Equal Opportunity

In a new development in Victoria, the Victorian Govt has passed legislation which gives more power to the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Religious bodies and schools will need to now prove why it is reasonably necessary for them to discriminate. The bodies will need to prove to the commission that there is an inherent requirement of the job for employees to be of that faith, or not be homosexual etc. The Commission can also launch an investigation into discrimination even when no complaint has been received. Saltshakers says this would apply to maths teachers for instance, on the basis that the government thinks a maths teacher does not have to be Christian or heterosexual. The Liberal Party in Victoria has promised to repeal the legislation if they are elected in November.

See: http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2194:christians-welcome-baillieu-commitment-to-religious-freedom&catid=97:news-media-releases&Itemid=161

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Church Survey

The National Church Life Survey has released a number of new papers. Innovation in churches: Australian attender attitudes in new initiatives, the role of innovation in church and health, innovation needed: Challenges to religious vitality. To see these papers and other research papers on church trends and attitudes in Australia visit: http://www.ncls.org.au/default.aspx?sitemapid=6407

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010

Effective Boards

Christian Management Australia has developed a set of governance principles and standards that is designed to be used by Christian church or school organisations. The 24 page booklet contains 16 principals and 111 standards. It is available free for Christian boards.

For info and to order the booklet: http://www.governance.org.au/

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010

Marriage Revolution

Warwick Marsh from the Fatherhood Foundation has developed a DVD on the worldwide marriage movement that shows the benefit of marriage to families, individuals and society. For more:http://www.marriagerevolution.org.au/

There is also info that has been developed by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education: http://www.smartmarriages.com/index.html

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Cyber Safety

An additional 17 schools have been added to the Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-safety bringing the total number of schools to 30. The YAG has been expanded to include primary school students. IN Tasmania the Brighton Primary School and Rose Bay High School are taking part. In WA, Como Secondary School, Donnybrook District High School, John XXIII College, Narembeen District High School.

For more: http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2010/033

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Youth Strategy

The National Youth Week was held last week with activities across the country. On 14 April, 201 the Minister of Youth Kate Ellis launched the National Strategy for Young Australians.

Among its findings: 1 in 4 people aged between 16-24 are living with a mental disorder, 1 in 3 experience moderate to high levels of psychological distress.

To read executive Summary: http://www.youth.gov.au/Documents/ExecSumm.pdf

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Youth Innovation

Youth aged 12-24 with innovative ideas which they believe may encourage other young people to engage in their community and promotes a positive image for young people are invited to enter the Prime Minister’s Australian Youth Forum Challenge. Winners will be eligible for up to $15,000 to put their ideas into action. The challenge closes 11 May 2010.

For more info: http://www.youth.gov.au/ayf/pages/YouthForumChallenge.htm

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Youth-led Convention

Organisations that are run by young people are invited to participate in a youth convention to be held mid year in Canberra. For more: http://www.youth.gov.au/convention.html

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Youth Support

The Fed Govt has provided an additional $700,000 in funding under the Youth Development and Support Program. It is designed to provide financial support to non-government, not for profit organisations to deliver services to young Australians. For more: http://www.youth.gov.au/ydsp.html

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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Toys R Us

Toys R Us are selling the Ouija Board as a fun mysterious game, where the board glows in the dark. Saltshakers says the game is dangerous because it is connected to the occult. An Ouija board is used by people trying to communicate with spirits (usually those of dead people).The board comes with a planchette, a heart-shaped piece of wood which is said to move by itself. Saltshakers says it channels the spirits and encourages the participant to communicate with the dead.

For more on the game: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266493

Action: Saltshakers asks people to write to Toys R Us and ask them not to stock Ouija boards. Ask them to protect vulnerable children by removing it from sale. Address:

Customer Support

Toys ‘R’ Us

Locked Bag 7

Regents Park

NSW 2143

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010
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