LISTEN… to the heart from the heart of our land
The Australian Loreto Justice Network identifies the national reconciliation platform as one of our main justice foci. Apart from special celebrations to mark National Reconciliation Week across 27 May to 3 June, we are proud to identify the many, yet still inadequate means adopted across our network to promote justice for all Australians:
- Indigenous perspectives incorporated across all aspects of our formal school curricula: science, food technology, art, politics, English, performing and creative arts.
- Commissioning of original indigenous art works.
- Engagement with dialogue around reparation, recognition, constitutional reform etc. via social media, petitions, marches, advocacy platforms, conference/seminar attendance and membership of local reconciliation groups.
- Adoption of Reconciliation Action Plans in our communities and workplaces.
- Retreat programmes based on principles of Aboriginal spirituality.
- Immersion programmes to indigenous communities in most of our schools.
- Partnership with indigenous communities through Mary Ward International Australia.
- Fostering of leadership potential amongst our indigenous students.
In response to the 2018 Plenary Council question: What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?, around 250 members of the Australian Loreto network responded:
To engage respectfully with our Indigenous sisters and brothers and to understand the gift of their faith and spirituality to our unique Australian connection with land.
Last week the President of Catholic Religious Australia, Sr Monica Cavanagh, wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlining three justice concerns of the peak body of religious women and men in this land. Not surprisingly, they included the current climate crisis, the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, and increased solidarity with indigenous leaders articulating their own concerns:
… we ask the Government to take the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ seriously and, within the coming twelve months, advance consultation and decisions related to Constitutional Change and Treaty to empower Indigenous people to take their rightful place in their own country. We ask the Government to view Indigenous people and their leaders as active partners in this process and in developing legislation, policies and programs to address their disadvantage…
In response, the Loreto Justice Network is encouraging friends of Mary Ward in this land to also “take the ‘Uluru Statement of the Heart’ seriously.” We are calling our network to consider the voice of our indigenous sisters and brothers … to really listen. In the midst of discussion about reparation, reconciliation and recognition, let us reverence the call to partnership and solidarity extended to us. So, this National Reconciliation Week we are inviting our ‘circle of friends’ to ponder the Uluru Statement from the Heart. In a culture where we expect quick fixes and can sometimes revert to vestiges of our colonial mindset, let us sit quietly and truly listen.
Some resources and approaches that might assist this process include:
- Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart out loud – at a meal or meeting, in public or as a private prayer.
Uluru Statement from the Heart
- Be challenged by one of many YouTube clips that are displayed when you enter – Uluru Statement from the Heart
- Invite community members to sign a copy of the Uluru Statement as a symbolic gesture that they have appropriated its message.
- Use this discussion guide to depth your understanding of the Uluru Statement.
Uluru Statement from the Heart Discussion Guide
- Access the terrific reflection resource generated by Celia Kemp – A Voice in the Wilderness – based on the Uluru Statement.
A Voice in the Wilderness
- Join a reflection group based on the Uluru Statement being convened in Melbourne by Rachel McLoughlin ibvm, commencing Tuesday 4 June.
A Voice in the Wilderness sessions
Loreto Justice Network
27 May 2019