﷯The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) is very proud to announce the winners of the first ever Service to Community Awards. Designed to recognise the unheralded and share the gifts that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to the Australian Catholic Church, NATSICC was blessed with an abundance of quality nominations from every State and Territory. Stories of people working in communities for over 30 years were common as were young people going above and beyond to support and inspire their people in the development of faith and culture. We are delighted and proud that our own people are leading the way forward. Elder award winner Peter Smith has been a stalwart and inspiration for Catholics nationally with his gentle way and his willingness to share culture with the next generation. Phillippa Johnson from Rockhampton and Karan Taylor (pictured) from Wollongong are esteemed Catholic educators and fittingly shared the Adult Award. The future looks bright with young people like Melbourne’s Cameron Balcombe (Young Adult Award winner) and Sydney’s Jasmine Wyld (Youth Award winner) being recognised by their communities. Both of these young people live in an urban area and are acutely aware of the challenges facing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia today. Their commitment to their faith and culture has seen them work towards bringing with Word of God and the confidence to lead to their friends and peers. Finally, our journey is much easier when we have non Indigenous people walking alongside us on our Journey. The non Indigenous Award winner Miriam Dieudonne epitomises Reconciliation through practical actions. Arriving at Santa Teresa in 1971, Miriam is loved by the community and, as noted in their application for the award ‘She is one of us’. As a lead up to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, NATSICC will be featuring an award winner on our Social Media platforms each day next week. We will be using #natsiccawards for all images and stories. Visit the NATSICC Facebook page and Twitter @natsiccofficial for the stories of our wonderful award winners. Category Winners Elder - Peter Smith Peter is a Kamilaroi man, his country is around south west Queensland and north west N.S.W. Peter is a member of the Mt. Isa Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council and for the past 8 years as been the World Council of Churches Australian representative at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Peter is a strong practising catholic and provides support to the local catholic church and in the wider catholic community of Mt. Isa. Peter is involved with schools as an adviser on Indigenous Culture to both staff and students. Peter has supported many people with alcohol related problems and was an Aboriginal Relics Officer, protecting Aboriginal Sites in Queensland. Young Adult - Cameron Balcombe Cameron Balcombe lives in Melbourne and is strongly committed to his community. This commitment was recognised in 2015 when he was the recipient of the Vic Government Rising Aboriginal Youth ward. For several years he has volunteered with Edmond Rice Camps and the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria. In 2018 he was one of 7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth selected to visit South Africa as part of the Classic Wallabies Indigenous Exchange (volunteering in an African Village) program funded by Australian Aid Adult - Joint winners: Karan Taylor and Phillippa Johnson Karan Taylor: Karen is a proud Catholic Gadigal woman, widely respected by Aboriginal and Non- Aboriginal people. Karen is actively involved at a local and state-wide level in promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in the Catholic domain and is currently or has recently held membership on the Catholic Education Commission (NSW) Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee. Karen is a highly respected Professional Officer in the Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Wollongong for 12 years. In this and other roles Karen has been instrumental in leading Catholic in leading Catholic Aboriginality and adviser to Bishop Peter Ingham (retired) in the Diocese. Phillipa Johnson: Phillippa is a descendant of the Darumbal people from Central Queensland. She is a woman of strong faith and spiritual beliefs with a steadfast connection to her culture and country. Phillippa is currently employed as an indigenous Education Support Officer with the Diocese of Rockhampton. Phillippa has been a champion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, their families and wider community members, both locally in Darumbal Country and throughout the whole of the Diocese. A consistent advocate of the rights and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Phillippa is a well respected traditional owner of the local community. Phillippa has been an active participant on many committees supporting Aboriginal students and families in Catholic Education . Youth - Jasmine Wyld Jasmine is an 18 year old Aboriginal youth, studied and graduated from St Clare’s College Waverley in 2017 and is a youth leader in training for the ACM Youth Group. Jasmine is a young catholic who voluntarily serve the Reconciliation Church on Sunday Masses by doing the readings, giving out mass bulletins to parishioners and helping out ACM staff with lunch preparation. Jasmine attended Youth Ministry Training Formation organised by Sydney Catholic Youth in 2016 and learnt how to start a youth group and to become a better leader. She participated at Gracefest 2016 and Australian Catholic Youth Festival, Sydney 2017. Jasmine was also a part of the welcoming team when NATSICC Young Adults participants came to Sydney to attend ACYF 2017. Jasmine went on a pilgrimage in Italy to strengthen her Catholic faith and attended World Youth Day 2016 in Poland to celebrate the Year of Mercy with thousands of other young Catholics and to meet and pray with the Holy Father. She is one of the candidates this year to attend the upcoming World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Leading to WYD 2019, the ACM Youth Group is busy preparing and fundraising for the pilgrimage by painting crosses, prayer cards making and selling jewelleries. Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander: Miriam Dieudonne Miriam came to Santa Teresa/Ltyentye Apurte as a Lay Missionary/Teacher in 1971.Miriam moved into adult education in the Community and continues her involvement as the School receptionist. Miriam is a daily Mass attendee and assists as leader of musicians and choir director, as well as these roles, Miriam is the Church Representative on the board of Atyenhenge Atherre Aboriginal Corporation.

 

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

'The peak Indigenous advisory body to the Catholic Church'

80C Payneham Rd.

Stepney SA 5069

www.natsicc.org.au   |   craig@natsicc.org.au   | 08 8363 2963

 

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