It’s now three years since saying sorry…

What has it meant?

If it has been a grudging acknowledgement in order to relieve the pressure of a collective nagging and vague sense of guilt, not much at all.
If it has been an empty vocalisation in order to finally silence, irritating and scolding voices we’d rather not hear – then zilch.

If it has been a genuine and mutual reaching out to one another in order to reconcile and entertain the possibility of real partnership, then something!

Reconciliation Australia’s “barometer” released  early this week reveals that mutual trust is the big challenge, with low percentages on both sides of the divide. Yet there is optimism about progress. See CASE STUDY 3: TRUST BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS IS LOW

Kevin Rudd, the author and deliverer of the prime minister’s apology in February, 2008, reflects on what was involved in coming to the occasion. See Apology To The Aboriginal Stolen Generations. His reflection reveals what is needed on a large scale if  meaningful progress is to occur – and the foundation is relational before it can be political. This is what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been telling us for decades. Let’s hope more of us are starting to  listen.

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

2 thoughts on “It’s now three years since saying sorry…

  1. Thanks for raising the issue.What about in WA CofC? whats been happening in the past year?; does the Conference promote the Week of Reconciliation or Sorry Day? Have your community care agencies a targeted indigenous employment program as does the UCA? Is the black CofC story a part of the education of ministers coming from outside CofC? Have you ever had an Aboriginal President?


  2. Alan, the devolution of Conference over a number of years has either left these kinds of issues moot or ceded initiatives to individual churches, a couple of which are active in various kinds of partnerships with indigenous churches in remote communities and one or two, like ourselves, who are seeking to discern how a white middle class congregation in the leafy western suburbs engages meaningfully in the reconciliation process in an urban setting. We are currently engaged with Reconciliation Australia in putting together a Reconciliation Action Plan – the first for a single congregation. If effective, this could become a model for other churches and community groups. In the meantime we promote to ourselves and others the significant days on the ATSIC calendar, have posters up reminding us of how our map “overlays” an earlier and more ancient one, and seek to learn the significance of local seasons and landmarks. Essentially, the strategy in our context is from the ground up and it is a slow journey.


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