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Diocesan community set to celebrate the launch of new Reconciliation Action Plan


The Anglican Church Southern Queensland’s new Reconciliation Action Plan will be launched next week in the Cathedral, bringing together people across our Diocesan community, including First Nations Elders and other Church leaders

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The Anglican Church Southern Queensland’s new Reconciliation Action Plan will be launched next week in the Cathedral, bringing together people across our Diocesan community, including First Nations Elders and other Church leaders.

The 2021–2023 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan provides a framework for Anglican Church Southern Queensland (ACSQ) parishes, schools, agencies and ministries to engage with and support the national Reconciliation movement.

The ACSQ’s new RAP builds on the Church’s previous Innovate RAP by including stronger procurement, recruitment and campaigning actions, including support for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall AC said that Anglicans are called to engage in Reconciliation with our First Nations brothers and sisters.

“At every Confirmation service Anglicans commit themselves to work for peace and justice in the world and to share Christ’s gospel of Reconciliation and hope,” Archbishop Phillip said.

“A chief focus for Australian Anglicans is Reconciliation and justice with our First Nations brothers and sisters.

“A great deal of work has been done developing our RAP. I hope and pray it will give Anglicans in Southern Queensland a real sense of direction and hope to make a difference in our part of Australia.”

The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launch event will commence on Tuesday 23 November at 2 o’clock in the afternoon with a smoking ceremony outside St Martin’s House on the Cathedral Precinct, with gatherers then proceeding into the Cathedral for a service.

The joyful gathering of songs, prayers and addresses will be followed by a time of fellowship, as community members enjoy refreshments provided by First Nation catering business, Three Little Birds.

The ACSQ RAP Coordinator Aunty Sandra King OAM, a Bundjalung Quandamooka Elder, has consulted with representatives across our Diocesan community since late 2019 to develop the new Innovate plan.

Aunty Sandra said that there have been many moving moments for her in the development of the RAP, and that the Archbishop’s 2020 National Sorry Day message particularly impacted her.

“One thing that has really stayed with me through the RAP development process is the Archbishop doing his recorded message for National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week,” Aunty Sandra said.

“At the time I was going through Sorry Business and so when I emailed him at short notice during lockdown requesting the message, he sent back a moving recorded message the same day.

“This showed me that he is committed to Reconciliation and has a good heart.

“I know that my voice for equality, understanding who we are, listening to truth, telling of our history and moving forward together without prejudice is being heard.”

Five of the 14 ACSQ RAP Working Group members are First Nations peoples, including Saibai Island (Torres Strait Islands) Elder and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC) representative Aunty Dr Rose Elu.

The 2021 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year said that she is looking forward to gathering with other Anglicans and the wider community at next Tuesday’s launch event.

“It is important for Anglicans to come together in the unity of God’s love, as we reconcile and learn from one another,” Aunty Rose said.

“At the launch event, I am looking forward to celebrating the fruitful outcome of the RAP preparation and planning, as we unify with one another towards Reconciliation.”

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland’s vision for Reconciliation is a future of openness where First Nations peoples will be restored to a place of equity, dignity and respect.

CEO of Reconciliation Australia Karen Mundine, a Bundjalung woman, contributed an encouraging message to the new ACSQ RAP.

“With over 2.3 million people now either working or studying in an organisation with a RAP, the program’s potential for impact is greater than ever,” Ms Mundine said.

“ACSQ continues to be part of a strong network of more than 1,100 corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have taken goodwill and transformed it into action.

“By enabling and empowering staff to contribute to this process, ACSQ will ensure shared and cooperative success in the long-term.

“Gaining experience and reflecting on pertinent learnings will ensure the sustainability of your organisation’s future RAPs and reconciliation initiatives, providing meaningful impact toward Australia’s reconciliation journey.

“Congratulations ACSQ on your second Innovate RAP and I look forward to following your ongoing reconciliation journey.”

The four RAP levels, Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate, allow RAP partners to continuously strengthen Reconciliation commitments and seek to apply learnings in new ways.

In his RAP message, Wakka Wakka man and RAP Working Group Chair The Rev’d Canon Bruce Boase said that Christians are called to Reconciliation.

“As Christians we are called to reconcile one with another and only then can we truly reconcile ourselves with God. So, we live this call,” Canon Bruce said.

“Historically though, the process of Reconciliation has been challenging. The whole Diocesan body needs to keep working towards a true coming together.

“In this work, there cannot be enough stress put upon the four core pillars of our RAP, these being Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance.”

The new ACSQ Innovate RAP will be launched at St John’s Cathedral on Tuesday 23 November 2021, commencing at 2pm and concluding between 4pm and 4.30pm. The event will be catered, so registrations are essential. Register online by 11am Friday 19 November.

Editor’s note 17/11/2021: RSVP date and information updated. 

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