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Olympic Boycott Warning Made Outside Australian Parliament


Rally at Parliament House
Olympic Boycott Warning Made Outside Australian Parliament
By James Burke

During a rally supporting the over 22 million people who have quit from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an investigative coalition consisting of high profile members has called upon the Chinese communist regime to end the worst of its human rights abuses or it will support a global effort to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“In order to win the right to host the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese regime promised to improve human rights in China,” began the statement from the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China that was read during the rally held outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Thursday, May 24.

“However, recent reports from UNHRC and Amnesty International have clearly proven that the human rights situation in China is deteriorating; particular hard hit is the community of Falun Gong practitioners,” it continued.

The signatures of the statement included Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Edmund Rice Centre, the National Civic Council, Dr Noel Preston AM who is the former Director Uniting Care Centre for Social Justice and Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM, the former Human Rights Commissioner.

The statement demanded that if three points were not given a satisfactory response on or before August 8, the coalition “will support a public effort from around the globe to boycott the 2008 Olympics.”

The first of the three points in the statement was that the communist regime must: “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong immediately and release all practitioners incarcerated for their faith”; secondly, “stop the persecution of friends and supporters and defence lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners (eg, Gao Zhisheng, Li Hong)”; and thirdly, “allow unfettered inspections by independent investigators from the international community to confirm (1) and (2) above, and be exonerated from the continuing live organ harvesting allegations,” from living Falun Gong practitioners.

Another statement was read out from one of the coalition members, Peter Westmore, President of the National Civic Council, who repeated the coalition’s demands while also congratulating those Chinese who have resigned from the CCP.
“This rally marks the resignation of 22 million people from the Chinese Communist Party, an event unprecedented in the history of any Communist Party, and indeed, of any political party anywhere,” Mr Westmore stated.

“Yet in spite of the fact that the CCP has lost the confidence of so many of its members, and undoubtedly a far larger number of ordinary Chinese people who were never members of the Party, the regime stubbornly refuses to submit itself to the will of the people.”

Also supporting the rally, organized by the Free China Association and the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, was Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, the Australian Democrats’ Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. In her statement, the Senator said her party “believe that human rights and democratic representation should be fundamental and inviolable principles for every society. The Chinese Communist Party must understand that these principles are not secondary to the maintenance of absolute power.

“The mass resignation of Communist Party members sends the Chinese government a message that the Chinese citizenry are increasingly disillusioned with their totalitarian rulers,” she said.

“The Chinese Government must heed this message-respect human rights and allow true political opposition to flourish. I have no doubt that the growing weight of people power will ultimately win the day.

“The Democrats have consistently called for the Chinese Government to adhere to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and we offer our support and commendation now to those who are gathered to speak out for freedom in China,” the Senator’s statement said.

Also speaking at the rally was Anne Zhong from the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, Mr Fang Yuan, chairmen of the Chinese Labor Party and also the Secretary of the Coalition of Democratic Parties of China. James Scott and Megan Stout from Tears of the Oppressed, an interdenominational Christian human rights organisation addressed the rally as did two Falun Gong practitioners; Sandra Hattingh and Guy Harvey both from Sydney.



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And it isn’t a money making proposition. There is a reimbursement to cover the child’s expenses. This will help the family group live better. The children arrive with a lot of needs. They come having lost their family. That’s very traumatic for them, it’s like beginning again with a new set of rules, new food, toys, and schools. They are scared, and angry: there’s a whole baggage of emotions they bring with them.
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There’s nothing like home.

That’s the feeling four adults with disabilities have after moving into a house on Araluen Street, Fisher, that provides a comfortable environment they can call their own.

‘Araluen’ has two fully modified bathrooms and the latest equipment designed to support people with acquired brain injury. Despite the technology and modifications the house is bright and comfortable and its four residents-David, Craig, Paul, and George-have settled in.

The project is a joint initiative of Canberra’s Hartley Lifecare and TAS Housing, with Hartley Lifecare providing care and support, and TAS Housing providing tenancy management.

David, who is 47 years old, has had a grin on his face since moving into Araluen, after having lived in a nursing home for several years waiting for somewhere to go.

Carol and Brian Kay, whose son Paul lives at Araluen, say they’re impressed with Hartley Lifecare’s staff and relieved Paul is in an environment that suits his needs. Paul’s disability came from a mosquito born virus and after three attacks, from three to 18 months, he could no longer talk or live on his own. At age 32 he has passed year 10 maths and science, which is a ‘real achievement’, says Carol, and now walks with a walking frame. “At Araluen there’s lots of room and he can get outside,” says Carol.

