Restorative Justice in Australia


  1. What is Restorative Justice?
  2. Restorative Justice is needed in Australia for our Original People.
    * See locations of Colonial Frontier Massacres in Eastern Australia 1788-1872
  3. Current Steps in Being Part of Restorative Justice
    * Welcome to Country – by Dena Gower. A Godly Word by Video from Western Australia.
    * See ways you can connect with Indigenous people, ministries and gatherings: below and at our What’s On page.
    * See:  and available via Youtube.
    Purchase video series 40 Stories from

1. What is Restorative Justice?

What does the Lord require of you?

  • To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:7-8)
  • He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:3-4)

We are using the term restorative justice in its broad meaning. Legal justice is one aspect of this.

Overflowing with God’s Love.

Jesus has restored our relationship with our Father, enabling us to ask for and receive His gifts of righteousness and justice. (Isaiah 59) God’s provision is already completely given for every need, if we will align ourselves with Him, as the source, so we can receive all He has for us.

God has always been very concerned to restore justice to those who are vulnerable….. We who seek to partner with God, and who pray for His will to be done, have a responsibility to act justly toward those in need. (Deuteronomy 10:18,Isaiah 58, Matthew 12:18-21, James 1:27)

Rest for Restoration

We can’t give what we haven’t yet received so it is only as we receive God’s grace, mercies and love that we can overflow with love for others. We don’t act justly to earn God’s favour, rather it is because we have been forgiven and reconciled that we can let go of offense and the judgements that bias our perception, understanding, ability to see empathise, communicate and relate with others.

When we rest in Jesus’ first commandLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength – the manifest presence of his Holy Spirit will fill and overflow us, enabling us to fulfil the second commandment – Love your neighbour as yourself. (Mark 12:29-31)

We can’t overflow with God’s love if we are broken leaky vessels. If we give out of our emptiness or brokenness our motives will contaminate the gift. Part of restoring full life to others is first mending the leaks in our buckets – things from the past that drain our focus, energy, capacity to trust; and give and love well. God heals our bodies, minds, emotions, will and spirit – sometimes instantly and sometimes gradually – so as to deepen our understanding of choices, relationship processes etc.

We are restored by God’s love flowing abundant life back into us as we rest in Him. There is no place for condemnation, striving, panic, pressure, burn out. Let your tears and fatigue turn you – as children – to your Father’s comfort, perspective, enablement and rest. It means laying down all our disappointments for his hopeful perspectives and sure victories; laying down our rights to offense by forgiving as we have been forgiven and loving as we have been loved; letting Jesus be our defence and fighting only the battles he gives us to win! When we pray, and see our Father’s heart for lost and hurting people we are mobilised into evangelism and social justice.

  • Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. (John 20:21)


Our God is Righteous and Loves Justice

The Church can seem divided if we hold a bias toward righteousness or social justice on issues eg abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality.

God – and a true expression of his Church – shines with a wholistic expression of righteousness (holiness, purity, blamelessness) and justice (compassion, kindness and generosity).

  • Jeremiah 9:24 Let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
  • Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
  • Psalm 103:6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
  • Psalm 11:7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
  • Psalm 33:5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love
  • James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world
  • 1 Kings 10:9 Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness..
  • Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.
  • Proverbs 8:20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
  • Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
  • Proverbs 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
  • Isaiah 5:16 The LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.
  • Isaiah 9:7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
  • Isaiah 28:17 I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line
  • Isaiah 33:5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
  • Isaiah 56:1 This is what the LORD says: Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
  • Hosea 2:19 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
  • Amos 5:24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

There are many issues in Australia worthy of the restoration of God’s Righteousness and Justice.

We need to each serve the people groups that God leads us to.

2. Restorative Justice is needed in Australia for our Original People. (aboriginal)

This site focuses on the way God is restoring justice to original Australians so that they can fulfil their role in God’s destiny for this land and its people.

There are many aspects to this. We have focussed on relational connections rather than a definition of the injustices but we note that we need to perceive and receive God’s word before we can overflow His justice. This nation’s legal system is a very major example of injustice that is related to and causing many other injustice issues.

