anglican focus

The news site of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland: nourishing and connecting our faith community

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge

"My uncle was chosen by Torres Strait Islander priests to act in the role of Jesus during the reenactment because he was light skinned. However, some of the local lay elders spoke up saying that it didn’t matter what colour skin the person had who played Jesus — that even someone with fuzzy hair, a big beard and dark skin should be able to play him," (Saibai elder, NATSIAC Executive Member and Parish of Laidley Synod Rep Uncle Milton Walit)

"The first Easter I remember"

“As a community, after the Easter Day service we celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with a big kai kai (feast). People from all over the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea (which was then still administered by Australia) came via sailing canoes rather than by motor boats, bringing seafood, taro, sweet potato, casava, sago and other traditional foods. We then had traditional dancing with men wearing headdresses made of emu feathers and women wearing grass skirts,” says Uncle Milton Walit from NATSIAC and The Parish of Laidley

Resources & Research

My experience navigating the Anglican Church as a Torres Strait Islander person

“I also often invite other Anglicans to see that Torres Strait Islander Christians are Christians in our own way. We seamlessly blend our ancient sovereign ways and knowledges as Traditional Custodians with the wider Church’s ways and knowledges. For example, as part of my baptism as a baby, my mum removed my clothing and nappy and held me up in the sea breeze to be sprayed, to first be blessed, by the malu (ocean). She then took me to the church for the service,” says Aunty Dr Rose Elu

Justice & Advocacy

Why I am voting “yes" in the referendum: Jill Rylatt

“In my experience, the best way to find out what’s working and what’s not is to ask the people who are receiving the services. The Voice will be an advisory body, and when it’s up and running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members from the grassroots will be able to communicate via a direct avenue to Parliament about why ‘the gap’ isn’t closing and how best to close it,” says former nurse Jill Rylatt from St John’s, Hervey Bay

Justice & Advocacy

Why I am voting “yes” in the referendum: Reg Dean

“The proposed constitutional amendment is well worded. When I found out in the church presentation that Parliament will determine the Voice’s ‘composition, functions, powers and procedures’, I realised that the constitutional text makes sense. I personally think that it’s all good. I encourage voters to read this proposed constitutional text because, at the end of the day, it’s the only thing we are voting on in the referendum,” says Reg Dean from The Parish of Bundaberg West

Justice & Advocacy

Why I am voting “yes” in the referendum: Aiden Wu

“I believe that the Voice will help enable more culturally safe and person-centred healthcare because we would be able to better shape the policies that impact us. We need to keep our kids healthy and in school if we are to later see them in university rather than in prison,” says Torres Strait Islander man and nursing student Aiden Wu from St John’s College within the University of Queensland