The National Conference of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress has made two new leadership appointments.
Rev Dennis Corowa is the new National UAICC Chairperson. Dennis is also currently Chairperson of the Queensland UAICC Regional Committee (Calvary Presbytery), Dennis has been involved with Congress since 1985, working in congregational ministry and school and prison chaplaincy. He is one of the authors of Rainbow Spirit Theology. He has a vision for First Peoples to claim their strength and dignity, and life in all its fullness, and to struggle against all that stops people claiming that life.
A new Deputy Chairperson was also appointed – Rev Garry Dronfield of NSW-ACT Congress. Garry is a Bundjalung man, presently ministering at Sylvania Uniting Church.
Tributes were paid to outgoing Chairperson Rev Rronang Garrawurra of the Northern Regional Council of Congress whose work in the last three years has been widely acknowledged across the Uniting Church.
“Rronang has led the UAICC with grace and wisdom for which we are all grateful,” said Dennis.
“We pray to God to grant Rronang fulfilment in his continuing ministry, and good health and happiness for him, his wife Sally, their family and their community at Galiwin’ku.”
“I look forward to building on Rronang’s legacy, in encouraging young Congress leaders in their formation and discipleship, and encouraging the whole Church to engage with the injustices faced by First Peoples. I will also be looking to build on relations with other First Peoples in the Pacific.”
Uniting Church President Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, whose term has coincided with Rronang’s, also praised the outgoing National Chairperson.
“It has been an honour to walk together side-by-side with Rronang over the past three years in our respective roles, and to listen and learn from him,” said Andrew.
“I was honoured last year to stand side-by-side with Rronang at Parliament House at the public service in our week of prayer and fasting for justice and reconciliation between First and Second Peoples – an important event in the 13th Assembly.”
“The Uniting Church has been truly blessed by Rronang’s service as a church leader and public theologian, explaining to those who listen the Holy Spirit’s presence in the land, revealing God to Aboriginal and Islander people.”
Rev Prof Andrew Dutney also welcomed the UAICC National Chairperson and Deputy to their new roles.
“I am looking forward to working with Dennis, who has already attended several Assembly Standing Committee meetings, and Garry as we move towards an important milestone in our relationship.”
“On 29 May this year it will be 30 years since the Assembly endorsed the establishment of Congress.”
“This is an important time to acknowledge the past, and reflect on how we have followed through on the promises we made in 1985: celebrating our achievements, confessing the ways in which we have fallen short and recommitting to our covenantal relationship within the body of Christ,” said Andrew.