Before we can personally and nationally repent and make restoration we each need to understand the injustice done and being done to Indigenous Australians. This will vary in different locations, people groups and families but there vital themes.

Understand the Truth about Massacres.

Action 1: Pray over the Aboriginal massacre map.

Action 2: Read the Guardian article about the long journey to Reconciliation for the community of Elliston.

Action 3:Watch the Spencer Gulf Nightly News video clip of Aboriginal Christian dance troupe Dusty Feet Mob at the unveiling of the Waterloo Bay Massacre monument.

Understand the Truth about the Stolen Generations.

Action 6:

Understand the Truth around you now.

Action 7: Learn about:

  • Closing the Gap in Age Expectancy
  • Aboriginal Incarceration Numbers and Deaths in Custody
  • Indigenous Youth Suicide

Action 8: Invest the time it takes to build relationship and listen to the stories of Aboriginal people about past and present injustices, trauma, griefs and loss.


Emergence of Indigenous People in well being and leadership is crucial to our First People’s survival and the fulfilment of Australia’s God appointed destiny to serve the nations.

We must actively restore justice to the original nations of this land – those nations on this continent before British settlement – so we serve immigrants and overseas nations in right order.

  • From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17:26-28)
  • Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you. (Psalm 23:10-11)
  • Honour your father and your mother (in this land), as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)
  • A crucial aspect of this is addressed in Destiny and Inheritance.
  • The Aboriginal Australia map shows the people, nations or tribal groups who have lived where you now live. Look up the names of the Indigenous nations who are the traditional custodians of the land where you live. Reflect on this. What does God ask of you?
  • Essays on the History and Experience by John Blackett




40 Stories

Short films and biographies of Indigenous Australians whose lives have been radically transformed by initiate encounters with Jesus.

An inspirational resources for all – proudly produced in conjunction with PIPES. See:  and available via Youtube.
Purchase video series 40 Stories from Warwick Vincent at

National Solemn Assembly

There are a series of gatherings happening. One occurred 16-23 October 2016 Canberra.

This is an invitation to 400 tribes – Indigenous Australians and all other Australians to gather together before God for the healing of this land and peoples. See

Australia Day 26 January

Reflect on this message from Peter McHugh and Safina Stewart and others at Stairway Church Whitehorse, 26 January 2014


I, Sue Tinworth, had the privilege to be in Parliament House when our Prime Minister The Hon Kevin Rudd declared our apology to the stolen generations.

I remember on that day people in black T-shirts that said, ‘Thank you’ but the deep and genuine response of receiving the apology has not been characteristic. I therefore found this article significant:

To move on, indigenous people must forgive. by Nyunggai Warren Mundine.
This is the full text of the speech given by Nyunggai Warren Mundine on Australia Day. Read more:

The Apology  was a sincere and hugely significant action by a Prime Minister.  But it only went part way. It did not establish a treaty of recognition, honour and dignity. It was not an apology that addressed massacres, unpaid labour etc and given the context of the ongoing pain of The Intervention the era a was compounded by backward steps.

It was good that we have said, ‘Sorry’ but repentance requires a change in what we do. The “Intervention” may have been an attempt to “close the gap” in life span and living conditions but the racial discrimination act has had to be put on hold because many of the actions have involved deep discrimination and injustice – removing very basic rights.


National Forgiveness Week  

See Full Report:

Forgiveness begins in our own hearts and extends to our closest family, friends, and then tribe, workmates, neighbourhood, other religions, races etc

National Forgiveness Week is a commission given to Robert Warren, and carried in Fiji, Vanuatu and Arnheim Land across the last 15-20 years.

We recommend: Floodgates of Glory: The Wonder of Heartfelt Forgiveness by Robert Warren

We are seeing a rekindling of this call to Australia to host a National Forgiveness Week form our Federal Parliament. It is a call deeply relevant to restorative justice with First Nations but much broader than Indigenous/Colonial/Immigrant reconciliation.

Contact Robert Warren

First Steps: produced by Jisas wantaim.

