From this Anglican Focus piece by Bishop Cameron Venables:
Last year’s Diocesan Synod affirmed the ongoing work of our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which encourages the fostering of positive relationships at a local level.
The work of Reconciliation is not just local, there are inevitable implications for us nationally, which is one reason why our Diocesan RAP supports the Uluru Statement From the Heart, including the Voice to Parliament.
I think supporting the Voice to Parliament is well grounded in the third element of our Diocesan Mission statement in which we, “…seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.”
Congruent with this, the Diocesan Council voted to officially partner with From the Heart, the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament referendum campaign organisation. The ACSQ was the first national church to do this.
Our RAP Working Group Chair, The Rev’d Canon Bruce Boase, has said that, “…the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a gift for all Australians – a roadmap to fairness.” And, “…by voting ‘yes’ Australians will take another meaningful step towards Reconciliation because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will then be properly heard on matters that directly concern them.”
I think the Voice will help to engage with complex and systemic issues and will help to “close the gap” that exists in so many ways, particularly in health and life expectancy. Powerfully, this has been suggested and offered to us as a way forward by significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership…and in this there is both grace and gift.
For more information, there are excellent resources available:
- A series of anglican focus “Why I am voting ‘yes’ in the referendum” reflections.
- Yes 23 campaign messaging guide.
- Yes 23 campaign resources, including flyers, posters and social media banners
- Anglican Board of Mission resources page.
Artwork by Maggie-Jean Douglas, a Gubbi Gubbi artist from South East Queensland, used the 2021 NAIDOC Week theme, Heal Country!, as inspiration for her winning artwork ‘Care for Country’. This is a bright and vibrant artwork which explores how Country has cared for and healed First Nations people spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.
2021 Poster ‘Care for Country’ © Maggie-Jean Douglas, licenced to the Commonwealth as represented by the National Indigenous Australians Agency available for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons 3.0 Australia – Attribution Non-commercial No Derivative Works licence (CC-BY-NC-ND).