Rev. Winifred Kiek’s statement after the ACWC Assembly
Previously, I published the greater part of Rev. Winifred Kiek’s report to Australian Church Women (ACW) after she attended the third assembly of the Asian Church Women’s Conference (ACWC) in 1966 (https://www.acw.org.au/post/abide-in-me-bear-rich-fruit).
This assembly made quite an impression on Rev. Kiek and, at the conclusion of her report, she emphasised the importance of ACW maintaining their relationship with the Asian churches. When I published her report, I did not include her last paragraph, but it is now very apt as the 2023 Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship (WKMS) will be awarded to a Christian woman from a member country of the ACWC.
Rev. Kiek concluded her assembly experience with these words:
‘We Australians were sometimes conscious that our country’s so called “White Australia” policy made us uncomfortable. When we sought to distribute pictures, papers and pamphlets from our Tourist Bureau we found many of them related to immigration and the welfare of migrants. However, the quiet, natural courtesy of our fellow delegates accepted us as a friendly people. All the same we do feel that the image of Australia among Asian peoples is so important for international goodwill that it is time some public declaration of willingness to appreciate all cultures and be friendly towards all peoples should be made. It might have been a good thing if we had sent an aborigine to the conference, or if we had a Papuan observer, though these would have had to be extra members, not being actually representative of our culture [the Aboriginal culture was barely recognised, considered primitive and inferior, and not viewed as part of the “Australian” lifestyle]. The question of representation is always a difficult one; a tribute should be paid to Mrs. Don Badger, who was at all times charming and conscientious; no wonder she was elected to the working committee!’
The last sentence from Rev. Kiek is very important. She said:
‘Let us hope that Australian Church Women will always remember that we belong to the Asian group of Churches and all are one in Christ Jesus.’
Here is the link to the application form for the 2023 Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship
Applications close on 31 May 2022 and any queries regarding the Winifred Kiek Memorial Scholarship should be directed to Velvy Holden, the Chair of Trustees.