It was 8 months ago that the Common Grace Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Justice Team was formed!
Over these 8 months we have supported:
To support all Aboriginal communities in Australia to remain in their homelands and on country & enable them to determine their own futures.
During 2015, Common Grace has played an active role in supporting the #SOSBlakAustralia movement. Common Grace’s campaign with Uncle Rex Granites Japanangka in solidarity with #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA was widely distributed, amplifying voices of threatened communities in Western Australia. As a pastor from this state, Jarrod McKenna campaigned with Q&A panelist Cornell West to build a message of solidarity in Australia - but also internationally, along with thousands at The Justice Conference in Hong Kong Justice, and 2,300+ in Chicago. Due to the response Rev. Sealin Garlett presented on behalf of Common Grace a petition with 1500 signatures to the W.A. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier.
Beyond Festival is a new event focusing on justice and genuine community.
At the first Australian Beyond! Festival in October, our very own Spokesperson Brooke Prentis represented Common Grace alongside the likes of Aunty Rosalie Kunoth-Monks at a solidarity action at Parliament House, calling on our leaders to support Aboriginal communities in remaining on their homelands, as well as their right to self-determination.
We have also endeavoured to resource Christians to change the conversation in their churches and personal worlds by sharing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or those working in partnership for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice. We were blessed to have Grant and Graham Paulson share on 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us' in the Lord's Prayer campaign.
Building a Team:
Over 8 months we have built a network of Christians across the nation concerned to work together for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice. At our first physical team meeting in August 2015, our team came together to converse, dream, and plan for Common Grace to be a force in Australia for ATSI justice. We were blessed to be joined by Uncle Ray and Aunty Sharon Minniecon, two of Australia’s most respected and experienced Aboriginal Christian leaders. The key theme to come out of this conversation was friendship: that is, the importance of relationship building in our work for justice, as well as the importance of having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice speaking into the plethora of ‘justice’ issues facing us as Australians today.
– Shane Fenwick
COMING SOON 2016
We are excited about the work we have to do in 2016. Assuming Common Grace secures enough funding, we will:
Super Heroes Campaign
Common Grace's Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Justice Team will be featuring a new campaign called #SuperHeroes #SuperPower and #UnMasked meeting ordinary humans fighting extraordinary injustices. Just like Super Heroes from our childhood, whose extraordinary super powers we loved and believed in, we look forward to celebrating those standing for justice. Next year we hope to be collaborating in telling the #SuperPower initiatives of wonderful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities, we are currently in the process of discussing our partnerships.
Sorry Means You Don't Do It Again
More Aboriginal children are being removed from their families by "welfare" agencies than at any time in Australia's history - with more than 15,000 in "out of home care" nationwide. These numbers are rising rapidly. Services for struggling families are being cut back and tougher policies are being rolled out that see children removed for longer periods of time, including a push for adoption. Grandmothers Against Removals is a national network, initiated by families who have direct experience of child removal. The group fights against forced removals, for return of stolen children and for Aboriginal control of Aboriginal child welfare. Common Grace has established a connection with Grandmothers Against Removals, and we are currently in discussion as to how Common Grace can support this grassroots campaign.
Common Grace Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Justice team will continue to proactively campaign with #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA and on major injustice issues such as DEATHS IN CUSTODY and YOUTH INCARCERATION plus will offer ongoing support to Common Grace's other target issues, such as Asylum Seeker, Domestic & Family Violence and Climate Justice. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders are a vital voice in all aspects of justice!
Support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice work by giving a 1st Birthday Gift here.