Reconciliation Week 27May-3June

Reconciliation Sunday service, Pilgrim Uniting Church, 30th May 2021

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to reflect on our shared histories and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation. 

The week is framed by the anniversaries of two significant milestones in our reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 Referendum (27 May) and the High Court Mabo decision (3 June). 

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2024 is Now More Than Ever.

This year’s theme is a reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must continue. 

Now more than ever, we need to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation. We know that the 6.2 million Australians who voted YES are committed to better outcomes for First Nations people, and are with us.  

It is imperative that supporters of reconciliation stand up to defend and uphold the rights of First Nations peoples. To call out racism wherever we encounter it, and to actively reinforce the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across this continent.  

Now more than ever, the work continues. In treaty making, in truth-telling, in understanding our history, in education, and in tackling racism. We need connection. We need respect. We need action. And we need change.   

Now more than ever, we need reconciliation.

More than a word. Reconciliation takes action asks people to take this awareness and knowledge, and use it as springboard to more substantive, brave action.

For reconciliation to be effective, it must involve truth-telling, and actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced.

While we see greater support for reconciliation from the Australian people than ever before, we must be more determined than ever if we are to achieve the goals of the movement — a just, equitable, reconciled Australia.

Cries and Whispers by Stephen Leek. Live performance by Lumina Vocal Ensemble, Musical Director Anna Pope. Adelaide Fringe Festival, March 2009.

“Justice stands at the heart of God. Justice is nothing other than love which seeks to understand, resist and overcome the structure of oppression. Bearing witness to the love of God involves working for justice. There can be no reconciliation between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal Australians without a commitment to the worth of human beings, concern about their destruction and a commitment to justice for people.

“Covenanting is establishing a relationship based on respect, friendship and love with the hope of ending racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is about leaning from Indigenous people concerning their culture and understanding of inter-connectedness of all forms of life and the earth.”

“Justice stands at the heart of God. Justice is nothing other than love which seeks to understand, resist and overcome the structure of oppression. Bearing witness to the love of God involves working for justice. There can be no reconciliation between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal Australians without a commitment to the worth of human beings, concern about their destruction and a commitment to justice for people.
Covenanting is establishing a relationship based on respect, friendship and love with the hope of ending racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is about leaning from Indigenous people concerning their culture and understanding of inter-connectedness of all forms of life and the earth.”
(Source: Rev Dr John Brown, Uniting Church in Australia)

May 31: On this day in 1902 the Boer War in South Africa drew to an end. And so began the process of repatriating the 22,000 Australians who’d survived the distant war. A thousand of their fellow countrymen didn’t. But not everyone made it home. It’s claimed 50 Aboriginal trackers were left behind because they were denied re-entry to Australia. They had to endure apartheid in South Africa. More information here.


Reconciliation Sunday happens in Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) annually. Reconciliation Week begins the day after Sorry Day (May 26th) and includes the anniversary of the 1967 referendum (May 27th) and finishes on June 3rd, sometimes known as ‘Mabo Day’, the anniversary of the High Court’s 1992 Mabo judgement which was a major landmark in the recognition of Indigenous land rights in Australia. In the Uniting Church it also recognizes the covenant relationship with the UAICC (Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress) of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Resources: See also Australia Day, and NAIDOC Week

Prayer for Others

Reconciling Christ, bless our efforts to bring about reconciliation.
Give us the strength to persevere without counting the hurts,
and to find within ourselves the capacity to keep on loving.

Give us the grace to be able to stand in the middle of situations,
and to be a conduit for the deep listening
which can lead to healing and forgiveness.

Help us to conduct ourselves with dignity,
giving and expecting respect, moving from prayer to action,
and from action back again into prayer.

Grant that we may be so grounded in your love,
that our security is not threatened if we change our minds,
or begin to see a better way to act.

Bless those who are called to reconcile on a large-scale –
politicians, world leaders, leaders of business,
and those who stand in the midst of bitter conflict.

Reconciling Christ, bless us and bless all who engage
in the sacred work of envisioning new wholeness,
and bringing people and nations together. Amen.

(Source: Ann Siddall)

Covenant poster – Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and the Uniting Church in Australia

Raukkan smoking ceremony (0.29)

A hymn for Reconciliation Week (tune: Slane)
1 When will it be that the sorrow will end?
When will the stranger be found as a friend?
When will the stories of grief be embraced,
told by the stolen, the lost, the displaced?

