27 May - 23 June 2023
A letter from The Most Reverend Geoffrey Smith, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia
May 27th marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week (formerly the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation). It also marks the 6th anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Conscious of the need to give attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in our journey of reconciliation, the Anglican Church of Australia is grateful for the witness and service of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC).
NATSIAC brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglicans from across the Australian church to support, resource and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry and mission. The Council is also asked to represent the views of Aboriginal Anglicans and Torres Strait Islander Anglicans.
NATSIAC’s vision is to be the primary voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglicans, promoting Gospel mission, encouraging ministry and generating resources so that we may walk together with God and the wider church.
This National Reconciliation Week please pray for the members of NATSIAC and their prophetic witness to their local communities and to the wider church.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC) Statement - The Voice Referendum
Australia is moving steadily closer to the referendum on the Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution. Sometime before December we will be asked to vote on whether we recognize the First Peoples of this land in the Constitution and provide them a Voice to parliament on legislation that impacts them.
It is simple and uncomplicated and appeals to the fairness of Australians to recognise First Peoples in the founding document of our nation. This is a significant step that builds on the success of the 1967 Referendum and the democratic process we now know as the Statement from the Heart.
It is simple and uncomplicated as it is about justice – acknowledging that there were people who lived in harmony with this land before the First Fleet arrived and that they have suffered significantly and continue to do so despite the many interventions in the past 250-plus years. It is not about taking anything away from the powers of governments or the constitution itself. It adds to both in a way that allows Australia and Australians to live out fully their vision of themselves as the nation of the fair-go.
It is simple and uncomplicated in that it has no power to veto Government legislation. Period.
It provides advice, input and a Voice for the First Peoples on matters that affect them directly. It is not another layer of bureaucracy or a third chamber. It is there to be the conscience of parliament and will act in the manner the legislation under which it will be formed allows it to.
It is simple and uncomplicated. Do you and this Nation believe it is time to address the original sin of invasion, the subsequent exclusion of the First People from the Constitution and allow them a Voice enshrined in that Constitution on matters impacting them?
As the Statement from the Heart states on behalf of all First People, “We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” For Christians this invitation by a people who have been decimated by colonisation to those who have benefited from it, rivals the absurdly compassionate generosity of God who sent his son so that whoever believes in him will be saved. (John 3:16)
The sheer brutality of the Cross is redeemed in the glory of the third day. It’s time for this Nation to enter the Third day that followed the crucifixion and the darkness of the tomb.
We invite you to join us in this journey.
The Reverend Canon Associate Professor Glenn Loughrey
The Reverend Canon Auntie Di Langham
The Right Reverend Chris McLeod
National Aboriginal Bishop
Uluru Statement From the Heart Poster
Articles and Resources
This Diocese is walking and working alongside communities to develop their capabilities. Being part of a healthy community helps people to grow, to connect and to feel that sense of belonging which leads to better lives and social outcomes.