In this together is the theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020.
National Reconciliation Week runs over the same dates every year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
The history of the Catholic Church in Australia has examples of some positive, some negative and many indifferent interactions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A frank assessment of the Church’s present and future situation shows the need for comprehensive and consistent action towards reconciliation with the First People of this place. This is not just a matter of social justice. Pope John Paul II affirmed the gift that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture are to the rest of the Church. Our collective identity and mission requires that we find ways of being and doing that are authentically of this place.
Speaking to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at Alice Springs in 1986, Pope John Paul II said:
‘You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.’
Information and resources for National Reconciliation Week can be found at: https://www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/