PCPAN Trip – May 2023
In early May, our National Director, Matt Darvas, travelled to Tonga to meet with the members of Pacific Church Partnership Advisory Network (PCPAN). The trip focused on deep listening to the stories and priorities of leaders from across the Pacific region.
Together, they discussed the First Nations Voice, Pacific labor mobility, gender equality, disaster resilience and climate change.
In light of this fruitful time of fellowship and discussion, we wanted to highlight the flourishing of Micah’s Pacific partnerships over recent years.
This has paralleled the Australian Government’s increasing appreciation of the role of faith-based organisations and the Church in the Pacific – with the Church often a primary provider of education, healthcare, development and disaster relief.
In 2018, the Morrison Government announced its ‘Pacific Step Up’, Australia’s Foreign policy agenda in the Pacific Region.
In light of this, we began advocating how this needed to be a step up that placed communities, women and children at the centre, and spoke with many MPs about the role the Church was playing and could play in this.
With this in mind, the 2019 Women Leaders Delegation centred on advocating for Pacific women and children.
Women Leaders Delegation: Advocating for Pacific Women & Children – July 2019
Forty women leaders from Australia’s churches and Christian organisations came together in Canberra to address the violence toward women and children in the Pacific, ask elected leaders to reinforce partnership efforts with the Australian and Pacific church, and call for Pacific women to be given a seat and a voice at the table of the ‘Pacific Step Up’.
“Since over 90 percent of the Pacific are Christian, we’re compelled to speak up for justice as well as emphasise the importance of churches as critical and integral partners for empowering women.” – Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll, Lecturer United Theological College, formerly Theological Researcher and Church Partnerships (Pacific) at UnitingWorld
Voices for Justice: Pacific Perspectives – October 2019
Continuing this advocacy, the 2019 Voices for Justice focused on Pacific Perspectives.
The Canberra Delegation looked at the Government’s work in the Pacific region, with the aim of ensuring that the ‘Pacific Step Up’ prioritised the needs of the region’s most poor, vulnerable and oppressed.
With 15 Pacific Leaders joining us to add their voice, lived experience and ‘on the ground’ knowledge to the policy asks, Voices for Justice 2019 was a prophetic moment in the halls of Parliament.
Joint Submission – 2020
In 2020, we worked with the Pacific Conference of Churches and Uniting Aboriginal & Islander Christian Congress on a joint submission to articulate the principles of what real partnership and relationship with the Pacific must include.
Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders Summit – November 2022
2022 marked the birth of our Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders Summit. The four-day conference saw 100 young leaders from across the Pacific region, including First Nations and Diaspora, gather together in Canberra to share stories and culture and learn how to use their voices to enact change in their communities and beyond.
Watch the highlights of PAELS 22 here!
How far we have come together!
And this is just the beginning.