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ABC News 24 Australia Wide -

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(THEME MUSIC)

Hello, and welcome to Australia Wide. I'm Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Today on the show,
our housing obsession and those who are
locked out of a dream. We'll show you a clever plan
to change that.

So each little house has
its own area for the occupant. They can put a garden.
There's also a big community garden. MAN: We're making this model
available on an open-source basis. We just want to provide a solution to Australia becoming
the first country in the world to eradicate homelessness. Also on the program,
a fantastic scheme which links grannies
across the world. WOMAN: We went to a lady
who has nine children. Her husband died of AIDS,
her four adult children died of AIDS and she's rearing three
of her grandchildren. WOMAN 2: The middle
generation's gone and it's the grandmothers in Africa
that are left with these children. (MEN SING IN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE) YASSMIN: And bringing it home - the pop-up museum
that's returning lost culture to an Indigenous community. WOMAN: I brought three objects from the Museum der Kulturen
in Basel, Switzerland. MAN: Objects that are kept
in other institutions and museums throughout the globe, they are the living legacy
of our people.

But, first, as the debate over the same-sex marriage
plebiscite continues, some are feeling the pressure
more than others. For those who are gay and Christian,
these are difficult times as many in the church oppose
the marriage equality movement. Claire Moodie visited
one church in Perth that's hoping to provide
an alternative voice. (SOLEMN MUSIC)

CLAIRE MOODIE: It's Sunday
at St Andrew's Anglican Church and these Christians have more
than their faith in common. ALL: Holy God, holy and strong,
holy and immortal... This is a service
that welcomes diversity. The whole congregation is open
to all forms of sexuality so there are some
straight people as well, but largely it is
the LGBTIQ community. (CONGREGATION SINGS HYMN) MOODY: It's the only congregation
of its kind in WA, set up 20 years ago
in the midst of the AIDS crisis. It's still seen as a safe haven. The plebiscite debate isn't making it
any easier to be gay and Christian.

I think it's incredibly difficult because it's almost like you are
in the two opposing camps. I'm often afraid to tell my friends, particularly in the queer community,
that I'm Christian because they're like, "Oh, but don't
you hate...don't you hate yourself, "you know, if you're
Christian and gay?" I'm like, "No, I do not," and I support gay marriage
and I support equal rights and all that sort of stuff because I believe that God
is about love, not about hate. (GENTLE MUSIC) For Suzie and Samantha Day-Davies, who were both Christians when they
met each other five years ago, this church has special significance. SUZIE: We always knew Father Peter
would be willing to marry us, but when we said,
"We're ready to do this. "We're ready to actually
go through with the wedding now," he said, "Yep,
when do you want to do it?"

PETER: It was the most amazingly
wonderful celebration, gays, lesbians, transgender people
just celebrating. It was just beautiful. SONG: # This old love
will never die... #

