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Reconciliation Week 2022

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Be Brave. Make Change

Reconciliation requires deep listening and the courage to respond with humility, honesty, and with meaningful action.

In this series we share the stories of three brave Australians, Aunty Jackie, Rev Steve Bevis and Caroline Illingworth as they work for reconciliation.

In sharing their experiences, we encourage you this Reconciliation Week to reflect on what reconciliation means to you and how you can be brave and make change.

We invite you to share your commitment to change on social media using the hashtags #NRW2022 #BeBraveMakeChange and tagging Tearfund Australia.

About Reconciliation Week 2022

This year’s theme - Be Brave. Make change is a challenge to us all to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can make change for all.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for “ Makarrata” - “the coming together after a struggle,” and has been likened to a truth and reconciliation process.

We must listen to the stories of this country. We must commit to working hard to develop ears that hear and a posture that allows us to listen. We must be brave to face up to the truths that are waiting to be told.

We must not just listen, however. We need to act courageously for reconciliation. Acknowledging the ways we have hurt people, or being truthful about ways we have benefited from unfair systems is hard. It takes courage and requires us to be brave and not shy away from the work and the responsibility we have to pursue reconciliation.

It will take courage and bravery from us all as we work toward reconciliation. The 230 years since colonisation have not been marked by such courage. All too often we have not been brave as we have sought to commit to being reconciled.

Lord, may we have ears to listen and courage to act for the reconciliation you so desire for this country. Amen

Aunty Jackie
Aunty Jackie is part of Strong Women Talking - a movement of First Nation women who are extremely passionate about breaking the cycle of violence.

Aunty Jackie

First Nations Elder

“I want to see my great grandkids grow up and all of my granddaughters happy and having good lives, and not go through what I've gone through what their mothers have gone through.”

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Steve Bevis
Rev Dr Steve Bevis

Rev Dr Steve Bevis

Tearfund Board member

“Although there have been many days when we have wept and raged at the injustice of our systems and the damage perpetrated by our dominant culture, we still believe change is possible. We believe because we have seen it, tasted it and celebrated it.”

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Caroline Illingworth is a Tearfund Australia supporter and former staff member who lives and works on Wurundjeri land.

Carolyn Illingworth

Tearfund supporter

“For me, asking our pastor to hold a Reconciliation Week service at our church several years ago was a small and brave step to pursue change in this area. Would he say yes? Did I even know what I was asking for? I don’t like public speaking, why on earth was I doing this?”

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1. https://www.referendumcouncil.org.au/sites/default/files/2017-05/Uluru_Statement_From_The_Heart_0.PDF