Rights and Social Justice in Australia

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LIFE TO THE FULL:  Rights and Social Justice in Australia

Edited by James Franklin
Foreword by Archbishop Philip Wilson (President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)


ISBN: 978-1-921421-00-6

Humans are made in God's image, Christians believe. As beings of immense value, they possess objective worth and inalienable rights. Since society is made for humans, economic and political arrangements must respect human rights, from the right to life to the rights to education, association and free expression. In this collection, experts consider the full range of rights that go to make up a free society fit for a full human life. They apply to current Australian conditions the insights of Catholic social thinking, a perspective both older than the competing ideologies of socialism and capitalism and more in accordance with the real world of the new century.

The background to this book

Connor Court Publishing believes that the Christian Social Teachings of the Church are almost forgotten or not presented in its entirety these days in the Australian Context. Therefore, Connor Court Publishing approached people to write a short chapter in the forthcoming book: Life to the Full: Rights and Social Justice in Australia. Sydney philosopher and author James Franklin was appointed Editor. The 18 chapters are from RIGHTS OF THE SOCIAL CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO as expressed in Michael Fogarty’s book Christian Democracy. The principles are also found in the International Union of Social Studies drafted by National Catholic Welfare Conference in 1947. These 18 chapters will present the total picture of Christian Social Teachings in the Australian Context.


1. The right to life

James Franklin Associate Professor, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW. Author of: Catholic Values and Australian Realities, Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia and The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal

2. The right to serve and worship God in public and private

John Sharpe co-founded IHS Press, a publisher dedicated exclusively to the social teachings of the Catholic Church. He has re-issued, edited, and annotated works of many of the English writers of the twentieth-century Catholic renaissance, including Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, Arthur Penty, and Fr. Vincent McNabb. Others of his editorial works include annotated editions of Amintore Fanfani's Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism and Fr. Heinrich Pesch's Ethics and the National Economy.

3. The right to religious formation

Richard Rymarz has published widely in religious education, theology and on contemporary Catholic culture. He holds the Kule Chair in Catholic Religious Education at St Joseph’s College, University of Alberta

4. The right to personal liberty under just law

Michael Casey is Private Secretary to Dr. George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney as well as Permanent Fellow, John Paul II Institute, Melbourne.

5. The right to the equal protection of just law regardless of sex, nationality, colour or creed

Sam Gregg is Director of Research at the Acton Institute, an Adjunct Professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, a consultant for Oxford Analytica Ltd, and general editor of the Lexington Book Series Studies in Ethics and Economics.

6. The right to freedom of expression

Damian Grace is Associate Professor, Postgraduate Coordinator, School of Philosophy. The University of New South Wales

7. The right to choose and freely maintain a state of life, married or single, lay or religious

Marita Winters is the Director of the Catholic Enquiry Centre for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Sydney.

8. The right to education

Anthony Cleary - MRE, MEDL, BED is the Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation for the Catholic Education Office, Sydney. Prior to this appointment in 2006 Anthony was the Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (Sydney), which coordinates the religious instruction of some 32,000 Catholic students attending public schools. In this role, Anthony was the General Editor of a catechetical series – Christ Our Light and Life, which has sold internationally.

9. The right to petition government for the redress of grievances

Paul Russell is the Senior Officer for the Office for Family and Life in the Archdiocese of Adelaide. He is a member of the Board of Management of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute.

10. The right to a nationality

Andrew Hamilton sj is the consulting editor for Eureka Street. He also teaches at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne.

11. The right to have access to the means of livelihood, by migration when necessary

Brenda Hubber is the Executive Officer of the Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office

12. The right of association and peaceful assembly

Michael Hogan retired in 1997 from the Department of Government at the University of Sydney after 20 years of teaching. He continues there as an Honorary Associate. He edited and published collections of the annual Social Justice Statements of the Australian Catholic Bishops, 1940-1966, Justice Now! (1990), and of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, 1973-1987, Option for the Poor (1992). In recent years he has written on aspects of New South Wales politics for the celebration of the sesquicentenary of responsible government in that State in 2006. His best known book is probably The Sectarian Strand. Religion in Australian History (1987).

13. The right to work and choose one’s occupation

Ian Blandthorn is National Assistant Secretary of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association.

14. The right to personal ownership, use and disposal of property subject to the right of others

Brian Coman a former research biologist, describes himself as a refugee from the phantasms of science’. In his retirement he has taken up studies in the humanities and was recently awarded his second PhD. Brian lectures at Latrobe University, Bendigo.

15. The right to a living wage

Garrick Small is Senior Lecturer, School of the Built Environment Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of the Built Environment, University of Technology, Sydney.

16. The right to collective bargaining

Keith Harvey is an employee of the Australian Services Union. He has worked in the Australian trade union movement in a variety of roles for nearly 35 years, but particularly in recent times as an Industrial Officer and is familiar with Australian industrial law and practice, particularly as it applies to industrial awards and collective bargaining. Keith takes a close interest in labor history and the interplay between catholic social teaching and industrial relations. Keith is also interested in vocational education and training for workers and represents unions on a number of organisations promoting skill development. Keith is married with three children and is a parishioner at Holy Family Church, Mt Waverley in Victoria.”

17. The right to associate by industries and professional to obtain economic justice

Henrik Jurisevic- is a civil engineer

18. The right to assistance from society, if necessary from the State, in distress of persons or family

Catherine Althaus (ph.d Griffith) is from the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University

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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 18 August, 2007.

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