MOODIE: The official ceremony was
at the British Consulate in Perth. The couple were able
to be married there because Samantha is a dual citizen. Father Peter Manuel was only able
to bless their union, but hopes same-sex marriage
becomes law within his lifetime. PETER: I think if we get away
from the idea that the ideal family is Mum and Dad and a couple of kids
with a dog and a cat, we have the opportunity
to talk about what makes a good relationship and the church has the opportunity
to learn something more. SONG: # You don't knock # You don't knock
You just walk on in # The door
# The door to heaven swings # There's love... # Peter Manuel's not a lone voice
in the Anglican Church, but many clergy disagree. The largest
Anglican diocese in Sydney is part of a coalition that will run the 'No' campaign
if there's a plebiscite. Taking gender out of marriage and, therefore,
gender out of parenting, it causes other things
to come into focus such as the so-called
Safe Schools program where it teaches children
genderless sex education. Lyle Shelton of the Canberra-based
Australian Christian Lobby is a vocal critic
on same-sex marriage. We're not a peak body
for the denominations, but we do have terrific
relationships with the leaders of the leading Christian
denominations in this country and they are very supportive of wanting to preserve
the definition of marriage and have been very active
in this campaign. It really is something that has united the church
across this country. But Father Peter Manuel says the ACL
doesn't represent all Christians. PETER: They have a view of
Christianity I don't agree with. I think they are promoting
a view of Christian faith that is diametrically opposite to what I believe
Christian faith is. I think they have, for me, an un-nuanced view of the Bible. Well, some people will say that, but there are timeless truths
in the Bible, particularly when it comes
to marriage and family and many other issues and these are held to by people
who hold to orthodox Christianity and that is the leaders of all
of the denominations in Australia. PETER: Lamentations is all about
the experience of being in pain and it just doesn't
go away from it. Peter Manuel's father was also
the priest at St Andrew's. He says it's taken him many years to arrive at his current position
on same-sex marriage. When I was a teenager, my sister brought home, to our
conservative immigrant family, a man 13 years older who had been married before
and had children, a son, and who was a transvestite and my conservative Indian
and Armenian parents actually - and our whole family - just expanded to bring him
into our family. So I grew up not seeing
sexuality and sexual expression or gender expression as being constituent
of a person's worth. Although married
at the British Consulate, Suzie and Samantha's marriage
isn't recognised on Australian soil. SUZIE: The interesting thing
is we can't actually legally get divorced. Yeah, that is gonna be a problem. (LAUGHS) I hope not!
Well, I hope not either. They hope the plebiscite idea
will be shelved in favour of a parliamentary vote. Yes, we are mature enough
to have a conversation. But... It's ridiculous. You get
straight couples who get married. They don't have to ask the country
if they can get married. So why should we? So the Parliament has said no
to this over and over again. And it keeps coming back
all the time. And I think it's only fair now that
it does go to the Australian people. # Answer my prayer # Forever and ever # You'll stay in my heart... # Father Peter Manuel
will make his views clear at Western Australia's
gay pride march in November, marching with other Christians
in support of gay marriage. We want to say to all of you, "We support you,
and we think God does too." # Together, that's how it must be
to live without you # Would only mean
heartbreak for me. #

Claire Moodie in Perth. A pop-up museum in one of the nation's
most remote island communities is getting international attention. Set amongst the Crocodile Islands
of the Arnhem Land coast, Milingimbi is welcoming home
long-lost artefacts from over 50 institutions. Avani Dias reports. (CHANTING) AVANI DIAS: Dancing
the Dreaming stories of sandflies
and barramundi - these young men
are welcoming some unusual visitors. Museum curators from around the world have travelled to the remote island
of Milingimbi, 445km east of Darwin. For many of the guests,
it's their first time in an Aboriginal community, but they're here
because the museums they represent hold key cultural artefacts
created on this land. MAN: Way back in the former days,
we had anthropologists coming to Milingimbi
and Arnhem Land, took some of the possessions
that were meant to be bound for the country and
the fertile land of Milingimbi. Therefore, they took that
and stored those in some of the, um, galleries
and other institutions.

WOMAN: The research has shown
that this island was a great meeting place
for many, many decades, and as a consequence, lots of outside people
came here to collect - anthropologists, explorers - so it has a nucleus
of amazing material to work with.

The embers in the fire
is the lineage, the lineage
that holds everything together. Fish and crab
are cooked on the coals, with buffalo
roasted in an earth oven below. It's a warm welcome,
but it comes with a strong message. Locals here want access to artefacts
taken from the community. To call for those artefacts
and the importance to be returned so that this generation
will witness that. (CONGREGATION SINGS)

The Methodist Overseas Mission
ran the community from the 1920s to mid-1970s. There was a strong focus on
developing a self-supporting economy and society on the island. WOMAN: An obvious thing
for an economy was to have a trade in artefacts. Many of the collections around the
world actually were sold to museums by the missionaries. (PEOPLE SING) Milingimbi artists
like this man, Djawa, were recognised
for their dynamic style. The collections grew in popularity,
creating an important source of money not just for the community but also
the running of the Methodist Mission. They were very much at the forefront
of promoting Milingimbi as a place to get artefacts and come to understand
who Yolngu were. In 1962, we purchased a collection
of material from Milingimbis from Reverend Edgar Wells, who was the reverend here
over a 10-year period. MAN: Jesus says it doesn't matter
what tribe he belongs to. If he needs help,
we should help him, because we're all God's children. Decades later, many of these works
are gathering dust in the back rooms of museums. The importance of those paintings
and any other objects that are kept in other institutions and museums
throughout the globe, they are the living legend, you know, the living legacy
of our people. We are the first nations. We are the first people that were born and bred
in this country.

