This weekend marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, a time for reflection on the past, an honest assessment of where we’ve got to as an inclusive society, and an opportunity to forge a better future together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
It is 43 years last Friday since the 1967 referendum, and this coming Friday is the 18th anniversary of the High Court’s historic Mabo decision. Churches have been at the forefront of engagement with Aboriginal and Islander peoples, not all of it good, but today they are leading the way.
The Baptist churches have released a fresh statement acknowledging the wrongs and hurts of the past, and standing in solidarity with all who pursue justice and mercy for Indigenous people.
Baptists have urged the Australian Government to enact just laws and policies to improve Indigenous health, housing, education and employment; and they urge their constituents to work with Indigenous people to heal the wounds of the past and establish Australian society on a more just and harmonious foundation. Easier said than done, but definitely worth a try.
Broadcast in 2CH Sydney, Sunday 29 May 2011.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.