Newcastle Anglican Church Supports Constitutional Recognition of First Peoples

One of the motions to pass through Synod 2019 was a motion to embrace the ‘Statement from the Heart’: “This synod acknowledges and celebrates the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including the ancient spiritual sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” and “the rich spirituality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that continues to make a vital contribution to the diverse culture of Australia”.

The Statement from the Heart was made by 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates and identifies amendments needed for constitutional recognition of First Nations peoples. The Statement reads:

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart…. In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”

We encourage you to read or listen to the full Statement here: https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement

The motion encourages supportive actions from parishes, agencies and entities of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, as follows:

  • To display the full text of the Statement from the Heart in a prominent place (you can download a copy here: https://ulurustatement.org/campaign-toolkit);
  • To use the ABM Study Material A Voice in the Wilderness which has been endorsed by the Primate, the National Aboriginal Bishop, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council and the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church;
  • To discuss and endorse this synod motion at any parish council or agency meeting;
  • Also, to read and study Professor Norman Habel’s study on Abraham’s journey through Canaan; “Acknowledgment of the Land the Faith of Aboriginal Custodians After Following the Abraham Trail”.

Other outcomes of the motion include the establishment of an ‘Indigenous Consultative Group’ with whom the bishop(s) will meet on a regular basis and who will bring a first level Diocesan Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to Synod in 2021. It also includes a call on the Commonwealth Government to introduce a Bill for a referendum to bring about constitutional change to enshrine a First Nations’ Voice in the Constitution.

Read or listen to the Statement here: https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement