Monthly Archives

June 2020

INDIGENOUS APPROACH TO POLICING MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN REMOTE WA

By Australian Newsletter

Policing in remote indigenous communities has a troubled history, but one police station is doing things differently.  Warakurna is the only police station entirely run by indigenous officers, and it features in the new documentary Our Law.  Screening as part of the Sydney Film Festival, it shows the difference that a respectful approach to policing can make, following two indigenous Noongar police officers who are working hard to earn the trust and respect of the local community.  Producer Taryne Laffar said, “Going into Indigenous communities with an understanding that there is a language, and there is a culture that exists in different parts of the country, helps create mutual respect and understanding between both sides of law and culture.”

Warakurna’s police are the first to use approaches such as learning the local indigenous language, and finding out how Australian law intersects with Aboriginal lore and traditions.  The work being done at Warakurna is ground-breaking.  The two police officers, Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder and Sergeant Wendy Kelly, have spent years building trust with the community.  Taryne said when law enforcement authorities work to form relationships with people, and not just ‘catch criminals’, “it allows the opportunity to connect more easily with the majority of people in those places.  And that in effect will help you do your job properly.”

The release of Our Law has also unintentionally come at the same time as global conversations about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA, which Taryne hopes will allow it to start conversations about local attitudes toward race.  “There’s definitely some media around deaths in custody being brought to light in the mainstream,” said Taryne.  “The timing is traumatic, and terrible, and the fact that these conversations are happening because of the death of someone is not something you’d ever want.  But we’re grateful to be able to share in a different way of doing business, and to show people that there are solutions to bridging the gap.”

The Our Law documentary also comes not long after the recent apology issued to Indigenous people by West Australia’s Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, on behalf of the WA Police Force, acknowledging the mistakes and abuse committed by law enforcement in the past, that have contributed to the traumatic history of indigenous communities in remote Australian.

Source: Hope 103.2

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SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LEADERS NOT SWAYED BY PRO-ABORTIONISTS

By Australian Newsletter

In response to many letters requesting the Government not use the Covid 19 emergency to change abortion laws, South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer wrote: “The current legislation on abortion was not specifically changed by the Covid-19 Emergency Response Act.  Accordingly, the legislation governing pregnancy terminations remains as agreed by Parliament prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The decision to not change the legislation on abortion was influenced by the fact that there was no evidence that this health service had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”  This is clear evidence that the authorities considered, but decided against, changing the SA abortion laws under the Covid-19 Emergency Powers.  They are to be commended for this.

It is also a great encouragement for the hundreds who wrote asking that the emergency powers to change the SA emergency laws be not used.  There is no doubt that this response was influential in the decision to not change the laws.  There is also no doubt that the many prayers that were offered were answered.  It remains true that the effective fervent prayers of the righteous have much effect (James 5:16).  But the abortion proliferators are not done.  Last week a new “Coalition” was again calling for loosening of medical abortion laws under the pretext of the Covid-19 including the removal of the need for ultrasounds to assess the stage of the pregnancy.  Let us pray that the coming abortion-to-birth bill will be defeated!

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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AUTISTIC KIDS DRASTICALLY OVER-REPRESENTED IN TRANSGENDER STATISTICS

By Australian Newsletter

Professor Tony Attwood, a Brisbane psychologist, has called for a “searching inquiry into the dramatic overrepresentation of teenagers with autism in gender clinics.”  Attwood is the author of a guide known globally as the “Asperger’s bible”.  He is concerned about the dramatic rise in the number of autistic children seeking to transition.  He said it is time to move beyond politics and assess the psychological outcomes.  “Once they’ve changed gender, they still have autism and when (gender) transition doesn’t solve their problems they think, oh no, that was the only option I had, what’s the point of life?” he said.  “One of the characteristics of autism is what we call a single-focused mind, and sometimes the issue of gender dysphoria (discomfort with one’s body) and changing gender becomes a special interest with a phenomenal knowledge and determination.”

The figures are staggering when it comes to the high number of children with autism seeking to transition.  In the country’s busiest youth gender clinic, at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, 45% of 383 patients, 275 of them born female with an average age just under 14, showed mild to severe autism features on a screening test.  Just under 50% of a group of 104 patients at the Perth Children’s Hospital gender clinic, with an average age of almost 15, and 76% of them born girls, showed mild to severe autism features.  Australia’s other large specialist clinic, at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, would not comment on the autism issue, and told a member of the public last year it kept no data on how many biological girls given puberty blocker drugs were autistic.

