December's Monthly Byte
social justice task force:
Take on social justice in bite-sized chunks
This Month's Theme: Aboriginal Reconciliation
GET INVOLVED! ABORIGINAL SUNDAY IS ON JANUARY 24, 2021
Scroll down to ACTIONS for what to do.
Background information: For your church bulletin
Material taken from the Reconciliation Australia website >>>
At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
"... A reconciled Australia is one where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter ...". Kirstie Parker - Board Member, Reconciliation Australia.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia's colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken.
Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.
In a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person's life will not be determined by their racial background.
Reconciliation Australia offers five dimensions to how we can view and measure reconciliation: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation, but are interrelated. For example, greater historical acceptance of the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can lead to improved race relations, which in turn leads to greater equality and equity.
"Reconciliation must transcend Australian political theatre and promote a sense of national unity ..." Patrick Dodson - The State of Reconciliation in Australia, 2016
"Reconciliation isn't a single moment or place in time. It's lots of small, consistent steps, some big strides, and sometimes unfortunate backwards steps ..." - Karen Mundine - Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia
One way organisations can support the reconciliation process is to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (or RAP). A RAP is a strategic document that supports an organisation's business plan. It includes practical actions that will drive an organisation's contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which it operates.
There are many other ways that church communities can be involved in taking the small steps towards Aboriginal Reconciliation. These include forming better relationships with local Aboriginal organisations, being curious and learning more about the issues, preparing and including Acknowledgement of Country in services and meetings and actively engaging with local politicians in issues such as Aboriginal Deaths in custody and other continuing areas of injustice.
Options to use personally, in small groups or in a service
Pastor Ray Minniecon's teaching as part of our 2016 Lent Series with the theme Love Thy Neighbour:
NAIDOC Week 2019, "Voice, Treaty, Truth' sermon by Brooke Prentis:
NAIDOC Week 2018, "Because of her, we can!" Brooke Prentis interviews Aunty Jean Phillips, July 2018:
'Rethinking Reconciliation', Brooke Prentis Keynote address QCommons Gold Coast, posted 26 May 2018:
Uluru Statement from the Heart:
See more on the Common Grace website >>>
Options to use in services
Holy Father, God of Love,
You are the Creator of all things.
We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history and the sufferings of Our peoples,
We ask for your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures.
Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.
Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land.
Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities,
Especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.
May your power and love be the foundations on which we build
and our Nation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
More prayer resources from Common Grace >>>
Practical steps ranging from easier to more challenging
Love without action is not love at all. 1 John 3:18.
Hold and lead a church service for Aboriginal Sunday on Sunday, 24 January.
Sign up for a Church Resource Toolkit >>>
Sign up for the Change the Heart prayer service to be led by Aunty Jean Phillips and Aboriginal Christian Leaders on Monday, 25 January 2021 (7.30pm AEDT).
Sign up, receive updates and the Order of Service booklet >>>
WATCH the SBS Series, First Australians >>>
LEARN MORE about issues affecting Aboriginal Australians.
Check out the Common Grace website >>>
READ the Uluru Statement from the Heart >>>
HOST a Film night with documentaries from Australia's leading Indigenous film makers in the Reconciliation Film Club.
Click here to find out more >>>
LEARN MORE about the Tasmanian Aboriginal perspective on issues of reconciliation and justice.
Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre >>>
Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Communities Alliance >>>
WRITE a letter to the Minister for Corrections (Elise Archer) and Minister for Police (Mark Shelton), encouraging them to take action to stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Here is a suggested template from the Common Grace website >>>
DEVELOP a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for your church.
Compiled by Joanna Sinclair, December 2020
Social Justice Task Force
READ MORE: All the latest NEWS, December 2020 >>>