Concern and compassion for Australia’s First People is clearly evident in the ministry, letters and public statements of Archbishop Polding. He spoke out strongly against the injustices of removing these people from their lands and depriving them of their livelihood.
We had dispossessed the aboriginals of the soil…. In natural justice, then, we are held to compensation. Alas! It is shocking to think of what has, in fact, been done…. The strain of blood is upon us – blood has been shed far otherwise than in self-defence – blood in needless and wanton cruelty. Shall we not protest against this?
Joint Pastoral Letter, Polding and Australian Bishops, 1869.
Today, Good Samaritan Sisters express this commitment in various places with local Indigenous people.
They do this more deliberately by living in Central Australia (Santa Teresa and Alice Springs), Palm Island, and Mount Magnet and other centres in Western Australia.