Araluen residents are supported by a team of seven full-time staff (rostered) who have undergone extensive training to equip them to support people with an acquired brain injury. One resident’s disability is from a road accident and another from a stroke.

“Residential support programs like Araluen are very much needed in the ACT,” says Jennifer Mollett, Executive Director, Hartley Lifecare. “There are more people requiring accommodation than there are available funds and houses.”

Katy Gallagher, Minister for Disability and Community Services, officially opened Araluen Friday 15 May. “It’s an excellent example of government and non-government working together to deliver a good service response,” she said.

Hartley Lifecare provides quality accommodation, respite, and community services to those who have physical and complex disabilities-24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It has been making a difference in the ACT for more than 44 years.

Goodbye Songs for Howard


Shortis & Simpson
Shortis & Simpson’s political satire gives Howard a serve using songs, puppets, instruments and audience participation.

More one-sided than previous shows, “11 Year Itch” is a critique of the Howard years. Labor pollies including Beazley are teased and tousled and we watch Latham self explode into a shower of expletives while John Howard is served up on a caustic platter.

The show is a story of Howard’s political journey just prior to that election which Keating couldn’t loose. The audience watches Howard’s introduction of GST while tax cuts buy the votes of the aspirational middle class.

The spotlight falls on Howard’s failures with Reconciliation, Refugees, and the children-overboard deception, and lying about why we entered the war results in public servants being blamed for Ministers’ mistakes.

I enjoyed the song “yes – we (have no banana’s) caught no Osamas, we caught no Osamas today! We reconsider urban paranoia (given that Australia has never been attached by Alkieda), and the show finishes off with Hicks’ illegal incarceration, and peculiar release.

One deeply moving song gives a glimpse into the life of a caged asylum-seeker.

If you believe that “we should vote the bastard out!” then this show is for you.

Elena Greggor

Twin Cellists


Saturday 14th July 2007 sees the twin cellists visit Canberra for a single performance. Both rising stars on the international music scene, the twins have enjoyed global standing as cello soloists, and now as a duo. Winners of many awards and competitions, each of them has performed with Symphony Orchestras around Australia and overseas. To help celebrate the 50th birthday of Australia’s renowned composer, Elena Kats-Cherwin, the twins will perform the world premiere of her next work for two cellos during their National Tour. “Undeniable talent and charisma” – The Adelaide Advertiser.

Venue: Wesley Music Centre 20 National Circuit Forrest
Duration: 105 minutes including interval
Prices: Adult: $48:00
Child(15yrs & under): $18:00
Concession: $35:00
Additional Information: *Concession tickets available to Full-time students, Pensioners, Govt. Seniors, and U27 members. If purchasing concession priced tickets, proof of eligibility of concession must be presented to Canberra Ticketing staff upon collection of tickets or full price may be charged.
*Group tickets are not available online. To make a group booking, please phone (02) 6243 5709 during business hours or email groups@canberratheatre.org.au
Suit Children: Yes
Categories Classical Music
Performance Times Saturday, 14 July 2007 starting @ 7:30 PM

Tickets from Canberra Theatre



By Graham Jacobs
Australian motorsport fans can grab the opportunity of a lifetime by joining former two time V8 Supercar champion Marcos Ambrose on a fully escorted Nascar tour to the world’s biggest motorsport arena.

Strictly limited to just 30 people, the tour is designed to give fans a personal weekend of racing with Marcos and an exclusive “behind the scenes” look into the world of Nascar.

The trip will incorporate four action-packed nights of racing including Marcos’ Nascar Busch race, the famous Coca-Cola 600 Nascar nextel race and the World of Outlaws event at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway dirt track.

This seven-day tour offers all facets of the Nascar industry. A tour of the Roush racing museum will provide an in-depth look at the sport’s history. A private tour of the Wood Brother/JTG workshop conducted by Marcos Ambrose himself, will give guests all the answers they need on current-day Nascar.

There will be a private lunch and dinner with Marcos and the chance to ride in a Nascar at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at more than 260kph. The tour will provide a personal experience that fans will talk about for years to come.



Eddie''s huge celery
Ha ha!

New Mental Health Service for Carers


Carer Assist is a non-government organisation that is funded to provide information, advocacy, support and education to family members and friends of people with mental illness.

