Celebrating Australia’s First Peoples #NAIDOC2022
July 5, 2022
As we mark NAIDOC Week 2022, the Uniting Church joins with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) in celebrating Australia’s First Peoples and their place at the heart of our nation and our church.
Reflecting on the theme, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!, UAICC Interim National Chairperson Rev Mark Kickett said it was a reminder of the call of God upon our lives.
"It is an invitation to reflect on the journey we have been on, the relationships and activities that have impacted us and continue to impact on us," said Rev Kickett.
"The colonisation of this country disempowered and took away all that we were as human, as First Nations people, created in the image of God. This week we recall those who were not afraid to be brave, to stand up to injustice, to say, ‘this is not right’. Those that said we must create a safe-haven for Aboriginal people, to be and grow and understand who they are once again."
"We are reminded of where the path of following God takes us. We are reminded of the relationships God has given to us and the sense of justice that emanates from this Church."
Mark said when he was reflecting on the theme of NAIDOC Week, one of the songs that came my mind was a song from the Wurumpi Band, that includes the line, “Black Fella, White Fella, it doesn’t matter what your colour, let’s stand up and be counted!”
"God is calling us to get involved," said Rev Kickett. "To stand up and be brave. To stand up and be counted."
Uniting Church in Australia President Rev Sharon Hollis said NAIDOC Week was an opportunity to celebrate First Nations People - all they’ve achieved and all they long for in these lands.
“All gains made by First Nations People in this land we now call Australia have happened because of fierce Indigenous leadership, organisation, activism and resistance,” said Rev Hollis.
“They got up, stood up and showed up to fight for their rights from first encounter onwards. And they still Get up Stand Up and Show Up to be heard, to fight for their rights, to fight to be recognised for what they are the sovereign owners of their lands and waters.”
“I long for the day when they no longer have to do this because they achieved all they long for. This will require second peoples to get up stand up and show up not to take over but to be supportive allies.”
You can watch Rev Mark Kickett preaching at the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania on Sunday 3 July on the NAIDOC Week theme and the theme of the Synod Meeting, Arise, Come with Me. Click here, or on the window below.
During NAIDOC Week, the Assembly will be sharing links to resources that are part of the Living the Covenant Locally initiative – an invitation engage in learning, theological study and action to deepen our relationship with First Peoples. These will be shared each day on the Assembly's Facebook page.
There is also a reflection written by Alison Overeem, Manager Leprena UAICC Tasmania and Advocate for the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle. You can access it in written and video form with artwork by Grace Williams.