Faith in action
Continue the journey of walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by holding an Aboriginal Sunday service in your church or faith community on Sunday 21st January 2024.Read more
On Saturday night, a 19 year old Warlpiri man was shot dead by police in the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu. Yuendumu is a community about 300 kilometres or 4.5 hours north west of Alice Springs. The community is in mourning and is calling for justice. Our deepest sympathies are with the community as they go through this sorry business.
The family have given permission for NITV News to name the victim as Kumanjayi Walker.
Warlpiri Elder Ned Hargraves said, "We are all sad here in Yuendumu today. We have lost a beautiful young fella, we want justice."
There have been a number of failures of justice and due process in this case such as the Northern Territory police not notifying the NAAJA Custody Notification Service. Since 31 July 2019 in the Northern Territory, it is illegal for police to take an Aboriginal person into custody for new offending or on a warrant without notifying the NAAJA Custody Notification Service.
We, as Common Grace, echo the comments by Northern Territory Senator, Malarndirri McCarthy in her public statement, "I extend my sincere condolences following the tragic incident in your community at the weekend (and) I stand with you in your time of grief and may the strength of Country bring you peace at this really sad and difficult time."
A National Call to Action is happening on Wednesday 13 November around these lands now called Australia. Please join Common Grace as we join the National Call to Action to offer our support to family and community and to seek justice. Of utmost importance is that an Independent investigation is undertaken, with full transparency, and takes place in Yuendumu so the families have a chance to give input into the investigation. Yuendumu community Elders and members are disputing the account made by police.
Please pray for the community as they mourn the loss of a young member of their community, as they struggle to sleep at night, and as they fight for justice.
The national calls are:
- A full independent investigation into what happened to Mr Walker
- No police in Yuendumu for one year
- 24 hour medical staff in Yuendumu full time
- Self-determination and culturally safe access to medical services and people staffing the hospitals, yapa oversight of the clinics and bush medicine / cultural practices and law
- Alternative approaches to racist policing
Wednesday 13th November, 5:30pm. Melbourne’s GP
Wednesday 13th November, 5:30pm. King George Square
Wednesday 13th November, 12:00pm. Parliament House
Wednesday 13th November, 5:30pm. Town Hall
Wednesday 13th November, 5:00pm. Town Hall steps
Hearts are sore... Beings are in Trauma... The Community of Yuendumu is in mourning... Family... a Mothers heart and being is crying... A Son is gone... Blood has been shed... and is now 'crying out from the Land'... I'm reminded of a song by our dear Archie Roach who sang... 'be careful where you stand... because a child was born here' ... well in that house... a child died here'....remember he was here...I'm reminded of Your Son and how they did things to Him that were unjust... His blood spilled... in front of His Mother and Community... we remember He was born and that He died there....
I'm awake as a Mother in the early morning...a 1st Nation Leader... on an Aboriginal Community... crying out to You for sense to this one... and for all the other ones... our children... our Family... our Mob... How do we mourn ..Again... how do we pray...how do we support each other ...Again... I'm praying for Justice like in Micah 6:8...'He has told you , O man.. what is good.. and what does the Lord require of you..but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God'...Lord help us with this anger.. this pain upon other pain... this whole cluster of pent up emotion... help us to do something good with it so it doesnt destroy us... So many crying out... just like the Land is crying out because of more spilled blood... all I can stand on and decree and declare to try to encourage us at this hard time .. Amos 5:24...But let Justice roll on like a river..and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.. May these words for those who believe and want to believe.. even in these very hard , challenging times.. stand on these words and believe that... Isaiah 55:11..'it is the same with My word. I send it out and it produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Keep praying for Kumunjayi's Mother and Father.. his Family and his Community and for conviction of the Police...For Comfort of hearts and minds and souls... For Breakthrough...For real Truth and Justice...We draw the line in the sand and say No more... in Jesus Name and with His authority as His kids.. in this Nation...This is my prayer....
Aunty Rosemary Rigney is an Aboriginal Christian Leader, a Ngarrindjeri woman, a prayer warrior, who lives in the Aboriginal community of Raukkan in South Australia.