Photo of brass breastplate Tattambo King
Tattambo King, described as 'Belonging to Mr Fryer, died in September 1865 and was buried in the Murchison Cemetery, Victoria.

Europeans meet Indigenous Australians

Recognition of inappropriate ways Europeans have treated Indigenous Australians

We acknowledge:

  • That Europeans took control of the continent without negotiation or compensation.
  • That Europeans managed the land in ways which made it unsuitable for traditional Aboriginal lifestyles; this also resulted in destruction of plants, animals and habitats.
  • Across most of the nation, including Victoria, there were bitter ‘wars’ over land. Casualties were not restricted to ‘warriors’. ‘Massacres’ and outrageous recriminations were too common.
  • That Indigenous Australians have often been treated in ways that did not recognize them as made in the image of God.
  • The creation of ‘stolen generations’ and consequently Indigenous people who have lost their land and traditional identity.
  • That today, many Aborigines live in conditions that are far worse than most other Australians.
  • Sometimes contemporary events repeat these evils.

Recognition of inappropriate ways Indigenous Australians have treated Europeans

  • It was not uncommon for innocent Europeans to be killed in the early turbulent times.

Recognition of the Church Workers who have worked with Indigenous Australians

  • Since the arrival of the first Europeans, there have been church workers such as missionaries, clergy and local men and women of good will who have worked hard for Indigenous people. At times when settlers rarely took an interest in the first Australians, a few inspired people were enduring hard conditions to support Aboriginal people.
  • We recognize that mistakes were made as attitudes of the day were imposed and at times Indigenous people treated inappropriately.


  • Consider these matters, and look for words of acknowledgement and confession.

Commitment to working for justice and peace

  • In God’s presence, think about ways of responding.

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