The institutions
were encouraged to bring parts of their Milingimbi collections
back to the community, and they've set up
a small exhibition here at the local sport and rec hall. Some artefacts have even been
handed back to locals. WOMAN: I brought three objects
from overseas, from the Museum der Kulturen
in Basel, Switzerland. One of these objects
is this dugong figure. It was collected in the 1950s. As part of the
Australian Research Council project, experts at Museum Victoria and
the Australian National University have sought out and documented Milingimbi artefacts
around the world. WOMAN: Well, mainly, we wanted
to let people know what we have, where their collections
have ended up over the years, and we also wanted
to gauge their interest in what we could
make accessible online. The elders who created these works
have passed on, but this exhibition
means their work can still strongly influence community and the exhibition can help reignite Milingimbi's
once-thriving art industry. WOMAN: Yeah, good for me,
and it's good for children too, to get to know better and to learn better and... ..whenever they start
to make things or paint things. (CHANTING) From the mangroves
on the outskirts of the island, warriors emerge with spears in hand. They're performing makarrata, a ceremony that hasn't been used
in 80 years. Employed to settle crimes
like murders, sorcery and the taking of women
between tribes, the ceremony traditionally requires
a public spearing. Today, it's been modified
to create dialogue between the art world
and the community. They will dance with
the supreme power of makarrata. And they will break the spear
in the front of the audience, to show that it's accomplished,
it's finished, it's done, that we will set
this memorandum of understanding, the momentum of understanding, through makarrata, you know?

Only a handful of items have been
gifted back to the community, but locals are encouraged. They're hoping this is the start
of a new relationship with museums around the world. I would like to set
mutual understanding for all the visitors
that has came in to Arnhem Land for these four days of makarrata to take a promising thing
where they learn from this important of makarrata
enhancing here right in the heart of Milingimbi. And they will store that
in their heart.

Avani Dias there. And now to
the Australian grandmothers who are reaching out across the world to help women and children
devastated by the AIDS epidemic. In sub-Saharan Africa,
the disease killed a generation, and left millions of orphans. Now it's their grandmothers,
known as the Gogos, who are stepping in
to care for the orphan children. Jade Macmillan met two women
in Sydney and in Melbourne who are doing what they can as part
of a global grannies movement. (BRIGHT MUSIC) Margaret Hunter's four grandkids do a pretty good job
of keeping her on her toes. (BOY LAUGHS)
Let's go. The time she spends with them
is precious, if not a little tiring. Ohhh-ah. (LAUGHS) "One minute you're busy
getting on with life, "and the next minute you're older
and you're a grandmother!" Margaret's Melbourne home is a
world away from sub-Saharan Africa. What's that place there? GIRL: That's Australia.
No. Where did I go?
Africa! Yeah, that's Africa. But she shares a special connection
with her fellow grandmothers there, thousands of kilometres away where entire communities have been
devastated by the AIDS epidemic. The middle generation's gone, and it's the grandmothers in Africa
that are left with these children. The grandmothers have them for life. Not only have the children
lost their parents, but many of them are living with HIV, creating an even bigger challenge
for their grandmothers. I have my grandchildren, I love my grandchildren,
I love having them with me, but after a day or two, I can be a bit tired, I'm not 21. But these grandmothers who are not
particularly well themselves and they're in poverty, they might be looking after
nine grandchildren. I think they're amazing.