Radical gender activists continue to push their agenda without regard for evidence-based studies or the science beyond someone’s feelings.  They use intimidation tactics to discourage opposition or critical analysis. Multiple autism clinicians and advocacy groups refused to talk on the record about autism in gender clinics for fear of being branded “transphobic” and hauled before professional bodies and health regulators.  Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said Attwood’s claims are very disturbing.  “Autism is clearly not resolved with surgery or potentially harmful medications.  Political ideology must be put aside for the sake of these vulnerable young people.  Vigorous research and thorough studies must be undertaken before these clinics can be permitted to proceed with these radical transgender treatments.”

Source: Binary

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QUEENSLAND LNP TO REVIEW STATE’S ABORTION LAWS IF ELECTED

By Australian Newsletter

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed the Queensland LNP (Liberal/National Party) announcement that, if elected, they will review the state’s recently changed abortion laws.  A LNP spokesperson flagged that provisions on abortion coercion, gestational limits and counselling requirements were the main targets for a review.  “The ACL applauds the LNP for taking a strong stance to support women and unborn children,” ACL Queensland director Wendy Francis said.  “Women are the second victim of the current heartless abortion laws.  Women have no protection when they are under coercion to abort their child.

“Vulnerable women need maximum support and information given to them when they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy.  Railroading them on a one-way fast-track to abortion is not pro-choice, nor does it respect the long-term impact of that choice.  Women and indeed all Queensland voters have a clear choice at the October election, with Labor’s controversial architect of the scheme, Jackie Trad, vowing to oppose any rollback of the radical new abortion laws.”

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES A SECOND LEGAL INJECTING ROOM

By Australian Newsletter

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) says all Victorians should be alarmed by the Andrews government launching a second legal injecting room near Victoria Market.  “The Andrews government broke a pre-election promise by establishing the North Richmond injecting room, and it has been an abject failure of public policy,” ACL Victoria spokesperson Jasmine Yuen said, “Just as ACL previously warned, drugs have become more prevalent near the injecting room, creating a hotspot for drug dealers.  Little wonder there is public outcry and resident protests.  Yet the Premier continues to foist these social experiments on Melburnians for political purposes.  Victorians are entitled to ask, what’s stopping more injecting rooms across the state?”

“The ACL calls upon the Andrews government to abandon this proposal and close the failed North Richmond injecting room experiment.  The government should instead send the clear message that illicit drugs are never safe, make drug rehabilitation mandatory for addicts and strongly police street selling.”

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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ANYONE CAN BE A WOMAN ACCORDING TO AUSTRALIA’S TOP SCIENCE BODY

By Australian Newsletter

The Australian Academy of Science, whose president John Shine is seizing on COVID-19 to campaign for accurate science against “made-up stuff”, has quietly adopted a definition of a woman as “anyone who identifies as a woman”.  The academy’s formula includes transgender people whose “personal gender identity does not correspond with sex assigned at birth” and who remain biological males.  Earlier this month, the academy joined a host of expert bodies in warning Science Minister Karen Andrews that the domestic and childcare burden of dealing with COVID-19 could undo “hard-won gains” made by women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The expert advice points out women are already underrepresented in these fields and touts the academy’s 10-year “Women in STEM” plan to achieve “gender equity” by inspiring girls to study these disciplines.  A glossary at the end of the taxpayer-funded report redefines what it means to be a girl or woman.  Evolutionary biologist Madeleine Beekman, a professor at the University of Sydney, said she doubted her female colleagues would be aware of this redefinition.  “I find it surprising that it comes from the academy of science, which should be based on science and not on some social, political agenda so, I’m shocked,” she said.  “If you’re going to change the definition of a woman to something that’s no longer based on a biological fact, what are you doing?”

A spokesman for the academy said the definition was in line with the federal Sex Discrimination Act and treaties signed by Australia that “promote equality between women and men”.  Chief Scientist Alan Finkel backed the academy, saying he supported “an inclusive culture within science”.  Ms Andrews, who trained as an engineer, would not be drawn on whether she agreed with the definition, but said the economy needed “the biggest talent pool possible to help solve challenges and capitalise on opportunities”.  Professor Beekman said the academy’s redefinition undermined attempts to understand the role of biology in the career obstacles faced by women, such as child-bearing, default caring, and men wanting to pursue careers involving extreme competition.

