Reconciliation Week is a Call to Action
26 MAY 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The NATIONAL ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ECUMENICAL COMMISSION
RECONCILIATION WEEK IS A CALL TO ACTION
27 May - 3 June
“Reconciliation Week in 2005 is a call to all Australians to re-engage vigorously with the process of reconciliation within this nation,” said Graeme Mundine, Executive Secretary of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC).
“Countless Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, stepped out together in 2000 and walked across bridges Australia wide to demonstrate their support for building just and right relationships in this country. Five years later we ask, 'Are we still on the same map?' “
“Where did all that good will and enthusiasm go? Are these people still walking?” asked Mr Mundine.
“Christians are called to take action, to show their commitment to their faith and the social justice it teaches.
‘Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.’ (James 2:19)
“Reconciliation Week challenges us to ask what have we done, and what more can we do, as individuals and as a community, to help the process of healing and reconciliation in this country,” Mr Mundine said.
“Reconciliation is not about fixing 'the Indigenous problem', or waiting for Governments to come up with a perfect policy. It’s about personal commitment and taking action in our every day lives.
Mr Mundine said, “We need to look around and ask, 'Where are the aboriginal people in my community? How can we learn more from each other? What can I do about the injustices that Indigenous people still suffer? How can we engage with each other and break down the barriers of fear and misunderstanding?”
He concluded, “The greatest need in Australia today is to right the wrongs of the past. We must increase our efforts to walk together with greater understanding and heartfelt compassion to heal the hurt that has fractured our nation for so long."