Working with First Peoples of Australia

Initiatives of Change (IofC) hosts an emerging First Peoples (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) leadership program that is collaborating with non-Indigenous Australians to transform attitudes and relationships that impact our nation.

Initiatives of Change Australia (previously Moral Rearmament, or MRA) has had a continuing concern and involvement with Australian First Peoples since the 1950s. The network has supported leadership by First Peoples campaigners such as early 20th-century activist Marge Tucker, singer Harold Blair, and interfaith leader Walda Blow, who mentored many vulnerable women and girls. Many have been supported to represent Australia in Caux, Asia Plateau, South Africa, and to participate in training courses, here and overseas.

MRA/IofC platforms have enabled Australians to find a change of attitudes and be involved in relevant issues. Such work has included the late Kim Beazley senior’s role on land rights and education in indigenous languages. A range of significant ‘network initiatives’ inspired by IofC have been central in projects such as the Myall Creek Memorial in New South Wales, the Colebrook Blackwood Reconciliation Park in South Australia in memory of the stolen generations, and the Tirkandi Inaburra programme for First Nations youth. 

From 1991 for 20 years, this process merged with the national campaign for Reconciliation and, following the Bringing Them Home Report, for Sorry Day and the Journey of Healing.

The shift now, nationally, is towards a ‘First Peoples’ leadership taking their rightful place in Australia, to fundamentally change attitudes and relationships  within Australia, and to deliver just societal outcomes.

Latest News
Friday, 14 September, 2018

The Uluru Statement in May 2017 was the best chance Australia had to meaningfully address the legacy of our colonial past. It was rejected by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in October 2017. One year on, the question remains, can the invitation by the delegates at Uluru for peaceful co-existince still be heard?

Monday, 12 February, 2018

IofC worker John Bond served as Secretary of the National Sorry Day Committee from 1998 to 2006, campaigning for the national apology that was finally made 10 years ago. He reflects on what has and has not changed since that time.

Tuesday, 11 July, 2017

The killing, murder and massacre of indigenous Australians as the British settlers took their land were often known as the Frontier Wars. Few of the countless killings and only one of the many massacres that took place into the 20th century, the Myall Creek Massacre, was ever fully investigated and prosecuted.

Each long weekend in June, Australians of Indigenous and settler descent meet at the site to make peace with the past. Aslan Shand interviews convenor Graeme Cordiner on what Myall Creek means for Australia.

Friday, 11 July, 2008

Seldom can the uttering of one word have caused such joy across a nation.