Young people call on government to support First Nations People-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country
On Friday 21 May, as part of School Strike 4 Climate events, young people across Australia will once again take to the streets to appeal to the Australia government to use taxpayer dollars to “Fund Our Future Not Gas”. They call for:
1) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country,
2) The creation of jobs that fast-track solutions to the climate crisis and help communities recover, and
3) Projects that transition our economy and communities to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, through expanded public ownership.
They ask that other Australians support them in these calls:
- Join a 21 May event in person if there is one near you and invite others to do so. So far there are rallies planned in 12 cities and towns across the Synod. For those in Sydney, there will be a pre-rally Uniting Church youth-led worship service in the CBD (10am for 10:15am start, more details coming soon).
- Sign the SS4C pledge – as an individual, congregation or community group.
- Put a message of support on your church noticeboard or make/display a supportive banner.
- Amplify your action by spreading the word through social media.
- Let your local member of parliament know that you are taking action and why you are concerned.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country
The drivers and impacts of climate change are matters of deep injustice that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and climate impacts. There are 22 new gas projects slated across these lands now called Australia and First Nations peoples are leading struggles against them – from the Narrabri gas project in the Pilliga forest on Gomeroi country, to underground coal gasification at Leigh Creek and Copley on Adnyamathanha country, and unconventional gas exploration in the Beetaloo Sub-basin in the Northern Territory (Jawoyn, Alawa, Jingili, Walmanpa, Warumungu, Ngandji and Binbinga and other lands).
The Uniting Church iscommitted to relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and with the First Peoples of these lands now called Australia.
We acknowledge the sovereignty of the First Peoples of Australia and walk together, seeking to build a church and nation of justice and reconciliation.
Some ways to support:
- Learn about, pray for and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led initiatives for climate justice and care for country/creation, such as Common Grace (an online movement pursuing Jesus and justice), the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Original Power, the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council in the Galilee Basin Qld, and Our Islands Our Home in the Torres Strait.
- Stand in solidarity with broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander struggles for justice:
- With two Aboriginal people dying in custody this week, Aboriginal deaths in custody needs urgent and national attention. Take action and pray using Common Grace’s resources.
- 26 May is National Sorry Day where as a nation, together, we remember and acknowledge The Stolen Generations, including the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities and the ongoing impacts today. 27 May-3 June is National Reconciliation Week. Look out for resources for these events in coming weeks, including National Reconciliation Week resources from Common Grace and the Assembly.
- Follow updates and calls to action from the NSW and ACT Synod’s Relationship and Service Manager, Anaiwon and Gomeroi man Nathan Tyson.
- Learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resistance throughout history, for example by accessing this timeline from Original Power.
- When organising events and initiatives on climate change, make spaces to be led by, hear and learn from First Nations voices.
Dr Miriam Pepper and Brooke Prentis