Dear Sisters and Brothers…greetings.
This follows Recognition News circulated on 22 August last year. Much is happening and the following is just a very brief report. My apologies to anyone who may have seen most of this content before.
Some may recall that on 24 February Randwick City Council took the very important step of passing a resolution in support of Recognition at Botany Bay. This was a great encouragement to many and we want to express our gratitude to the Councillors who took this step. It comes in beside the support shown by the adjacent City of Botany Bay Council. Both Councils run right down to Botany Bay. On Tuesday night – 21 April – our Recognition Team will present a short account to Randwick Council.
In March a Team of 3 made a similar presentation to the National Executive of the Uniting Church Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in Sydney. We are very grateful to the UAICC for this opportunity to explain the Recognition Story and look forward to further conversation.
Also in March our Team spent two weeks taking the Recognition Story to South Australia. This involved working in many communities with both first and later Australians. Regardless of whom we met with, the response from all people was the same – that this prospect of a Historic Assembly at the site of first encounter between our peoples is the best opportunity the Australian people have ever had for bringing healing to our nation. The letter of support from Raukkan Community Council (click to open), located near the mouth of the Murray River (Clyde Rigney letter attached) is typical of the views we encountered across a vast distance. This SA trip became literally one of the most powerful Recognition journeys ever in more than 17 years of this mission.
Similarly, on 22 April I go to Perth and on 2 May our Team will embark on a 5000 kilometre journey throughout Western Australia to explain this vision – travelling north along the Indian Ocean Coast to Port Hedland, south through the Pilbara, east into the Central Desert and Warburton Ranges, and west to Perth (see Map of Community Visits below). Again it is a Team of 3 including John Blacket of Perth, and led by Kimberley elder Rodney Rivers of the Gooniyandi people. The time and effort this epic journey means is a testimony to Rodney Rivers and his passion for bringing deeper understanding between all our peoples, and his quest to bring all Australians closer to each other.
This trip also promises to be very effective in establishing approval for Recognition at Botany Bay.
Thanks to the efforts of a committed person (not me), in the past week or so we’ve had conversation about Recognition at Botany Bay with people in Federal Parliament. Some of this has been over the phone, some face to face. It is vital we not mislead you about this. There have been NO undertakings given, and there perhaps never will be. It only means these talks are happening. You deserve to know.
We will do our best to keep you informed on our quest for justice and healing for our land and our people.
Grace and peace,
Reverend Lindsay McDowell
Chair Southern Cross Ministries Australia Chair A National Act of Recognition
Recognition Leadership: Pastor Ossie Cruse Mr Tom Hallas Mr Rodney Rivers Reverend Lindsay McDowell
T:02 6253 0300 F: 02 6253 0311 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.actofrecognition.org.au