Australia’s first peoples, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, represent the oldest living continuing culture in the world. And yet, tragically, racial tensions, inequalities and systematic injustice are realities we have lived with for too long. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate is 17 times the national average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people account for almost 30% of those in prison and there have been far too many deaths in custody.
The Anglican community of St Catharine’s Caulfield South stand against racism in any form, anywhere. We believe that black lives matter. We pray that the attention surrounding deaths in custody will lead to systemic change, both in America, here in Australia and around the world. We stand with Christians around the world condemning violence and persecution.
Attending the #BlackLivesMatter rally in Melbourne on Saturday 6 June posed an ethical dilemma for many Melburnians yesterday, not least of which some members of our Church community. I sympathise with the complexity of this decision in a Covid-19 environment. However we remain committed to the health and safety of all of our members which includes complying with the current Covid-19 restrictions.
While the issue of reconciliation and an end to injustice for Indigenous Australians is one that we are rightly passionate about and comitted to, there is also the duty of care for ourselves, our families and communities in relation to Covid-19. I have today communicated with the members of our Church community who attended the rally, or who have come into contact with anyone who attended the rally, they have agreed to comply with one of the following options :
Received a negative Covid-19 test result, or
Voluntarily quarantine themselves for 14 consecutive days.
This advice is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer and the State and Federal governments.
If anyone has any concerns in relation to issue, please contact the Lead Pastor directly on 0406 400 338.