News in Brief

North Canberra Hospital faces midwife shortage

Eleven midwives have left the North Canberra Hospital, formerly known as Calvary, since the ACT government took over the facility, a Canberra Liberals health spokesperson has said.

Leanne Castley says the departures will have a “massive impact”, the ABC has reported.

“The [union] told us in the nursing and midwifery inquiry that even one staff member leaving would have a massive impact on the unit,” she said.

“The idea of taking over Calvary was to be able to spread the services, but obviously that hasn’t been working. What we’ve heard is the midwives are struggling… they’ve had enough and are exhausted.”

The Senate also voted against a bill that would have forced the ACT government to hold an inquiry into the compulsory acquisition.

Vinnies ‘relieved’ to see $10b housing bill pass Parliament

The St Vincent de Paul Society was ‘relieved’ to see the Government’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund Bill pass Parliament, with the addition of an extra $1 billion to be spent on public housing this year, the organisation said in a press release this week.

The society’s national president, Mark Gaetani, said the passage was a “perfectly reasonable outcome” that “should have been achieved sooner”.

“The beneficiaries would not only be a significant number of people on the social housing waitlist, including some who are homeless, but the builders who would have been able to better schedule their work and required materials,” he said.

Mr Gaetani said the society fully supports the objectives of the HAFF, which are to address the particular acute housing needs of certain groups and increase the funding of social and affordable housing.

“Australia is experiencing a tight rental market and low levels of social housing. In conjunction with a cost-of-living crisis, this means many in our community are suffering. There are over 122,000 Australians homeless on any given night,” he said.

“But more progress should have been made to date, as many Australians are desperately waiting for secure and affordable housing, which helps reduces poverty and improves health, education, employment, social participation, and social mobility.”

Aranda student reaches new heights

A student from St Vincent’s Primary School in Aranda has broken the state’s high jump record at the ACT track and field event.

Year 6 student, Emily, smashed the existing record with an incredible jump of 1.45m at just 11 years old.

She has secured a place in the ACT team for nationals, and is excited to prepare to represent the state in Tasmania.

New support for Youth Ministers

A new national body – the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Network – is set to foster and support leaders in Australia’s Catholic youth ministry community.

The Australian Network of Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinators has developed into the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Network at the invitation of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry.

The network will support youth ministry leaders and provide national leadership and opportunities for collaboration within a diverse, faith-filled culture of authentic, lived ministry with young people and the broader Church.

Australian delegation set to participate in Indigenous conference

Five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will attend an international Catholic gathering in Washington D.C. next week, along with indigenous people from the United States, Canada and New Zealand, the ACBC Media Blog has reported.

The Australian delegation will take part in the International Conference on Catholic Indigenous, which had originally been scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions that year.

Bishop Charles Gauci, John Lochowiak and Sabrina Stevens are among the Australians who will participate in the International Conference on Catholic Indigenous

World Day of Migrants and Refugees resource kit

Catholic communities across Australia are being encouraged to reflect on the Holy Family’s experience as migrants as the Church prepares to mark the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 24 September, the ACBC media blog has reported.

In his message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis encouraged people to carefully analyse and understand the complexity of the migration phenomenon, including understanding the different stages of migration and ensuring that people’s decision to migrate is truly free.

“Persecutions, wars, atmospheric phenomena and dire poverty are among the most visible causes of forced migrations today,” the Pope wrote.

“Migrants flee because of poverty, fear or desperation. Eliminating these causes and thus putting an end to forced migration calls for shared commitment on the part of all, in accordance with the responsibilities of each.”
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office kit to support parishes, schools and other Catholic communities can be accessed at