Over the past month, Global Mission Partners have been listening and reflecting on the Voice to Parliament with our Indigenous partners across Australia.
GMP Director of Community Education, Colin Battersby, and IMA-WA Council Chair, Ps Greg Little, attended a Perth workshop for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Christian leaders in February.
The Directors of the National Voice to Parliament campaign, Dean Parkin and Paul Murphy, spoke at the workshop. It was an opportunity to explore and discuss how faith communities can play a role in growing the support in WA churches for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The conversation was particularly significant given the participation of key Indigenous Christian leaders. Ps Greg Little contributed to the conversation via phone linkup from Harvey, WA.
As we discuss what the Voice to Parliament campaign means for our Indigenous partners, there are 6 guiding principles that inform our approach to Indigenous advocacy:
GMP’s public advocacy relating to the Voice is to be led and guided by our IMA partners, from the start of the process.
We seek to walk alongside Australia’s First Peoples with humility and open hearts and minds. We seek to provide pathways for our church and individual supporters to do the same.
We seek to amplify (and support) the voices of First Nations partners, ensuring their concerns are heard and communicated with integrity. We seek to help our church and individual supporters do the same.
- Inclusive & Respects Diversity
We acknowledge and respect the diversity of voices within and across all First Nations people groups and communities in Australia (just as there is diversity within and across all people groups and communities). We hold difference with generosity and respect.
We acknowledge the strength, wisdom and resilience of Australia’s First Peoples and that they are best placed to make decisions about matters that directly affect their lives and communities. We also value the spiritual discernment of our First Nations Christian partners.
GMP acknowledges that the Uluru Statement (2017) was an invitation to the Australian people to walk with Australia’s First Peoples towards a better, shared future. The Statement called for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making (treaty) and truth-telling about our history.
We look forward to sharing more about how GMP will engage with the Voice campaign in the upcoming editions of In Partnership.