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Khesed News #84 - Page 4

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 News From All Around Australia

 

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Yad Vashem pays tribute to 
Aboriginal activist
William Cooper


william_cooper.jpg  Yad Vashem honored the "extraordinary act" of Aboriginal activist William Cooper, who led a rare individual protest against the Nazis in Australia.
At a ceremony on 12 December 2010 in Jerusalem, a chair for the study of resistance, endowed by the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, was established in tribute to Cooper, who died in 1941 at the age of 81. It marked the first time that Israel's national memorial to the Holocaust honored an indigenous Australian.
Cooper, the head of the Australian Aborigines League and an elder of the Yorta Yorta tribe, himself had no rights in his homeland in December 1938 when he marched to the German Consulate to deliver a petition protesting the "cruel persecution" of the Jews.
William Cooper was a devout Aboriginal Christian leader from Cumeragunga.
This was an incredible act from an Aboriginal Elder who was 78 at the time, and, after campaigning all of his life for his own people, still found the time to stand up for another oppressed people. Of cause he understood what it was like to be oppressed.
He was honoured for the stance he took and the protest he led with a Tribute and Dinner at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Memorial on Sunday 12 December 2010.  The family were invited guests, and were also invited by The Australian/Israel Leadership Forum to attend a Gala Dinner with Mr K. Rudd, J. Bishop and another 17 Ministers at the King David Hotel Jerusalem, which the P.M. of Israel Mr Netanyanu also attended.
 
Norm & Barbara Miller wrote about the event:

...Aboriginal Christian leader William Cooper from the Yorta Yorta tribe of Victoria, when he was 78 years old, led a protest of the group he formed, the Australian Aborigines' League, to the German consulate in Melbourne to protest Kristallnacht, the "night of the broken glass" when the Nazis killed Jews and destroyed Jewish homes and businesses.  This was in 1938, nearly 30 years before Aborigines were recognised in the Australian constitution such that they would now be counted in the census as people rather than with the flora and fauna or plants and animals. Aruz Sheva says "This protest is thought to be unprecedented and it caused an international stir" (2/8/10) He tried to submit a petition the Germans would not accept.
He was also a pioneer in Aboriginal advancement, starting Aboriginal Sunday in the churches which became a national day of observance and eventually NAIDOC, a week to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Sources: 1. JTA, Global News service for Jewish People http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/13/2742141/yad-vashen-honors-aboriginal-activist-william-cooper ,  2. Ps Norman & Barbara Miller, Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace, www.reconciliationandpeace.org, 3. Anne Green, Victorian Indigenous Prayer Network
 

 

 

Recognition of Indigenous People: 
        Uniting Church Acts
The Uniting Church is the first church in Australia to constitutionally acknowledge Aboriginal and Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.
A new preamble to the Uniting Church's constitution was passed by the church's 12th Assembly in 2009 and subsequently accepted by a necessary proportion of synods and presbyteries (the church’s state-based and regional councils) throughout 2010, as is required for constitutional change.
Uniting Church President the Rev. Alistair Macrae, said the change to the preamble signified the natural and rightful extension of the covenantal relationship that the Uniting Church has with the Indigenous people of the church and, by extension, of this land.
“As a church we entered into an agreement with our Indigenous brothers and sisters to foster more just, inclusive and equal relationships in the church that recognise the place of First Peoples,” Mr Macrae said.
“We have worked closely with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) in developing the preamble and we are proud that, as a church, we have chosen to take this important step,” he said.
“It gives us a bigger and deeper understanding of who we are as an Australian church. First and second peoples belong equally together in this great land. Hopefully this new acknowledgment might provide a strong basis to work for greater understanding, reconciliation and justice.”
The Chairperson for the UAICC, the Rev. Ken Sumner, said, “For members of the Congress, this acknowledgement places the foundation of our relationship in truth.
"It also, perhaps for the first time, makes Aboriginal and Islander people feel included in this church. For the first time, our covenantal relationship is founded on truth and not the lingering denial of our historical past.
"This is our story. The way the Congress has experienced our relationship is now enshrined in the introduction to the law of the church of which we are all a part.”
Revisions to the text of the preamble were developed after extensive consultation throughout the church and, in particular, with the UAICC and Indigenous Uniting Church members.
Source:  Insights Christian Magazine, the official publication of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, part of the Uniting Church in Australia.  25 Oct 2010.

