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Tomorrow is Australia Day, 26 January. It marks the 233rd anniversary of British settlement on our shores.

It used to be just another summer public holiday. We could have a family barbie, go to the beach, or generally hang out with friends – waving our Aussie flags!

Local councils would hold citizenship ceremonies where those who had sought refuge in our wide brown land could declare their allegiance to our nation and its laws.

But in recent times there’s been a change.

Indigenous activists are calling it “Invasion Day”. They say we should wear black armbands instead of celebrating. Several local councils have said they no longer want to hold citizenship ceremonies on this “day of mourning”.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has gone further, cancelling Melbourne’s Australia Day parade indefinitely.

It can’t be because of COVID. As Bella d’Abrera noted on 19 January,

… in June last year, (Premier Andrews) allowed thousands of protesters to march through the streets of Melbourne for the Black Lives Matter movement. He allowed thousands of people to gather at the MCG to watch the Boxing Day Test. Andrews has even given permission for crowds mill around the streets of Melbourne for the Lunar New Year celebrations. And although he has well and truly canned the parade, he’s still letting Melbourne City Council hold an “Invasion Day” Dawn Service on January 26…

This shows that it was never about changing the date of Australia Day, it was about cancelling the celebration of Australia altogether.

So when I read a recent column by author and education adviser Dr Kevin Donnelly AM, it was like a breath of fresh air.

Below are some of his wise words:

The arrival of the First Fleet and the establishment of a British penal colony mark the beginning of European settlement and a time of dispossession and violence for Aboriginal people.

At the same time, it is vital to appreciate that, along with the 11 ships, 730 convicts and 250 free settlers that arrived in what is now Sydney, were two books that have underpinned Australia’s evolution from a convict settlement to one of the world’s leading liberal, democratic and free societies…

The second book that arrived with the First Fleet was the Bible. Central to the Bible is the belief that, as all are made in God’s image, all have the inherent right to life, liberty and freedom. Concepts like social justice and a commitment to the common good and the expression to love thy neighbour as thyself are biblical in origin…

Such was the force of Christianity when the First Fleet arrived and the penal colony established that the campaign in England undertaken by the Christian William Wilberforce eventually led to the abolition of slavery across the British Empire, including the colony of New South Wales

Such is the success of Australia’s story that, over the years, millions of people from around the world have migrated to these shores to find security and freedom and a peaceful way of life.

And whatever our background, that’s certainly worth celebrating!

Peter Downie - National Director

FamilyVoice Australia

 

 

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The quest to being heard on national media has been challenging. But our prayers are being answered.

FamilyVoice Australia now has a regular segment on the national radio program with Neil Johnson at Vision Christian radio. Each week Greg Bondar, spokesman for FamilyVoice, shares up to date issues on abortion, conversion therapy, euthanasia, religious freedom and a host of current ethical and moral research topics.

Greg’s Podcasts are now available each week. 

There is also a link to a playlist on their podcast platform which includes Greg’s weekly segments with Neil. This playlist will update automatically as new podcasts are uploaded each week.

 

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There have been some dramatic events in the United States this year. But you may have missed one of them.

The priorities of Joe Biden’s presidency became clearer on New Year’s Day when Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the US House of Representatives, proposed new rules for the conduct of the House.

The new rules narrowly passed along party lines on 4 January. One requires “gender-neutral language” in the official House rules document.

From now on, terms such as “mother”, “father”, “son”, daughter”, “brother” and “sister” must go - and “parent”, “child” and “sibling” used instead. “Himself” and “herself” must be changed to “themself”(!).

Australian commentator Gerard Henderson says: “It’s easy to make fun of such rules and wonder what will become of the likes of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However, this action is a strike at the ordinary language of Americans.”

It’s a strike against our language too. The push to eliminate any distinction between men and women has been going on for some time in Australia. Just not quite that far – for now.

Yet the Bible says right at the beginning that God created humans in two different forms: “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

The differences are not only in physical appearance and sexual function. Some years ago, a FamilyVoice resource paper noted:

“While mothers and fathers are both physical with their children, fathers are typically physical in different ways.  Fathers tend to play with their children, and mothers tend to care for them.  Generally speaking, fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mothers warn, “Not so high!”).  Fathers are louder at play, while mothers are quieter.  Mothers cuddle babies, and fathers bounce them.  Fathers roughhouse, while mothers are gentle.  Fathers encourage competition; mothers encourage equity.  Fathers encourage independence while mothers encourage security…

“Go to any playground and listen to the parents there. Who is often encouraging kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bike just a little faster, or throw just a little harder? Who is encouraging kids to be careful? Mothers tend toward caution while fathers often encourage kids to push the limits. Joined together, they keep each other in balance and help children remain safe while expanding their experiences and confidence.”

Some people claim that these differences are merely the result of social conditioning – the way boys and girls are treated by their families.

