Sowing the seeds of reconciliation

Posted in News

Two lines of ribbon that represented Australians and First peoples were cut during the opening ceremony of Enfield Uniting Church’s new garden. Opened by the National President of the Uniting Church, Dr Deidre Palmer, and Kaurna Leader, Margaret Brodie, Enfield’s garden honours Kaurna people and their land and is a visual representation and an ongoing commitment to the reconciliation between First and Second Peoples.

In a speech made by spokesperson and project coordinator Margaret Gunn, she said, “this garden is not a memorial. It is a living place, inviting relationships between First and Second Peoples – indigenous and non-indigenous – to grow and flourish.” The garden was developed over 18 months by the Enfield Uniting Church and was designed for everything to hold meaning.

The land is symbolic of restoration and renewal, as the once empty space has been brought new life through this venture.

The native plants show resilience and vulnerability, strong in Australian climate but still easily toppled.

The pathway that leads from one side of the garden to the other represents the openness they hope characterises people’s relationships with each other. A pathway they hope the public can freely walk through without restriction.

The eye-catching screens help create a place of shelter and belonging, feelings that Margaret said Enfield Uniting Church wants to provide for others. The screens depict images of plants that are native to the Adelaide plains such as eucalyptus, wattle, kangaroo grass, and paper daisies.

The lights, placed behind the screens, allow the message of the screens to be enjoyed at night.

The circular area in the middle of the pathway is surrounded by sitting rocks which not only invites people to gather but is a strong reflection of the traditional symbol for meeting place.

The name Maltunthi was gifted to Enfield Uniting Church from Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi - the Association responsible for the teaching of Kaurna language.  The meaning of Maltunthi, bring close together, perfectly encapsulates the church’s continuous longing for reconciliation.

And the plaque which speaks from the voices of both the Kaurna and Second peoples holds part of a reflection written by Kaurna Leader Margaret Brodie about her family’s direct link to the people of Port River Tribe.

Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer spoke at the event and reflected on Australia’s history with the First People, acknowledging that “it was the First People who shaped Australia’s land before white settlers arrived”.

For more information about the new garden contact the Enfield’s Church Office on (08) 7120 7837 or by office@enfielduca.org.au">email.


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