The St Vincent de Paul Society of Australia’s 2012 National Overview publication is now available online. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”
As implied by the name, this publication of 25 pages contaiing many items contains an summary some of work of the St Vincent de Paul society across Australia during 2012 and can be downloaded in PDF format through the link NATIONAL OVERVIEW
John Falzon, CEO, writes…
“In a prosperous nation such as ours those who are struggling on a low income are punished and made to bear the brunt of economic insecurity.”
“The effects of inequality are not limited to the few. Rather these effects shape an entire society. The effects of inequality can be seen in all of the major social issues facing Australia today:
• The lack of affordable housing
• Mental illness and loneliness
• Income poverty, especially for social security recipients and low paid workers
• The growth of casual and insecure work
• The gaps in access to healthcare and education, especially, but not exclusively evident in the lives of Indigenous Australians
• The barriers to employment experienced especially in some locations and some age groups.
We build massive walls around people on the basis of their race, class, gender or disability. The same people are then condemned for lacking the “aspiration” to scale these walls.
Our task is to have the humility to listen to the people who can teach us how society needs to change.
It is about committing ourselves to join in the long-haul project of tearing down the walls that we have built
around people, locking them out, or locking them up.
It means laying claim to the words of Jesus of Nazareth that the Kingdom of God is among us. It means, as Paul of Tarsus put it, hoping against hope and fighting against all odds for a more just and compassionate society. It means, in the words of the poet Paul Eluard, who is really paraphrasing the words of Christ: There is another world but it is in this one.