Wominjeka – Welcome

St Paul’s Cathedral stands on the sovereign Country of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation; land that was taken, not ceded. We give thanks for their ancestors, and acknowledge the ongoing right and responsibility of their elders to care for this Country. We are committed to work and pray towards a more just settlement for all Indigenous people and pay our respects to First Nations people.

During the colonisation of Australia, conflicts erupted between colonial forces (including the police and local settlers) and the Indigenous peoples of this land. Now known as the ‘Frontier Wars’, more than 20,000 Indigenous people were killed; losses amongst European settlers were about 2500.

Historians note that whilst open conflict often resulted in violence and murder, demoralisation and European diseases have been responsible for taking many more Indigenous lives since colonisation.

Today, we mourn our part in this history and affirm our commitment to the work of reconciliation.

The painting featured above is Treaty by Glenn Loughrey, a Wiradjuri man from New South Wales and priest at St Oswald’s Anglican Church, Glen Iris, Melbourne. He is an artist who fuses Indigenous art styles with Western forms of story telling. He writes of Treaty:

“We are in the process of a discussion about how to recognise indigenous Australians in the constitution. This piece suggests that only when deep dialogue occurs between equals resulting in true sovereignty and a treaty that recognises such will we have recognition. The piece uses red to signify the bloody history of our country, the black lines as the fences and policies we have used to further that history, the black and white squares as the way we view our selves in opposition. The tentative yellow lines and the meeting place reminds us that we have only just begun and that this process is fragile and can collapse at anytime.”    

Revd Canon Glenn Loughrey