To walk this way – a reflection on Reconciliation

By Felicity McCallum, 3 June 2021
A July 2013 file image of Men of the "Karjanarna Jaru" perform a traditional dance in the natural amphitheater in Cathedral Gorge in the Purnululu National Park, Halls Creek, Western Australia. Image: Philip Schubert/


There is something irresistible about the place of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Some say there is no stronger part to the bough of a tree than where there once was a break, now mended. They say that that bough is stronger than any other part of the tree. There is something about people we know who have seen and corrected errors in their ways or their character – there is a salt we can detect and be nourished by.

People become more real, more relatable when they walk this way.

To walk the way of Reconciliation in Australia is to perceive and cultivate a heart that turns to what we share rather than the blocks we bear.

It is to re-connect First Nations Australians with all Australians in new ways that are truthful and faithful, that stick.

It is what is known as religare in Latin, that is the base of the term ‘religion’, meaning to bind back together.

There is something enlivening about Reconciliation, enduring and good.

Reconciliation is to be drawn irresistibly into that nectar of equanimity of unself-conscious coexistence…it is when we transcend indifference and differences to share in the Oneness Who loves us all.

May we all walk this way this Reconciliation Week.

National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June.

Felicity McCallum is a PhD Student at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, her thesis is ‘Awabakal-British Engagement and Reconciliation: A historical investigation with special reference to Girardian theory‘. She is also First Nations Adviser to the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA).

Reproduced with permission from the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and Felicity McCallum.


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