Anglicare CEO the Rev’d Peter Sandeman spoke at the reunion of the St Francis House, an Anglican home for Aboriginal boys and teenagers. The home, at Glanville Hall in Semaphore, operated from 1946 to 1959.
Rev’d Peter spoke at the reunion on Sunday, February 24, organised by Link-Up and made possible by the hard work of many staff and volunteers from across Australia.
I would like to recognise the Kaurna people as the original custodians of the land we are gathered on today and thank Auntie Josie for her kind welcome. I pay my respects to the Kaurna people, their elders both past and present, their current and future generations. I also pay my respects to the many language groups represented here today.
To the men of St Francis House, your families and loved ones, I thank you for your kind invitation. I am both honoured and humbled to be here; to sit and listen, to participate, to reflect, and to celebrate with you.
I am here on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide and AnglicareSA. I offer the sincere apologies of Archbishop Jeffrey Driver who is unable to be present this morning.
The experience of being at St Francis House was at best, a mixed experience. Through St Francis House, boys and young men were able to receive an education and participate in the life of this community, alongside this; they experienced separation from family, culture, and country.
When these young men left St Francis House, many were able to take up careers and life opportunities because of their resilience and determination. However, the process of reclaiming a connection with family, culture and country took a longer time, and for some, it is still in ongoing.
I honour the outstanding leadership and contribution of former St Francis House residents, in many areas within Australia and beyond our shores, such as human rights, politics, academia, public administration and community service, religion, business, trades, sports and the arts.
So many of you have been at the forefront of landmark decisions to shape our society and enable Australia to mature as a nation.
Your righteous, trailblazing accomplishments have set a strong foundation for the benefit of all Australians in the future.
I would like to recognise the work of the reunion steering committee, and the Link-Up network for coordinating this wonderful and significant occasion.
Bless you and enjoy your time together.