The Story of WATAC
The founding members of WATAC named its primary task to be : consciousness raising of women on Christian feminist issues. The major goal of the project was to be: A change in the understanding of the role of women in their participation in the Australian Church and in the broader society.
WATAC has continued to grow beyond a project into an organisation of active, enthusiastic people. All members network and are connected through the shared information provided by the regular WATAC Newsletter and the WATAC Conference, which enables members and their friends to gather and celebrate every second year.
WATAC has always been state based, but these state bodies networked nationally. The various states and territories developed the WATAC project as they saw possible for them. During the 1990’s the state representatives came together, at various meeting places, to discuss, share and plan some national activities and some ways of developing a national identity. In 1993 WATAC became an incorporated body in order to give it a civil, legal identity of its own.
The name, Women and The Australian Church, grew out of the vision of the small founding committee whose commitment was to radical inclusivity. They saw that ALL people should feel included whether they were active members of an institutional church or not. If they were still interested in theological issues or in changing oppressive church structures then WATAC could be “home” for them. The founding committee also avoided using “Catholic” Church because they wanted WATAC to be totally inclusive of all people with an interest in Christian feminism.
Basic to WATAC are the principles of:
- A participative, inclusive model of church which commits women to work towards new forms of partnership with men and with each other in the church.
- The emergence of the feminine as intrinsic to an understanding of God, to human wholeness and thereby to church renewal.
The Vision of WATAC
- To provide a forum for those searching and longing for an inclusive and transformed church.
- To nourish and provide healing and hope for all.
- To act for justice in local and global issues.
- To promote Christian feminism, which has its roots in gospel values, and to celebrate multiple images of God.
- To nurture growth and transformation so that the voice of women can be heard on global and social justice issues both on societal and church levels.
The Aims of WATAC
- To promote the use of inclusive language, images and symbols.
- To work to change oppressive structures in church and society and in particular to address the issue of the ordination of women.
- To affirm the intrinsic goodness of human sexuality.
- To address all issues relating to women’s health.
- To raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual abuse and to support programmes aimed at the eradication of these evils.
- To redress the domination underlying sexism, militarism, racism, poverty and the exploitation of the environment.
- To stand in solidarity with our Aboriginal sisters and brothers and to promote awareness of their particular needs.
- To work both ecumenically and in an inter-faith context to promote understanding within and between all faith traditions.