Persecution of Christians
THERE is an organisation called Open Doors which works closely with persecuted Christians around the world.
Every year it publishes a list of the 50 countries where persecution is the worst – and North Korea is the top of the list, where conditions for anyone owning a Bible or Christian literature are unbelievably bad.
There are many disturbing reports of the trends that are developing in these 50 countries.
Last year more than 4100 Christians – or 11 per day – were put to death for staying true to their faith, and of course the families of these Christians suffered tremendous grief.
Thousands more were imprisoned and tortured, and many Christian women were raped.
It is a horrible scenario, especially considering that the trend showed a 10 per cent increase compared with 2017.
Whether or not we go to church, we who live in Australia should not forget the plight of these people and should always be thankful that we live in a country of such wonderful freedom.
Len Martin, Ararat
Water security needed
AUSTRALIA had quite a number of brilliant engineers.
One such was Dr Bradfield, the engineer in charge of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Story Bridge in Brisbane.
The Bradfield Scheme has many supporters and also some detractors, for a variety of reasons – mainly costs.
A Sydney man has devised a $9 billion plan to shift water from the Burdekin and other major east-flowing rivers in north Queensland to the parched inland areas of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Apparently, due to state jealousy between New South Wales and Victoria, New South Wales changed the “broad gauge” system that was agreed on by New South Wales and Victoria, to the “standard gauge” system.
Australia has some brilliant engineers but unfortunately the brilliance of politicians and public servants does not match the brilliance of our engineers.
Hence, we, the Australian public, are always behind the eight-ball.
Australia does not need a high-speed rail like Japan, China and France – but we do need water security.
Consider that the NBN cost $60 billion so that people can play games faster and watch more porn.
That money would have been far more wisely spend on a “Bradfield Scheme” or similar, such as the Snowy Mountain hydro scheme, no. 2.
It is time that the powers that be start thinking of the future of Australia in terms of water security and electric power generation.
Frank Deutsch, Lake Bolac
A COMMUNITY-BASED youth development program is shaping the future leaders of Australian society in almost 500 locations throughout our nation.
The Australian Defence Force Cadets program has more than 25,000 young participants, who are mentored and supervised by 4,000 adult ‘officers and instructors of cadets’.
The ADF’s three services – Navy, Army and Air Force – each support a cadet organisation, where young Australians build their personal leadership skills, self-discipline and resilience whilst undertaking a range of activities in a military-like environment.
The teenage participants are also introduced to the ADF’s customs, values and traditions in the three cadet organisations, and their exposure to military personnel and assets often whets the youngsters’ appetites for a career in the ADF.
The ADF Cadets program offers an extensive range of contemporary activities, often in a group setting, designed to encourage leadership and teamwork amongst the participants.
In addition to traditional training in field craft, navigation, power boating, sailing and even gliding, the three cadet organisations now provide opportunities for youngsters to experience STEM activities such as robotics and operation of drone aircraft.
In mid-2018 I met a contingent of ADF cadets at the commemorative events for the centenary of the final major battles of World War I, in the French city of Amiens.
A contingent of 16 ADF Cadets, from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, also travelled to France for these special events.
I was immediately impressed by these young men and women, who were outstanding ambassadors for our nation.
I have no doubt that the qualities they displayed in this high-profile international setting were generated, at least in part, by their participation in the ADF Cadets.
The ADF Cadets program is open to young people aged 13 to 17.
The program puts young people on the path to success in their future lives – as good citizens and, in many cases, leaders of Australian communities.
Darren Chester, Minister for Defence Personnel