22 March 2023

First Nations initiative set to inform diocese on Statement from the Heart, Voice to Parliament

L-R: The Reverend Canon Garry Deverell, Gaye Loughrey, the Reverend Canon Glenn Loughrey, Aunty Elaine Peckham, Uncle Shane Charles, the Most Reverend Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, Dean of Melbourne the Very Reverend Andreas Loewe and the Reverend Canon Helen Dwyer at Mr Loughrey’s commissioning service. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

4 March 2023

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has recently commissioned a First Nations leader and Anglican priest to lead an initiative of education and advocacy on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council the Reverend Canon Glenn Loughrey is set to offer the diocese information on Australian history and the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament, as well as provide an opportunity to ask questions about the Voice.

Read more: People of faith invited to listen, learn Indigenous perspectives of Voice

Mr Loughrey said different demographics tended to require varying kinds of information about the Statement from the Heart and the proposed Voice. He said his initiative would seek to offer tailored forums to address individual concerns.

“Research has shown that the older generations within Christian communities [tend to] have more questions about this issue than younger generations,” Mr Loughrey said. “Therefore, this is something that is needed in order to help them work through those questions [and] concerns and to make a more considered opinion about what they need to do.”

Read more: A Voice to Parliament is just a first step towards healing

Mr Loughrey said there was also a need for education on Indigenous history among multicultural communities within the diocese. He said many had not been given an opportunity to learn Australian history, but if they were informed may be willing to support the process of establishing an Indigenous Voice.

Mr Loughrey said he would begin by working with bishops, then deaneries, clergy and finally parishes, where he hoped to roll out cluster meetings and roundtable discussions.

Read more: Bible being used to subjugate Indigenous Australians: Pattel-Gray

He said while the work was currently being done by him alone, he would be seeking a team of First Nations volunteers and supporters to assist him in delivering this initiative.

If you would like to volunteer, you can contact Uncle Glenn Loughrey directly at gloughrey@melbourneanglican.org.au.

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