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. Others in the IofC network, inspired by the values and principles taught by IofC, have gone on to initiate or support 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, 29 March, 2019
L-R: Justin Bergholcs, Susan Moylan-Coombs and Jennifer Moylan on wash-up duty at the Asia Plateau conference.

Australian Indigenous broadcaster and community leader, Susan Moylan-Coombs, addressed the ‘Breaking Barriers, Building Trust’ conference at Asia Plateau in Panchgani, India on 29 January 2019. Read her inspiring words of wisdom.

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
Poster produced by Batchelor Press/Batchelor Institute to commemorate the day Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the stolen generation (13th February 2008).

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.