In this reflection from Andy Hamilton SJ, he reflects on how Advent and times of fasting and feasting reflect the difficult and joyous times in our own lives. While we wait for the joy and celebration of Christmas, we may experience difficulty, but we wait in hope for Emmanuel. Just as Jesus’ coming gives us hope in the dark, our compassion and care for others, particularly refugees and asylum seekers experiencing difficulty, can be that hope.
While Catholic Health Australia and the National Catholic Education Commission welcome government initiatives and new spending, Caritas Australia and the Refugee Council of Australia expressed disappointment with the 2021-2022 budget. $17.7 billion was allocated to implementing 126 of the 148 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care while Onshore Detention and Compliance costs ballooned to $1.26 billion. Injections of cash to support regional actions to suppress COVID-19 in the Pacific were welcomed, however little additional funding was added to combat growing global poverty.