• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:11

Real reconciliation - the time is right

 

Fr Michael Hardie 150 hsBy Fr Michael Hardie SVD

JPIC Coordinator

National Reconciliation Week in Australia is observed in the last week in May, beginning this year on ‘Sorry Day’ (Sunday 26) and continuing through to the 3rd of June. The dates for NRW remain the same each year, yet they are not random: they commemorate two significant milestones on the reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

NRW in 2019 also coincides with the second anniversary of the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ – a statement issued by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders at their gathering in Central Australia in May, 2017.

The essence of the Uluru Statement was its call for constitutional recognition and reforms to empower the First Peoples to take their rightful place in their own land, with their voices enshrined in the Constitution of Australia – voices of a truly shared future.

National Reconciliation Week 350The idea of a ‘shared future’ is a call for genuine inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in all aspects of Australian life, including parliamentary representation. Just weeks after the 2019 Federal election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken a step in this direction. The PM has appointed a Noongar man, Ken Wyatt, as Minister for Indigenous Affairs in his new Cabinet line-up. Announced on Sorry Day itself, Mr Wyatt is the first Aboriginal man to hold this portfolio, and the first Aboriginal person to sit in cabinet. Certainly, a great step forward, but why has it taken so long? There’s no short answer, but the long stretch from 1967 to 2019 gives us a clue: reconciliation is not achieved overnight. Successive governments have been reluctant to allow the ‘voice to parliament’ and have baulked at the idea of a truly shared future. Even former PM Kevin Rudd, after he issued the Apology to the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008, did not extend the reconciling hand further to include reparation and representation at the time.

Perhaps the time was not right then, but it is right now: the appointment of Ken Wyatt by the Morrison government has brought optimism and support nation-wide. Recently-appointed and incoming Labor leader Anthony Albanese, in a statement to ABC Radio National Breakfast (Tuesday 28 May) has said, “Our nation is diminished by not recognising First Australians in our constitution. Labor stands ready to co-operate on how we advance the agenda of the Uluru Statement.” Karen Mundine, chief executive of Reconciliation Australia, has said that the appointment of Ken Wyatt and Albanese’s willingness to co-operate signals a bipartisan, partnering approach to the goal of reconciliation. “We ourselves often have the answers to the issues facing our communities,” she said on RN Breakfast.

So, what does real reconciliation look like? According to Reconciliation Australia (reconciliation.org.au), there are five dimensions: Race Relations – overcoming racism; Equality and Equity – closing the gap and a better deal for all; Institutional Integrity – support for reconciliation from political, business and community sectors; Unity – recognition of Australia’s first peoples in our constitution, and Historical Acceptance – that all Australians accept and understand the impact of the wrongs of the past upon our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters.

A lot has happened since Reconciliation Week 2018. Steps have been taken, both forward and back, but in order to get the overall picture, we suggest you take a look at the ‘Australian Reconciliation Barometer,’ an analytical research project that has set out to measure what’s been happening, in real terms. You can find it at https://www.reconciliation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ra_2019-barometer-brochure_web.single.page_.pdf or simply search Australian Reconciliation Barometer in Google.

The key to reconciliation is to understand the issues. If you would like to know more, listen to the ABC Radio National breakfast interview podcast with Karen Mundine, Pat Anderson and Pat Turner, or check out the Guardian’s coverage of Ken Wyatt’s appointment to cabinet. All good stuff – all very hopeful. And, enjoy Reconciliation Week 2019 !

Some helpful links:

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/indigenous-leaders-sharpen-pitch-for-constitutional-recognition/11155426

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/27/aboriginal-groups-welcome-ken-wyatt-as-minister-for-indigenous-australians