In this issue we look at what Australian Quakers are doing in the world and at home. At one level their field of activity is small-scale. They are teaching permaculture in Iraq, teaching sign language to children in Tajikistan, and through QSA they are supporting food security in Uganda. They have supported Aboriginal causes and non-violent training in Australia. But if knowledge is spread with love, there is no knowing how far it will go.
Just to remind ourselves that not only Quakers are doing the will of God in the world. We have the story of how a combination of Dutch and Japanese diplomats saved thousands of Jews trapped in Lithuania, often acting against the wishes of their superiors. The Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara is reported to have said, “I may have disobeyed my government, but if I didn’t I would be disobeying God.”
Modern Quakers are not the first to travel! Through the work of the Australian Quaker Tapestry group we learn more about Sydney Parkinson, the first Quaker to touch shore in Australia.
Australian Quakers do not just go abroad to teach, but also to learn. We look forward to the Backhouse Lecture which will be given this year by the Korean Quaker Cho-Nyon Kim.
Our next issue will report on the issues that arise from the Yearly Meeting, to be held at Avondale, NSW in July.