A range of resources for acknowledging the true history of January 26th in church services are available for your use below -

Acknowledgement of Country

"We would like to acknowledge, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, acknowledge, lament and pray today.

They are stewards on behalf of THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR. We would also like to pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future."

Psalm 23 – Aboriginal Style by Uncle Rev Ron Williams 

My big fella boss up in the sky is like the father Emu.

He will always look after me and take me to green grass,

and lead me to where the water holes are

full and fresh all the time.

He leads me away from the thick scrub and helps me keep safe from the hunters, dingoes and eagles.

At night time when I am very lonely and sad,

I will not be afraid,

for my Father covers me with his feathers

like a father emu.

His spear and shield will always protect me.

My big fella boss always give me a good feed

in the middle of my enemies.

In hot times he makes me sit down in a cool shade and rest.

He gives me plenty of love and care all of my life through.

Then I will live with my big fella boss like a father emu:

that cares for his chicks in good country,full of peace and safety

For evermore and evermore.


26 January prayer

Written by Brooke Prentis, Aboriginal spokesperson for Common Grace

God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit, Papa Jesus,

We come before you today as a Christian community to pause and reflect with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.  We pause to take a moment to show compassion to Aboriginal people at this time of grief and grievance.  Whilst not all of us will understand this Lord, we ask that you help us to see, hear and feel the struggles of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. 

We pray for strength and healing at this time that brings forth feelings of loss.  We recognise the loss of family, loss of land, and loss of freedom.  We say sorry for the times we have wronged Aboriginal people, the times we have not treated them with dignity, the times we have not stood up to racism, and the times we have not listened to their stories, their fight for justice, and their cry for compassion. 

Dear Lord, we pray for a way that we can celebrate together, not as one unified group, but for a way that celebrates our diversity.  A way that encompasses all cultures, and celebrates and commemorates our past, both the good and the bad. 

Dear Lord, we know that you are all seeing and all knowing.  We know that you have seen all that has gone on in this land since time began. We pray that you help all Australians to see as you have seen through all the pages of our history and our present and our future yet to come. 

Dear Lord, we thank you for placing Aboriginal people here in this land, we thank you for their care and stewardship of your great creation for thousands of years.  We thank you for their survival against many odds. Dear Lord, may we learn to respect, appreciate, and acknowledge, the oldest living culture in the world.

Lord we ask all these things in your Almighty name, Amen. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Injustices

Compiled by Brooke Prentis, Aboriginal spokesperson for Common Grace

  • Invasion
  • Dispossession
  • Stolen Land
  • Stolen Wages
  • Stolen Generations
  • Lack of Treaty
  • Slavery
  • Lack of recognition of The Frontier Wars
  • Massacres
  • Genocide
  • Loss of Language
  • Lack of return of Ancestral Remains
  • Lack of protection of Sacred Sites
  • High rates of Prison incarceration
  • High rates of Juvenile Detention
  • Denied access to medical attention in custody
  • The NT Intervention
  • Paperless arrest laws
  • Forced removal from Homelands
  • Proposed nuclear waste dumps without consultation
  • Poverty
  • Racism
  • Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
  • The New Stolen Generation
  • Life expectancy gaps


Prayer for the Journey of Healing

© National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission 2002

Almighty and loving God, you, who created ALL people in your image, lead us to seek you compassion as we listen to the stories of our past.

ALL:   Lord hear our prayer.

You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven. We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced. We live in faith that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness.

ALL:   Lord hear our prayer.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have endured the pain and loss of loved ones, through the separation of children from their families. We are sorry and ask God’s forgiveness. Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless and afflicted and heal their spirits. In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is just and equitable. Lord, you are our hope.

ALL:  Amen.