“Unless we understand the underrepresentation of women, we can’t do anything about it.” Beekman said.  She said the position taken by the academy was “potentially damaging” to confidence in science, and an unacceptable risk when scientific inquiry was under attack.  She said there was growing realisation that biological sex was a key variable in health and medical treatment, as shown by the higher male mortality rate from COVID-19.  “What this definition of a woman is saying is, biology doesn’t matter, you can be whatever you choose.  “I’m teaching 3rd year evolutionary biology and animal behaviour, and I always make this point, why would you assume that selective pressures that have led to differences in males and females in other organisms don’t apply to us?

Professor Shine, a molecular biologist who ran Sydney’s Garvan medical research institute, is in the middle of a public education campaign, pointing out that challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change cannot be overcome without scientific understanding.  “The only way out for humanity is to apply science, to apply it in a sensible way, to make sure it’s facts, not just made-up stuff,” he says.  He says social media can be a problem because “it gives opportunity for various small groups with particular biases or agendas to cherry pick bits of information and pretend they’re talking real science”.  There are “33 gender identities”, according to the top result for a Google search.

Victorians are able to change their official birth sex once a year by paying $110.50 and filling in an online declaration.  Victorian Equality Minister Martin Foley argues that doing away with the requirement for sex-reassignment surgery allows transgender people to have “their true self” on birth certificates.  In 2013, federal human rights law was changed to allow people to make complaints of discrimination on the basis of their “gender identity”, regardless of their biological sex.  Labor’s then attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said at the time he was satisfied the definition of gender identity was “meaningful” but Christians and radical feminists warned it was subjective and would weaken the rights and protections enjoyed by women on the basis of their biological sex.

Political scientist Sheila Jeffreys, in arguing against Labor’s bill said “Persons who wish to express a gender identity not associated with their biological sex need to be accommodated in ways that protect them, but do not conflict with the rights of women.”  The change in the Sex Discrimination Act flowed through into federal public service guidelines, and “gender identity” has come to overshadow biological sex across many institutions from universities and schools to sporting organisations and big corporations.  Some women’s groups argue that the privacy and safety of women and girls in toilets, change rooms and dormitories are put at risk by the injection of a nebulous gender identity into laws and policies.  Trans activists reject this as scaremongering.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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ABORTION CLINIC PEDDLES FAKE NEWS

By Australian Newsletter

Describing people who pray outside abortion clinics as ‘picketers’ is fake news, said Peter Abetz, WA State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.  He was responding to claims made by a spokeswoman from an abortion clinic.  “The police permit that allows the vigil requires participants to be 4 metres from the edge of the driveway that leads into the abortion clinic car park,” Mr Abetz said.  “Misrepresenting what the prayer vigil groups do is part of the abortion industry’s propaganda campaign to pressure the state government to introduce their unnecessary exclusion zone legislation.”  “In WA, vegan activists can demonstrate outside restaurants and intimidate diners and workers without a permit. Yet activists want to ban groups praying outside abortion clinics.

As to the claim that police had been called to the clinic, Mr Abetz said the most recent call to police from an abortion clinic that he was aware of, arose in dubious circumstances.  An abortion clinic staff member allegedly stopped their car in the driveway of the clinic, calling out to one of the participants and asked for an information pack.  The group makes these packs available to anyone on request.  A group member walked up to the staff member’s car and gave them the pack.  “The clinic then allegedly called police on the basis that the vigil participant had violated the 4-metre exclusion zone!  The Australian Christian Lobby opposes exclusion zones around clinics as there is no evidence for their necessity.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA COULD FACE TRIALS OVER GEORGE PELL’S CONVICTION

By Australian Newsletter

Journalists and media organisations could face a number of trials over contempt charges for alleged reporting on Cardinal George Pell’s conviction, with the first trial tentatively scheduled for November.  Cardinal Pell was convicted by a jury in the Victorian County Court in December 2018 of child sexual abuse charges while the subject of a suppression order.  Cardinal Pell was acquitted by the High Court earlier this year.  The suppression orders were in place because of a pending second trial which did not proceed, allowing the outcome to be reported in February 2019.  But a number of media outlets allegedly published stories referring to the case by including information about the conviction of a high-profile Australian and referenced court orders.

Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kerri Judd QC has charged 11 corporations and 19 individuals with contempt over the publications.  Charges have already been dropped against five individuals and one media outlet.  Barrister Matt Collins QC, who is representing all 30 accused it was likely multiple trials would be sought.  All would be heard by a judge alone.  Dr Collins said his clients were anxious for the case to be resolved.  If convicted, organisations face significant fines while individuals face up to five years in prison.  Dr Collins previously described the charges as “serious as it gets” said guilty findings could have a “chilling effect” on open justice.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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