Survival Day Message 2023
"In confronting truth, we may discover justice and healing"
January 25, 2023
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Interim National Chair Rev Mark Kickett and Uniting Church in Australia President Rev Sharon Hollis have encouraged UCA members to mark 26 January with respect in a shared Survival Day video message, urging Australians to listen to the wisdom and voices of First Peoples in their struggle for justice and healing.
“We are people with a long history, rich culture and deep spirituality. We have a wisdom and a story to share. And so today, we celebrate our resilience."
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“This day marks the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, the First Peoples of this ancient land,” says Rev Mark Kickett, a Noongar man. “We are people with a long history, rich culture and deep spirituality. We have a wisdom and a story to share. And so today, we celebrate our resilience.”
“Today is also a day of mourning. It is a reminder of the brutal history of this nation, of invasion, colonisation, violence, removal, stolen land and racism, which we continue to face today.”
President Rev Sharon Hollis invites Second Peoples to celebrate and honour First Peoples connection to culture and Country and to confront the ongoing dispossession, injustice, racism and inequality which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders face.
“Let us commit to listening to the truth of this land, to hearing the story of injustice, and to speaking it out loud. Let us acknowledge the privilege we have as a result of our colonial history.”
Both Rev Kickett and Rev Hollis encouraged Australians to engage with the Uluru Statement and to become advocates for its calls for Voice, Truth and Treaty.
“We pray that this year might be a moment of reckoning in our nation, when we face the truth of the past and present of our nation in ways that promote healing and justice. We invite you not just to vote yes, but to be part of the campaign, to have conversations with others in ways that might open the possibility of a new story for our nation,” says Rev Hollis.
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