• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image

from the National Council of Churches in Australia 

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has voiced its concern about the plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples at its recent Central Committee meeting in Geneva.

The WCC statement follows on from a visit to the Northern Territory by a WCC “Living Letters” Team which visited several Aboriginal communities and heard stories and experiences of the Intervention. The Living Letters team expressed concern about the discrimination, oppression and racism they observed and which many Aboriginal people experience on a daily basis.

The WCC, in its statement, expresses solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Australia and recognises the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to live in traditional lands; maintain and enrich culture and ensure traditions are strengthened and passed on for generations to come.

The WCC urges the Australian Government to engage in proper consultation and negotiation processes which are genuinely inclusive of Aboriginal Peoples, which will better empower and enable them to identify their own aspirations, issues of concern and which will involve their full participation in creating and implementing solutions.
The statement also recognises that Australia has been criticised for Intervention measures by the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples as well as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and requests the Australian Government ensures that policies affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples comply with international conventions.

The Reverend. Tara Curlewis, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and an advisor for the WCC Central Committee said "This statement is very significant as it is in response to the Living Letters visit to Northern Territory communities. Members of the WCC Central Committee were shocked to hear what has happened in Australia in recent years. One leader said 'Surely this isn't happening in Australia? I thought Australia was better than this!'"   

Last week the NCCA Executive welcomed the WCC report and statement, the churches hope that Australia will adhere to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and continue to urge the Australian Government to end the Intervention.

The full statement is available at http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/central-committee/geneva-2011/report-on-public-issues/statement-on-the-situation-of-indigenous-peoples-of-australia.html

The Living Letters report is available at http://www.ncca.org.au/files/Natsiec/2495_LivingLettersReport_Beyond_Intervention_2010_f_lowres_r.pdf

Rev Tara Curlewis is available for Interview

Media Enquiries: 02 9299-2215

As violence and unrest in Libya worsens, Act for Peace urges the Australian Government to increase its support for a global Arms Trade Treaty that would help prevent the flow of weapons into conflict zones and countries with poor human rights records.


Countries around the world, including some Commonwealth nations like the UK, must stop supplying arms to dictators like Colonel Gaddafi who use them against their own citizens. Australia, as the host of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), has an opportunity to ensure all Commonwealth Governments support the development of a bullet-proof Arms Trade Treaty.

from Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia

Generous giving by churches around Australia to the Christmas Bowl, the annual program of Act for Peace, will help people in war-torn communities worldwide to rebuild their lives.Credit: Nils Carstensen/DCA/ACT

Funds raised through the Christmas Bowl will support Act for Peace partners who are helping over one million people displaced by conflict, including in the fledgling nation of South Sudan. Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, said, “International support is needed to ensure long-term peace and stability in South Sudan.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:23

Churches Support Flood Victims

Churches Support Flood Victims

Download PDF

As the flood waters continue to rise the Churches have established appeals for the Queensland flood victims. Donations may be made through the Anglican Church Rockhampton Diocese, the Catholic Church through Vinnies Qld Flood Appeal, the Churches of Christ through Care Community Foundation, the Lutheran Church Queensland District, The Salvation Army in conjunction with Woolworths and Big W stores and the Uniting Church through Lifeline Queensland. Appeals have also been launched to support the 51 NSW communities recently declared natural disaster areas.

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) joins with all Australians to express great concern for the many communities and people affected by the floods in NSW and Queensland. Reverend Tara Curlewis, NCCA General Secretary, said “It is truly devastating to see flooding of this magnitude affecting so many towns first in NSW and now in Queensland. On behalf of the NCCA I extend our care, support and sympathy to the thousands who are affected by these floods, those who have lost their homes or possessions and the farmers who have lost crops or livestock.”

The National Council of Churches in Australia condemns the horrific attack perpetrated against the Coptic Orthodox Christians during the New Year’s Eve midnight mass in the Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

At least 21 people are dead and many more injured following a bomb explosion outside the Church of Saint Mark and Saint Peter after the New Year Eve mass ended and people were filling out onto the street to return to their homes. 

Saturday, 18 December 2010 01:00

Filipino Health Workers 'Morong 43' Walk Free

In the early hours of Saturday morning news filtered out of Manila that 38 of the 43 community health workers walked free after 10 months and seven days in detention. This news is warmly welcomed by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). The Reverend Tara Curlewis, General Secretary of the NCCA said “yesterday’s news that a court in Rizal province ordered their release after the State prosecutors withdrew charges was fantastic. Now to know that these people are reunited with their families sees the hopes of many around the world became a reality.”

Tuesday, 23 November 2010 01:00

Aid Agency Hits Back at Christmas Waste

From act for peace the International Aid Agency of the National Council of Churches

Dowload a pdf of this release

Today, the international aid agency Act for Peace launched its annual appeal, the Christmas Bowl, encouraging Australians to share their Christmas with war-torn communities. The appeal is set to hit back at the billions of dollars spent each December on Christmas gifts that prove to be unwanted.

Act for Peace’s Executive Director, Alistair Gee said, “We’re injecting some meaning back into Christmas. It’s not all about socks, scented candles and neck ties. With the help of Australians, we’re aiming to raise over $2.7 million to support war-torn and refugee communities around the world. What do we have to lose? Well, apart from a few socks and foot spas.”

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) shares the grief of Iraqi Christians following deadly attacks whilst people attended church in Baghdad. “With broken hearts we mourn the tragic and violent deaths of our brothers and sisters at Mass on 31 October” said the Reverend Tara Curlewis, NCCA General Secretary.

from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia

download a pdf of this release

The announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government will work towards recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution was welcomed by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) as a positive action to address a long overdue omission.

Executive Secretary of the NATSIEC, Mr Graeme Mundine, has however raised concerns that Constitutional recognition will not mean anything unless the rights of Indigenous people are protected and respected in all policy decisions and implementation.