Val Gray, John Forkan and Liam O’Dea hope for a large turn out at a social justice open forum on Saturday.
Val Gray, John Forkan and Liam O’Dea hope for a large turn out at a social justice open forum on Saturday. Gerard Walsh

Forum for fair go

A FAIR Go for Farmers will be among issues discussed at a social justice open forum in Warwick on Saturday.

Organiser Val Gray, who is a member of the St Vincent de Paul state committee for social justice and president of St Mary’s St Vincent de Paul Conference, wants the event to make people aware of the struggles many people face in our community.

“We want to highlight how problems can be resolved with the right support,” Mr Gray said.

“The aim is to lead people towards finding solutions to their difficulties.

“Liam O’Dea is a member of our group and the ideal person to talk about farming, which has a major impact on everyone in the Warwick and district community.”

An Elbow Valley farmer, Mr O’Dea will speak about a fair go for farmers.

“Issues include the right to farm, compensation for loss of land use and impact of trade policies on Australian farming,” Mr O’Dea said.

“I will talk about the effect of imported meats on livestock production. Half the pig farmers in Australia have been forced out of business due to imports of subsidised pork.”

Catholic Social Justice Commission co-ordinator Dr Mark Copeland will discuss Aboriginal social justice, long-serving youth support worker Pam Burley will talk about ways to counter domestic violence and Pat Orvad, of Bundaberg, will discuss problem gambling.

Former Killarney State School principal and St Vincent de Paul state committee member Steve Doyle will address mental health and ex-Warwick State High student and barrister Susan Gray will make a presentation on aged disability advocacy.

St Vincent de Paul Gold Coast conference president Noel Sweeney will stimulate discussion on spirituality of social justice.

The forum is being supported by the Warwick Social Justice Committee under chairman John Forkan.

“The committee membership includes people from many faith traditions and some who have a lot of experience dealing with refugee and migrant issues in overseas countries,” Mr Forkan said.

“It is an open forum and all are welcome. There is no need to be involved with any group or church.

“We welcome anyone experiencing difficulties in any of the subject areas to come along as well as family members and those you want to help out.”

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is free. There is no need to RSVP. The 10am-4pm forum is at St Mary’s Parish Centre, Palmerin Street.

Inquiries to John Forkan on 4667 0867 or Val Gray on 4661 1930 or 0409 611930.



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