We dream of a future where our nation listens deeply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the truth of our history, where injustices are righted and the oldest continuous cultures in the world are celebrated.
This is a future where all the broken things are restored and reconciled to and through Jesus. A future where all people and all creation can flourish.
In order for this vision to be realised, we recognise the importance of advocacy; we recognise the role of First Nations peoples speaking truth to power and we recognise the role of the broader Australian church in calling for justice, the righting of wrongs, and the redemption of policies and systems that cause harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In today’s context, we are advocating for:
A constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament, truth-telling, and treaties with First Nations peoples. That is why we are calling for all Australians to Listen to the Heart and vote Yes in the upcoming referendum on a Constitutionally Enshrined Voice to Parliament, as a step towards hearing and responding to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A nation where children as young as 10 receive love, care, and support, instead of incarceration; a system where Aboriginal children are given the opportunity to heal and thrive, not disproportionately locked away in prison cells. That is why we are taking action on youth incarceration in Australia, and calling on all states and territories to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility from 10 to at least 14.
A society, and a justice system that pursues true justice - where all people are supported, valued, and empowered; a society in which structural racism is a thing of the past. That is why we are taking action on Aboriginal Deaths in custody by committing to prayer and calling for the 339 recommendations from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to be implemented.
A nation where all people have equal access to health, education, and employment. That is why we are acting on inequality, calling for greater action and investment from all states and territories to help Close the Gap in a way that is community-led, human rights-based and involves the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Other ways to take action for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice and deepen your understanding:
The Common Grace movement encourages churches and faith communities to reclaim William Cooper’s Aboriginal Sunday each year on the Sunday before January 26. We provide a free Church Resource Toolkit, developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, to equip churches and faith communities to listen to the call of First Nations injustice and act in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These resources help inspire you to learn, engage, pray, and be equipped to take action as a community together leading up to January 26.
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June every year. The 27 May date represents the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that effectively gave Aboriginal peoples full citizenship rights by finally being counted in the national census. The 3 June date is the anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision that effectively overturned the lie our country had lived of ‘Terra Nullius’ – ‘empty land’ or ‘land belonging to no one’. Common Grace provides churches and faith communities with resources during this time to help you deeply listen to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, learn about our shared history and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving true reconciliation in Australia.
NAIDOC Week is an annual week-long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity for us to recognise the contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to our country and our society. NAIDOC Week runs every year from the first to the second Sunday in July, with events and activities happening across the country. We encourage the Common Grace movement to engage in their local communities' NAIDOC Week celebrations, and we provide resources and social media campaigns to facilitate friendship, listening, learning, prayer and action.