2 When will the languages flourish again,
cultures be treasured and pride shine through pain?
When will new hearts know that love has drawn near,
banishing deafness and blindness and fear?

3 When will it be that the wounds will be healed,
new ways of walking together revealed?
When will the land and its peoples be one,
truth fully told and deep justice be done?

4 Now, as the First Peoples’ voices are heard,
now, as each listener’s conscience is stirred,
Christ in our midst, keep us turning to you
and to each other, this long journey through.
(Source: words © Elizabeth J Smith 2019; tune: Slane)

Grounded in Truth, Walking Together in Courage
God of all,
Watcher and dreamer of all people,
Source of care, compassion and justice,
The story of the First Peoples shines bright in this land,
For tens of thousands of years it the light burnt strong,
Deep culture,
Deep language,
Deep spirituality
Efficient technology
Sustainable living
Like an extension of the Garden of Eden
Then things changed,
Whether well-meaning or ill-meaning,
Whether selfish or ignorant
The coming of subsequent peoples to this land
Has wrought wrong
Harm has been done
Right left undone
And the First Peoples have suffered and continue to suffer.
Though the story is not all bad and there is good within it,
With courage we face the truths that are saddening and upsetting.
We give thanks for the First Peoples of this land.
We recognise now their ancient sovereignty
We celebrate their wisdom.
We seek to learn from their custodianship.
We are sorry for the loss of land, language, culture and story.
We are sorry for the suffering
But we are thankful for those who work together
Who listen to each other with courage and respect,
And seek to work together in reconciliation.
Help us to be such people,
May we open ourselves to the truth both good and ill
And commit to working and walking together with courage
That we might walk together,
Reconciled to a better future for all people.
This we pray. Amen
(Source: Jon Humphries, Facebook post, Walking Together as First and Second Peoples, Uniting Church in Australia)

A Prayer of Indigenous Peoples, Refugees, Immigrants, and Pilgrims
Triune God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
we come before you as many parts of a single body.
people drawn from every tribe,
every nation, every language;
some indigenous – peoples of the land;
some refugees, immigrants, pilgrims – people on the move;
some hosts, some guests, some both hosts and guests;
all of us searching for an eternal place where we can belong.
Creator, forgive us.
The earth is yours and everything that is in it.
But we forget.
In our arrogance we think we own it.
In our greed we think we can steal it.
In our ignorance we worship it.
In our thoughtlessness we destroy it.
We forget that you created the earth to bring praise and joy to you.
That you gave it as a gift,
for us to steward,
for us to enjoy,
for us to see more clearly your beauty and your majesty.
Jesus, save us.
We wait for your kingdom.
We long for your throne.
We hunger for your reconciliation,
for that day where people from every tribe and every tongue
will gather around you and sing your praises.
Holy Spirit, teach us.
Help us to remember
that the body is made up of many parts,
each one unique and every one necessary.
Teach us to embrace the discomfort that comes from our diversity
and to celebrate the fact that we are unified, not through our sameness,
but through the blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Triune God, we love you.
Your creation is beautiful.
Your salvation is merciful.
And your wisdom is beyond compare.
We pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Source: Mark Charles,

Prayer for the Journey of Healing
Dear God
We who have come from every land give thanks for Australia;
this earth that feeds us; the shores that bind us;
the skies that envelop us in freedom.
We stand together, united as one people:
proud of our ability to work together;
grateful for our gifts;
nourished by our diversity and our harmony.
Yet we turn to the original people of this land
and see, too, what we have taken.
We weep for their loss of freedom, of country, of children –
even of their very lives
We stand in awe at their survival, and in debt for their land.
We have shadows in our history which, if not faced, diminish us.
We have taken without asking;
Our nation has taken without asking;
Lives are wounded.
We see the pain, feel the sorrow and seek forgiveness.
Let us look back with courage; see the truth and speak it.
Let us look around with compassion; see the cost and share it.
Let us look forward with hope; see what can be and create it.
Give us courage to face the truth;
compassion to share the burden,
strength to play our part in the healing,
and hope to walk forward to a place of justice.
With courage, compassion, strength and hope,
we will walk together on the journey of healing.
May it be so.

