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Army forges closer links to indigenous community in Far North Queensland

Army forges closer links to indigenous community in Far North Queensland

Army forges closer links to indigenous community in Far North Queensland

8 June 2016

A morning tea at Atherton Tablelands Corps was just one of many Salvation Army events observing Reconciliation Week.

By SIMONE WORTHING

The Salvation Army has strengthened ties with local indigenous communities after cultural celebrations in Far North Queensland to mark National Reconciliation Week, this year observed from 27 May to 3 June. 

In Cairns, approximately 100 Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Papua New Guinea residents gathered outside the Manunda family store for a free traditional lunch and live music on 27 May. Indigenous author, Trish Albert; Police Liaison Officer and Cultural Advisor, “Aunty” Kathy Lowah; and Major Anne Gumuna (ret.) were guest speakers for the lunch. Major Gumuna challenged all Salvationists, ministry workers, staff and volunteers to take a stand and embrace the message that “this great nation needs to be reconciled to each other and to God so that his blessings can be poured out upon us all, for his glory”.  Local Uniting Church Indigenous Pastor, Rodney Minniecon, also spoke during the event. Students from Djarragun College performed both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dances as part of the celebration.

“The event was a success and an amazing blessing because of the great team effort from the Cairns Army and community,” said Allen Minniecon, Salvation Army Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Development Officer for Far North Queensland.

Major Garry Cox, Cairns Corps Officer, also attended the lunch. “It was an opportunity to celebrate Reconciliation Week, an opportunity for the Indigenous people to make a statement of who they are and an opportunity for us also to say The Salvation Army supports reconciliation,” he said.

In Atherton, South West of Cairns, Allen Minniecon and Lieutenant Kate Cathcart, Atherton Tablelands Corps Officer, facilitated a morning tea on 1 June. Lieutenant Cathcart organised the event as part of the journey of reconciliation in the local area. Family store volunteers and community members also attended the morning tea.

“This was a huge step in the journey of reconciliation for the Atherton Corps and surrounding district,” said Allen.

The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year was Our History, Our Story, Our Future.

 

 

 

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