2024 News

Walking Together on the Easter Songlines Tour

Wednesday, 8 May 2024

As part of this year's Easter Walk for Hope Appeal in Victoria, 18 people gathered to walk alongside one another through the streets of Melbourne on the Indigenous Easter Songlines walking tour.

The group included individuals who support Global Mission Partners and Indigenous Ministries Australia (IMA). Lonny Bendessi and Brian Smith from the Melbourne Indigenous Church attended, as well as members of The Salvation Army's National Indigenous Leadership team from all over Australia. This included Salvation Army Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries Manager Shirley Congoo.

The group visited significant sites in the Melbourne CBD and outskirts to learn about local Indigenous history and culture, walk alongside our IMA partners, and pray for relationships and reconciliation nationwide.

Around Melbourne and Victoria, there are many sites of significance to Aboriginal people that predate colonisation, some of archaeological significance with material dating back over 31,000 years. The Songlines cultural walking tour offers insight into increasing our awareness and sensitivity to the social, political, physical, and spiritual forces affecting many Indigenous Australians, both in the past and today.

Carly Cassidy, National Church Relationships Manager, attended the tour and described it as a combination of experiences. “It is part history tour, part prayer walk, and part cross-cultural learning experience,” she said.

Nick Wight, IMA East Australia Coordinator, led the group. Carly appreciated how he “weaved historical facts and stories into a beautiful tapestry of learning for us all.”

Centred on the foundational stones of Aboriginal culture, Nick spoke about land, family, law, language, and ceremony. He then offered the group time to reflect on their understanding of Indigenous culture.

“What a privilege it was for us to lean in, listen and learn. For some of us, it was a time to unlearn or unpack our previous understanding,” Carly reported.

The Easter Songlines Tour was an opportunity to walk together in the hope of a reconciled future with our First Nations people.

If you would like to learn more about IMA or participate in a future Songlines Tour, please email nick@gmp.org.au

Indigenous Ministries

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