Moderator David Fotheringham joined with other Victorian Church leaders in Melbourne yesterday to show support for a Yes vote in the referendum on an indigenous Voice to Parliament.
A prayer service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral, led by the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, Anglican Church of Australia, while proud Wirudjuri man Rev Canon Uncle Glenn Loughery, Anglican Church of Australia, gave an Acknowledgement of Country and read the Uluru Statement from the Heart in its entirety.
Yesterday’s gathering further cemented a resolution passed by the National Council of Churches in Australia in June which confirmed support for the Voice and committed the NCCA to “working together for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians”.
“We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, nurtured and sustained by God for tens of thousands of years, are celebrated at the very heart of what it means to be Australian,” the NCCA’s June resolution said.
“We are informed by the ecumenical advocacy of our indigenous Christian leaders.
“We accept the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and we support a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
“Constitutional recognition of the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice is the first step on the pathway for a fairer, more truthful, and better reconciled relationship between First Nations and the people of Australia. We say, Yes.”
David was one of 14 faith leaders who gathered yesterday as part of a joint collaboration between Australians for Native Title and Recognition and the Victorian Council of Churches, adding their support to the work of the NCCA.
During the service, each leader introduced themselves and, in turn, confirmed their support for the Voice.
David also read out part of the NCCA’s resolution, in which they joined with their “indigenous brothers and sisters in longing for an Australia where the pain and hurt of so many years is, in time, healed and we are all renewed”.