IHH is a learning community

One of the main things we do at IHH is make space for non-Indigenous people to rethink Australian and Christian identity in light of our colonial history. This learning process is informed by the more practical work of sharing hospitality with our Indigenous hospital guests. There are a number of ways that folks can learn with us or individually.

Learning circles

Learning Circles are an opportunity to reflect on what we have been learning while offering hospitality to Aboriginal people. We aren’t presuming that any of us are experts, and we believe everyone has something that’s worth sharing.

We have dinner together beforehand at 7pm and start the formal discussion at 8pm. (In February and March we're going to try hold the discussion nearby at St Michael's, so we don't need to worry so much about too many people turning up!) We try to make sure the formal discussion is finished by 9:15pm, but folks are welcome to keep chatting afterwards.

If you’re planning to come, please let Chris know by emailing house@ihh.org.au or calling on (03) 9387 7557. We need to know who is coming for dinner (and any dietary requirements) and how many people we’re expecting for the discussion. There may also be details we need to let you know beforehand.

We appreciate if participants can chip in a donation (eg. $5) to help contribute to the practical running of the project (hosting patients and their families).

  • Monday January 29 2018 - How do we live on Stolen Land? This will serve as an introduction to the IHH, based around the question that the project arose from. We'll be at IHH for the whole evening.

  • Monday February 26 2018 - What do you know about Aboriginal People? This will be a conversation led by our friend Uncle Den. We will have dinner at IHH. Discussion will be at St Michael's Anglican Church, 14 McIlwraith Street, Carlton North.

  • Monday March 26 2018 - Participation or separation? This will follow on from the SURRENDER conference, where the theme will be ‘Saints and Citizens’. In this discussion we’ll have a look at the examples of Yorta Yorta activists William Cooper and Doug Nicholls and how the participated but also differentiated themselves from Australian society. We may also look at the idea of ‘living in Babylon’, from the Hebrew prophetic tradition. We will have dinner at IHH. Discussion will be at St Michael's Anglican Church, 14 McIlwraith Street, Carlton North.

Healing rites for seven sites

On Easter Saturday (March 31 in 2018) we will do a walk around North Fitzroy and North Carlton, where we reflect on the experiences of our First Peoples alongside the story of Christ’s execution. We start at Rushall Station at 2pm and finish with tea and hot cross buns at IHH at 3:30pm. Let us know if you think you’ll join us.

Come and chat over a cuppa

If you’d like to just drop in and have a chat with us about what our colonial history means for us as a contemporary society, let us know. This is something we want to prioritise, as long as it doesn’t interrupt our hosting of hospital guests. Get in touch and we can arrange a time. Last year we did this with a number of individuals and small groups.

Read Tales from the table

Last year we published a book which draws together some of what we’ve learned during the first fifteen years of the IHH. You can buy a copy here. We can post your copy to you, or you can drop in to pick it up from us.

Surrender conference

Particularly if you’re approaching this topic from a Christian perspective, we’d recommend that you come to SURRENDER’s Melbourne conference March 23-25 2018. We always go to SURRENDER because it’s a Christian conference that reminds the church that we should be working and walking alongside people at the margins of our society, and because they specifically prioritise Indigenous voices like Karen Kime, Grant Paulson and Apakatjah.

Visit Bunjilaka

Bunjilaka is the Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the Melbourne Museum and is a good place to learn about the cultures and histories of local Aboriginal people. 

visit the library

It’s worth visiting your local library and seeing if they have any information about the history of your local area before and during colonisation. If your local library doesn’t have this kind of information, you might be able to find information at the State Library. A lot of the State Library of Victoria’s resources can be accessed online here. Other state libraries have similar arrangements. If your family used to live in another area, you might also like to research the history of that area, as this may give you an understanding of how your family fits into our national story.

Watch First Australians

This series will be 10 years old this year, but it’s still worth watching, and you can still watch it all for free online here.