• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Monday, 08 April 2019 15:25

Sudanese and South Sudanese Women gather together in Canberra

“Truth, Unity and Reconciliation” was the theme for a national meeting of Sudanese and South Sudanese women leaders in Canberra at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) on 29-30 March. 

The consultation process was organised by the National Council of Churches Australia (NCCA) with 20 women selected from various denominational traditions including Catholic, Uniting, Salvation Army, Anglican and Baptist churches. 

Executive Director of the ACC&C Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard officially welcomed the women with a brief history of the ACC&C and its vision.  

The aim of the meeting was to develop connections and relationships across tribal and denominational loyalties across the country. The consultation was a unique opportunity for Sudanese and South Sudanese church women to meet together and share their stories, experiences, challenges and hopes for their contexts of living in Australia.  

At the previous leaders’ consultation (in May, 2018), there were only four women present out of 28, and one of the recommendations was ‘that women need to be given their own space in the mediation process’.

As a community, the women were aware of the extent and intensity of trauma from the violence of war and the need for deep healing across several generations.  

The women identified the following topics as key areas of concern within their communities: ‘Women as Peacemakers within their community’, ‘Intergenerational connection’, ‘Women’s health’ and ‘Women in Leadership and Ministry’. Each topic was explored to identify the root cause and how each could be addressed.

In Australia, the women identified that they diminish their potential for healthy lives and flourishing communities when they allow tribal and denomination loyalties to supersede national loyalty. When these loyalties dominate, they cannot provide, under God, the quality of leadership that their people need.  

Together, as Sudanese and South Sudanese women, they can bring peace to their communities.

 

SSWgroup work

(Above) Participants at the Pavillion, ACC&C being welcomed by Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard.  (Far rirght) The women work together on identifying common issues that effect their communities.

ssw group wkx250ssw group wk2x250

 SSWgroup 2

Participants pause at the Reflection Pool (above) and at The Place of Meeting (below)
 

 SSWgroup 3