Crossing Borders: Road to understanding

September 14, 2018

Uncle Vince Ross with Elder Esther Kirby from Kerang, one of the towns visited by the Crossing Boundaries Bus Adventure during their "immersion" experience of Aboriginal culture.


What happens when you take a busload of city-dwelling Aussies on a road trip through regional Australia and give them a first-hand look at indigenous ministry and culture? In the new documentary from Salvo Studies, Crossing Borders, it leads to a new awareness of this country’s rich history.

Shot over the course of four days, the documentary follows the group as they are led by Uncle Vince Ross—who has been a member of The Salvation Army for over 65 years—on a journey that asks them to put aside what they think they know, and listen to the stories and experiences of First Nations people they get to meet along the way. 

Destinations include a Salvo-run aged care facility and an information centre, as well as the Deniliquin Flats, the site where Uncle Vince was raised and came to faith.


Uncle Vince with his brother Uncle John and Uncle Douglas Smith, who all grew up together on the Deniliquin Plain.

As they listen to people tell their stories in their own words, the visitors find themselves seeing things from a new perspective, often one that they’d been unaware of. At times it is confronting, as we see the way the wrongs of the past become more than just distant history when told in the voice and on the face of a person for whom it’s not just a page in a textbook—but their life.     

But there are also uplifting moments, as we learn about the rich tradition of faith that has always existed in this country, and the way in which God has continued to work in people’s lives even through some of the most shameful chapters of our history. 

At its heart, the message of the documentary is that conversations have to be a two-way street. It’s only by listening that we can get a better understanding of the history of this country and of its traditional owners, when for too long many of us have done all the talking. This documentary shows what can happen when we are willing to take the time to listen.


Watch Crossing Borders on YouTube:




Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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