“Country is incredibly significant to Indigenous people in Australia....”
Uncle Norman Terrick is a Wurundjeri elder (the traditional owners of much of the Melbourne and surrounding areas). He often participates as the Indigenous contributor on the IMA Songlines tours held in Melbourne on a semi-regular basis and is also a member of the Melbourne Indigenous Church Fellowship, a partner ministry with IMA. Uncle Norman Terrick shared this reflection on country:
"Since the colonisation of Australia, we have lost language, family, our laws, our ceremonies and… our country. The very fabric of our lives and society was torn apart – the things that held us together, kept us strong – emotionally and mentally – were ripped from our hearts. It happened not just in one day but over many years.
“Ethnographer, Deborah Rose, says, ‘People talk about country in the same way that they would talk about a person: they speak to country, sing to country, visit country, worry about country, feel sorry for country, and long for country. People say that country knows, hears, smells, takes notice, takes care, is sorry or unhappy…country is a living entity with a yesterday, today and tomorrow, with a consciousness, and a will toward life. Because of this richness, country is home, and peace; nourishment for body, mind and spirit.’
“Country is the very fabric of our hearts.”
GMP stands with our Indigenous brothers and sisters among the complexity that occurs when Australia Day/Invasion Day is acknowledged. We recognise that this is a difficult time for many, as they mourn wounds from the past, losses of land and family, culture and language. We recognise that, and we also seek to work in partnership with Indigenous people and organisations to seek reconciliation with non-Indigenous Australians, as together we live in and share in the goodness of this abundant land.