In 2015, the 14th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia agreed to support Constitutional Recognition as “… a step towards and not a blockage to the larger issues of sovereignty and treaty”.
The Assembly also committed to work with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) to educate members of the Church about the need for a treaty and to highlight issues faced by First Peoples.
In his Survival Day message this year, the UCA president Stuart McMillan called for a new national conversation about sovereignty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“We can never be a mature nation and close the gap until we honour First People as sovereign and negotiate treaties on just terms,” Mr McMillan said.
As part of these conversations, the Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit is organising an ecumenical forum that will focus on treaty, sovereignty and constitutional recognition.
Christian Perspectives on Treaty, Sovereignty and Constitutional Recognition will be held at Wesley Uniting Church in Melbourne at 7pm on Wednesday 9 November.
Stuart McMillan and Victorian state director of UAICC Rev Ken Sumner will be the keynote speakers. A panel presentation includes The Salvation Army’s Brooke Prentis, a descendant of the Waka Waka people; Vicki Clarke, Mutthi Mutthi/Wemba Wamba woman, former coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne and member of the Interim Treaty Working Group in Victoria; Rev Glen Loughrey, Wiradjuri man, artist and priest-in-charge of St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Melbourne; and Adam Frogley, Taungerong/Woi-Wurrung man from the Yarra Valley region of Victoria. Rev Alistair Macrae, minister of Wesley Uniting Church in Melbourne, will MC the evening.
The JIM unit’s Jill Ruzbacky said she was thrilled so many Indigenous leaders had agreed to take part in the forum.
“This is a really important conversation for the churches to take part in,” Ms Ruzbacky said.
“I would encourage people from within the UCA to come and hear the wisdom and perspectives from Indigenous leaders and church leaders from across different denominations. The forum is free, and open to anyone to attend, but registrations are essential.”
For more information, please contact Jill Ruzbacky in the JIM Unit on 9251 5266 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the event website to register: http://bit.ly/VCCTreaty
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