In 2008, the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne resolved to support a scoping project on Services to Indigenous Communities.
Headed up by Dr Ree Boddé who commenced this research in February, the project has been generously co-funded by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Anglicare Victoria.
In the foreword to the report Archbishop Philip Freier wrote:
Since coming to Melbourne I have been aware of much support for Indigenous outreach, not only outside of the Diocese but also within Geelong and Melbourne.
Both my early teaching career and much of my ministry have been spent in Indigenous communities. God called me to minister amongst Indigenous Australians and I was privileged to do so. Now in Melbourne and largely with non-Indigenous Australians, I feel impelled to continue to support the needs of Indigenous people in outreach and partnership.
The Prime Minister’s ‘Sorry’ of 13 February 2008 was but a stage in the reconciliation and understanding that must continue into the foreseeable future. I pray to God for a future where Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have equal access to all aspects of citizenship.
Since coming to Melbourne I have been aware of much support for Indigenous outreach, not only outside of the Diocese but also within Geelong and Melbourne. Most noticeably it is Nungalinya College in Darwin which is the target for fundraising by several parishes.
Supporting Indigenous people in ministry training, in what is currently the hub for Indigenous ministry training in Australia, is the aim of many Anglican parishes. These efforts are now being coordinated through the Diocese to improve efficiency and to allow us to know the extent of the support. It is pleasing to recognise the goodwill that exists and the efforts which already have led to ongoing partnership and projects.
The Indigenous Ministries Survey has provided us with valuable information and recommendations, from which to base a strategy for the Diocese of Melbourne. I thank Ree and all respondents for the work in undertaking this survey and I commend it to your attention.