‘SORRY. Still Living On Borrowed Time!’
The Stolen Generations are the survivors of past government policies that allowed for the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families. On 13 February 2008, thousands of Australians shared in the experience of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and Indigenous Australia delivered by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd together with the Australian Parliament.
The majority of Stolen Generations survivors are over the age of 45 and, despite the Apology, are still waiting for justice – in particular the comprehensive implementation of the recommendations of the 1997 Bringing them home report. It is now 2011 and time is running out; hence the theme ‘SORRY. Still Living On Borrowed Time!’
National Sorry Day Committee

“You’re religion can be carried around in a box, a book, our religion is found in the land, the sacred sites and you took these from us” (First Nations People, Canada)

2007 SA Synod order of service for Reconciliation Sunday

Resources – various
Link to resources from the churches.
Reconciliation Australia has great resources online.
TEAR Reconciliation Action Kit – download here.
Resources can be downloaded at  this weblink. Resources from 2011 here, Reconciliation Sunday.Week of Prayer 2011 and  2014 here.
Sorry Day 2016 poster (Adelaide specific) sorry day
Uniting Church (SA Synod) compilation of resources

Resources may also be used later during NAIDOC week celebrations in July if this fits in better with your worship planning. Resources from previous years may also be downloaded.

A Dreaming Prayer – on youtube.

Listen to the Whisper, written by Geoff Boyce, and sung by Tim and Alison Solly. Images from Colebrook memorial, Adelaide SA

Worship resources
Order of service for Reconciliation Sunday 2014 Reconciliation Sunday 2014
Worship Resources on the SA Synod website (including past years).
2016 Worship Resources: WorshipResources.ReconciliationSunday.2016Worship resources for 2010 (same readings as Trinity Sunday 2016)
Worship resources.Reconciliation Sunday.2010

UCA Assembly worship resources for Reconciliation Week

Psalm 23, Aboriginal style. By Uncle Rev Ron Williams
My big fella boss up in the sky is like the father Emu.
He will always look after me and take me to green grass,
and lead me to where the water holes
are full and fresh all the time.
He leads me away from the thick scrub
and helps me keep safe
from the hunters, dingoes and eagles.
At night time when I am very lonely and sad,
I will not be afraid,
for my Father covers me with his feathers
like a father emu.
His spear and shield will always protect me.
My big fella boss always gives me a good feed
in the middle of my enemies.
In hot times he makes me sit down in a cool shade and rest.
He gives me plenty of love and care all of my life through.
Then I will live with my big fella boss like a father emu:
that cares for his chicks in good country,
full of peace and safety
For evermore and evermore.

Prayer of confession/lament
Damaged – A Prayer of Confession and Reconciliation
Lord of the people,
Spirit in this land
Christ of justice,
Our people are damaged.
Our First Peoples suffer in the wake of a history which should not have been,
A history which resulted in
Their people killed or dying
Their wellbeing infected and dissolved
Their culture taken or eroded
Their children snatched and stolen
Their family life shattered and shredded
Their land divvied up and despoiled
Their way of life polluted and poisoned
Their wisdom insulted and ignored
Their pride eroded and soiled
Their spirituality attacked and subverted
Their sovereignty transgressed
Their heritage robbed and ruined
Their humanity denied
Whether it was
Well-intentioned but, misguided,
Ignorant or malicious,
It was wrong.
The treatment by Europeans of First Peoples of this land has damaged the fabric of their being,
And the legacy of that history continues to affect their life in this day and times.
The damage was not only done, but continues to be done
We have much to be sorry for as a country.
May we all work for reconciliation.
Awake in our nation a desire for repentance.
Let us
Own the past in truth
Lament the damage done
Understand the pain experienced
And join with our indigenous sisters and brothers in their sorrow.
May we work to turn what can be around.
May we seek to learn from them and support them in their healing.
May we look to their empowerment.
May we do what is right. Lord of the people,
The damage has be done,
But may we work together for a better future
Learning from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people what needs to be addressed,
That all might find peace and healing as a nation under your love.
In your grace, Christ one, we pray. Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries, 28 May 2016)

