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Australian Reconciliation

Australian Reconciliation

Read more: Reflection - Reading - Prayer

On Wednesday we focus on Indigenous Reconciliation. We seek to move towards reconciliation, learning to live and work in partnership and harmony, with indigenous and non-indigenous brothers and sisters. We believe that the way the Aboriginal people were treated by the early colonial society, which involved the deliberate driving away of the original inhabitants and sometimes massacres of innocent people, is a huge scar on our Australian society. The way the “Stolen Generations” were treated in the 20th Century shows that deep seated prejudice has not been eliminated. Our calling is to affirm the right of the First Peoples to develop their own culture and find their own ways of relating to mainline Australian culture.


Reflection

The Wellspring Community seeks, from a Christian perspective, to work with Aboriginal people, to learn from them and find ways to express our Christian calling to reconciliation. The Apology by the Government in 2008 was an important step but there needs to be much more to enable Aboriginal people to recover from centuries of exploitation and discrimination and be affirmed as full members of Australian society.

One person who has made an important contribution to this process is Father Eugene Stockton, who is a Catholic priest and a Member of our Community. He has worked for many years as an archaeologist, exploring Aboriginal sites to develop our understanding of their culture. He has also studied Aboriginal Art in Catholic churches and has brought out a book on “Aboriginal Church Paintings”. He has also written several books exploring Indigenous Spirituality. One particular book is “The Aboriginal Gift - Spirituality for a Nation”. This includes the creative picture that all the different cultures (European, Asian and Pacific Islander) are like roots spreading out from the base of the tree of Australian society. However Aboriginal Culture is the tap root, the deep root going straight down into the earth. Their culture has been developed for more than 40,000 years so they are the First Peoples. We need to recognise their priority. The tap root for the Christian Gospel was God's revelation to the Jewish people. In the same way, Aboriginal culture is the taproot for Australian culture today. The fascination of present day Australians with indigenous paintings is a sign of this.

We express some of these concerns by supporting other groups like

  1. National and Torres Strait Island Ecumenical Council
  2. Campfire of the Heart
  3. Nungalinya College

More details will be found under Links on this website


Readings

Matthew 5:21-26, 43-48 | 1 Corinthians 13


Prayer Activity

"Today when you encounter someone from another race or religion or 'some stranger in the midst', let some words, or a wave, some courtesy or kindness to them be a living prayer that will bless them and you."

"Pray Now. Daily devotions for the year 2004." p. 23.

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