NT Uniting Church "Pays the Rent" to Indigenous people


Three years ago, the Uniting Church of Nightcliff approached the Larrakia Nation to make a donation of $500. The congregation had long felt it was time to acknowledge that their church was situated on Larrakia land. They also felt that the history between early religious communities and Aboriginal Territorians was such that a gesture of recognition, of respect and acknowledgement was a step towards healing the wounds of the past and forging a common and better future together.

The following year, another cheque for $500 was handed to the Larrakia Nation, only this time, a conversation began between members of the church community and Larrakia staff, Directors and members. That conversation has led to: a new and deeper relationship; the sharing of church premises; the involvement of members of the church community in programs and projects; and real engagement between members of both communities. There is now a Memorandum of Understanding between the Larrakia Nation and the Northern Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia (representing the Nightcliff Uniting Church).

Independently of the Uniting Church of Nightcliff’s support, in 2008 the NT Environment Centre Board resolved to also make an annual donation of $500 per year to acknowledge the descendants of the original inhabitants of Darwin. In a joint ceremony attended by representatives of the Environment Centre, the Nightcliff Uniting Church and elders and member of the Larrakia Nation, gifts were exchanged, songs sung, stirring speeches shared and the children gave beautiful posters of their thoughts and feelings about the land and it’s people – all of us ...