Confession: Recognition of inappropriate ways Europeans have treated Indigenous Australians
Some of the following could be woven into prayers of confession
We acknowledge:
• That Europeans took control of the continent without negotiation or compensation.
• That Europeans managed the land in ways which made it unsuitable for traditional Aboriginal lifestyles; this also resulted in destruction of plants, animals and habitats.
• Across most of the nation there were bitter ‘wars’ over land. Casualties were not restricted to ‘warriors’. ‘Massacres’ and outrageous recriminations were too common.
• That Indigenous Australians have often been treated in ways that did not recognize them as made in the image of God.
• The creation of ‘stolen generations’ and consequently Indigenous people who have lost their land and traditional identity.
• That today, many Aborigines live in conditions that are far worse than most other Australians.
• Sometimes contemporary events repeat these evils.
Recognition of inappropriate ways Indigenous Australians have treated Europeans
• It was not uncommon for innocent Europeans to be killed in the early turbulent times.
Recognition of the Church Workers who have worked with Indigenous Australians
• Since the arrival of the first Europeans, there have been church workers such as missionaries, clergy and local men and women of good will who have worked hard for Indigenous people. At times when settlers rarely took an interest in the first Australians, a few inspired people were enduring hard conditions to support Aboriginal people.
• We recognize that mistakes were made as attitudes of the day were imposed and at times Indigenous people treated inappropriately.

We confess the inequality in our community, especially Indigenous people who are too highly represented amongst people with serious illness, unemployment, poverty and inadequate housing.
We pray…
That there might be a widespread desire to change things for the better.
For those concerned with health provision: Doctors, nurses and all people who work in hospitals; Community health workers, including Aboriginal health workers and carers; Medical researchers.
That all men and women may have access to meaningful occupations.
For all Centrelink workers.
For all teachers, school administrators and educational researchers.
That the efforts of government to improve the provision of housing might be successful.
For the large army of Aboriginal women and men who try to help their families and communities.
For the least powerful people in communities, especially children and the elderly.
For Indigenous people in penal institutions, and those who care for them.
For all members of Parliament and public servants, that all policies and actions might be just and compassionate.
That the next developments in the area of the ‘Federal Intervention’ might restore dignity and justice where they have been compromised, and that widespread harmony and well-being might be the result.
For communities threatened with closure.
For dialysis treatment to be available closer to Aboriginal communities instead of the big cities.
That the ‘Close the Gap’ initiative to support the health needs of Indigenous Australians will lead to effective gains.
That the Recognise campaign will bring about constitutional change to recognize Aboriginal people.

A Prayer of Hope
In the name of reconciliation and hope,
We hope for a better today and a better tomorrow together.
We acknowledge the pain of the past, as well as the hurt and frustration of many our Aboriginal sisters and brothers in the present.
We take time to notice and understand the injustice.
But with hope, we look towards more positive things to come as we continue on the journey into reconciliation.
Help us to own our part in the story.
May we never be complacent about the need to work for justice.
Give us the courage to act in ways that we can to work for change and improvement.
There is so much to be done and there are big obstacles that seem to be in the way.
Inspire us to think creatively that we might find ways to right wrongs and lay strong foundations for a hopeful future.
Help us to work together to make our contribution for improvement.
I pray this in the name of the reconciling one. Amen
(Source: Jon Humphries)

A haunting Australian choral work by Clare Maclean based on poem by Oodgeroo Nunuccal. Live performance by Lumina Vocal Ensemble in the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival ‘Australian Soundscapes’.
Poem by Oodgeroo Nunuccal:
As tribal elders sit, their tribal thoughts tie their tongue
We the foreigners, in this our land, where lies our future track
No place forward, none back
Hearing their city tribes talk the foreign tongue
They shuffle their tribal feet and wait and judge
And soon within their age-old eyes a light appears
Yes, it was there, though but a pinhead size
Frustrated still they walk away with knowing smile and gentle voice
Now we hope.
For you have taught us
Hope There Is.

Prayers of the People
God of love and justice,
Of wholeness and reconciliation,
You call us to share in Christ’s ministry –
Praying and acting such
That your reign may blossom.
We pray for those in Parliament:
That you may guide our elected representatives
To act in the interests of all the people of this land,
And work towards a reconciled Australia.
Lord, in your mercy: We pray for wholeness and reconciliation
We pray for our Church:
That through the Covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
We may continue what has begun and stand together to see it through.
Lord, in your mercy: We pray for wholeness and reconciliation
We pray for ourselves, all the people of Australia:
You taught us to love our neighbour.
Help us to see in each other
Your righteousness, your justice, your love,
And humbly seek to reflect the same
Lord, in your mercy: We pray for wholeness and reconciliation
We pray for Reconciliation:
That the wrongs of the past may be recognized,
That our awareness of the journey so far be awakened,
And that the Spirit move us
To see through what has been started.
Lord, in your mercy: We pray for wholeness and reconciliation

The Future: Pray for Justice and Generous Hearts.
More and more Christians are concerned that the process of reconciliation has stalled.
Pray that the Holy Spirit may convict more and more people to open their hearts.

