When Australian Christians come to the realisation of the true history of these lands now called Australia — the over 65,000 years of custodianship and stewardship by over 300 nations of Aboriginal peoples, and the true history since colonisation — hearts and minds are unsettled and the question arises "What do I do?".
Brooke Prentis and Bianca Manning have put together this list of the 10 best ways to engage in January 26 this year -
Post your acknowledgement of Country using the Common Grace website tool and talk about it with whoever you meet on the day
One way to take a stand for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice is by learning whose country you live on and by talking about that and sharing an Acknowledgement of Country. Our online tool invites you to share a photo of your feet on country and words of acknowledgement as a first step in truth telling and friendship.
2. Tune In
Tune in to facebook.com/commongraceaus/ as we launch a film clip of ‘A New Day’ poetry and song by Brooke Prentis and Helen Wright
This collaboration of poetry and song was created by Brooke and Helen as they spent time together on country and reflects a journey of deep listening, learning, friendship, spiritual connection and hope. It paints a vision of a future, for all of us in these lands we now call Australia, where we learn to draw on the olds ways, to learn a new way, to step into a new day, together.
3. Stand in solidarity
Stand in solidarity with Aboriginal peoples attending rallies and events across the country
There are multiple ways to join together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across these lands now called Australia as we mark January 26 as a Day of Mourning, Survival Day, Invasion Day. We are listing a number of events as a digest here. Please stay COVID safe.
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Observe 65 seconds of silence, one second for each thousand years
Consider the thousands of years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the generations, as the world's oldest, living, continuing cultures have walked these lands, looked at these skies and loved these places we now call home. Rosie Shorter reflects on the practice of observing a minute's silence to stimulate our thinking here.
6. Take Action
Take Action for Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
There have been over 540 Aboriginal Deaths in Custody since 1980 - over 440 of these since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody released their report in 1991 and at least 3 in 2020. This grieves the heart of God. It is important that we learn the names and stories, we lament together, we pray without ceasing and we act to see change. Find out how: https://www.commongrace.org.au/aboriginal_deaths_in_custody_resources
Listen to Common Grace’s January 26th Song Playlist
8. Learn and Participate
Commit to learning more and participating in 2021
Commit to Staying Awake and on the journey of friendship and Reconciliation by joining the Common Grace movement. In the first two weeks of February we will be sharing a range of resources for you to engage with to stay on the journey @commongraceaus. You can also find ideas on our Aboriginal justice resources page here. Put these dates in your diary for 2021:
- 27 May - 3 June - National Reconciliation Week
- 4 - 11 July - NAIDOC Week: Celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, this year's theme 'Heal Country!'
- 1 September - National Wattle Day
- 25 September - Common Grace Movement Prayer Vigil to mark the anniversary of the death in custody of Wayne Fella Morrison
9. Watch and Share
If you haven't already watched the National #ChangeTheHeart Prayer Service you can still do so here www.commongrace.org.au/watch. Why not invite friends to join you and work through the discussion questions and taking it further ideas here too.
Pray for justice, healing and Reconciliation in these lands
Spend time in prayer for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Pray for friendship and Reconciliation to come in our lifetime and for justice today for those experiencing the pain and brokeness of our world. We have a page of prayer resources for Aboriginal justice here.