 

 

Israel Tour with Indigenous Leaders 
   
- Ps Norm & Barb Miller

an opportunity for a wonderful visit to Israel to see the land, hear from local Messianic Jewish and Christian Arab speakers and well respected speakers from around the world. Also it is awesome to join in worship and prayer with Christians from many nations, dressed in their national costumes and worshipping in their own languages. Most of all, come closer to the Lord in the land He'll return to and rule the world from.
 Norman and Barbara lead a team of Australians to Israel each year for the All Nations Convocation Jerusalem.This year the dates are Sept 28-Oct 12 2011. There is a wonderful line up of speakers - Heidi Baker, Mathew Kuruvilla, John Mulinde, Myles Munroe and many others including of course hosts Tom and Kate Hess and Jewish and Arab leaders. The theme is preparing the way for the King of Glory with an emphasis on fulfilling the Great Commission. There is a 3 day prayer tour of Israel at the end of the 10 day conference and there are half day tours of Jerusalem and surrounding areas during the conference that are included in the rego costs plus airport transfers, accommodation, generous breakfasts and evenings meals.
  Norm and Barb are the country leaders for Australia, bookings are to be made through them to save them administration work in Jerusalem. To secure accommodation at Ramat Rachel, the conference venue which makes transport easier, 100% deposit on rego/accom should be made by May 15 and for other hotels, 50% deposit by the same date.  
This is a wonderful time of prayer, worship, hearing reports and from the nations (150-200 nations and about 2,000 people) and presenting your nation as a team to Jesus in the City of the great King where He will rule for 1,000 years. Bible stories will come alive and you can walk where Jesus walked. You can also see Bible prophecies coming to life.
Ps Norman & Barbara Miller, Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace,
www.reconciliationandpeace.org    Norman 0407 128 199   Barbara 0466 076 020  PO Box 425,  Westcourt, Cairns 4870 Australia


Indigenous Recognition 
    - A National Act of Recognition

For over ten years, Rev Lindsay McDowell and the National Act of Recognition (NAR) team have worked  on promoting a vision for Australia of acting in positive ways to recognise the place of Indigenous Australians from the time of British arrival.
Lindsay reports on a trip he and Ivan Simon made in April to Alice Springs and Darwin:

 
Rejoice with us again!
 Our trip met with substantial successful. I watched in amazement at the way Ivan worked in both cities, encouraging people to give their time to meeting with us so we could explain the Recognition Story. He was never off the phone! He just did not stop!
The result was we had about seven meetings of one to three people. Much of this was with Aboriginal CEOs of various delivery organizations, the rest with people at some level of management. I opened up good connection with Reverend Phil Stuart of Aboriginal Indigenous Ministries, whose sole work is with tribal people around Alice Springs.   
I don't want to overstate things and thus mislead, but it does appear all were attracted to the Recognition concept. I think it is safe to say they all saw it for what it is...a genuine attempt to address the causes that made us a divided people, instead of forever trying to resolve the issue by addressing the effects.
In other words, they quickly saw we are working on the "root" and not the "fruit".
This much I can say without fear of gilding the lily...Ivan was fabulous. Opening doors, soothing fears, inspiring people to lift their vision, to see new possibilities.  I watched it all unfold before my eyes. At one stroke he opened up Central and Northern Australia with an authority that only someone from Botany Bay being physically present could do. No other people, and no other method, can match this. 
Some of you will recall I try to take you personally into experiencing a few of the treasured moments where the rubber meets the road. One such moment occurred with a Branch Manager in Alice Springs.
John has worked in Aboriginal health...for thirty years! He feels weary and worn. He listened quietly, riveted as I set out Recognition aims and objectives. When I finished his face was filled with wonder, with new life. He realized we were there to address the cause, not the outcomes (or symptoms). Our eyes locked as he responded, "We have got to do this!"
It was a powerful moment of sheer ignition between us as confidence and trust formed the strongest bond. We were both proud to stand beside each other in our common humanity. In that moment, first and later Australians were completely one. And John was aware I was there in Jesus' name.   
What would happen to us all if this could be multiplied thousands of times over?
What now? Well, as is usually the case when one takes initiatives like this...we generated lots of work! It begins now. This all has to be thoughtfully nurtured, just as it must also be to the south around Gippsland and Melbourne, and north along the NSW North Coast to Tweed Heads, and west to Dubbo. We will have to return to Alice and Darwin to explain our story more fully and satisfy emerging questions.
The leaders Ivan and I met with are now considering how they can arrange for us to explain the Recognition Story in the presence of much larger gatherings in the not too distant future. There will be heaps of follow up work staying connected with them through that. I envisage endless hours on the phone for me as I stay close to John and others.      
Rev Lindsay McDowell, Southern Cross Ministries Australia / A National Act of Recognition
 T: 02 6253 0300            F: 02 6253 0311
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      W: www.actofrecognition.org.au


