Dear CES Members and friends


Our last public forum for the year is to be on Wednesday, 11 November.  This forum will be held in conjunction with the Catholic Social Justice Commission (CSJC) and will address the 2015-16 Catholic Social Justice Statement. 


The topic is For Those Who've Come Across the Seas: Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.


Our speakers will be Jon Stanhope AO, Sr Jane Koegh and Felix Machiridza.  Each speaker will have 20 minutes and then we will have an hour for question time.

Jon Stanhope, AO was Labor Chief Minister of the ACT from 2001 to 2011.  Before this, he had held a range of community roles including President ACT Council for Civil Liberties; original Co-convener of Racial Respect in the ACT; President ACT Hospice and Palliative Care Society; and ACT convener of the National Coalition for Gun Control.  Jon served as Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands for 2 years from October 2012.

Sr Jane Koegh is from a Canberra family.  She attended what is now the Merici College and then joined the Brigidine Sisters in Sydney.  Working in primary schools, and for twenty six years as a principal, Jane served in Brisbane, Sydney and Coonamble.  Her interests in social justice took her to the University of California where she gained a Masters Degree in Education, exploring the question of how to teach people to care.  Dismayed by the government's treatment of asylum seekers at the time of the Tampa incident Jane worked with the Refugee Action Committee to gain justice for asylum seekers. She visited Baxter Detention Centre nearly one hundred times, networking and finding legal support for detainees. Jane continues to work with refugees particularly those still recovering from the trauma of detention.  She has been arrested twice for her peaceful protest action and was one of over fifty Christians who recently took their protest inside parliament house.

Felix Simba Machiridza is a social worker, human rights activist and performing artist, who came to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe.  He was granted  protection in 2011.  Since then, Felix has worked as Case Manager in the Humanitarian Settlement Services at MARSS; Case Manager in the Migration Support Program at the Australian Red Cross; and he currently works as a Gateway Engagement Officer at Barnardo’s.  He is passionate about social justice and promoting peace initiatives that contribute to making the world a better place for everyone.  In October, after almost 4 and half years of separation, Felix was reunited with his 3 children with the help of Canberra Refugee Support and other members of the Canberra community. He continues to be active in assisting asylum seekers and refugees through various community initiatives.

More information on our speakers can be found at our website

The Forum Moderator will be Genevieve Jacobs of ABC local radio. 

Venue: The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Blackall St Barton (Corner of Kings Ave).


Time and Date: 7.30 pm Wednesday 11 November

Cost: A donation of $5 is invited to cover the cost of room hire.   Supper is provided.

 Publicity: It would be very helpful if you were able to display a publicity leaflet on your notice boards.   You can download and print one by clicking A4 Flyer

 There is no need to book.  For information on the forum, Please contact Mike Cassidy on 0412 145 088 or email



Non-CES Events


1) Family and Friends of Drug Law Reform (FFDLR) Book Launch:  The Drug Law Wars: Twenty years of families fighting at the front.

This book commemorates 20 years of work by FFDLR - a must read for anyone trying to right a wrong, for families who suffer because of our drug laws, for politicians who have the capacity to make the system better, for AOD service providers, law enforcers, educators, researchers and the whole society that we may better understand the need to move away from punitive drug laws.


When: 12.30 pm Wednesday 18 November

Where: The reception room, Legislative Assembly, Civic Square, Canberra City

Launched by:  Senator Katy Gallagher

Refreshments provided. 

RSVP:  For catering purposed by 11 November to Marion on 02 6169 7678 or

Contributors include: Gabriele Bammer, Bill Bush, Desmond Manderson, Michael Moore, Mick Palmer, Alex Wodak.



2) The People's Climate March and festival

Midday Sunday 29 November at Parliament House.

On the eve of world leaders meeting in Paris for the United Nations climate summit, Australians will gather in our cities and walk alongside millions of people in hundreds of major cities around the world.  Will you Join hundreds of thousands of Australians marching for a transition to renewable energy, for secure job creation, for clean air, for a healthy environment and a safe climate.  For more information go to:


Heather McLaren