Australian Scientologists in Action
by the Church of Scientology Australia
The Church of Scientology Australia and its parishioners are active members of the community, participating in many of the humanitarian programs that the Church supports from disaster relief work, to drug education, to teaching moral values to human rights education. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) help people of all cultures creeds and social backgrounds.
In Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, the VMs have been involved extensively in disaster relief.
Here are the highlights from 2009: In the Outback a team of Scientology VMs have been helping Aboriginal Communities since 2007, using Study Technology and thus helping improve their literacy.
In the February 2009 Victorian Bushfires, a team of Scientology VMs turned out to help people in the heart of the disaster area, doing everything from cooking meals and finding much needed water and supplies for victims and fire fighters to providing Scientology assists to give relief to exhausted volunteers, with over 3,000 people helped.
Nearly 10,000 individuals were given one‐on‐one help by 150 Scientology Volunteer Ministers after Typhoon Morakot hit the village of Chialan in southern Taiwan in August 2009, and continued their help during the floods following the typhoon.
Months after the disaster, Scientology Volunteer Ministers were still in the area to answer the demands for help from local residents.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers from Australia and New Zealand flew to Samoa after the Tsunami, which occurred around the end of September 2009. They worked with the Samoan Fire & Emergency Services Authority to help in the cleanup and recovery operation. The Volunteer Ministers were there for a total of 1.5 months providing spiritual aid to those who survived the disaster. In total, they provided one‐on‐one help to over 7,000 people.
When Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila in the Philippines at the end of September, causing the capital’s worst flooding in more than four decades, local Volunteer Ministers were on hand to help the authorities with the disaster relief with over a thousand people helped.
The Church of Scientology is also a major sponsor of the Youth for Human Rights campaign, educating young people about the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Youth for Human Rights creates events that include Human Rights workshops, signing of Petitions for the adoption of Human Rights and handouts of educational literature.
Youth for Human Rights also organised screenings of their Community Service announcements of the 30 articles of the UDHR which have aired on over 4,000 stations. Over 7,600 booklets and DVDs were distributed just last year in Australia alone. Scientologists are proud to be supporters of this group and to be promoting human rights.
Further, the Church of Scientology and its members are passionate about educating youth on the truth about drugs. Drug Free Ambassadors Australia was established by the Church of Scientology over 15 years ago and is a group of youth and adults that want to do something effective about drug use and abuse in society, especially by young people.
The Drug Free Ambassadors is now its own charitable organisation that works with many like‐minded groups and organisations for the purpose of educating youth about drugs. The Church continues to provide grants to the Drug Free ambassadors to print 13 drug information booklets and also many members volunteer to get out factual information and answer questions.
What young people and adults don’t know about drugs can kill them. Youth today are exposed earlier than ever to drugs. In 2004, more than 6 million (two in five) Australians aged 14 and older had used an illicit drug in the last 12 months. Marijuana is the most widely abused drug of choice in Australia, with ecstasy second and methamphetamine, known as ice, ranking third per the latest United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Report of 2006.
In Sydney, volunteers work with officials to get out anti‐drug booklets at all‐night dance parties, reaching youth who may be at risk. They also talk to youth at camps or schools and even train youth workers in community groups of all types.
In Adelaide, Australia, the Drug Free Ambassadors briefed local civic officials on the campaign and gained permission to paint their Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life message as a mural on the walls of a railway station. In another city, a group sponsored their own Olympic‐type games where 300 children participated in relay races, a balloon race and the painting of a giant anti‐drug banner. Other groups join in civic parades, carrying large Drug Free banners.
In the last 10 years over 35 million people have been reached directly with the anti‐drug campaign – run.
In Australia in the last 3 years, Drug Free Ambassadors have distributed over 450,000 drug education booklets directly into the hands of people on the street – giving factual information on the common street drugs – marijuana, ecstasy, ice, painkillers, and more.
Since 2000, they have handed out over 2.5 million drug education fliers and booklets at markets, fairs and street drug education events around Australia.
This has been either through direct contact on the street, pledging children and adults alike and adults alike as Drug Free Ambassadors, getting anti‐drug booklets and fliers into the hands of youth and adults in schools, anti‐drug lectures on the street, parades, etc. or reaching them through articles printed in the newspapers.
We have new websites for our anti‐drug work, which enable people to download one of our 13 drug education booklets. The international website is at www.drugfreeworld.org and the local Australian website is at www.drugfacts.org.au.Tags: canberra, media, scientology, vm, volunteer