Thursday, July 28, 2016

Welcoming and Excluding--the Australian Experience

Immigrants are a big deal here!  Basically ALL the non-native peoples who are Australian have been or are now immigrants (like the USA).

Like many other First World countries Australia struggles now to incorporate people who are refugees--immigrants of a sort, fleeing from economic, religious, or political persecution.  We attended an Evensong in Melbourne in St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral.

Now take a look at the banner high on the outside of the Cathedral.  Here it is.  I'm glad to see that this diocese is really championing inclusion and welcome.  I think the banner is effective because it showcases the young who need a safe place to live--they are the ones to be running things tomorrow, after all.

Then in Adelaide at the Immigration Museum I was pleased to see a good deal of attention given to how immigrants from white Europe treated the native peoples here--those whom we call Aborigines. Lots of exhibits detailed exclusionary attempts and attempts to forcefully kidnap little kids and take them to missionary schools, often Anglican, to teach them how to be Brits.  And this entailed separating them from their parents--often with violence.  How tragic--people are still healing from it.

This is the Australian experience.  It might help us think about how we do things in our own nation.

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