Journey to Recognition

The beginning of the long walk to Recognition. Photo: Koorie Mail, 28 May 2013

The beginning of the long walk to Recognition. Photo: Koorie Mail, 28 May 2013

Three Missionary Sisters of Service, Stancea Vichie, Pat Kelly and Corrie van den Bosch were present at the launch of the Journey to Recognition at Federation Square, Melbourne.  There was a spirit of celebration in the gathered crowd.  The pealing bells of St Paul's Cathedral across the street added a further touch.   The online Guardian tells the story:    

Stancea Vichie mss and Pat Kelly mss at the launch of Recognise.

Stancea Vichie mss and Pat Kelly mss at the launch of Recognise.

A momentous relay across the length and breadth of Australia designed to build support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has begun in Melbourne.

The Journey to Recognition relay, organised by the Recognise campaign, will see a mixture of grassroots supporters and high-profile political and community leaders travel along the south coast from Melbourne to Adelaide, and then up to the Northern Territory, to Alice Springs passing Uluru, and ending up in Nhulunbuy on the Gove peninsula on 9 August. The relay will then break for the election period, before continuing through the country.

AFL legend Michael Long, who marched from Melbourne to Canberra in 2004 protesting against the treatment of Indigenous Australians under the Howard government, took the first historic steps on Sunday.

The opposition leader, Tony Abbott (centre), and AFL legend Michael Long (right) participate in the launch of the Journey to Recognition walk in Melbourne. Politicians from both sides of parliament were present at the event.   Photograph: Steve Lillebuen/AAPIMAGE

The opposition leader, Tony Abbott (centre), and AFL legend Michael Long (right) participate in the launch of the Journey to Recognition walk in Melbourne. Politicians from both sides of parliament were present at the event.   Photograph: Steve Lillebuen/AAPIMAGE

Long addressed a 1,000-strong crowd at Federation Square in Melbourne. “We need to fix the gap in Australia’s constitution. We’ve got a chance in the next two or three years to get this right as a country – by going to a referendum,” he said.

He added: “It would be a great mark in our history. This is a document that is important for all Australians – and we’re an integral part of Australia.”

Constitutional recognition has received cross-parliament support. The Recognition Act, which commits Australia to a referendum on the constitution, was passed by parliament in February this year, with support from both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.  

The Missionary Sisters of Service and the John Wallis Foundation fully support the journey toward recognition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

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