1 November 2004 OUR OWN BUS AT LAST!
We have been working and waiting a long time for this.
Well here is the bus! These are photos of her maiden journey to Victoria
where the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community attended the Victorian Maori
Festival in Broadmeadows held on the 29th October - 31st October.. It was a great
time had by all as the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community joined
in the festivities from the weekend.
The bus is officially named 'Hector', and it has
made a huge difference to our community already. Well as the conductor would
say "all aboard" and lets head West!
17 October 2004 UCA COVENANT WITH CONGRESS
Above: Congress group at synod, pictured from l to r; Hohaia Matthews, Dawn Matthews, Ken Sumner,
Bernie Clarke, Denise Champion, Cathy Carter, Bruce Carter, Dean Whittaker.
Below: Rev Hohaia Matthews speaking from the floor of Synod.
At the annual meeting of the Uniting Church in Australia (South Australia) Synod
the UCA received the report of the Transfer of assets Task Group. This group reviewed
the covenant that was made by the UCA(SA) to the Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
in 1995 that sought to provide Congress with an adequate income. The review found that
this objective had not been met.
After some debate the Synod agreed to sections of the proposal and referred the others to the
Council of Synod and a working party respectively. Congress is pleased with the progress
being made in this matter and anticipates that the changes being made will deliver much needed
funds for the mission of UAICC(SA).
The report of the UAICC(SA) to the Synod followed on from last year as a highlight of the
reports presented to Synod. Rev Ken Sumner, Rev Hohaia Matthews, Rev Dean Whittaker and David Wright spoke.
Fantastic AV presentations were made by Salisbury and Port Augusta.
4 October 2004 THROUGH YURA EYES 2
Over the October long weekend a second group of corporate people from Melbourne
were joined by a group from Sydney to experience the second Through Yura Eyes
cultural tour package.
The tour was essentially the same as the first with the exception of the dinner on
Saturday night which was held at the Willsden-Quorn Football Club Rooms in Willsden.
This was a fantastic night to which local Aboriginal community members were invited to
share with the tour members. Traditional foods were included in the menu.
9 July 2004 SAM KOBIA VISITS PA
Port Augusta was thrust back into the limelight recently
with the visit of the Reverend Doctor Sam Kobia. Dr Kobia is the General Secretary to the
World Council of Churches, based in Geneva, Switzerland. His visit to Port Augusta
on Thursday the 8th July 2004 involved visiting the Aboriginal community
in Port Augusta, and secondly visiting the detainees at the Baxter DIMIA facility.
Besides Dr Kobia the entourage also included Professor James Haire [Past President
of the UCA; Current President, National Council of Churches in Australia], Dr Dean
Drayton [current President of the UCA], John Henderson [General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in Australia], and Matthews George [General Secretary
for the W.C.C in the Asia region]. Dr Kobia has mentioned to a few people that
his visit to Australia would have been the poorer had it not been for his visit
to Port Augusta, South Australia.
The highlight of the day was the whole entourage coming to have dinner with the
Port Augusta Congress Faith Community. Auntie Eva and Uncle Charley [hospitality
team leaders] put on a hangi that was absolutely choice! Actually Dean Drayton
said that was the best meal he has tasted in a long while. Even Dr Kobia echoed
those same words. As usual there was some great singing from the "Bits & Pieces"
band that really topped the night of for everyone. Choice food, superb singing and
great fellowship made for a fantastic night.
This was a great coup for the Congress
here in Port Augusta, and it was an opportunity not lost on the Port Augusta Congress
Faith Community considering the high profile of our guests. Well done to all
involved in the organisation of this event.
30 May 2004 A WEEKEND with MORIALTA UC
The Port Augusta Congress Faith Community where hosted in Adelaide by the
Morialta Uniting Church from the 28th to the 30th May 2004.
The weekend culminated with the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community taking the
two morning services at the Morialta Uniting Church: 9.00am & 10.30am.
