UCA Statements

Support for Indigenous Peoples

16 July 2012

12.16.03            It was resolved to:


(a)        work in partnership with the leadership of the First Nations Assemblies living under the “Stronger Futures” legislative regime and assure them that we stand with them in the name of justice;


(b)        affirm the work of many leaders of First and Second Peoples in protesting against those elements of the “Stronger Futures” legislation which were implemented without meaningful and effective negotiations with those people most affected by the legislation;


(c)        lament the ill health, cultural disintegration and social dysfunction that exists among communities in remote areas;


(d)        express our support for those actions which empower indigenous peoples to take control of their own lives and destinies and ensure appropriate resourcing in the areas of health, housing, education, employment and well-being support;


(e)        welcome those unconditional financial commitments of the  Commonwealth Government that address the needs of indigenous peoples;


(f)         condemn the imposition and extension of the harmful and discriminatory aspects of the “Stronger Futures” legislation and those elements that disempower local communities and impose compulsory income management;


(g)        affirm the right of First Peoples to develop positive local alternatives and reject a ‘one size fits all’ approach;


(h)        call upon the Commonwealth Government to repeal the harmful and discriminatory aspects ofthe “Stronger Futures” legislation;


(i)         call upon the Commonwealth Government to engage in:

(i)      respectful and genuine negotiation with the leadership of First Nations Assemblies;

(ii)      meaningful negotiation in regard to the provision of sufficient and appropriate resources; and

(iii)     effective implementation of negotiated action plans with those communities;


(j)         encourage all people, councils and bodies of the Uniting Church and ecumenical partners:

(i)      to continue informing themselves about the personal and community stories of those living with the “Intervention”; and

(ii)      to public advocacy of policies that are being promoted by Indigenous leaders that build long-term prosperous and harmonious lives and empower Indigenous peoples to take responsibility and deliver the changes that are needed;


(k)        support the call of members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) for continuing national action about the “Stronger Futures” legislation and to contribute to resourcing such action; and


(l)         request the World Council of Churches Central Committee, at its coming meeting in August–September 2012, to issue a public statement of concern about the Australian Government’s “Stronger Futures” legislation and to mobilise the world church to act in support of the indigenous peoples of Australia.