A Prayer of Lament and for Reconciliation
Lord of Grace
It was not me, but it was my people.
It is not part of my experience, but is part of my story.
It is not my fault, but I am partly to blame.

Can there ever be enough to bring healing to our aboriginal people?
Can there ever be enough forgiveness to bring reconciliation?

We are broken and less because of the brokenness and lessening of our aboriginal brothers and sisters.
For this I am sorry.

I mourn their loss.
The loss of
– Belief
– Spirituality
– Land
– Family
– culture
I am sorry for our people.
I am sorry for the past
I am sorry for the present
I am sorry for the future, even though I hope that we may work to make it better
I am sorry for the systematic erosion of kanyini – the connectedness
l am sorry for the madness of selfish, hypocritical practices and that have disenfranchised our aboriginal people.
For the massacre of life
For the bringing of death
For the rejection and breaking of oneness
For the failure of compassion
For the chaos and sadness that our aboriginal people are left with as a legacy and inheritance –
Stuck between two cultures
Stuck between two worlds
stuck between two times
Stuck between the past and the future

l lament the sad reality that the people who lived in the present are now stuck in a present that should never have been.
God of Justice , bring justice
God of hope, bring hope.
God of reconciliation, stir in us the change that might open the way for reconciliation.

Jesus, who is the way, show us the way.
Jesus, who is the life, lead us into better life.
Jesus, who is the truth, open us to the truth.

Gracious God,
Help us make things right.
This we pray.
(Source: Jon Humphries)

A prayer by Rev Lenore Parker (an Indigenous Anglican priest)
God of holy dreaming, Great Creator Spirit,
From the dawn of creation you have given your children
the good things of Mother Earth.
You spoke and the gum tree grew.
In vast deserts and dense forest,
and in cities at the water’s edge,
creation sings your praise.
Your presence endures as the rock at the heart of our Land.
When Jesus hung on the tree
you heard the cries of your people
and became one with your wounded ones:
the convicts, the hunted, and the dispossessed.
The sunrise of your Son coloured the earth anew,
and bathed it in glorious hope.
In Jesus we have been reconciled to you,
to each other and to your whole creation.
Lead us on, Great Spirit, as we gather from the four corners of the earth.
Enable us to walk together in trust,
from the hurt and shame of the past
into the full day which has dawned in Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer for Reconciliation by Bishop Arthur and Mrs Colleen Malcolm
Lord God, bring us together as one,
reconciled with you and reconciled with each other.
You made us in your likeness,
you gave us your Son, Jesus Christ.
He has given us forgiveness from sin.
Lord God, bring us together as one,
different in culture, but given new life in Jesus Christ,
together as your body, your Church, your people.
Lord God, bring us together as one,
reconciled, healed, forgiven,
sharing you with others as you have called us to do.
In Jesus Christ, let us be together as one. Amen.

Music resources

How Shall We Sing?
(this is a 2018 by Craig Mitchell and David MacGregor. Here’s the link to Craig’s blogpost which incudes a downloadable score (PDF) and backing demo)
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
in this strange land?
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
in this strange land?
This endless desert
These golden sands
This blue horizon
These green islands
How can we sing the song?
How can we sing the song?

How shall we hear God’s story
of this strange land?
How shall we hear God’s story
of this strange land?
This timeless dreaming
These rocks and bones
This wisdom people
Their ancient home
How can we sing the song?
How can we sing the song?

Come hear a new song
Come hear a new song
Come sing it loud
Come sing it strong

How shall we cry God’s weeping
for this strange land?
How shall we cry God’s weeping
for this strange land?
This broken homeland
These stolen years
Their hidden history
This trail of tears
How can we cry the song?
How can we cry the song?

How shall we live God’s story
in this strange land?
How shall we live God’s story
in this strange land?
With eyes wide open
and gaping hearts
With truthful longing
and stumbling start
How can we live the song?
How can we live the song?

Come sing a new song
Come sing a new song
Come sing it loud
Come sing it strong

How can we bring the Lord’s peace
in this strange land?
How can we bring the Lord’s peace
in this strange land?
With justice raining
When poor are blessed
With love outpouring
From east to west
How can we bring the song?
How can we bring the song?

