OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA-The Bishops listen to an Aboriginal leader, "an agenda of hope"

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – Present the Australian Bishops, gathered for the Plenary Meeting, an "agenda of hope" for the future of the Aboriginal people of Australia: with this spirit Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Social Justice Commissioner leader spoke at the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. As reported to Fides, Goode recognized the rich tradition of the Church in defending the rights of Aborigines.
Already since 1972 –he recalled - the Bishops said that Aboriginal people have land rights, ownership, employment, housing, education, and are all paramount rights. Commissioner Goode spoke about the apology expressed by the national Parliament, which acknowledged past mistakes and committed to make steps toward a reconciled Australian future.
"It is a journey that moves us along the road to freedom and human dignity which Australia owes her people. It is about looking forward and moving forward as a nation. It is a journey that can help build healthy relationships, necessary for an agenda of hope", said Goode.
The Commissioner also told the Bishops that "the most important thing they can do for Aboriginal people is to go into communities and listen to them", explaining that "relationships are built on understanding, dialogue, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust and reciprocated affection ".
The presentation was warmly received by the Australian Bishops who initiated a discussion with the Commissioner. On behalf of the Assembly, Mgr. Christopher Prowse, President of the Episcopal Commission for relations with the aborigines, thanked Commissioner Goode, promising the closeness and support of the Christian community to Aboriginal peoples. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2011)