OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA-"Acknowledging the other " Week of national reconciliation with the Aboriginal people

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - Recognizing the other in his identity, to appreciate him as a person, to estimate the contribution he can give to Australian society: these are the central themes of the "National Week of Reconciliation", which will be held from May 27 to June 3 in Australia. The event, sponsored by public institutions on a national level, offer a contribution to non-governmental organizations and Christian communities, which have spread awareness programs.
As the "Justice and Peace Commission" of the Church in Australia (Australian Catholic Social Justice Council) explains to Fides, the event, which is celebrated every year, aims to make the population of the new continent reflect on its history and the need to continue to foster reconciliation with the Aboriginal community, considered as a "significant presence in Australian culture and history."
The theme chosen this year is "To recognize the other" in the knowledge - explains the Commission - that "every man is created by God and is precious in God's eyes when a man feels recognized for what he is, can give a contribution to society. This is an encouragement to donate one`s energy to others. " This dynamic is central to the integration of the Australian Aboriginal community, and creates a virtuous cycle of trade flow in which Aboriginal people feel recognized and ready to contribute to building the nation.
The Week "reminds us all that there is still work to be done to bring justice to people who suffer from policies of separation," notes John Ferguson, Executive Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Australian Bishops in a message sent to Fides. Three main challenges in dealing with Aboriginal communities need to be faced, Ferguson remarked: " gaps in life expectancy; educational achievement; and social and economic opportunities." "As Catholics, Christ gives us courage to work for the cause of love," said the Secretary, reiterating that the Catholic Church will continue to engage in programs of national reconciliation and human development of indigenous communities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/05/2011)