God has called all disciples of His son Jesus to actively participate in the coming of His kingdom here on earth as in heaven. A great way to join with this redeeming and healing work of His Spirit is to live and work for the equality of all, in particular, the honouring and restoring of those who have consistently been ‘put last.’ In our context those people include Indigenous Australians.

We’re made to be in relationships with one another, relationships based on mutual submission, respect and love but when one culture has misused its power in relation to another, the other is objectified, oppressed and sinned against – separated not restored to one another.

Through God’s forgiveness andreconciling love we can be’agents of reconciliaton’ ( 2 Cor 5:11-6:2). This kind of healing will take active participation in restorative justice, mercy and humility (Micah 6:8) Why wouldn’t our deepest desire be to see and to partcipate in God’s healing and blessing of our land?

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But of you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, thenlet’s work together.                                   – Lilla Watson (Aborginal Queensland Elder)


Here are just  a few ‘First Steps” we can all take to begin to journey towards healing and blessing for our land and for all Australians….

  • Learn. Find out about the history of the First Australians in your area. Understand the impact of dispossession and other injustices.
  • Acknowledge Indigenous People. Find out who the local traditional owners are in your area and display a statement of support and/or acknowledgement of Traditional Owners in your church or office. Recognise the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia when you conduct events by beginning with a ‘Welcome to Country’ or ‘Acknowledgment of Country.’
  • Fly the Flag. The Aboriginal flag not only shows respect but also lets Indigenous people know that they are recognised and welcome. The Aboriginal flag was recognised under Federal legislation, as was the Torres Strait Islanders’ flag, in July 1995.
  •  Celebrate special days and events.
    * Reconciliation Week  
    Building Relationships for Change between Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander peples and other Australians. Join the conversation about Aboriginal and Torres Strit Islander constitutional recognition. Reconciliation Australia Old Parliament House, King George Terrace, Parkes ACT, PO Box 4773, Kingston ACT 2604 T 02 6273 9200 F 02 6273 9201 E

          * National Sorry Day

What is National Sorry Day? (FAQS from Common Grace

Every year, on National Sorry Day, we remember the Stolen Generations, the survivors of past government policies that allowed for the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

This day was established in response to the 1997 Bringing them Home report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which recommended that a National Sorry Day be held each year on the 26th of May “to commemorate the history of forcible removals and its effects.”

What was the National Apology?

On the 13th of February 2008, thousands of Australians shared in the experience of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and Indigenous Australia delivered by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd together with the Australian Parliament.

Where are survivors of the Stolen Generations today?

The majority of Stolen Generations survivors are now over the age of 45. Despite the National Apology and an annual National Sorry Day, many survivors are still waiting for justice – and in particular for the comprehensive implementation of the recommendations of the 1997 Bringing them Home report.

Reunited members from Kinchela Boys Home who were forcibly removed from their families. Image by Sarah Barker.

Have we stopped the injustice experienced by the Stolen Generation?

Sadly, there remain many current reasons for continuing to say sorry to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Among them, is the fact that there are still high numbers of children being removed from their families and homes today, with our current systems producing a similar outcome for children now as they did for those children who became the Stolen Generation. As a nation, we need to address the brokenness in our systems that are leading to these outcomes and commit to finding new solutions.

Sorry Day Prayer written by the Aboriginal and Islander Commission National Council of Churches in Australia 2002.

Almighty and loving God, you who created ALL people in your image,

Lead us to seek your compassion as we listen to the stories of our past. You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven.

We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced. We live in faith that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have endured the pain and loss of loved ones, through the separation of children from their families.

We are sorry and ask God’s forgiveness.

Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless and inflicted and heal their spirits. In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is just and equitable.

Lord, you are our hope. Amen.


