Indigenous educators committed to bringing about justice for all peoples in Australia



Joan Hendriks a descendant of the Ngugi people of Moreton Bay Queensland is pictured at the Pray2010 conference.   She is seen acknowledging traditional owners of the land.

Aunty Joan maintains a deep sense of identity with family and place of belonging.   A woman of integrity, Joan has maintained family as central element of her life.   Her spiritual connections deeply embedded in the land and waters of Moreton Bay; place of belonging for Ngugi people.

Deep sense of identity with family and place of belonging

As an adult educator Joan has worked since the 1980’s in the field of Aboriginal Education. To do this she has presented workshops in primary and secondary schools, local Church and Community organizations, Government departments and internationally at the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Forum.

Like other Indigenous educators, Aunty Joan is committed to bringing about change towards justice for all peoples in Australia.  In 2007 ‘Aunty Joan’ was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Australian Catholic University National and was also honoured with the 2008 Indigenous Research Award for her research study A Dialogue between Christian Theology and Indigenous Spirituality, with specific reference to Aboriginal Traditional Ancestry.

A further look at the picture of Aunty Joan featured above shows that she is supported by an Indigenous Didgeridoo player Adrian Burragubba.   Together they acknowledge the traditional owners of this land.  The picture shows evidence of the traditions being mixed old and new.   In front of the lectern from which she speaks, one can discern a lectern cover that was created by Glenn Barry another Indigenous Educator.


It is a modern design which was originally painted as an acrylic mural on a wall.  Glenn then worked into the painting drawing out digital images, which he transformed into lectern covers for the prayer conference.


Glenn Barry an Indigenous educator is committed to bringing about change towards justice for all peoples in Australia.

Like Joan, Glenn believes that the first steps towards working together towards reconciliation begins with the understanding of cultural differences and how this has impacted on living relationships between peoples. By sharing their cultures, spirituality\’s and ways of living with the land they are creating stepping stones to a united Australia where justice and equity prevails. ( downloaded Dec.2010)

I painted four elements as metaphors of colonial life.

The top was the Sun, which was then surrounded by air.    Below this on the staff was water and below this was the land says Barry (Email interview. Nov. 2010)

A Reconciliatory Message of Hope

In 2010, Brisbane Catholic Education showed cased the Reconciliation Australia\’s planned initiative called RAP.  Challenging  communities to create authentic dialogical documents called RAPs they released documents to help communities plan out and track the progress of their plan of action.

The initiative  is dedicated to closing the unacceptable life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. (Reconciliation, 2010)