But scientists are increasingly finding that the differences are hard-wired in the brain. US psychology professor Diane Halpern reports:

“In a study of 34 rhesus monkeys, for example, males strongly preferred toys with wheels over plush toys, whereas females found plush toys likable. It would be tough to argue that the monkeys’ parents bought them sex-typed toys or that simian society encourages its male offspring to play more with trucks. A much more recent study established that boys and girls 9 to 17 months old — an age when children show few if any signs of recognizing either their own or other children’s sex — nonetheless show marked differences in their preference for stereotypically male versus stereotypically female toys.”

Mothers and fathers have important differences, and their children ideally need both. Vive la difference!

Peter Downie - National Director

FamilyVoice Australia

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I hope you had a marvellous Christmas and New Year, reflecting on what God has done for you last year and looking ahead to what He has in store for you this coming year.

That is what I would like to do in this first email of the New Year for FamilyVoice.

2020 was a year like no other that I have experienced. It started smoothly enough and then got bumpy. God seemed to want to shake the world up somewhat. Nevertheless, He has continued to look after His people including us here at FamilyVoice. For this we are deeply grateful to Him.

As the lockdowns because of the virus became enforced, God’s people were not able to meet. Our State Directors could no longer speak in churches. The future looked dire indeed. But then with the help of some miraculous technology things open up. Using Zoom to conduct webinars we have been able to reach many thousands of people. Some were faithful supporters but many were new.

Praise the Lord!

These webinars covered a host of subjects. The response to them was overwhelming. For each webinar there have been new people added to our mailing list. This has given us a real lift.

In addition to the webinars, we have concentrated on several campaigns. Each State Director took these on in addition to their State’s responsibilities. The Lord has been pleased to bless these endeavours.

Peter Stevens is heading up the 365Life campaign that partners with 27 other pro-life groups. This is working to save babies. He also heads up the Age of Innocence campaign. This is bringing the message that “Porn Harms Kids” to our politicians. This is getting real traction for change in this area.

Greg Bondar is leading the Religious Freedom campaign to try to keep our hard-won rights. Mark Latham MLC along with Greg is leading the charge. Greg is also spearheading our campaign to limit the effects of problem gambling especially on our youth.

David d’Lima has taken on the Gender Dysphoria campaign. This is making real progress to help protect children from horrific treatments. New legal victories are helping to keep children safe. This includes the victory by Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler.

Darryl Budge is running a campaign to protect women from mail-in abortion pills. This new policy initiated during the coronavirus pandemic leaves women in a terrible situation. Darryl is working on this with some pro-life parliamentarians.

Jerome Appleby our National Policy Officer has been defending Margaret Court against her many attackers. Margaret is a world champion with an unbroken record. Instead of honouring Margaret Court, many in the “woke” community attack her for her stand on marriage.

In the New Year we are planning to continue to fight on various fronts including:

  • Abortion in SA
  • Conversion Therapy Ban in VIC & SA
  • Abortion Censorship Zones in WA
  • Zoe’s Law in NSW
  • Euthanasia in TAS, QLD, SA & NSW

Your donation to help put us in a strong financial position to start the New Year would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your continued support as we work tirelessly to defend Family, Faith and Freedom in Australia.

Peter Downie - National Director

FamilyVoice Australia

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WA Liberal Senator Matt O’Sullivan has written to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, following the FamilyVoice campaign to stop funding for medical abortion approvals by phone.

COVID restrictions have meant that a woman can phone a doctor – who may not know her – and be prescribed the abortion pill RU486 to take at home. This can put the woman at greater risk.

“Due to the nature of a telehealth consultation, it is not possible to conduct a necessary ultrasound in order to determine the exact gestation of the pregnancy,” Mr O’Sullivan told Mr Hunt a month before the Budget.

“As medical abortion is only available in Australia for terminations of pregnancies less than nine weeks gestation, (an ultrasound) is an important detail to have correct before prescribing (abortion) medication.

“Another important issue is that of reproductive coercion, which has been noted as a serious problem by organisations like Children by Choice and Marie Stopes. With the virtual aspect of a telehealth appointment, it seems almost impossible that such a system could account for the insidious nature of coercion.”

Matt O’Sullivan (42) has two children with Montanique, his wife of 21 years. He was elected to the Senate last year.

He was formerly an electrical technician and a church youth worker. For some years he also helped train indigenous young people and place them in permanent jobs.

In his maiden speech on 30 July 2019, he told the Senate: “My faith is an integral part of my life. I am a Christian, and I believe and affirm the Apostles’ Creed.

“In my late 20s, I seriously considered studying theology and becoming a minister of religion. But, while my faith was, and still is, a very important part of my life, I came to the realisation that being a pastor wasn’t the right path for me.”

FamilyVoice WA Director Darryl Budge is delighted that Senator O’Sullivan is putting his Christian faith into practice by speaking up for the most vulnerable members of society – the unborn, and quite a few of their mothers.

“Medicare funding for phone abortions teaches society that children are an inconvenient cost during this COVID-19 crisis, even though they are our future,” Mr Budge said.

“The Australian government is facing the lowest population growth in a century, while it funds over 70,000 abortions each year. It should instead simplify adoption – and fund counselling, compassionate care, family-support services and pregnancy crisis centres.”

Note: The Trump administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the legal delivery by mail of abortion pills.