Further Resources:

          * Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Sunday  – first Sunday in July

          * NAIDOC Week – first week in July

  • Personally connect with Indigenous Ministry/ Community. Indigenous people maintain the respectful relationship etiquette of previous generations of Anglo-Australian society. Although contact details are listed on this website, Indigenous people may be more open to contact if you are introduced by someone they already have relationship with. It is appropriate to honour elders/leaders, by respecting their role as gatekeepers, carefully listening and respecting what they say, and by using the title of “uncle” or “auntie” before the name of those older than yourself. It is appropriate to greet all people who are present formally – shaking  hands and learning each person’s name and relationship to each other.  You can meet Indigenous people by engaging with a local event or network which advances the cause of Indigenous people e.g. Listed below: prayer networks NAIDOC, SURRENDER etc.
  • Engage in volunteer activites under the direction of Indigenous people. The question is sometimes asked, “What can we do?” An answer might be, “Ask the locals.” Is there an Indigenous church or ministry in your neighbourhood? You can  find that out vis some of the networks below. Then get in touch and ask if you can help in any way. There are always some tasks that need practical helpers to achieve the outcomes. Everyone possesses a skill needed to support Indigenous church ministry. Start with the stated needs and let the locals lead.
  • Invite Indigenous speakers or conduct a workshop. Get your church to organise a special visit from an Indigenous Christian speaker. Note: ‘Grasstree Gathering’ – an annual Emerging Indigenous Christian Leaders conference.  SURRENDER
  • Financially invest in Indigenous Training. Sponsor an Indigenous student in further theological and / or community development training. The need for Christian leadership development is great. Some estimations suggest there are well less than 100 qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander pastors and ministers in Australia at this time. That would equate to 1 minister for every 5000 Indigenous people as compared to the wider population where there is approximately 1 minister to every 500. For referral  contact: Rev Graham Paulson, Rev Billy Williams   Bob Quinn, Bimbadeen, NSW Anne Green, Victorian Aboriginal Christian Education Network
  • Support Through Prayer.A universal need exists to support the people of God in ministry through prayer.

                 *Australian Indigenous Prayer Network. Contact: Kris Schlyder

                * Victorian Indigenous Prayer Network  Contact: Anne Green

  • Financial Support. According to the census of 2006, Indigenous income is between 1/3 and 2/3rds less than non-indigenous people. Many, even most Indigenous ministers are working without income. The Indigenous church and ministries have little cash resources or financial assets. Your financial support would be greatly appreciated and would deminstrate a real commitment to partnership and reconciliation.

Here are some ways to grow in your understanding of present injustice to original Australians:

1. 40 Stories:

 2. ABC Book and DVD Series First Australians Download at

3. See the film: Our Generation which documents the actions taken by our government in this generation. Please take the time to watch ‘Our Generation’.

“We must all raise our awareness of the plight of indigenous peoples worldwide.” BRUCE PARRY (UK)
“This is a very important film that everyone needs to see… It will change your life.” JOHN BUTLER
“The truth in this film is like a red hot poker driven into the conscience of a nation… Are we listening? Will we act?” JEFF MCMULLEN
“If ever Australia had an Inconvenient Truth, this is it. Our Generation is a highly emotional, powerful journey into territory that we have chosen too long to ignore… This is a film every Australian needs to see.” CATHY HENKEL,

3. Keep in touch via Concerned Australians. No Reconciliation without Justice. To register for weekly updates on relevant Indigenous events; news; needs and insights Contact: Ann Van Leerdam

4. Support A National Act of Recognition of the First Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, to benefit our First Australians, all our children, and our children’s children. Negotiations are progressing toward a gathering of Australians at Botany Bay to recognise the truth of Captain Cook’s first contact with Aboriginal Australians and to acknowledge wrongdoing so Australians establish a new foundation of honour. The process has been building relationships across Australia since 1997. Contact: Rev Lindsay McDowell from Southern Cross Ministries, Canberra. 02 6253 0300

5. Common Grace

6. Walkawhile with Ken Duncan.
Supporting the raising of the cross at Haast’s Bluff and the gathering of Indigenouspeoples in times of sustained fervant worship – ‘David’s tabernacle’ Houses of Prayer across Australia!

