A word from DIRECTOR OF IDENTITY
Pentecost and Reconciliation Week
This past week we have celebrated Pentecost Sunday and National Reconciliation Week, but how are they related you might ask?
Pentecost comes fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus who were all gathered together in Jerusalem. It was a challenging time for them and there were divisions. Divisions arose around who could be a follower of Jesus and what following Him would mean.
NRW begins with National Sorry Day, May 25 which was first held in Sydney in 1998 and is now commemorated nationally to remember and honour the Stolen Generations. May 27 marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. June 3 marks the 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title—the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonisation.
The theme for this years’ NRW was In this together. Australians are all in this together, trying to make a new way forward where our Indigenous sisters and brothers are fully recognised. The complexity of Indigenous issues has created many divisions across our nation, just as there were divisions of the early church as they tried to work out a new way forward. If we are attentive to the power of the Holy Spirit as we journey to full reconciliation we can be just like the early Christian followers. Open to dialogue, in awe of Its power, attentive and respectful of others and where they have come from.
We are In this together.
Kate Johnston | Director of Identity