Wominjeka – Welcome

St Paul’s Cathedral stands on the traditional lands of the Kulin nation. We acknowledge and pay our respects to their elders past and present, and to all Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

We are committed to the work of reconciliation.

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.