As we prepare to celebrate Australia Day on 26th January, there is the usual discussion in the media about whether this is an appropriate day to honour our nation. Many Australians – including most of our politicians – don’t question the validity of observing this day. Yet even as we celebrate our achievements, including the mostly peaceful multicultural society and freedoms we take for granted, for indigenous Australians this is a day of mourning, a day that marks the invasion of Australia by European colonisers.
At the suggestion as the Uniting Church Assembly, we will mark this Sunday as a day of lament for our church’s complicit involvement and support of the colonisation project that continues even today. We will choose to remember our history – including what is shameful and morally repugnant – even as we commit ourselves to work with our indigenous brothers and sisters in their search for justice and healing.