Margaret is a member of a movement known as the Grandmothers
to Grandmothers Campaign, launched by the Stephen Lewis
Foundation in Canada 10 years ago. ('FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT'
THEME MUSIC) What began here
in the small town of Wakefield has been nicknamed
the Great Granny Revolution. There are now around 250 grandmother
groups right across Canada. Together, they've raised
millions of dollars. Two years on from this
'Foreign Correspondent' episode, the campaign has expanded
to other countries, and there are now
thousands of women and men reaching out to African communities and raising money to support food,
education and medical programs. (CHILDREN CHANT IN LOCAL LANGUAGE) The 'Foreign Correspondent' episode inspired Margaret Hunter
to set up her own group here. I thought that one was a good one
to represent solidarity, and that it's not just
the hand-out charity. Through craft stalls, raffles
and sausage sizzles, they've managed to raise
several thousand dollars so far. So we made, what, $520 on that?
Yep. Well, that's not bad
for our little group.

Oh, Beryl, that's looking lovely. Mine's nice too!
That's what I just said. (LAUGHTER) It's not the only Grandmothers to
Grandmothers offshoot in Australia. After watching the same program, Kerry Little set up a group of her
own at her Sydney retirement village. The mean age is 88. I'm the baby. You are.
Yeah. I'm 68, yeah. (LAUGHS) What's happening to the grandmothers
in South Africa is they're having to relearn
how to parent again. And I look at myself and I thought, "If I had to parent
my grandchildren..." Oh... I haven't got words for
the overwhelming...consideration. So of course our sister-grandmothers
over there, they don't have any options. The residents here call themselves
the Grand Greeting Card Group. This is our logo,
and what we designed is an older person holding the hand
of a young person. Each card is carefully handmade
and then sold in the village foyer, with all of the proceeds
sent overseas. So the cards are valued
because of how they're made and who they're made by,
and with love.

Earlier this year, Kerry and Margaret
got the chance to see where their fundraising efforts
were going. They were invited to the Stephen Lewis Foundation's
annual Grandmother's Gathering, held on the eve of the International
AIDS Conference in South Africa. (CROWD SINGS IN LOCAL LANGUAGE)

An opportunity to come face to face with the people to whom
their support means so much. We went to a lady
who has nine children. Her husband died of AIDS,
her four adult children died of AIDS and she's rearing
three of her grandchildren. She said, "Look, I have
no peace in my life." She said, "I've buried
four of my adult children." We don't expect to do that. We expect our children
to look after us when we get old. So I said to Ida, who was
our translator, "Could you tell me
how to say 'sister'? "Tell me how to say 'sister',
tell me how to say 'heart', "tell me how to say 'love'
in Zambian." And I held her. I held her.
We both wept together. And I said, "I feel your pain,
my sister. You are my sister." Three little children came up to me,
and one said,"Can I have a hug?" And before I knew it, there was two
dozen kids hugging me all at once. And these people, the grandmothers,
the children, everybody, they are smiling. They are happy to
be alive today with what they've got. The program also empowers
the African grandmothers by helping them to make
their own money, with local partner organisations able
to provide equipment and training in skills like dressmaking. What we didn't want to create
was dependency. But we wanted them to realise that,
yes, they are grannies but there is still
a lot they could do. And that is changing
the lives of people. And the benefits flow both ways. It's part of the pleasure
in our life. And simply by doing
the things we enjoy, we can help these grandmothers. So I'd like to see us have
as many groups as Canada does. We can beat Canada if we want. Part of the ageing process, a lot of people,
they moan and complain and they lament the things
that they can't do anymore. Whereas, I see the ageing process
quite differently to that. I see it as the gaining of wisdom. And as we get older, we see things
through a different lens. What the grandmothers demonstrated
was unconditional love. They demonstrate it, they live it,
it's not just a word. They're just...fighting
such an uphill battle, but I can promise you
they are going to win.

Jade Macmillan reporting. Whether it's a quarter-acre block
or a high-rise apartment, owning your own home is
a big part of the Australian dream. And now a new charity
wants to bring this idea to people who are usually locked out. The Tiny Home Foundation
wants to build small units on vacant blocks that are
unsuitable for development specifically to house the homeless. Video journalist Anthony Scully
visited one of the pilot projects in the New South Wales city
of Gosford.

