Mercy award to Brisbane justice and peace worker

The Mercy Foundation yesterday made its annual social justice award to Peter Arndt of the Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in recognition of his work to bring an Indigenous Australian perspective to the Commission's work.

Mr Arndt is the only individual to win a prize this year with the major award going to the Animation Project, Campbelltown, NSW, a community development and education in Sydney's outer south-western suburbs established by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Others to receive Mercy social justice citations were the Edmund Rice Centre for its ten years of work in "creating a more just and sustainable world through its work of research, community education, advocacy and networking" and the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network for "significant achievements quite beyond those which might be suggested by its meagre resources" in the field of promoting fair trade and change in Australia's trade policy.

The citation for Mr Arndt noted his significant contribution to social justice in a number of areas including asylum seekers, the environment and Indigenous Australians, particularly the Murri people from Queensland.

"Peter has worked tirelessly to bring an Indigenous perspective to the work of the Justice and Peace Commission, forming a Murri Advisory Group to inform and educate commissioners and bring Indigenous issues and campaigns to the wider church and the public arena," the citation said.

"In solidarity with the Murri community, issues such as 'stolen wages' and campaigns such as 'Make Indigenous Poverty History' have been launched and monitored by Peter."

The citation says that Mr Arndt has worked tirelessly to include and empower the Murri people within the Catholic Church, creating "a model for all justice and peace groups and Australians committed to reconciliation to follow".

"A vibrant sign of the Murri people's appreciation of Peter's being and working with them is their deep respect for him and the warmth of the mutual relationship between them," the citation concludes.

Each year the Mercy Foundation, a funding agency of the Mercy Sisters, recognises an individual, group or organisation with a "clearly notable record of work for change in social and cultural structures that impoverish and disempower people."

The Mercy Foundation established the Social Justice Award in 1996 to mark the United Nations International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.

Brisbane Justice Advocate receives Mercy Foundation Award (Media Release, Brisbane Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, 6/12/06)
Brisbane Justice Advocate Receives Mercy Foundation Award (CCJP, 6/12/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mercy Foundation Awards
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane

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7 Dec 2006