In the lead up to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday (July 7), the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body in the Catholic Church, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), has announced the winners of its 2019 Service to Community Awards.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) awards are presented in the following categories – Adult, Young Adult (18-25), Non-Indigenous and Elders.
For the first time, seven inspirational elders have received the Deacon Boniface Award for Elders, which has been renamed this year in tribute to the greatly-respected elder, Deacon Boniface Perdjert, Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deacon.
Deacon Boniface, who passed away earlier this year, was also an Aboriginal Elder of the Kardu Diminin clan and the traditional custodian of the land on which the Northern Territory town of Wadeye (Port Keats) is built.
The award for elders is shared by:
- Brenda Lester (SA)
- Deacon Ralph Madigan (Qld)
- Dolly Hankin (Qld)
- Elaine Walley (WA)
- Ivan Wellington (Minto – NSW)
- Vicki Clark (Vic)
- Elsie Heiss (NSW).
Other section winners are:
- Adult: Cecilia Kelly, from Mt Magnet in Western Australia
- Young adult: Josh Sly, an Aboriginal Education Worker at Jarara Indigenous Education Unit, Diocese of Parramatta
- Non–Indigenous: Catherine Jones, also from Mt Magnet, WA.
Created to recognise those who are working tirelessly and quietly within their communities, the 2019 Award winners embody the spirit of reconciliation and unity in Christ.
The theme for the 2019 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday Resources is “Peace to this house and all who dwell within”.
NATSICC provides a strong voice for First Nations Catholics and works in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops to address the issues facing their people.
For more information on the NATSICC awards category award winners, follow the #natsiccawards tag on social media or visit the awards homepage at http://www.natsicc.org.au/2019-award-winners.html
Watch this year’s video message from the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
With thanks to the ACBC.