ANTHONY: It might look like
a pocket of wasteland. How far's that? But to David Wooldridge, this little plot
represents a big opportunity. There's plenty of room
for it then, isn't there? DAVID: We're building
14 square metre tiny homes. They're to help
alleviate homelessness. and they'll have
a self-contained kitchen, a bathroom
and a living/sleeping area. Here, next to Gosford Hospital, he's planning to build
four self-contained cottages. It's actually good that this
has got the bathroom on this side. Just to buffer it a little bit
away from the boundary. It's 14 square metres... Despite their small sizes, designer Derek Mah says
modern technology means the units will be
comfortable and sustainable. DEREK: What makes these different
is that they do have an open deck, and a view out onto
a larger garden area. So you almost have
like an outdoor room. So it feels bigger than it looks. The Tiny Homes Foundation was
founded as a not-for-profit project in January 2015, with initial funding
from the Three Crowns Media Group, and since bolstered
by other partners. We've partnered up with TAFE,
with Skills Generator, with Pacific Link Housing and
a whole other bunch of supporters that have helped us with legal,
architectural, material supplies, etc. And so that's the only way
that you can really make a sustainable
long-lasting difference. So each little house has
its own area for the occupant. They can put a garden. There's also a big community garden. The motivation to do something
about homelessness came from David Wooldridge's
Christian faith. DAVID: We have a responsibility
to look after one another and to treat others as we would
like to be treated ourselves. The tiny house movement
started overseas and the emphasis
is on reducing building sizes to create affordable
and sustainable homes and that aspect of the project
is exciting the design team. These buildings can be built
really quickly and cheaply, and they're also
very low energy consuming, so that they are really
environmentally friendly and they really are
very low cost to run.

That idea is welcomed
by Coast Shelter, a local service helping feed
and clothe Gosford's homeless - a population sadly on the rise. How many plates, Jen? About 50? The major problem
in terms of getting our people out of our crisis refuges
and into sustainable housing is that the cost of rentals
is way beyond their capacity. TREVOR: Had my own truck,
had workers, thousands of dollars worth
of tools and stuff like that. The work side was all fine
and stuff like that, but the business side
of the business let me down in the end. I would live there,
so I'd stay there. Yeah, I like that. That's a good idea. At nearby West Gosford, the pilot project
is getting under way with the help of a training company,
The Skills Generator, overseen by local builder Rod Tonks and some
specially selected trainees. We do have to watch the wind.
It's quite windy today. We'll have to make sure everything
is braced as we move along. Trainee Eric Adams says he's
picked up new skills on the project after more than 20 years
as a deckhand on fishing trawlers.

ERIC: Every person's got
their own skill level, and we give each other
comments on what to do. Like if something's
going wrong, we've all got
different ideas on how to fix it. But the weather is not the only
challenge the team is facing. We can't crane on, as you know,
given the overhead powerlines. DAVID: We're making this model
available on an open source basis. So we're not trying to create
the next big charity here. We just want to hope to
provide one of the aspects that could possibly
be a solution to Australia becoming
the first country in the world to eradicate homelessness.

Careful planning will be needed to assemble five
planned dwellings onsite by early 2017. But already
a vision is taking shape. Cheers. We're standing in the bathroom.
Right, we're in the bathroom now. DEREK: It was really important
to make these buildings as easily buildable as possible for low-skilled people and also with low technology, so they can be built offsite
and transported there or they can be built onsite. And we're looking at a version
where we can prefabricate them and DIY assemble them onsite with simple tools and low expenses. And, whilst starting
from a low base, hopes for the future
are extraordinarily high. LAURIE: If we were to
try and meet the needs of those who are homeless
on the Central Coast, we would need to construct something in the vicinity
of about 5,000 houses.

The big thing about it is
it's a change of thinking. DAVID: It's part of the answer. I don't think
there's any magic bullet. Homelessness, obviously, has a lot
of different facets to it, and it varies from person to person. And so some people will see this
as a great solution, others won't be convinced. But we believe that it's got a very
important and vital part to play in reducing homelessness
in Australia.

Anthony Scully with that story. And that's all from us this week
on Australia Wide. I hope you've enjoyed the show and remember you can catch
any of our stories on iView or on our website. I'm Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Join us next week
for Australia Wide. Captions by Ericsson Access Services Copyright Australian
Broadcasting Corporation

This program is not captioned.