want more facts to beef up your argument, go here:

This website busts myths on refugees. Please feel more than free to use this webpage to explain why we should help refugees - and why fears about refugees are mainly false.

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Hey there people,

The following information is from a workshop on the Guardianship Tribunal at Liverpool Hospital. All mistakes are mine. Let me know if I need to correct something!

Speaker Malcolm Scuyver

Person Responsible

The person after a Guardian who can consent to decisions being made on a person’s behalf is the Person Responsible. “Person Responsible” is the legal name for a person with the legal authority to make decisions on someone’s behalf.


Persons Responsible (in order of the person with the most legal authority to make decisions on someone’s behalf):

1.     Guardian

2.     Spouse

3.     Carer (must be unpaid)

4.     Close relative or friend

When is someone not a Person Responsible?

1.     They can decline the role of being the Person Responsible in writing

2.     A doctor can write that a person is incapable of being the Person Responsible


Read more... )


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Hi there!

here's the lowdown on the Guardianship Tribunal. Here are the bare bones of what it's about, and what it does:

The Guardianship Tribunal can decide if a person needs to have a substitute decision maker due to their inability to make life decisions onttheir own behalf. Guardianship relates to decisions about a person's lifestyle and other personal matters, such as where they live, what services they receive, and what medical and dental treatment they receive. Financial management relates to decisions about a person's money and assets.

Pamphlet on what the Tribunal does:


Official GT site: http://www.gt.nsw.gov.au/

FAQs on Guardianship Tribunal: http://www.gt.nsw.gov.au/questions/

Facts from a workshop on the Guardianship Tribunal at Liverpool Hospital, NSW:

Presenter for Intro and overview - Malcolm Schyvens Deputy President of the Guardianship Tribunal

The Guardianship Tribunal can give consent to sterilisation forms. It can review Power of Attorney forms. It can also give approval of clinical trials for people who can't consent.

Guardianship Tribunal members are made up of (1) a lawyer (solicitor or barrister), (2) health professional (Medical staff and Allied Health. Medical staff includes doctors and nurses. Allied Health includes other health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dieticians, speech pathologists, podiatrists, diversional therapists) and (3) community member with experience in disability (either a person with a disability, or a carer etc).


A Private Guardian is a Guardian who is relative or a friend of the client. A Public Guardian is a Guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian.



Read more... )

All errors are mine. Let me know if I need to add some more information or correct this post!

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Hello everyone,

Human services workers (social workers, welfare and community workers) in NSW Australia may find the links below invaluable (especially if you're interested in law). The links are also handy for anyone who works in child protection in Australia, or deals with homeless people.

Law Access NSW: http://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/ Site with free legal help for Aussies in NSW. Contains valuable legal information and contact details of legal services. From the Law Access NSW website: Be careful! The information on this site is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem you should talk.  to a lawyer before you decide what to do. The information on this site is only for people affected by the laws of NSW, Australia.

Homelessness Street Count: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Community/HomelessnessServices/StreetCount.asp

From the Street Count website: The regular collection and comparison of data gives policy makers and service providers the means to measure the impact of existing responses to homelessness.

Counting the numbers of people experiencing primary homelessness is only one method of collecting data to inform policy development but it is an important one.

Keep Them Safe: http://www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au/resources/factsheets

From the Keep Them Safe website: Keep Them Safe is a five-year Action Plan that aims to re-shape the way family and community services are delivered in NSW to improve the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people.

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Hi there all,

Learn about the milestones and setbacks made on human rights of indigenous peoples around the world here:


The information is readable and a must for anyone.

http://australian-indigenous-peoples.suite101.com/article.cfm/a_change_of_date_for_australia_day Why the date of Australia should be changed: so that all Australians are included and respected. A day of mourning should not be a day for celebration.

http://australian-indigenous-peoples.suite101.com/article.cfm/historic_maori_land_compensation_agreement - a historic land compensation agreement for the Maori people. Because of this agreement, transfers 176,000 hectares of forestland worth $319NZ million will return to its rightful owners and be placed into Maori hands.

http://aboriginalrights.suite101.com/article.cfm/bad_living_conditions_for_aboriginals Appalling living conditions are still rife for Aboriginal people around the world (There are still heartbreakingly high death rates for Aboriginal infants compared to non Aboriginal infants worldwide. This is just plain wrong).
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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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Hey there everyone,

You can read submissions to the Australian senate re: inquiries on the new Fair Work Bill at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/eet_ctte/fair_work/submissions.htm

The submissions I found most interesting were the ones by the Sex Workers Union (which asks for sex work to become legalised to protect sex workers rights), and the one by Carers Australia (and how the Fair Work bill will affect Australia). I might post more on my thoughts about those submissions later...

NineMSN has an article on Fair Work bill here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=736334

Here is a quote from the above article:

A consistent theme of the inquiry submissions is that the new union right of entry laws go too far, the good faith bargaining rules are too ambiguous, access to compulsory arbitration is too easy and that the laws failed to ban pattern bargaining.

The Senate inquiry is not due to report back to parliament until February 27 and Labor is hoping to have the bill proclaimed as law by Easter.

So! Any thoughts on the above quote? Could someone explain to me what pattern bargainingis, and why it should be banned?


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