What a powerful time this was for all the people who attended those two services. Hohaia
spoke at the first service and delivered a powerful sermon concerning reconciliation
in the church towards Aboriginal people. You could of heard a pin drop as he
challenged the people on this issue and where God was in all of this.
Auntie Denise Champion spoke at the second service and delivered another powerful
word to the congregation through the sharing of stories from her country fused with
the gospel of the day. The singing by the Congress band "Bits & Pieces" was exceptional
to say the least.
A fantastic weekend had by all from the Port Augusta Congress Faith
Community and a big thank you to our host at the Morialta Uniting Church in Adelaide!
26 April 2004 CONGRESS AT NARACOORTE
What a way to end the weekend end! The problem is where to start? The Port Augusta
Congress Faith Community shared in a weekend of ministry at Naracoorte in the South
East of South Australia.with a few tag-a-longs.
The many hours of organising by the Zeitz's and other community people was absolutely
The Saturday night at the local scout hall in Naracoorte was the meeting place
where there was a lot of excellent food followed by more food and a great time of
singing Maori culture songs.
The Sunday service at Naracoorte was a great time of sharing our gifts of singing
followed by the sharing of the Word. Many people where
moved by the experience of the moment and we give God the praise and glory for
allowing the opportunity of sharing the gospel. Lunch and then a time of relaxing
followed the Service.
Monday came around and before you knew it, we where at Jan Oliver's
in the Adelaide Hills having lunch. On the way home we finally caught up with Cathy
Freeman and her boyfriend Joel Edgerton at Port Wakefield of all places. That capped
of a great weekend as they where returning from a weekend in the Flinders Ranges.
Anyway to all those who contributed to the weekend thank you very much once again.
16 April 2004 SALISBURY & PORT AUGUSTA ROCK
This was a historical moment in the life of the U.A.I.C.C in South Australia.
The Port Augusta Congress Faith Community had a fellowship night at Salisbury UAICC in
transit to Narracoote the next day.
What a fantastic night as both Congress communities
shared in song followed by a meal together. The Salisbury singing crew ably led by Nunga
idol Alan Sumner and Auntie Eva where too funky for the Port Augusta crew.
We eventually managed to wrestle the stage from the Salisbury crew, and did our thing.
A great night was enjoyed by all that attended. I hope that there will be another night
of fellowship somewhere in the not too distant future?
On behalf of the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community thank you our sister church for
your wonderful hospitality.
12 April 2004 THROUGH YURA EYES 1
Over the Easter period a group of corporate people from Melbourne experienced
the inaugural "Through Yura Eyes" tour. It was a cultural tour package over two days
of the Easter weekend. Mrs. Lavene Ngatokoroa and Mrs. Gayle Mather where responsible
for the Saturday tour that included a welcome to country through to hearing the story
of the Umeewarra Mission. Saturday evening was capped of with dinner at the Port Augusta
Yacht Club. The dinner was a presentation of bush tucker food provided by Iga Warta.
Mrs. Denise Champion & Mrs. Nolleen Ryan-Lester, both of who are Adnayamathanha women,
led the Sunday tour. Their tour included a visit to the Flinders ranges that took in places
of historical significance to all Yura's: Yura Bila caves and the famous Wilpena pound.
Through Yura Eyes stories where shared from the region amongst the group. The Sunday
night was rounded of with the tour group meeting back at Gladstone square, Port Augusta
along with the wider community for a shared meal and some fine entertainment by Auntie
Eva and Co. The weekend was made even more memorable by the late edition of Cathy Freeman
and her brother Gavin.
22 March 2004 BUS TRIP TO THE FUTURE
In today's Australian, Stuart Rintoul, reports on an Aboriginal community
planning to wean itself off handouts by establishing a tourism venture. Members of
the Port Augusta Congress are centrally involved.
Click here to read the story
Left: Narelle Bradey with Hector
21 March 2004 PREACHING AT PILGRIM UC
On Sunday 21st March, Rev Hohaia Matthews preached on the theme of Reconciliation at
the 9:30am service at Pilgrim UC in the City of Adelaide.
