Welcome to the website for the Social Justice Commission for the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba.  

Our Commission was established in 2002 as a key direction in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan – “embracing action for Social Justice”.  Five aspects to our work are:  spirituality, education, leadership, solidarity and research.  In partnership with those affected by injustice the Commission works to analyse issues and reflectively advocate for action.  The Commission is grounded in Catholic Social Teaching.  Our current priorities are:  justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, caring for the environment and support and advocacy for refugees.   We work to promote human rights and our actions are informed by the dignity of the human person.





Social Justice Sunday will be celebrated this year on 28 September

The title of the 2014-2015 Statement is  A Crown for Australia: Striving for the best in our sporting nation.  lt refers to Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:24-27), where Paul compares the 'wreath that will wither', for which the athletes of the time competed, with the imperishable crown that we aspire to as followers of Christ.

 ln this Social Justice Statement, Australia's Bishops celebrate the many blessings that sport offers usas individuals and as a community: personal development, friendship and solidarity, a contribution to our own health and that of our nation, and the sheer joy of movement and skill. Against these blessings, we have to acknowledge a darker side, which too often reveals violence on and off thefield, abuse of drugs and alcohol, racism, sexism and commercial exploitation.

This Social Justice Statement challenges us to look at the place of sport in our lives. How can we ensure that sport can thrive and in return nourish our society, and how can we confront the influences that undermine or distort its ideals?

Most importantly, how can we work to realise sport's potential to unite communities, overcome differences and be a force for social justice and reconciliation?


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Bishop and RAP Committee get behind the Recognise Campaign


Bishop Robert McGuckin and members of the Toowoomba Catholic Diocese Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) sub-committee getting behind the Recognise campaign


The RAP Sub-committee for the Diocese of Toowoomba had their first meeting of the year this week.  They reviewed actions committed to as part of the Reconciliation Action Plan during 2013 and recommitted to stronger relationships, improving respect and promoting opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Diocese.   "At this moment in history it is exciting to be a part of a movement working for positive change," stated Executive Officer Doctor Mark Copland.  "I am proud of the work we are doing for reconciliation in our Diocese and really looking forward to educating and promoting Recognise in every corner of our Diocese."   RECOGNISE is the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution. Tens of thousands of Australians from all walks of life have already declared their support to recognise the first Australians in our founding document. We want to see fairness and respect at the heart of our Constitution, and to remove discrimination from it. Our goal is a more united nation. This is a chance for Australia to acknowledge the first chapter of our national story, and to forge our future together - after so many chapters apart.


Bounce Takes Out 2013 Social Justice Award


Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, David Burrett (Bounce), Bishop Robert McGuckin, Dan Stewart (Bounce) and Mark Copland at the Town Hall Awards Ceremony. Below Brett Rangiira singing "From Little Things Big Things Grow"



BOUNCE is the winner of the 2013 Social Justice Award for Toowoomba. “Bounce is a great example of what a social enterprise can achieve in a local community,” stated Executive Officer Dr Mark Copland. They do far more than serve great coffee. They have helped to make our streetscape far more interactive and interesting. Their energy on Ruthven St is infectious and the smiles they bring to people every day is a gift for all of us.

 

Bounce goes beyond a charity model of support to one of justice where people facing employment barriers are given an opportunity to work and have their dignity enhanced in the process. We congratulate those who have worked so hard to make Bounce a reality. The imagination, courage and hard work that they have invested in the business are outstanding. As their motto states, “It more than what’s in the cup”. Every day Bounce helps to break down stereotypes and stigma around mental health and other areas of disadvantage in the Toowoomba community.

 

 


Social Justice Commission is now on Facebook. Click here to check it out and follow our page for the most up to date information, news and events!


For more information on Asylum Seekers and Refugees click here


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