Every year, Common Grace marks National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) and NAIDOC Week (4 July – 11 July), exploring themes including ‘Reconciliation as Walking Together’, ‘Always Was Always Will Be’, ‘Reconciliation as Truth and Action’, ‘Voice Treaty Truth’, ‘Reconciliation as Friendship’ and ‘Because of Her We Can’.
This year, you are invited on the journey, as led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, throughout National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week. Together, let’s join in for healing Country, through Treaty and Truth Telling.
Treaty & Truth Telling for Healing Country – a prayer, a cry for justice, an invitation to action – join in for healing country. Bring your hands, feet, mind, heart. Bring your listening, your learning, your love.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been calling for Treaty for decades and have been waiting on the unfulfilled promise for Treaty since 1988 when Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised a Treaty after receiving the Barunga Statement. We’ve been singing with Yothu Yindi about this broken promise since 1991! In the 2017 Statement from the Heart, the request for Treaty was made again.
Australia has international examples to learn from where countries like New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America have made treaty agreements with their First Nations peoples since the 18th and 19th centuries. Australia has also made over 2,000 treaties internationally but has never established a Treaty with our First nations peoples. We pray and call for immediate action for internationally recognised Treaty and treaties with Aboriginal peoples.
The true history of these lands now called Australia has been pushed under the carpet for far too long. There has never been a National Truth Telling Commission. Aunty Jean Phillips and Brooke Prentis, supported by Common Grace and the Anabaptist Association of Australia & New Zealand on 26 January 2019 held a Truth, Justice, and Conciliation Commission to provide an example and model for Australia. Through this process we learnt the importance and necessity of national truth telling for healing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will continue to suffer when the reality of what our people went through and are still going through is not acknowledged, and is even completely denied. All Australians will suffer through a lack of truth telling about our shared history. We pray and call for a National Truth Telling Commission, shedding light on the true history of Australia.
As Brooke Prentis often says in her Acknowledgements of Country, “Country is all lands, waters, sky, trees, plants, animals, birds, fish, rocks, mountains, and all peoples.” Country is all of God’s wondrous creation. It is a sense of identity, belonging, groundedness and home. We live on wounded, blood-stained country. Jesus understands, having shared our suffering and pain. Jesus provides hope for country to be healed, restored, loved and set free. Jesus calls us as his hands and feet to take an active role in healing country by protecting and restoring God’s beautiful earth.
We pray and call for Treaty and Truth Telling for healing Country.
Some of the upcoming elements of our Treaty and Truth Telling for Healing Country campaign are:
Church Resources Toolkit
Sign up your church here to receive a church resources toolkit for National Reconciliation Week.
Put together by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, the toolkit will include materials for worship, prayer, Bible readings, Acknowledgement of Country, children’s resources and sermon resources.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders would love you to set aside Sunday 30 May as the Sunday during National Reconciliation Week to use these resources.
These resources would also be appropriate to use in School Chapel services.
Treaty Video – Launch 27th May
We’re releasing a powerful video about Treaty at 7:30pm AEST on the 27th May! We need your help to make this video go viral. Please join us and invite your friends to watch and share.
Following the release of the video, Brooke Prentis will be facilitating a Q&A around Treaty, including answering all your questions, on Facebook Live.
Healing Country Petition – Launch 27th May
Add your name to the Healing Country petition, calling the Federal Government to take immediate action on processes surrounding Truth, Treaty, Voice and Justice.
Annual Reconciliation Appeal – Launch 27th May
Give to support our ongoing Aboriginal justice work, as an act of Reconciliation.
Book Launch – ‘Anaditj’ by Aunty Rev Dr Denise Champion – 8th June
On Tuesday 8 June at 7:30pm AEST, Common Grace will be hosting the book launch of Aunty Rev Dr Denise Champion’s new book “Anaditj” – “The way things are”. Join in as Brooke Prentis hosts Aunty Rev Dr Denise Champion for the launch of Anaditj with an interactive Q&A. This is sure to be an exciting conversation by two amazing women theologians and through listening will bring Truth Telling and Healing Country.
Children’s Resources – Coming Soon
We’re providing colouring-in and activities for children to engage with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
We look forward to journeying with you in the coming months as we pray and call for Treaty and Truth Telling for Healing Country.