South Australia is home to nearly 4000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics, with approximately 10 per cent of the Indigenous population in the region identifying as Catholic. In Adelaide, the ACM has provided support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics for three decades.
Central to the Ministry’s mission is the improvement of lives through tailored programs designed to foster self-esteem, healing and a sense of belonging and self-worth. Among the services offered is the provision of toiletry bags to individuals undergoing unexpected hospital stays or those in need of personal care items.
Recognising the significance of this initiative, Nazareth students, under the leadership of Year 12 House captains Demi Bacasetas and Ada Skolanja, embarked on a mission to assemble the toiletry bags while also organising a House lunch to raise funds.
Supported by Ann-Marie Springhetti (7-12 Food and Technologies Teacher), dedicated volunteers came together during lunchtime sessions to sew draw-string bags to hold the toiletry items.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Nazareth families and students, a total of 50 toiletry bags were created, accompanied by two full boxes of additional items. A sum of $1060 was also raised to further support the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry.
The culmination of this work unfolded during a dedicated MacKillop House assembly in June when the House Captains and student leaders proudly presented their contributions to John Lochowiak, chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC).
Students and staff were privileged to experience a smoking ceremony, engage in a welcome to country, and deepen their understanding of Aboriginal culture, spirituality, and hear from John about the ACM’s pastoral work.
MacKillop House leaders Joanne Dametto and Du Nguyen thanked the student, staff and parents for “for bringing to life the call of Mary MacKillop to ‘never see a need without doing something about it”.
Mr Lochowiak said the support of students and staff was “truly amazing”.
“For young people to lead the way, that’s what’s going to make the change we need,” he said.
MacKillop House plans to continue its efforts into the second half of the year by visiting the ACM’s Otherway Centre to participate in cooking classes, traditional dancing, liturgical celebration and donate hand-made friendship bracelets.Jump to next article