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St Mark’s supporting First Nations constitutional reform


To launch a series of stories that anglican focus is covering on RAP implementation, we take a look at how St Mark’s Anglican Church, Buderim is supporting First Nations constitutional reform with the signing of a table cloth printed with the Uluru Statement From the Heart

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Reconciliation Action Plan achievements

St Marks’ Anglican Church, Buderim parishioners signed a table cloth, printed with the Uluru Statement From the Heart text, on Sunday in their support of First Nations constitutional reform, justice and self-determination.

St Marks Reconciliation Group member and table cloth co-creator Margaret Norris said that the table cloth signing initiative was timed to “coincide with the launch of 1 Voice Uluru’s week of action”.

“Our cloth is a project of our Reconciliation Group to promote awareness of current Indigenous issues for members of our parish and we hope it will be a lasting sign of positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Ms Norris said.

“We have been delighted to have the support of the local Beulah Community, including community coordinator Heather Johnston and artist Kim Spittles, who is a Wiradjuri woman and who has designed the border of the table cloth for us.

“Mothers Union members have also been invited to work on the embroidering.”

The Uluru Statement From The Heart was the result of a constitutional convention, held at the foot of Uluru on the land of the Aṉangu people in May 2017, bringing together more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.

The Convention was convened by the bi-partisan appointed Referendum Council to discuss and agree upon an approach to constitutional reform to recognise First Nations peoples.

The Uluru Statement states two overarching reform objectives, these being establishing “a First Nations Voice enshrined in the constitution”, and a Makarrata Commission “to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history”.

The Rev’d Moria Evers said that by supporting the Uluru Statement From The Heart, St Mark’s Anglican Church upholds the Reconciliation Action Plan of the Diocese.

“The table cloth signing is a grassroots initiative of the Parish that supports the Diocese Reconciliation Action Plan’s aims of raising awareness of First Nations’ self-determination and appreciating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories,” Mother Moira said.

“By supporting the Uluru Statement, the Parish of St Mark’s seeks to empower and give voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by recognising and acknowledging their ancient and sacred link to the land.

“The parish of St Mark’s is pro-active in its engagement with and support of the local Kabi Kabi custodians of the land.

“We believe that this can only enrich our lives together and our mutual commitment to care of the land of which we are joint stewards.”

The table cloth signing initiative at St Mark’s was part of a broader ‘Sunday Afternoon Conversation’ event where The Rev’d Dr Jo Inkpin spoke about ‘Feisty Friends and Foremothers of Jesus’, which was arranged by Heather Johnston.

Reconciliation Action Plan Coordinator and Bwgcolman woman Chrissy Ellis said that St Mark’s approach is unique and she encourages other parishes to support the RAP and long-fought for initiatives, such as The Statement From The Heart, in active ways.

“It is important for parishes to implement our RAP because God calls us to a ministry of reconciliation,” Ms Ellis said.

“St Mark’s presents a unique truth-telling model as a church committed to reconciliation and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The Statement From The Heart represents a collective voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across our nation and the church has an active role to play in acknowledging our voices and supporting the Makarrata and constitutional reform.

“The Uluru Statement From The Heart has evolved after generations of our people campaigning and lobbying for formal recognition as First Nations people.”

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