Mental health issues affect whole communities and support for families and carers is crucial. Carly Vesela, Carer Advocate says “Mental illness affects one in every five Australians and 62% of people with mental illness receive no assistance at all, or depend on support from carers and families. Therefore it is vital that as a community we provide care and support to those that care and support people with a mental illness”.

This new service is available in Queanbeyan. Carly Vesela, Carer Advocate, and Paula Howe, Team Leader, are available to see members of the public at their office in City Arcade, Monaro Street, Queanbeyan.

Members of the public can phone Carly on or call in to see her at the office. Assistance is available by phone on 02) 6232 9044. Carer Assist covers the whole of the Greater Southern Area but is a non-government organisation that has been chosen to provide this important service to family members and friends.

Carer Assist also runs group education and support in a program called Wellways and can put people in touch with Support Groups.
So, if you live in a family affected by mental health issues and have some questions you need answered, or need any other form of help, call Carly.

National Book Launch – Easter at Tobruk, by Michael O'Sullivan


Carindale, Qld – The award-winning novel Easter at Tobruk, written by Yass resident Michael O’Sullivan, will be launched in Canberra and surrounding areas from Wednesday, June 13.

Interactive Publications Director Dr David Reiter will also be attending to co-launch his children’s picture book Real Guns.

Launches will be held at Goulburn Library, from 6-8pm, Wednesday June 13; Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, from 6-8pm, Thursday, June 14; Yass Library, from 6:30 – 8:30pm, Friday, June 15; and in Queanbeyan, at Queanbeyan Council Library, from 10am, and Angus and Rovertson Bookshop, from 12pm, on Saturday, June 16.

While written for children, Reiter’s story, which was illustrated by Irish artist Patrick Murphy, confronts the topical issues of gun control and the effects of war on returning soldiers and their families.

Reiter was motivated by his memory of growing up in the US, where guns were, and still are, part of everyday life. One day he discovered his father’s hidden gun.

“It didn’t go off as I cradled it, but it was only good luck that it didn’t,” Reiter explained. “Many others aren’t so lucky. I had to write about that.”

O’Sullivan’s novel, which re-visits Australia’s involvement in the 1941 Battle of Tobruk, is a powerful story of contemporary and historical Australia.

The novel is set during two Easters: the chaotic 1941 of Tobruk, and a calmer Australian Easter fifty years later. A young man, reading his grandfather’s war diaries, experiences the tragedy of war first-hand.

“It seemed appropriate to bring these issues to the fore not only in the historical context of 1941, but also in a future setting,” O’Sullivan explains, “enabling the work to explore the effects of war not only on the participants, but also on their friends and families, and future generations.”

With declining numbers of war veterans to march each Anzac Day, the closest links to war history for many young Australians are now provided by diaries, letters and other personal papers. O’Sullivan seeks to communicate the experience of reading another’s personal thoughts and feelings.

Having published his previous novel, Secret Writing, IP is pleased to continue its relationship with O’Sullivan and proud to launch this important novel in his local area.

Communism in China is on the Way Out!!


Communism in China is on the Way Out!!


24 May 2007, Free China Association, Quit CCP Center and various community and NGO representatives will hold an event to celebrate the 22 million Chinese people who have courageously renounced membership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and/or its affiliated organizations . The high-profile defection of Sydney Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin two years ago was a well-known revealed case of the wave. In the biggest freedom movement since 1989, a daily number of 30,000 Chinese people have reportedly resigned from CPP. To date, over 21,828,897 people have publicly renounced their membership.

Although economic growth has boomed in China under the current political regime, it is well recognised that human rights, health standards and China’s environment continue to deteriorate with disastrous repercussions. Poverty and unemployment also remain high, while corruption is widespread and media censorship remains severe.

When 2008 Olympics gets closer, the human rights situations in China also draw increasing attentions. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture recently issued a report that expresses concerns about the detention, mistreatment and sentence of attorney Mr Gao Zhisheng due to his work as a human rights defender. Also recently, the former Canadian MP David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas along with other politicians around the world wrote to Olympic Committee to pressure Chinese Communist Party to follow the spirit of Olympics of peace and freedom, and immediately stop human rights abuses, including the recently-revealed organs harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.


