That this General Synod:
(a) is troubled by – i) the Federal Parliament’s promotion of any legislation that avoids the granting of human rights or that removes those rights from its own citizens or from others; ii) the use of the language of crisis and emergency in our parliaments and in the media to promote the current precipitous interventions in Aboriginal towns and camps in the Northern Territory, sidestepping blame for decades of disinterest, and avoiding the charge that Australians are not willing to bear the cost of implementing long-term strategies of justice building; iii) emerging signs of the introduction of an overt policy of “mainstreaming” in relation to Indigenous Australians, whose unique identity and rich and ancient heritage ought to be celebrated and cherished rather than extinguished; iv) the avoidance of open public debate and vigorous collaboration when introducing policy changes that are certain to disturb Indigenous peoples across our nation, altering forever their human and cultural rights, freedoms and aspirations; and
(b) calls on all Australians, especially our parliamentarians, media and opinion changers and all Anglicans – (i) to embrace and cherish in appropriate ways the unique identities of the diversity of Indigenous societies in Australia and promote rich partnerships and mutual respect and avoid the injustice of forced assimilation in its various guises; (ii) to honour public debate and the forging of strong community partnerships, and to expose and condemn deceit and all techniques of social manipulation that bypass democratic process and ignore the needs and human rights of the poor and marginalised; and
(c) calls on our Federal Government (i) to engage with the government of the Northern Territory to actively implement, with liberal resources, a “Generational Plan of Action for Closing the Gap of Indigenous Disadvantage” and to adopt bi-partisan generational reform across all Australia as a means of enriching the future of all Indigenous Australians; (ii) to promote a nationwide debate as to how to ensure the continuation of a rich Indigenous identity in Australian society; and
(d) requests that the General Secretary takes appropriate steps to petition the Governor General to promote, as soon as possible, a national decade of Australia’s Indigenous languages as a means of making all Australians vitally aware of the enduring cultural wealth that runs alongside the mainstream of Western Society in this ancient land.
The Revd Robert Haynes moved, Bishop Greg Thompson seconding, 26 Oct 07