I attended the the John Saunders Lecture in August where Dr Peter Adam discussed Aboriginal land claims, the history of injustice against Indigenous Australians, and appropriate Christian responses including the question of recompense. I followed the resulting media coverage with interest (including the SMH, The Age, and Melbourne Anglicans).
And so I was somewhat disturbed and surprised by the relative lack of coverage of the lecture in the Sydney Anglican media. Besides this quick mention in Russell Powell's weekly column and 26 words in September Southern Cross (see the picture), the lecture might well never of happened.
Despite Southern Cross reporting the lecture under the Anglican Communion Wrap: Melbourne, this landmark lecture actually took place in Sydney. I was there, along with several members of the Moore College Faculty.
Although the lecture was organized by Morling College and the Baptist Union of NSW & ACT, it had several Anglican connections. Peter Adam is Anglican, and the principal of an important Anglican theological college. The Aboriginal elder who helped organize the evening is an Anglican from Queensland. Several members of the Sydney Diocese Indigenous committee and Social Issues Executive where present. I think on the night that mention was made of support the lecture had received from the Sydney Diocese. And a collection was taken at the end of the night to fund indigenous theological training through the Baptist and Anglican churches. I thought that all this would make the lecture worth reporting in September's Southern Cross (particularity given page two caries a feature article on the bicentenary of William Cowper's arrival in Australia).
What really disturbs me is that the lecture received national coverage across the media spectrum and yet it has been virtually ignored in the Sydney Anglican mouthpiece. Peter Adam offered a Christian call for recompense that received national attention and we (Sydney Anglicanism) failed to engage with it. I know Sydney Anglican Media are facing major staff reductions, but I expected more from them. The 2009 John Saunders Lecture was of significant interest to Sydney Anglicans, and I'm disappointed that it wasn't reported to them.