Dear Sisters and Brothers…greetings.
This follows Recognition News circulated on 20 April last year. It is a very brief overview, and we apologize for vast detail, and many persons, not mentioned. We also apologize if you have already seen some of this news.
West Australia… From 2 May last year our WA Team travelled 6000 kilometres around that state to explain aims and objectives of A National Act of Recognition at Botany Bay, and to seek approval of First Peoples throughout WA communities. We went from Perth, north along the Indian Ocean to Karratha, south into the Pilbara, east into the Central Desert to Warburton, and west to Perth. Led by Kimberley man Rodney Rivers of the Gooniyandi people, this epic journey was a testimony to Rodney and his passion for bringing all Australians closer together through a deeper understanding of each other.
Sydney Eastern Suburbs… Over the past year our wider Recognition Team, made up of first and later Australians working together, have built good relationships in the region from Sydney Harbour to Botany Bay. We have been encouraged by the support for Recognition, and are deeply grateful to Dean Kelly and Gary Ella for their part in meetings we had in the area with Christian churches/organizations, 2 Women Dreaming, Randwick City Council and others. The Council kindly invited us to hold a Recognition stall as part of their celebration of Reconciliation Week at Coogee last June.
Tasmania… In late February Dean Kelly from the La Perouse/Kamay Botany Bay community and I were able to take the Recognition Story to our brothers and sisters in Tasmania. This personal work, sitting together with people in country where they live is so important. We felt we had delayed going to them for far too long. We will now be able to build on what we have all begun. Follow up is always essential. This gives people time to reflect on what is proposed, time to form their questions. We look forward to a second visit down the track.
New South Wales… In April I had a wonderful opportunity to drive in a big arc around NSW, revisiting some of the communities, Elders and leaders with whom we have consulted over the years. This was about updating people and consolidating earlier work. Our whole team looks forward to deepening our friendship with people in Dubbo, Moree – and many other places!
Torres Strait… Preparations for this visit are in high gear. We have really valued recent conversation with key people in Torres Strait, and Bamaga in the Cape York community. All the signs say much blessing for vast numbers of people will come from this. Kimberley man Rodney Rivers again takes a prominent place in the leadership of this team. We will arrive on Horn Island on Monday 9 May, and be in the region for a week or so.
Recognition Team… Early this year we were delighted that nationally and internationally well-known Gospel writer and singer Paster Robyn Beezley joined our Recognition Leadership Team (see below). Robyn, Pastor Ossie Cruse and Rodney Rivers bring their First Peoples leadership, wisdom and love to this national body, with Tom Hallas and me contributing on behalf of later Australians.
Going forward… We are now in a time of transition. After 18 years in the Development Stage we are now moving into the Implementation Stage. We are getting closer to when we can begin drawing the above threads, and many more, together. One part of this is that following our return from Torres Strait, for a while we will concentrate on strengthening the NSW Basin and the Sydney Basin. In practice this will mean increasing our visiting and consulting with people in those regions.
Our latest Map of Community Visits, a useful guide to our work Australia wide, is below.
We will try hard to keep you informed on our quest for justice and healing for our land and our people.
Grace and peace,
Reverend Lindsay McDowell
T: 02 6253 0300 M: 0417 403 067 F: 02 6253 0311
Recognition Leadership: Pastor Ossie Cruse Mr Tom Hallas Pastor Robyn Beezley Mr Rodney Rivers
National Coordinator: Southern Cross Ministries Australia Incorporated 10 Mirning Crescent ARANDA ACT 2614