About FACE is a practical way of living out reconciliation with Indigenous people in Australia. Reconciliation is about building better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians. Within the Uniting Church we have a convenantal relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and through this partnership steps toward reconciliation can occur.
During my briefing for About FACE we were asked to write a poem on Reconciliation using the letters of the word. Some words in my poem included Openness, Confronting, Connections, Communication, Listening, Truth Telling, Acceptance, Trust, Transformation and Not easy! These words still resonate with me today as I take my own continued steps towards reconciliation.
My About FACE experience was different from others who have been on the program. I went to a remote community in the Northern Territory called Raminging. During my short time living with the community there, I experienced the challenges, joys, struggles and hopes of my fellow brothers and sisters who lived a different life from my inner city lifestyle. Even though we may have looked different, spoke a different (dominant) language and had different approaches to things, we managed to build a relationship that transcended all of these differences.
To be in relationship with the First peoples of this land is essential for true reconciliation to occur in Australia and the About FACE journey is a great beginning step of that journey.