Caritas Australia put its best foot forward last week when it launched its campaign to advocate on behalf of Indigenous communities around the world and in Australia.
The film, Walk As One; Con-necting with our world’s Indigenous Peoples, was shown at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Highgate on the 26th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Alice Springs on November 29, 1986.
The film is the story of two young Bolivian men who come to the Northern Territory to meet with local Aborigines.
Caritas Australia has been promoting its Walk as One program to connect Indigenous communities around the world and to highlight the marginalised circumstances in which they live.
According to Caritas, there are about 370 million indigenous people living in about 90 countries around the world today.
While Indigenous people make up about five per cent of the world’s population, they also make up 15 per cent of the world’s poor.
Chief Executive Officer Jack de Groot came to Perth especially for the screening where he praised Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s actions in actively seeking out the views of the nation’s non-government organisations (NGOs)
Mr de Groot said Ms Gillard had sought out the advice of NGOs about how to overcome poverty since Australia was appointed a seat on the United Nations Security Council and had met with him to discuss ideas in early October.
As part of the screening, a petition calling on the Government to prioritise Indigenous peoples in Australia’s aid program was circulated. The petition has received half of its desired one thousand signatures.
Marian Kickett, a representative from the Unity of First People Australia (UFPA), opened the event.
Australian politician Ernest “Ernie” Bridge established UFPA, which is supported by Caritas Australia, in 1997.