Reconciliation

The Diocese acknowledges the custodianship of the First Nations of the land on which the Diocese ministers – the Awabakal, Biripi, Darkinjung, Geawegal, Kamilaroi, Worimi, Garrigal and Wonnarua peoples. Land that stretches from the Hawkesbury River to Lake Cathie, from the coast to beyond the Burning Mountain. We honour the elders past, present and emerging.

In 2019, the Synod acknowledged and celebrated the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It resolved to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan.

We have been privileged by the generosity of elders speaking of the hurt they have experienced including hurt by the Anglican Church since colonisation. We are committed to the journey of showing respect and growing together in partnership.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE COUNTRY

    An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Only an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person from that country can make a formal welcome to country.

    There are no set protocols or wording for an Acknowledgement of Country, though often a statement may take the following forms.

    In the context of the Holy Communion or other service of worship:

    After the introductory greeting you may say –

    We gather in the name God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We celebrate that through God all things have been made and have their being. We acknowledge that the ongoing custodianship of the First Nations Peoples of this land. We pay our respect to (please insert name of the nation here) and their elders past, present, and emerging.

    Followed by the scripture sentence for the day.

    In speeches and public occasions use the words:

    I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today, the (people) of the (nation). I honour their ongoing custodianship of the land and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

  • FLY THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER FLAGS

    The elders make clear to us that when they see only the Australian Flag or the Union Jack on display or flying in our churches they do not feel welcome or respected. Parishes and diocesan entities are encouraged to obtain and fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. There are some rules about publishing or printing the flags. For more details go to the NAIDOC website.

  • PROVIDING ONGOING SUPPORT

    Everyone deserves the right to a healthy future and the opportunities this affords. However, many of Australia’s First Peoples are denied the same access to healthcare that non-Indigenous Australians take for granted. Despite a decade of Government promises the gap in health and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians is widening.

    First peoples experience rates of incarceration significantly greater than non-indigenous Australians with the consequent demands on many in their community.

    Parishes are encouraged to make contact with their local aboriginal communities to explore ways they can be supportive. Ask and listen. Hear invitations and find ways of responding.

  • REMEMBERING THE MYALL CREEK MASSACRE AND DENNY DAY - 6 MAY and 10 JUNE

    Accounts of what occurred on 10 June 1838 to the Wirrayaraay people at horrendous and heartbreaking. An armed group came upon them as they getting ready to eat at the end of the day. An untold number were tied up, led away, killed with their corpses burnt. It is an event of terror and slaughter.

    Captain Edward ‘Denny’ Day was a magistrate. There is a memorial window to him in St Peter’s Church East Maitland. He was buried in the East Maitland Anglican cemetery following his death on 6 May 1876. Day was instrumental in the arrest of the perpetrators of this murder. The son of an Anglican priest, Day found himself shunned and rejected by many in the colony. The case sparked led to significant concern in Great Britain with some improvements in the law but these were insufficient and did not respect the rights of the First Nations people or prevent further harm. stricter government policies protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE NATIONAL SORRY DAY- 26 MAY

    National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year. It is especially significant for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families, communities and cultural identity to assimilate.

    Some people propose that that the forced removal of people remained in place only until the early 1970s. However the elders speak of the continued crisis of removal. The children, who were taken from their families, are known as the Stolen Generation.

  • PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK - 27 MAY to 3 June

    National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

    These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum (27 May), and the High Court Mabo decision ( 3 June).

    We are invited to engage in showing respect and listening carefully as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    The best way to get involved is to make contact with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and find ways of joining in existing activities. Parishes can offer to provide assistance to those activities.

    Parishes can celebrate National Reconciliation Week by including stories, prayers, poetry and other contributions on the Sunday that falls between these two dates.

  • CELEBRATE THE COMING OF THE LIGHT - 1 JULY

    For Torres Strait Islanders 1 July is celebrated as the Coming of the Light holiday. It marks the decision by Dabad, an Elder on Erub to welcome the London Missionary Society clergy and teachers and receive Christianity.

  • NAIDOC WEEK 5-12 JULY 2020

    NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. Parishes across the Diocese are encouraged to celebrate NAIDOC week.

    The best way to get involved is to make contact with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and find ways of joining in existing activities. Parishes can offer to provide assistance to those activities.

    Parishes can celebrate NAIDOC by including stories, prayers, poetry and other contributions on any Sunday falling on or between 5  and 12 July.

  • CELEBRATE JAMES NOBLE - THE FIRST ABORIGINAL PERSON ORDAINED DEACON - 25 November and ANGELINA NOBLE - 19 October

    James Noble was baptised and confirmed in Scone in July 1895. The exact year of his birth is not known. Returning to North Queensland in 1896 he was active in missionary work there and later in North West Australia. He was ordained Deacon in September 1925 in St Georges Cathedral in Perth. He died on 25 November 1941.

    In 1926 James Noble was central to investigating rumours that the police had massacred Aboriginal people close to the Forrest River. He discovered evidence that people had been tied to trees and shot, before their remains were dismembered and burnt. In 1927 Noble gave evidence before a Royal Commission of Inquiry which concluded that police had probably murdered eleven people, but did not ascertain who should be held criminally responsible.

    James Noble was married to Angelina Noble in 1904. Angelina had a significant ministry in her own right as well as supporting his work. She was a gifted linguist and was known for her compassion as well as her teaching. Her example continues to inspire women of all backgrounds today. She died on 19 October 1964.