Supporting 22 million withdrawals from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
11am, Thursday 24th May, 2007
Location: Federation Mall, Parliament House, Canberra

INQUIRIES: Elliott 0430-047-982

Free China Association is a non-government organization founded in March 2005 to enable Australians to contribute towards the freedom and human rights improvement in China. Free China supports peaceful, non-violent efforts to affect positive change in China. In the global quitting CCP campaign, we aim to provide a support network for the growing numbers of Chinese people who have bravely stepped forward to leave the CCP.

Singling Out Discrimination


Work/life balance is constantly in the headlines. How does one balance the responsibilities of being a partner, parent, and employee without suffering one’s personal health and overall well-being? Managers tend to have more empathy on employees who have children and may tend to have provisions to make life easier for those with a family (which also includes taking care of parents).

But with so much emphasis being placed on family-friendly workplaces, single people are feeling discriminated. During a focus group, a woman expressed her experience of indirect discrimination for being a single person. She felt that her peers relied on her and somewhat expected her to ‘stay back’ to complete a last minute deadlines or troubleshoot emergencies because she did not have ‘family’ obligations.

Singles (i.e., those with no serious partner and/or children) struggle to attain the same empathy or acknowledgement that they may ‘have a life’ as well as other responsibilities which may take priority over work. Dr. Mary Young, a work/family expert in Boston, stated that singles wanted to be able to leave work on time and not feel guilty, similar to their ‘working parents’ colleagues. Many singles feel that their needs are trivialised or dismissed; they want support for their needs outside of work, and want to feel that they have legitimate personal needs, just like those with families (Bruzzese, 1999)

Though many anti-discrimination policies include marital status, singles may still subtly feel increased pressure and work demands on them for managers may assume they have less responsibility at home. In her book “The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless”, Elinor Burkett highlights the changing demographics in the workplace between the growing numbers of mothers in the workforce as well as a new growing group: childless adults. She also points out the inequalities in tax breaks, workplace and government entitlements while providing insight to solutions in catering to the childless worker.

Syndicated columnist Dr. Julianne Malveaux quoted a worker at a Fortune 500 company which had received high marks for its family focus: “My co-workers say they need to leave early to pick their children up from school, and I’m expected to work an hour or so longer to accommodate them. But none of them would work late so that I could go to the opera or to the doctor. I’m all for juggling work and family, but we all have obligations and interests, and mine should count for as much as theirs do.”

Single people do have all the obligations that family people have except they have to tackle them all without a spouse to handle half the workload. Ask any single parent about that challenge. Additionally, just because a worker is single doesn’t mean there’s no partner or significant other sharing the worker’s life.

Organisations need to identify the demographics of their workforce to cater to their needs, including their marital and ‘family’ status. This will assist in developing programs for the single person which may increase the person’s loyalty to the organisation. For example, one way to cater to singles with regards to benefits is to offer a “cafeteria” style benefits programs, which allow each worker to choose an array of benefits that best suits his or her family or personal needs. A working mom might select employer-subsidised childcare, while a single worker might choose a sabbatical or paid tuition as a benefit (Malveaux, 2000).

The composition of the workforce is changing and will continue to change, especially as our workforce ages. Just as most parents chose to have children, singles are single by choice or because of a partner’s death, and they don’t think they should have to pay for their situation by doing more in the workplace.

Dr Dion Klein is a writer and speaker on corporate health issues and is the Managing Director of Healthy Worksites, a company specialising in corporate wellness and team building programs for the public and private sector. He can be contacted at drdion@healthyworksites.com.au or http://www.healthyworksites.com.

Travel No Excuse for Stopping Healthy Habits


One reason people use for not exercising is ‘no time’. Even while on holiday, people don’t seem to find time to exercise. Business people who travel extensively state there are no places to ‘work out’. But the reality is there are plenty of ways for today’s traveler to exercise and eat healthy while away from home. Here are a few ideas:

.Always pack a pair of walking shoes or runners. Even if you forget, comfortable flat-heeled shoes are good for walking.
.Pack a fitness travel pack which could include an ‘exercise band’, jump rope, goggles and swimsuit (if you want to swim), and walking/jogging shoes.
.Walk everywhere (that is safe).
.Check out if you hotel has a fitness room. Most 3-5 star hotels include that in their rate and will have a variety of cardiovascular equipment and a pin-loaded multi-exercise machine. If it doesn’t, find out where the nearest pool, health club, and bike rental shop is located to your accommodation. Enquire if the hotel has a relationship with the venue for discounted rates.
.If you are attending a conference, see if there are morning activities for delegates. Join in! It is a great way to meet people.
.Body-weight squats, pushups and sit-ups are easy in your hotel room.
.If you are traveling internationally, contact your airline and ask what meal options they offer. Many flights offer low-fat meals, vegetarian, and diabetic meals to name a few. (You usually get to be served ‘first’ before the rest of the plane.)
.You don’t have to finish everything on your plate when eating at a restaurant. Similar to air traveling, ask if there are options to replace a particular item on the meal. Today’s menu has a variety of healthy options.
.If you are staying in a place which has kitchen facilities and a refrigerator, go to the grocery store and buy the healthy staples. If really keen, cook your own meals. It will also save you money.
.If you happen to find yourself stranded at an airport, some international airports now have ‘airport gyms’. This trend has recently started in the United States (see www.airportgyms.com).

