The Archbishop of Canterbury presented Pastor Ray Minniecon with the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation today during a visit to Scarred Tree Ministries in Sydney.
The Archbishop of Canterbury presented Aboriginal pastor Uncle Ray Minniecon with the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation during a visit to Sydney today.
Archbishop Justin presented Pastor Ray with the award at St John's Glebe in Sydney, where he is Honorary Indigenous Minister and runs Scarred Tree Ministries.
Uncle Ray is an Aboriginal pastor with roots in the Kabikabi and Gurang-Gurang tribes of Queensland. He lives in Sydney and has dedicated his life to supporting members of the Stolen Generations of Aboriginals (the tens of thousands of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their families by government agencies and church missions from the late 1800s).
The Archbishop is currently visiting Australia to spend time with dioceses in the Church of Australia, with a particular focus on meeting with First Nations peoples and communities affected by climate change.
Presenting Pastor Ray with the award, Archbishop Justin read the following citation:
Pastor Raymond Minniecon – the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation
For his outstanding contribution to the ministry of reconciliation through costly work with Australia’s Stolen Generation and with the Anglican Church.
"Pastor Raymond (Uncle Ray) has dedicated his life to working with the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, in ways that are often out of the limelight and speak of deep personal integrity and an inspirational faith. A descendant of the Kabi Kabi nation, the Gureng Gureng nation of South-East Queensland, and the South Sea Islander people, Pastor Ray’s near relations were enslaved as cane cutters. He grew up on a reserve and only narrowly avoided being taken from his parents by the colonial authorities. Later he was offered roles in the Australian Government, but chose to stay working in the community.
"Through his ministry, he has dealt with complex, intergenerational trauma and high rates of incarceration, suicide and addiction in his community resulting from colonial policies. Yet he chooses to pursue relationship with colonising cultures, saying: 'It’s God himself, in the middle of all of this mess, these powers that be – he’s putting out his hand, both to the wounded as well as to those who have made the wounds, – and saying, “Come on, let’s get back together again. Let’s heal these relationships again. Let’s make us be one as God created us to be.” That really is the heart of the gospel.’
"Pastor Ray has started, directed and mentored numerous organisations working with and representing First Nations people, to strengthen education, employment opportunities, traditional arts, poverty reduction, health, church ministry and more. He and his wife Sharon now lead Scarred Tree Ministries within St John’s Anglican Church in Glebe and Gawura Aboriginal Christian School within St Andrew’s Cathedral School as distinct offerings for First Nations people within established Australian institutions - a way of demonstrating the possibility of reconciliation."