Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gordon Sloane RIP: A tribute from Donna Mulhearn

From Donna Mulhearn

Many of you would have heard in the news over the past week about the tragic death of my friend and colleague Gordon Sloane, who was part of our work in Iraq.

You might recall Gordon is well-known for his appearance on the first Australian series of Big Brother - he was hard to miss with his designer spikey hair style!

But we remember him more for his big HEART than his big hairstyle.

Gordon had a very strong sense of justice which led him to Iraq in 2003 to protest the war as part of the human shield movement. He was integral to the movements success as he was part of the team responsible for choosing the sites we woud protect, ensuring they met our criteria and preparing them for us to live at during the war.

He returned to Iraq in Novemer 2003 to be part of the "Our Home - Iraq' project to establish a shelter for street kids and orphans in Baghdad. Some of you will remember that he was the MC for the big fundraising dinner we had in Sydney before we left.

Gordon's energy, creativity and hard work played a major role in making that project a success.

He did everything from logisitcs such as finding the building, re-designing it, painting it and buying mattresses to the fun stuff such as playing with the kids, and buying them food and clothes and helping them learn to cook.

The boys loved Gordon, they loved to play sport with him, wrestle with him and generally just jump all over him.

And Gordon loved the boys.

Despite the challenges that faced us trying to run this project in a war-zone Gordon was determined to make sure those kids were safe.

He was also committed to documenting on film the situation for ordinary Iraqi's living in US occupied Baghdad and the horror of that.

Tomorrow (Thursday Sept 20) a funeral will be held in Sydney which will be celebration of Gordon's life.

It will focus on the passions of his life: music, design, humanitarian aid and justice. I will have the honour to tell the gathering about the work he did with the street kids in Iraq.

If any Sydney people would like to pay tribute to Gordon's life and work, I'd like to invite you to come along to the Sacred Heart Church,Avoca Street, Randwick at 2pm and join us in honouring Gordon's big heart

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

JUSTICE ADVOCATE CALLS FOR CHURCH ACTION ON CLEANERS RIGHTS


MEDIA STATEMENT


Tuesday September 4 2007


JUSTICE ADVOCATE CALLS FOR CHURCH ACTION ON CLEANERS RIGHTS


Catholic justice advocate, Tony Robertson has called on Church members and organizations to support the Queensland Cleaners Campaign for 7 Fair Solutions.


Mr Robertson made the appeal at the launch of the next stage of the Clean Start Fair Deal for Cleaners Campaign at the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union Building in South Brisbane this afternoon.


Mr Robertson spoke to union officials and members reminding them that the principles of Catholic Social Teachings supported their campaign for fair hours, fair workload, fair job security, fair treatment, fair leave conditions and fair rights at work.


“It is worth noting that the Bishop Kevin Saunders, Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council released a letter for the feast of St Joseph the Worker on May 1 2007 which opened with the harrowing account of the all too familiar work schedule of a cleaner.” Mr Robertson said.


Mr Robertson also pointed out that the heading of the letter published by the ACSJC, “Keeping Time Australian Families and the culture of overwork” is a reminder of the unacceptable situation in which many cleaners are exploited by unfair and unjust working conditions.


“Our faith and spirituality demand of us action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world as a constitutive dimension of our role as members of the Church in the modern world” said Mr Robertson.


Mr Robertson has called on Catholic Churches, Schools, Diocesan Centres, Hospitals, Welfare Centres and property managers to review the workload and conditions of the cleaners they employ to ensure they are faithful to the principles of Catholic Social Teachings.


Mr Robertson said “the Church must have her own house in order if she is to continue to speak with credible force on this issue”.

Contacts:

Tony Robertson 0417792509

robertsontony@yahoo.com