If you integrate exercise and healthy eating into your traveling plans whether business or pleasure, you will be able to maintain your levels of fitness as well as feel better throughout your journey.

Dr Dion Klein is the Managing Director of Healthy Worksites. He can be contacted at drdion@healthyworksites.com.au.

Albert Hall Future Meeting


On 24th May from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm at the Albert Hall there will be a public meeting to discuss future directions for the Albert Hall. A panel with local senators and MHRs, Chief Minister for the ACT John Stanhope, representatives of the Heritage Council, the Walter Burley Griffin Society and the Friends of the Albert Hall will answer questions from the audience.

This historic public meeting on the future of the Albert Hall is hosted by the National Trust of Australia (ACT) in conjunction with Friends of the Albert Hall and a range of community partners – Canberra City Rotary Club, Walter Burley Griffin Society, Yarralumla Residents’ Association, Manning Clark House, Canberra International Film Festival Inc, Artists Society of Canberra, The Embroiderers Guild (ACT) Inc, Monaro Folk Society, Earthly Delights Dance Academy and in association with Canberra Youth Music.

This will be a forum for discussion, ideas, and information from community groups, experts, federal parliamentarians and ACT officials about the Albert Hall precinct.

Refreshments will be provided and the Bush Dancers Display Group and the Bordonian Heritage Dancers will perform. Please try to attend if you can.

'Live in Canberra' attracting workers to ease the city's skills shortage


''Live in Canberra'' attracting skilled workers to the Capital
Most of Australia’s major cities, Canberra included, continue to face a serious skills shortage. Just over 12 months ago, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope launched the Live in Canberra campaign with the aim of ‘selling’ Canberra’s job opportunities and lifestyle benefits to families in south and southwest Sydney fed up with the rat race.

With a prestigious Public Relations Institute of Australia national Golden Target Award to its credit, the campaign has now expanded throughout Australia and overseas, in what has been a best practice example of government, business and community sectors working together to tackle the skills shortage head on.

Campaign director, Jeremy Lasek, said the Live in Canberra campaign had exceeded all expectations. “While it’s difficult to quantify, the team is aware of at least 50 families and individuals who have moved here as a result of the campaign, and this number continues to grow each week. It’s great news for the ACT,” Mr Lasek said.

Although Mr Lasek acknowledges that the Live in Canberra campaign alone will not solve the skills issue, significant progress has been made in a relatively short amount of time.

Since the campaign’s launch, the Live in Canberra team has responded to thousands of emails and phone calls from people seeking advice about making the move. Over 1500 information packs have been sent out and the Live in Canberra website has had over 40,000 visits with 25 per cent of these now coming from overseas. With seminars and marketing material, the team have assisted hundreds of employers in Canberra recruit skilled workers from interstate and overseas.

As well as two targeted campaigns in Sydney and the Illawarra region, Live in Canberra also attended ‘Country Week’ in Sydney and the ‘Australia Needs Skills’ expos in the UK and Ireland.

This recent push into the overseas market sparked a significant increase in the number of applicants to the ACT’s Skilled and Business Migration program. A comprehensive database of over 1000 people with the skills Canberra needs has been developed. In the past year, 110 skilled workers from overseas have had applications approved to work in the territory. A further 35 applications are pending.

As the competition between the states and territories to attract and retain skilled workers becomes more intense, Live in Canberra is full steam ahead for the upcoming year and currently recruiting new supporters for the next 12 months from our business sector.

“With IP Australia, Service One, IELTS, Forde Developments and the Australian Public Service Commission the latest new organisations to come on board with Live in Canberra, the campaign will continue to build on its strong relationships in the ACT community, ” Mr Lasek said.

For further information, phone 6205 3188 or visit www.liveincanberra.com.au