Come sing a new song
Come sing a new song
Come sing it loud
Come sing it strong

Come sing a new song
Come sing a new song
Come sing it loud
Come sing it strong

lyrics: Craig Mitchell  © 2018
music: David MacGregor © 2018

We’re standing here on holy ground
(Tune: ‘Ellacombe(2)’, 86 86D,  453 TiS)

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land your hand has made;
Your art displayed in timeless rocks,
in purple haze and space;
Its mighty gums and feathery ferns
your beauty magnify.
Tread softly then, in awe reflect,
and listen to the land.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land which ancients trod.
They wrote your law in hills and streams
in rocks and caves and trees;
A law to tell us who we are,
to guide and make us strong.
Tread gently then, respect the earth,
remember whence we’ve come.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land that toil has shaped.
It’s fertile plains will feed us all,
when tilled with care and love.
But mindless greed and drought and flood
wreak havoc in the land.
Then let us tread with love the earth,
that’s fed us faithfully.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
on land we long to share,
Where each has space and equity,
and neither want nor fear
But demons fierce are dancing here
of race and greed and hate.
Engrave upon our wills, we pray,
your ancient covenant law.

We’re standing here on holy ground,
we seek your rule on earth;
Your will be done in politics,
in law court, market, church;
Your gentleness among us reign,
and each one dwell secure;
May generations yet unborn,
live here in harmony.  © JBrown. (Adapted – Verses 1-2, 4-6)

Reconciliation Prayer – Reconciliation Prayer
A song by David MacGregor (with links to MP3 and music score) – Come Together
Come together
Come together
We are one in God
through Jesus Christ
Come together
Come together
Christ our peace
and Jesus Christ our life.

We’re humbly confessing
God help us addressing
Our pride dispossessing
For we’ve wrought pain
We come now repenting
We pray your forgiving
God’s grace reconciling
to live again
Come together

Come sister and brother
All creeds and all colours
Reach out to each other
all barriers down
Journeying together
Love for one another
No longer strangers
but friends in God
Come together

Hymns and Songs from ‘Together in Song’
TiS 687 – God gives us a future
TiS 672 – Lord of earth and all creation
TiS 657 – God of freedom, God of justice
TiS 650 – Brother, sister, let me serve you
Tis 653 – This is a day of new beginnings
TiS 638 – O Christ, the healer, we have come
TiS 442 – All praise to our redeeming Lord

Anniversary of the Mabo High Court judgment (1992)
This judgment, in 1992, recognized that the people of Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait had always possessed their own land, with clearly marked internal boundaries. This established a legal basis for traditional ownership and was a clear recognition that the legal notion of ‘terra nullius’ was inappropriate.
We give thanks for the many positive outcomes of land settlements across the nation.
We pray for Indigenous people as they seek to care for their land, to make it accessible and to use it to support themselves in the 21st century.
We pray for Indigenous people who remain out of contact with their homeland, especially those who do not know where they came from. [This a particular problem with people who have been describes as part of the Homeless Generation]

Michael Long (retired AFL player, indigenous leader) talking to the ABC about preparing for a performance of his song, Walk with me. The song is available from The Long Walk website for $10

Nicky Winmar
AFL footballer Nicky Winmar

This photo of AFL hero, Nicky Winmar, is arguably one of the most moving images in Australian sport history. Winmar, who played for St Kilda Football Club was racially criticised during a 1993 match against Collingwood. At the end of the game, when St Kilda won by 22 points, Winmar lifted his shirt and proudly pointed to his skin. The following day, this photo was published in newspapers around the country under headlines such as “I’m black and proud of it” and “I’ve got guts”. The moment has been credited as a catalyst for the movement against racism in Australian football. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the AFL’s rule 30; the racial vilification policy which was instigated by AFL great, Michael Long after he was racially abused by his opponent, Damian Monkhurst. On Saturday 30th May 2015, to celebrate unity and reconciliation, Michael Long and Damian Monkhurst will walk side-by-side in ‘The Long Walk Together’ at 12pm in Federation Square, Melbourne. For more info, head here:
(racial vilification continues – the Adam Goodes incidents in 2013 and 2014 and again in 2015 continue to be shocking. Adam Goodes was named Australian of the Year in 2014).

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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