Reconciliation Week 2018: Mabo Day
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leader Uncle Neville Naden is the Indigenous Ministry Officer for the Bush Church Aid Society.
He says: “I think what Aboriginal people want the church to do is to say ‘yes, we have benefited greatly from the dispossession of Aboriginal people from their lands’. I think that’s a starting point. I think the bigger question is much more difficult to try and get answers to. And that is, what do we do from this point? And I think whatever we do needs to be done relationally… with Aboriginal people, in community, having a conversation.”
National Reconciliation Week ends with the significant date of June 3: a day of truth and reconciliation, remembering the High Court Decision on the Mabo Case. Before this date, Australian law operated on the understanding that no one had lived here or owned land before Captain Cook claimed it. The Mabo ruling was the first public acknowledgment of the truth that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had been custodians of the land long before that.
While the Mabo case was a breakthrough, there is still much work to be done in acknowledging and honouring the traditional custodians of our land.
In this video, three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders - Uncle Ray Minniecon, Safina Stewart (www.artbysafina.com.au) and Uncle Neville Naden - talk about the importance of land to Indigenous people, and the church’s role in acknowledging injustice and seeking healing.