Support for Tingha Church Leader's Training
John Kennedy is a Christian leader from Tingha Community, north-west of Armidale, NSW, studying at Ganggalah College, Tweed Heads so he can more effectively lead the indigenous church at Tingha. Pastor Willie Dumas is seeking financial support so the college can continue to provide accommodation and teaching for him. If you would like to help, please contact Ganggalah College, PO Box 6369  SOUTH TWEED HEADS, NSW, 2486     email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   phone 07 5524 7856

Yalata Aboriginal Community
Malcolm Willcocks is the Lutheran support worker in the Aboriginal Community of Yalata, in the south-west of South Australia on Highway 1.  Malcolm supports Yalata's Pastor Russell, who is a local Anangu man.........“Last week was full of meetings. The main one being about the future of the Yalata community. The main issue is that only a small handful of Anangu people are involved in  the running of the community. Apart from the school and the Youth shed, all other institutions in Yalata are not able to properly operate for the good of the community because the locals are not involved.
 It is very pleasing that the Church is the only institution here that is led and run by Anangu with a little help from a white fella, rather than being run by white fellas with a little help from Anangu. Also the Church leadership comprise a fair proportion of the handful of reliable workers in the community.
The more immediate result is that the white staff get burnt-out and leave (since June we have had 4 lots of store managers through and the present ones are saying they're burning out after 1 month in the job), or they just get tired and cynical.
 The long term problem is that if the community can't prove that it is using the CDEP money effectively by the end of this financial year the Govt is most likely to take that money back and possibly close CDEP down altogether here. If that was to happen it would most likely mean the start of a slow death of the community. As it is the school is losing a teacher's position next year due to falling enrollments / poor attendance and the health clinic is similarly having to battle to keep all their positions funded.
 The positive side to all this is that if the community can turn things around then there is plenty of resources to continue to fund and foster change, development and possible self-determination for Yalata. Apart from the many real  existing jobs in the community and the mine, Danny (community CEO) is keen to re-establish at least one of the old sheep stations that sit under the Yalata Land Trust. This would have obvious work and training opportunities as well as a possible income stream down the  track, which could lead to all sorts of other possible enterprises.  But, once again the window for this is small. Danny has a range of health problems and has basically said that if the Anangu don't get on board in taking up this possibility and making it theirs then he'll move on.

  KAAL 2011
 At Advent Park, 345 Kalamunda Road, MAIDA VALE, PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA  6957  Monday 21st to Sunday 27th of November
It is our desire to prophetically open a highway of holiness between Papua New Guinea and Western Australia by inviting you to come and to welcome you into our Noongar Country here in Perth.  To establish our relationships and friendship and build partnership between the Aboriginal people of PNG and the Aboriginal people of Australia through our stories, songs and native dances.
As you come to Perth, this is a gathering with a difference!  Kaal 2011 is all about an “holistic” approach!
The healing of spirit, soul, mind and body!  It is about building partnership with government agencies involving the Noongar people in areas of health, mental health, families and children, mothers, fathers and above all to those of us in the body of Christ, Spiritual Wholeness which covers all areas as we live for Jesus.   


 KAAL means “fire” in the Noongar language.  We wish to fan into flames the ashes and the coal, into a revival fire that ignites spirit, soul and body!  Bringing healing and restoration to the people as we partner together!  That will bridge the gap between English and Aboriginal Australia as we honor the Noongar people and strengthen our native partnerships.  What we do in bringing healing will have a flow on effect over all peoples as the Aboriginal people heal.
In opening a prophetic highway  between PNG and Western Australia, we are opening a way where the land of Holiness (Australia) and the land of Agreement (PNG) stand together, building up the highway!
 Gloria Dyer  Arrow-Head Ministries   Phone  0439 851 561