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
Listen to the voices of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders speaking on Voice and justice. We are thankful for the wonderful opportunity to listen deeply to each of these leaders, and their gift of sharing wisdom and Voice, refined by years of experience in Aboriginal ministry and community work, deep thinkers and acting as key leaders in their own communities.
These reflections have been recorded as part of Common Grace’s Listen to the Heart campaign.
Aunty Jean Phillips is one of Australia’s most senior Aboriginal Christian Leaders. Born on Cherbourg mission over 85 years ago, Aunty Jean started out in ministry with the AIM (Aborigines Inland Mission) and for over 60 years has faithfully followed Jesus, focussing on justice, and serving those living in poverty. She has served many Aboriginal communities, churches of all denominations, raised up the next generations of Aboriginal Christian leaders, and has called non-Aboriginal Christians to come on the journey of reconciliation for decades.
Uncle Vince Ross was born at Balranald NSW on the banks of the Murrumbidgee river and his clan group is the Madi-Madi/Wamba-Wamba people. He has had extensive experience in various workplaces and ministries, including twenty years with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress as State Director during which time he established Narana Creations in Geelong. Uncle Vince has also been the Chairperson of The Salvation Army National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group. Uncle Vince was awarded National NAIDOC Elder of the Year in 2006.
Aunty Dr Doseena Fergie is a proud Wuthathi and Mabuiag Islander woman and Aboriginal Christian Leader. As a midwife, missionary, activist, manager, and university lecturer, Aunty Doseena has been a change-agent, catalyst and inspiration for many people, Indigenous and non-indigenous alike. This has only been enhanced in recent years through the completion of Ph.D. studies (ACU); an inductee into the Victorian Women’s Roll of Honour; and as a recipient of a prestigious Churchill Fellowship in 2017.
Aunty Sue Hodges is a Wiradjuri woman from the Central Western Slopes and Plains of Wellington in NSW. She is part of the Salvation Army’s Indigenous Ministry team working as the Divisional Indigenous Engagement Coordinator for NSW/ACT. She works in many areas including providing prison ministry, advocacy, and providing guidance to the denomination around Indigenous cultural and social justice issues.
Aunty Ravina Waldren is a Gubbi Gubbi and Kamilaroi woman based in Brisbane and leads the Murri Catholic Ministry. She coordinates and takes part in numerous practical ministries including work in prisons and schools, providing food assistance, and coordinating funerals. She is also involved in advocacy for Aboriginal justice including Aboriginal deaths in custody. Aunty Ravina’s leadership in Brisbane and throughout Australia supports and encourages Aboriginal peoples, as well as educates non-Indigenous peoples. Aunty Ravina also works ecumenically and coordinates combined church services for National Reconciliation Week and other nationally significant dates.
Adam Gowen is a Wiradjuri man and Aboriginal Christian Leader. He currently lives on the land of the Murramarang people of the Yuin nation (South Coast NSW) with his family. Passionate about relatedness, he seeks to understand all things in the context of their relationships. He is a Christian minister and holds a post-graduate qualification in theology and a first-class honours degree in Indigenous studies. The thesis component of his honours degree examines concepts of Aboriginal identity, settler colonialism, and sovereignty. Adam is passionate about social justice and committed to working at a grass-roots level to see large scale change.