Faith in action
We will be providing resources for National Reconciliation Week for individuals and churches to stand together to re-imagine our nation and continue to pray, act, and walk for Reconciliation (27 May - 3 June)Read more
The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Team brings you their vision for Australia and their policy proposals in the face of the upcoming Election.
When you live in this land we now call Australia as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, you see a different Australia. We see an Australia that is in a mess, in ruins, and in chaos. The Australia we see is one in which Aboriginal children are committing suicide at the highest rate anywhere in the world, a new Stolen Generation is being created with Aboriginal babies being taken from their mother’s arms in 2016, our kinship structures not being recognised, and Aboriginal peoples continue to be thrown in prison at alarming rates.
The Australia we see is one where our sacred sites are disrespected or destroyed, our cultural objects are not protected and can be sold at auction, the Condamine River is now able to be set on fire defying nature, defying God’s creation, defying what 60,000 years of Dreaming stories has told us. The Australia we live in doesn’t respect us as the world’s oldest living culture, we continue to suffer racism, and the true history of this country continues to be unknown, unacknowledged, unwilling to be engaged with when we think of stolen land, stolen wages, and stolen generations.
So what then is the Australia we want to see? Common Grace’s Aboriginal spokesperson Brooke Prentis describes it as, “An Australia that is built on truth, justice, love, and hope.”
It goes beyond the words Reconciliation and Recognition, which at times have become meaningless. It is grounded in the word Treaty or Treaties – an opportunity where we, as equal partners, get to sit down and yarn with each other to work out how we tell the truth, and to work out how we bring about justice for First Peoples, and to work out how our relationship will work in the years ahead – how we learn to love one another as brothers and sisters. It is truth, justice, and love that will bring hope for the future.
Our land, our waters, and our peoples – all our peoples that now make up the diverse cultural tapestry of the land we now call Australia – need healing. 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls us there for action now, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We long to see respectful and honouring relationships built with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with our Government’s policies built upon honest, authentic, and face-to-face consultation with all the diverse voices of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders.
For our non-Aboriginal brothers and sisters in Christ who would like to become more acquainted with the reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, we’ve gathered together some key statistics that really tell a sad story below, as well as some further links.
Please join us as we pray and ask God to help us all turn these statistics around.
Links to Key Statistics:
In 2000 Ben Johnson was a youth delegate representing the Salvation Army on a journey of Reconciliation from Canberra to Uluru.
David Cook was part of the organising committee for the Melbourne Walk for Reconciliation in the year 2000. His reflection is part of our Gallery of photos and stories of Christians who participated in Walks for Reconciliation.
Artist Safina Stewart has prepared a colouring in sheet for Sorry Day. Find it here.
Rachel reflects on the way Jesus met people and what that might have to say to us as we consider the 250 years since Captain Cook’s encounter with Aboriginal people.