Camp makes a statement

Castlemaine Uniting Minister Rev Sarah Tomlinson with her daughter Susanna, Uncle Rick Nelson and Rev Tim Angus at last week’s Uluru Statement from the Heart camp near Creswick. Photo: Alan Mathews

By Andrew Humphries

It was a simple walk but it held plenty of significance for those who hope for a better path between Australia’s First and Second Peoples.

A “walk on country” was one of the highlights of the Uluru Statement from the Heart camp at Adekate Lodge, near Creswick, last week.

The purpose of the camp was to hear and respond to the Statement from the Heart, which was released in 2017 by First Nations people as an invitation to non-indigenous Australians to walk with them towards a better future.

Aboriginal elder Rick Nelson, who led the “walk on country”, says such events are an important part of educating non-indigenous Australians about indigenous culture.

“It’s about strengthening the relationship between First and Second Nations people and the hope that from small steps big things can grow,” he says.

eLM Social Justice Officer Timothy Molineux says the camp was an important part of the process towards promoting the statement and what it could achieve.

“I found it an engaging and rewarding experience to be among a group of people, with differing experiences and views, who all saw the importance of the Statement from the Heart,” Timothy says.

“We spoke about our personal experiences and how they have shaped us, then broadened the discussion to reflect upon the 1967 Referendum and what that experience had to teach us, and subsequent generations.”

Timothy says the conversation helped inform the possibility of a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, and what it would take to make that referendum a success.

The camp also discussed the Synod’s new Covenanting Guide and the JIM cluster’s new Statement from the Heart Study Guide resource for congregations.



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