*** DEBUG END ***

Churches accused of ‘shattering silence’ about Indigenous redress

10 May 2024


The Victorian Climate Action, Energy and Resources Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, during a public hearing of the Yoorrook Justice Commission in Melbourne, last month

The Victorian Climate Action, Energy and Resources Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, during a public hearing of the Yoorrook Justice Commission in Melbourne,...

AUSTRALIAN Churches have been accused of a “shattering silence” concerning redress to Indigenous people for past injustices.

At a Melbourne hearing of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, a Victorian truth-telling inquiry into the effects of colonisation, Commissioner Tony North KC told representatives of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Uniting Churches that he accepted their genuine acceptance of the past hurt. “Despite these good feelings”, however, he could see that they had “no effective ways of addressing them”.

Commissioner North said that he was “hoping against hope” that the Commission, which will report next year, would spur “organisations like yours who have the leadership of the conscience of our community at heart” to seek ways of “tangibly addressing” redress.

The Bishop of Gippsland, Dr Richard Treloar, told the Commission that the diocese had a policy of directing 1.5 per cent of the money that it retained from land sales to its Aboriginal ministry. He admitted, however, that this was a “woefully inadequate figure”. He hoped that this figure would increase, he said, and acknowledged that “land injustice causes systemic disadvantage and legacy trauma.” He said the diocese “lamented” that its colonial history included “atrocities committed against First Peoples”.

Churches received large-scale state grants of land in the 19th century, without concern for Indigenous sovereignty. Those in charge of many church buildings, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, now publicly acknowledge that they are built on Indigenous sovereign land that was “taken, not ceded”.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available



Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)