Baha’i Advocacy for Reconciliation
Aboriginal elder Aunty Millie Ingram stressed the importance of education as a transformative power to advance reconciliation in Australia when she addressed a reception following a service at the Sydney Baha’i Temple.
“The best thing you can do is to be informed,” said Ms Ingram, who spoke at the 1 June event, held to mark National Reconciliation Week.
Ms Ingram, from Sydney’s inner west, spoke on the Week’s theme “Let’s Walk the Talk”.
The Australian Baha’i Community has been a supporter of the Week event since the first one in 1996. At the heart of the Baha’i teachings are the principles of the oneness of humanity and of unity in diversity.
Ms Ingram encouraged more interest in Aboriginal news, speakers, films and plays.
“You have to change people’s views about Aboriginal people,” she said.
“There are over 200 nationalities in this country, and I regard you all as Australians.
“But we are the first Australians, and yet we are so far behind. We should be respected, we should be honoured, and we should be acknowledged.
“We have made a lot of gains in the last forty years but we still have a long way to go.”
Before the reception, a public service took place in the Baha’i Temple with readings the from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish scriptures based on themes of unity and harmony, with intervals of music from the Baha’i Temple choir.
Special guests included the chair of Religions for Peace NSW, Josie Lacey, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies representative Jennifer Symonds, and Warringah Councillor Vanessa Moskal. Representing the national governing body of the Baha’is of Australia, the National Spiritual Assembly, was one of its nine members, Dr Arini Beaumaris.