26 August 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

26 August 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we look at some inspirational new films, the death penalty, Australia Day protests, homelessness and much more.


1. Films are a powerful medium for social change and the Melbourne Film Festival wraps up for 2017 there are a couple of stand outs that the folks at The Conversation think we should all see. ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ – a powerful documentary about the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the amazing documentary by Paul Williams on Dr G Yunupingu’s life. Both are ones to look out for as they now make their way around the country.


2. There are now 2 local councils in Melbourne who have voted to not hold Australia Day ceremonies in 2018. The Yarra council voted last week and now the Darebin council has just voted 6-2 to move the ceremony to a different date. Councillor Trent McCarthy said, “When you know what January 26 represents to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community, and what it represents to those who have come to understand what it means, how can you possibly continue to have the national celebration on that day?”


3. Al Jazeera has published the new filmmaker by Eva Orner, ‘Chasing Asylum: Australia’s Offshore Detention Centres’. It’s a disturbing ride as asylum seekers and whistleblowers tell the story through their own eyes. “Featuring never-seen-before footage of appalling living conditions and shocking testimonies from detainees and whistle-blowers who worked in the camps, Chasing Asylum exposes the effect of Australia’s brutal policy for those seeking a safer home.”


4. Big progress for women’s rights in Lebanon this week as the government has voted to repeal laws which exempted a rapist from prosecution if he married the victim. Jordan and Tunisia have recently changed their laws too and it is hoped that more countries will follow as a result.


5. There’s something pretty cool about Tiny Homes! And now Australia’s first tiny homes project for homeless people has been approved in NSW. “The pilot project next to Gosford Hospital on the NSW Central Coast will consist of four tiny homes, a common lounge, a common laundry/workshop and community vegetable gardens.”


6. In the USA Florida is about to conduct its first execution in over 18 months. Amnesty International has issued a paper on these issues, Death in Florida, and they a little reminder about why the death penalty should be abolished for those who may need it!


7. There is a food crisis in northeast Nigeria and it is intensifying as the rainy season begins. The staff at Medecins Sans Frontieres are working hard to prevent outbreaks of cholera and to contain a hepatitis E outbreak. Photojournalist Sylvain Cherkaoui visited MSF projects across Borno State to document the food crisis.


8. The People vs Arctic Oil is asking people to contribute their ideas for their witness statement as they head to court to defend the Arctic against the Norwegian government who is planning to open a new oil frontier for the first time in 20 years. You can add your comments on their page.


9. The ABC has shared the wonderful book ‘Dust Echoes’ with us all. “Dust Echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated Dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land, telling stories of love, loyalty, duty to country and Aboriginal custom and law.” You can watch it here.


10. Angela Luna has designed a reflective reversible jacket that also doubles as a tent! It was designed specifically for humanitarian purposes and funded through a successful crowd funding campaign. Check out her company – ADIFF – “Fashion or any other industry can easily become a movement for change. It may not be able to solve the crisis itself, but it sure can make a difference”.


Thanks for your company this week. See you next time!