CategoryIndigenous Issues

Happy Independence Day Australia


I was watching a short speech by Olympic gold medallist and former Senator Nova Peris today, when she suggested March 3 as Australia’s national day. What a brilliant suggestion. March 3 1986 was the date the Australia Act took effect. I was surprised to discover that prior to this the UK Parliament was able to pass laws about Australian states. The power to make laws impacting the...

Reconciliation Can Change Us All for the Better


I am 52 years old. In the half century of my life there have been dramatic shifts in the relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians: the 1967 referendum to include indigenous peoples in the census and grant to government power to make decisions that positively discriminated towards indigenous people; recognition of land rights; Keating’s Redfern speech; the Mabo...

To Members of our First Nations.


Yesterday indigenous leaders gathered  at Uluru released  a statement calling  Australians to walk with them on a journey to a better future. It’s an invitation I accept. As a follower of Jesus I think I’m called to this. One of the most significant Christian thinkers on questions of justice is Yale philosopher and theologian  Nicholas Wolterstorff. He notes that in the philosophical...

The pain of the first peoples. When will enough be enough?


Pain inhabits her words, her tone, her posture. Raw. Visceral. Some pain is intense but short-lived, but not hers. This is a deep sorrow decades in the making. The pain of one who has been terribly wronged, whose loss has been incalculable, but whose pleas for redress fall upon deaf ears. There is also anger, pain’s erstwhile companion. An anger that cuts like a knife but in her case is righteous...

On Shutting Down Remote Indigenous Communities


A furore has erupted this week over the Prime Minister’s description of aboriginals living in remote communities as being there as a result of their “lifestyle choices”.  Aboriginal leaders,  even those who have been supportive of the Prime Minister, have expressed disappointment in what seems to them to be a failure to understand the complexities of the situation. According to...

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