7. Concilia

At Concilia we have a conviction that there is a wound in the spirit of this nation with roots going back to first contact between Aboriginal people and European …

What is Concilia? | Australians Together

My Story: Five Days over Easter – April 2011:
I had a desert experience; a life changing encounter with Jesus and encountered the kindess of the intercessors of Pukatja Ernabella, S.A. I was also miraculously healed of a whiplash injury that had given me extreme pain across 33 years when Rod Schneider simply prayer, “Jesus, thank you for healing Sue’s neck!”

Partner through Relationship with Original Australians

These are some of many key Christian leaders and ministries who we partner with:

  • Partner with inspirational people through the 40 Stories:
  • Partner with Indigenous Ministries Links Australia. IMLA is a cross denominational apostolic network partnering with Aboriginal Christians in disciple making ministry. (Matt 28:19) Evangelism across top end from Mossman Gorge near Cairns to the Northern Territory. Contact Carl Musch Email:
  • Partner with Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Cairns – National Prophetic Conferences and tours with Norman & Barbara Miller
  • Partner with Ps. Esme Bamblett,Barak Christian Fellowship, Thornbury, Melbourne Aboriginal Advancement League › … › Community DirectoryCommunity Facility Business Phone: 9480 7777. Suburb: Thornbury. Address: 2 Watt Street. Postal Postcode: 3071. A/H Phone: 0417 586 231. Fax : 9416 9092
  •  Partner with Ps.Tony and Francine Riches  who have opened an Aboriginal church (with Footscray Church of Christ) in Melbourne’s inner west. Show map of 252 Gordon Street, Footscray VIC 3011 For more information or you would like to make a donation, please contact Greg Gow at the Footscray Church of Christ on 03 9687 7584 or you can give electronically with a direct transfer to: Bank: National Australia Bank Account Name: Footscray Church of Christ BSB: 083-144 Account Number: 515382351 Reference: Koori Church.
    You can s.m.s or call Tony on 0438 428 957.
    Email:  Write to: 252 Gordon Street Footscray Vic Australia 3011 Web:
  • Partner with Sharon Lowah in Alice Springs.
  • Partner with the Aboriginal House of Prayer in Adelaide. Lynnette Wanganeen Email:
  • Facebook:
  • Partner with Clyde & Rose Rigney, Community of Raukkan, South Australia. “We have tours which show our community and why it is here..what has happened over the generations..and what is happening now. There is a cost attached. If you are interested you can call our Office on 08 85740064.” Contact Rose & Clyde:…not
  • Partner with Jisas wantaim, Brisbane based and coordinated by Reverand Billy Williams, Jisas wantaim exists to equip, empower and enable a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders, to see them standing on their own two feet as a Kingdom building mission force. Jisas Wantaim – Jesus One time!  ‘Wantaim’ in Aboroginal Kreole, used in many Indigenous communities denotes completeness. In Scripture we read, “so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of many people…” (Hebrews 9:28 NCV). Jisas Wantaim works across denominational and geographical boundaries, focussing on partnering to advance the Gospel in our Indigenous communities (remote, rural and urban). They key objective is equipping, empowering and enabling Indigenous Christians and ministries. Note: ‘Grasstree Gathering’  – an annual Emerging Indigenous Christian Leaders conference.


More Reading

John Benefiel, Binding the Strongman over America. Healing the Land, Transferring Wealth, Advancing the Kingdom of God. Benefiel Ministries 2012

John Blackett Fire in the Outback: The untold story of the Aboriginal revival movement that began on Elcho Island in 1979. An albatross Book. 1997

John Harris One Blood 200 years of Aboriginal Encounter with Christianity: A Story of Hope. An Albatross Book. 1990

Rachel Perkins & Marcia Langton (eds) First Australians. The Miegunyah  Press. SBS 2008 Available from ABC Shops. Companion to the Award winning Landmark Series. See:

The Secret River was inspired by Kate Grenville’s desire to understand the history of her ancestor Solomon Wiseman, who settled on the Hawkesbury River at the area now known as Wisemans Ferry in Sydney,


Current Steps in Being Part of Restorative Justice

Rodney Rivers Smoking Ceremony Effects

Ken Wyatt Australia Day 26.1.2020

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