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Edition 128 / September 2013
Pat Walker says,
Apart from my own
four children, Ben's
very existence is my
See page 5. Photo
courtesy of Priscilla
"Our people, our stories"
This month Aurora highlights Father's Day and Child Protection
Week, both of which fall in September. There's an irony in the
fact that a society that places great emphasis on parenthood,
and in which some people go to enormous lengths to become
parents, also has a disturbingly high rate of child abuse:
physical, psychological and sexual. I acknowledge that some
members of the Church community have offended significantly
in the latter area.
Hetty Johnston, founder of Bravehearts and a woman with a
distressing story to tell, has written for Aurora, as has Francis
Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council. White
Balloon Day is on 6 September and white balloons will be
evident in the Church community, witnessing to the fact that
Catholic parishes and schools and CatholicCare are committed
to the safety and wellbeing of children.
Our cover story of veteran foster carer Pat Walker underscores
the significant need for generous souls willing to care for
children to whom they have not given birth. No doubt Pat's
mixture of true grit and joie de vivre is a great gift to the children
she has fostered, as well as to her birth children.
Acclaimed musician Bob Corbett shares his story of the way
in which he honours his late father, Paul, as well as the joy he
derives from his children, Matilda and Marley. Andrew King
provides research-based evidence for something I think most
of us know instinctively: "When a father is 'just playing' with his
children, he is nurturing their development.... Fathers instill a
sense of confidence to explore within relationships."
Earlier this year I heard an interview with the author of War
Horse, Michael Morpurgo. He said, "If you lose your childhood,
you're probably lost as a person." This is a salutary reminder of
the need to do all we can, as individuals and as a community, to
honour the childhood of the children we encounter.
As the election draws near, there is no shortage of commentary
and speculation. Regular writer Michael Elphick examines
the election from the standpoint of Australia's laws around
compulsory voting. In addition to his astute observations,
I'm reminded that universal suffrage is a relatively recent
phenomenon, with New Zealand the first nation to allow men
and women to vote, in 1893. The Colony of South Australia
followed suit in 1894 and the Commonwealth of Australia in
19 02. In Mary Poppins, Mrs Banks stridently encourages her
sister suffragettes: "Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons
again!" While deciding for whom to vote can be challenging,
and voting itself can be onerous, it is a right, a duty and a
Mrs Irene Henderson of Wingham and Mrs L Fitzgerald of
Warners Bay were the fortunate winners of copies of Stacey
Garrison Graham and Lucy Boulton Smith's charming children's
book, A Bush Jamboree.
TRACEY EDSTEIN -- Editor
Fostering love and hope 5
Child Protection Week
Making Australia safe
Seasons of Grace
WYD Rio 2013
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