Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer has recorded a Survival Day video message with young Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Congress leader Sean Weetra on Ngarrindjeri country in South Australia.
The observance of a Day of Mourning was endorsed by the Fifteenth Assembly at the request of our sisters and brothers in the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). In the spirit of our Covenant relationship with the UAICC, we have declared the Sunday before Australia Day as a Day of Mourning.
Remembering our history is an important part of our journey toward reconciliation as First and Second Peoples. The service reminds us of the dispossession and violence against First Peoples, and laments that as a Church and as Second Peoples we were and remain complicit. We acknowledged this in our Church when we apologised to the Stolen Generations in 1997. We acknowledged this by revising the Preamble to our Constitution, which was approved by the Ninth Assembly in 2009. We acknowledged this in affirming First Peoples as the sovereign peoples of this land. Our declaration of a Day of Mourning allows us to stand together in remembering the truth of our history, and honouring the culture of Australia’s First Peoples, their families and the next generations.