Partner church guests take in the sights of Perth

Partner church guests took a tour of local indigenous sites, visited local disability enterprises, and enjoyed some local multicultural hospitality on Day Five of the 14th UCA Assembly meeting.

UnitingWorld’s Cath Taylor reports.

UnitingWorld guests and other ecumenical partners found themselves warmly welcomed at St Aidan’s Church last night as guests of the congregation and the Western Australia Multicultural Committee at an Assembly Multicultural Dinner.

“The most lovely food and the most lovely people!” enthused Pacific partners in particular as they tucked into traditional taro and other delicacies from their homelands.  Dominos Pizza also put in a special appearance, as did a youth choir singing grace and the Western Australian moderator.

Guests mingled with congregation members at the tables, eating, drinking and chatting, sharing stories of faith and life.  The atmosphere was as warm inside as the weather was chill beyond the doors of the church hall.  Our very sincere thanks to the people of St Aidan’s for their hospitality, company and culinary skills.

UnitingWorld guests continued to be impressed with Western Australian innovation and commitment on this morning’s tour of the Good Sammy Industries.  Donning bright fluorescent vests (some of which they were reluctant to hand back later) the team toured the floor of the factory which provides employment for people with disabilities, who sort and prepare donated goods for sale in iconic “Good Sammy” stores throughout WA.  The work is part of UnitingCare West and is partly funded by government, partly by the church and partly through investment from the stores.

Partners were impressed by the ministry; most of their home countries have no form of social security and people with disability lack any type of support.

“Your country is too lucky,” we heard time and again.  “This service is amazing!”

The afternoon continued in the hands of tour guide Des who took us to several sites of significance to Nyungar people, concluding in the stunning Kings Park where our partners soaked up the sun and listened with reverence to the stories of first people’s sacred regard for the land and the river.  Many had questions about the way that indigenous people are now treated and the role of indigenous leaders both within the church and the Australian Parliament.