Others taking part were Cassandra and Lara Knowles who lit the candles, Dawn Matthews
and Andrew Clark who led prayer, Di and Peter Russell who had invited the Matthews,
welcomed them, acknowledged the original custodians of the land, led prayer and
retold the story of the Two Lost Sons (Luke 15).
In his message, Hohaia challenged the congregation. . . . . .
"There is nothing of the 'I' in any of those readings from the scriptures. It's about
the 'we'. Reconciliation is about God. It's about you and me together as one.
I understand Paul's theology from 2 Corinthians 5:17 like this? The ground at the foot
of the cross is a level playing field for all, for I am a new creation in Christ.
From the Congress perspective I need you, and you need me, to make sure that the level
playing field is maintained. So this morning is there anyone for reconciliation?
[Put my hand up] Well then, let's play ball.
14 March 2004 PORT AUGUSTA CONGRESS KIDS CAMPOUT
On Friday night a busload of children from the Port Augusta UAICC departed bound for
Victor Harbour to spend a weekend having fun and learning more about the Gospel.
Click here for more photos
UC COVENANTING SEMINAR
6 March 2004 ARE WE FAIR DINKUM OR WHAT?
Denise Champion, Eddie Champion, Noeleen Ryan-Lester, Dawn Matthews and Rev Hohaia Matthews travelled to
Salisbury North UAICC in Adelaide on Saturday 6th March to take part in the Covenanting
Seminar run by the Covenanting Committee of the UC Synod of SA.
While attendance by UC folk was poor there was a valuable time for sharing the stories of
what is happening in local situations, including Port Augusta and learning what Covenanting
in the Uniting Church is supposed to be about.
Dr Anne Pattel-Gray, Executive Director of Tauondi College, told a moving personal story
of her experiences from the early days of the birth of UAICC and the realisation of the
vision of the Rev. Charles Harris who, she said, was Australia's Dr Martin Luther King. Little
is known of these stories by the wider church and unless they are committed to print soon,
they will be lost forever.
Dr Pattel-Gray's account reflected the continuing pain, anguish and suffering of Aboriginal
people today and the endemic ingrained racism still present in the church, despite the progress
and leadership being shown by some people in the Uniting Church.
Other speakers included, Chester Schulz from Port Adelaide, Hohaia, Denise and Eddie from
Port Augusta, Kingsley A'Hang from Kingston SE and Peter Lewis, the National Covenanting
Director, who travelled from Victoria.
Photos courtesy of Dean Whittaker
27 February 2004 THROUGH YURA EYES
Over Easter a contingent of business people from Melbourne will experience a new
initiative in local Indigenous tourism.
At a meeting in Melbourne, local indigenous people, from Port Augusta UAICC, outlined the program prepared for the group.
The following message was delivered by Lavene Ngatokoroa......
You may have heard a lot of negatives about my town of Port Augusta. The press like to print
stories about the social issues as they see them.
But I am inviting you to come and see my Port Augusta.
A town that has a multi cultural population — in the Aboriginal community.
There are over 23 different Aboriginal nations represented in our community.
This is a unique place with this diverse mix of cultures.
But it has always been this way — even before contact history — Aboriginal people have always
gathered in the Port Augusta area to trade different resources.
So come on a journey with me to experience through Yuras eyes the history of my town . . . .
Click here to continue
22 February 2004 PATROL PADRE COMMISSIONED
At our Sunday evening service on 22nd February, David Wright was commissioned
to the Mobile Aboriginal Patrol to minister to the Aboriginal people in the Flinders
Ranges, Gammon Ranges, Lake Eyre Basin and the communities within those bounds.
The Associate National Director of Frontier Services, Rev David Thiem, conducted
the commissioning. Representatives from the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community/Frome
Presbytery and Aboriginal communities in Port Augusta were among those to congratulate
David after the commissioning.