A FAITH-BASED movement to change the way people approach Australia Day will return to Bendigo in 2020.
St Matthew's Church in Long Gully has planned a #ChangeTheHeart prayer service for next month.
The #ChangetheHeart movement was created by Aboriginal Christian leaders to promote acknowledgement and understanding of Australia's First Nations Peoples.
In doing so, it sought to change people's hearts regarding the observation of Australia Day on January 26.
Aboriginal Christian leader Aunty Jean Phillips created the movement more than six years ago with a service in Queensland.
It has since grown with the support of fellow Aboriginal Christian leader Brooke Prentis and Christian collective Common Grace.
#ChangeTheHeart services are believed to have been staged in Bendigo for a number of years.
St Matthew's Church community outreach worker Dave Fagg said people did not have to be Christian or religious to attend, though it would be a Christian service.
He said the decision to partake in the movement was more a matter of recognising the fact many people would feel a sense of sadness about Australia's history of colonisation, particularly as Australia Day approached.
The St Matthew's Church service is believed to be the only #ChangeTheHeart initiative planned for Bendigo. Mr Fagg said people typically came from other churches to St Matthew's Church for the service.
Ms Prentis said the movement stemmed from guidance non-Indigenous people had sought from Aunty Jean Phillips about the day.
"A lot of Australians don't understand January 26," she said.
She said there was a need for education about Australia's history and how it continued to shape outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"The past has affected our present and will affect our future," Ms Prentis said.
#ChangeTheHeart services are staged ahead of January 26, allowing for people to observe the day as they wished. Bendigo's event is scheduled for January 23.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.