Uniting Church WA calls for justice at its Annual Meeting of the Synod

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Uniting Church Synod of WA was held over the weekend, Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September, at Scotch College Perth.

Members of the meeting, including representatives from Uniting Church WA schools, agencies, congregations and faith communities, made a range of decisions, including to:

  • support the 2017 Statement from the Heart, and urge the Commonwealth Government to listen to it and establish a First Nations’ Voice in the Constitution, and the Makarrata Commission;
  • call on the Commonwealth Government not to expand Cashless Debit Card trials, and instead work with communities on transitioning to a voluntary scheme co-designed with communities that includes holistic and coordinated support services;
  • call on the Federal Government to begin restoration of overseas aid cuts and commit to achieving the internationally agreed target of 0.7% Gross National Income (GNI) by 2030, beginning with a return to the top half of rich country aid donors by the end of the next parliamentary term;
  • call on the Federal Government for a compassionate and generous refugee sponsorship program; supporting the introduction of a new Community Refugee Sponsorship model to assist refugees to resettle in Australia.

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Substance abuse is a health problem, not a welfare problem

UnitingCare Australia urges the Government once again to abandon the flawed Drug Testing Bill before Parliament today.

Those unfortunate enough to be battling addiction need support services and counselling, not humiliation and welfare quarantining.

There is a consensus of voices from across the organisations who work with the most vulnerable people in Australia demanding a preventive, evidence-based approach.Continue Reading

Religious leaders arrested at Adani mine site

Three religious leaders, including a Uniting Church minister, and three lay people were arrested on Thursday September 5 at the site of Adani’s proposed Coal Mine in Central Queensland. Reverend Alex Sangster, Dharmacari Tejopala and Dharmacari Aryadharma refused a ‘move on order’ by police, along with Christians, Mark Delaney, James Thom and Angela Merriam.

Six other Christians joined them blocking work at the site and called on Gautam Adani to abandon the project. The group held a religious ritual of prayer and song in the direct route of Adani contractors preventing them from entering the workers’ camp.Continue Reading

Ministry Expo excitement

Friday 30 August promised to be stormy and yet, the evening was remarkably clear given a week of passing rainfalls.

After much activity in terms of advertising via radio, social media, the Uniting church WA website, posters in the windows at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, the Uniting Church WA Ministry Expo was set up and ready to go.

Some local congregation members arrived first, and slowly the building filled with 42 adults and 12 children.Continue Reading

Community gathers to hear experts on WA Gas and its Climate Impacts

Wednesday 28 August saw approximately 60 people gather at Nedlands Uniting Church to hear from key experts on WA Gas and its Climate Impacts. The event was co-hosted by the newly formed WA Chapter of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA).

Both groups are committed to advocating for climate action in a non-partisan manner, with a focus on evidence and ethical practice. The focus of the evening was on Western Australia’s contribution to global climate change, and the unique role our state can play in reducing greenhouse emissions. Continue Reading

Wesley College wins Boarding School of the Year

Wesley College, a Uniting Church WA school, received the prestigious Australian Education Award for Boarding School of the Year on Friday 16 August in Sydney.

The Australian Education Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the country’s top performing schools.

“It is often said, the health and heart of a school is measured by its boarding community. This award reflects the wonderful work that happens in our boarding house, but also acknowledges the innovative facilities of the College as a whole,” said Ross Barron, Headmaster of Wesley College.

“To be named as one of Australia’s best schools is a magnificent honour and a tribute to our staff and their commitment to every student.”

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School (Brisbane) was co-winner of the Boarding School of the Year Award.

The award recognises the most outstanding boarding school in Australia based on a range of criteria including:

  • Consistently high standards of teaching and learning
  • Academic and other achievements
  • Rigorous professional learning to improve teaching and curriculum delivery
  • Strong communication links with students, parents, teachers and the wider community
  • Effective management of facilities, finances and human resources
  • Demonstrated commitment to innovation and continuous improvement
  • Provision of a supportive home environment focused on student wellbeing.

Rodney Steer, Head of Boarding at Wesley College, joined Wesley in January 2019 and said he was not surprised to see the college receive this award.

“Having worked for most of my adult life in boarding schools across the country, it is my view that Wesley boarding is the finest in Australia,” he said. “Our focus is not only academic excellence, but each boy’s personal growth and wellbeing, in a nurturing environment that understands the importance of community and relationships.”

Wesley College was also a finalist in the 2019 Australian Education Awards including Best School Strategic Plan, Department Head of the Year (Claire Leong) and Innovation in Learning Environment. And in 2018, Wesley College was named as an Innovative School by the Educator, the leading Australian resource for senior educational professionals.