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Every day I endeavour to follow Jesus’ example, especially when it comes to pursuing and telling the truth, despite often faltering and failing in my commitment. In John 8:32, Jesus says to his disciples, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. Telling the truth is powerful. How important it is we reflect on this during National Reconciliation Week.

Truth-telling and truth-listening are critical to reconciliation. This week’s theme ‘Now More Than Ever’ rings even truer today. Following the result of last year’s ‘Voice’ referendum, now more than ever, this week is the time to tell the truth and listen to the truth about injustices faced by, and inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Our Reconciliation Action Lead, Aunty Kathy Donnelly had the opportunity to do that this week. 

At a National Reconciliation Week event on Monday at Mt Druitt Indigenous Church at Tregear in Western Sydney, we premiered a moving documentary called ‘Truth’, which tells the story of Aunty Kathy and her family. The film follows Aunty Kathy back to Brewarrina Mission, in far north-west New South Wales, where her family once lived and sheds light on the injustices they faced. It was a significant truth-telling moment for Aunty Kathy. Not only did the film bring to light the wrongs of the past, but it also revealed the strength and resilience of Aunty Kathy and her family.

Listening to and acknowledging the injustices of the past is essential to working towards reconciliation within our communities. Wesley Mission’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which was launched during National Reconciliation Week last year, was made possible because of the courage, grace and willingness of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to speak – to share their wisdom and their truths.

I am humbled by knowing how much further Wesley Mission must travel on the road towards reconciliation. And I’m committed to partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on our shared journey towards truth and reconciliation. I invite you to join me on this journey. 

Indigenous activist and academic, Lilla Watson says, “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

May we walk and work together to establish a just and equitable culture, where healing can be found and where all may flourish. 

Rev Stu Cameron
CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission

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