By Tricia Davis
The Hopevale community and their leaders have been actively involved in leading reconciliation work in this state since the 1990s.
The Aboriginal community of Hopevale is the home of the Guugu Yimithirr Warra Nation and located just over 46 kilometres north-west of Cooktown. Commencing as one of the first Lutheran mission fields (circa 1886) in north Queensland, Hopevale whilst still predominantly identifying as Lutheran, is now governed by its own elected community council.
Mid-December 2020, Bishop Paul Smith (LCAQLD District), Pastor David Schmidt (Director, Ministry and Mission) and Tricia Davis (former LCA RAP Project Team member), visited Hopevale as part of the plan to share the Lutheran Church of Australia’s (LCA), Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) across Queensland.
With the LCA RAP acting as a catalyst for dialogue the purpose of this visit was to listen to the community about how they would like to engage with the Queensland District of the Lutheran Church of Australia, (LCAQLD) in the work of reconciliation. In Queensland, Hopevale is the natural place to start because of the strength of the Aboriginal Lutheran community there. The Hopevale community and their leaders have been actively involved in leading reconciliation work in this state since the 1990s.
While there, we were fortunate to be able to join in the celebration and farewell of Pastor David Spanagel with a Christmas Service and carols. Pastor David has served the Hopevale, St John’s congregation for 10 years and is much loved by the wider community.
The time talking with the Hopevale community was wonderful and we were blessed with a rich dialogue. We thank the community for giving so generously of their time.
Tricia Davis has been a serving member of the former LCA RAP Project Team,
and is the Executive Lead – Customer, Marketing and Product for Lutheran Services Qld.