Hobart woman Margaret Collis admits she was quickly struck by the lack of blame for past white atrocities she felt laid at her feet by Aboriginal community members in Northern New South Wales, she met during her participation in the About FACE program at the beginning of this year.
“I have heard of places where some Aboriginal people are [understandably] still very angry with white people and want to hold it [what happened in the past] over them,” she said. “But, that was not my experience. There were no accusations directed at us.”
Margaret, who worships at Bellerive Uniting Church on Hobart’s eastern shore, was one of 17 participants in About FACE 2015 which was organised by the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania’s Commission for Mission, running for 16 days in January. She was one of 3 aged over 50, with the remaining 14 under the age of 30.
About FACE stands for Faith And Cultural Exchange and has been an activity of the Uniting Church in Australia since 1984 with the aim of building meaningful relationships with Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) communities. It celebrates the covenant relationship between the Uniting Church in Australia and the UAICC, and encourages participants and those supporting them to be actively involved in covenanting and working together for reconciliation in the church and in the wider community.