By Georgina Pickers
NCWQ International Relations & Peace Adviser
Australia Human Rights Commission enquiry into Children in Detention has warned the government about mental illness suffered by children as a result of being held in detention facilities. Reports from the enquiry can be viewed by visiting: www.humanrights.gov.au (see my Human Rights report)
Threats caused to the Great Barrier Reef by current and future development along the Queensland coast were used effectively by the Green Party in the recent Queensland state election and were a contributing factor in the change of government. Overseas conservation advocates also helped raised the level of concern. NCWQ has made submissions to the federal and state governments expressing concern as to the healthy future of this World Heritage listed icon.
UN Peace Day was on September 21st 2014. The UN Association held its annual peace lecture closely followed by NCWQs inaugural Queensland Women’s Peace Prayer service in St John’s Cathedral. Those who attended these events could not have helped but notice the beautiful Art Installation in the form of the Peace Crane project. The work consists of 1000 paper cranes as a monument to peace initiated by Karalyn Shaw and her children who were inspired by the story of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr. If you are in Brisbane city I recommend you pay a visit the magnificent cathedral as well as view this remarkable achievement. Further information may be found at: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/peace-crane-project
The report commissioned by the Australian government last year into Children in Custody revealed many children suffered mental health issues. Whilst not surprising to international and local medical experts when children had no choice when being sent unaccompanied or with family on unsafe or uncertain journeys. What’s more tragic is the fact that many Australian children are afflicted with mental issues caused by family break-ups, poor living conditions, sexual abuse and family custody disputes.
Following the G20 Summit in Brisbane Australia has secured Free Trade agreements with China, Japan, and India with negotiations continuing with the USA. Tangible benefits remain to be seen.
The continuing abduction, and murder of Christians by the Islamic group Boko Harem in North East Nigeria; ongoing carnage by Taliban agents in Pakistan who late last year murdered 132 school students (adding to over 54,000 civilians, security force personnel and terrorists killed in Pakistan to date); recent beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya; terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Denmark has World leaders frankly wondering how to reason with these abhorrent examples of the human race who’s mentality and savagery mirrors those who participated in 7th to 13th century Holy Wars.
No matter what your faith we are all human beings; all living a finite life span albeit in whatever rich or poor environment or circumstance it might be. We can only endorse and continue to believe in what a great man prophesised over 2000 years ago: “Blessed are the Peacemakers”