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Aboriginal assembly to focus on theme of rebirth

Lowitja O'Donoghue, the inaugural chairperson of ATSIC and a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconcilation, will be a keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Assembly of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission (NATSICC).

The assembly will be held in Adelaide from October 5 to 10, under the theme, "the time for rebirth is now", taken from Ecclesia in Oceania (No. 28).

Other keynote speakers will be Pastor George Rosendale of far north Queensland's Gwguyimithirr people, and Agnes Palmer, an Arrente elder from Santa Teresa, Alice Springs.

Organisers expect the speakers to provide a "wonderful mix of politics, vision, spirituality and healing".

NATSICC promotes and celebrates the Catholic identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and advises and informs Australia's bishops on affairs affecting indigenous peoples.

The bishops spent some time at their Plenary meeting focusing on measures to maintain and strengthen the Church's mission to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

They discussed the challenges of adequately resourcing the mission to indigenous peoples, particularly in remote areas.

They also noted that Aboriginal and Islander Sunday is set for the first Sunday of July and a liturgy and resource kit is being finalised for use in parishes and schools.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council
Otherway Centre, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Adelaide
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Melbourne
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Archdiocese of Sydney
The Official Unofficial Lowitja O'Donoghue Web Site
The Scars of a Nation (Pastor George Rosendale)
St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, message stick painted by Agnes Palmer

27 May 2003