Civil Society Religion And The Rule Of Law

The Right Reverend Peter Hollingworth delivered a speech at Victoria University College of Law and Justice. September 10, as part of a four-part series that tapped into the extensive experience of prominent. Australians who served as Governors General of Australia.

Dr Hollingworth put in perspective many of the positive roles. That churches and other civil societies institutions can play and the challenges they face. He was not afraid to speak out about the harm that religion can do.

He expressed his deep concern that welfare organizations would be squeeze by marketization and the need for governments, which should cause us to pause and consider our options.

The full speech of Dr Hollingworth can be found here. Tony Nicholson, executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence delivered this thanks speech.

The Community Welfare Sector’s Law View

Peter provided much food for thought. He covered King John and Magna Carta, as well as the challenges faced by civil society organisations in modern society. His discussion on civil society is something I am particularly interest in.

As the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s current executive director, I feel it appropriate to pay tribute to Peter for his extraordinary contributions to the community welfare sector. He was with us for 25 years, 10 of which were in the current position. As I believe he was, he was a formative figure for us as modern civil society organisations.

Peter was known for his unflinching advocacy for the poor during those years and open to political engagement when necessary. He wrote an open letter to Bob Hawke in 1984, citing the poverty of nearly one million children. The Dear Bob famous letter was publish on The Age’s front page and became a catalyst for a national awareness campaign.

It is important to note, and it is often overlook in the telling this story, that the campaign result in significant improvements in federal government policies, which lifted hundreds of thousands of families from poverty under the Hawke government.

Peter was a pioneer in the community sector and a visionary. He understood, as he once stated. You cannot just shout from the rooftops. You have to actually go into the room and try to influence those who make decisions.

Huge Footprint

It’s a huge footprint that we try to follow at the Brotherhood. Sometimes I wish we as a sector did more calibrated advocacy and less hand-wringing.

Peter’s timely reminder of the tensions between the work of the community sector and government requirements, and the use of competition policy to contract for public-funded services to the poor and vulnerable is timely. These combined factors are driving the consolidation of community welfare organisations into massive welfare businesses that have little to differentiate themselves from large, profit-oriented corporations.

Peter is absolutely right when he states that the main task ahead of us is to build new civil partnerships in order to achieve the common good of the rule of law

To be honest, I am very concerned about the future prospects of the community welfare sector. It is increasingly seen as an extension of government rather than an extension to the community by those in government. It is even more alarming that community welfare organizations are increasingly. Viewed as an extension and bureaucrats of government rather than an extension to the community.

Hearing Peter remind us tonight about the crucial role of these organizations as intermediaries between citizens. Their governments and their governments has only increased my concern.

We need to re-discover Burkean ideals for a knitted-together civil society, with the appropriate. Mediating mechanisms, in order to meet the complex social problems of the 21st Century.