National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council
NATSICC Youth Portfolio
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the Australian Catholic Church today. The NATSICC Council hosts Youth Leadership Gatherings that aim to assist young leaders become positive role models in their own communities. The gatherings also built networks among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics.
Councillor - Sabrina-ann Stevens
My name is Sabrina-ann Stevens. I live in Cairns, North Queensland.
I identify as a young Catholic Aboriginal lady of Yidinji and Kuku Yalanji decent and I attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis.
I'm currently studying at University and I have varied Church commitments.
For the past five years I have been heavily involved with volunteer positions within the Church and Youth Ministry roles, which has been encouraged and supported through the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC).
My previous involvement with the Church includes:
Attended World Youth Day in Australia 2008, and Spain 2011.
Youth Leaders Formation Course in Sydney, 2011.
NATSICC Assembly in Brisbane 2009. And again in Melbourne 2012, where I was voted in as Youth Proxy for NATSICC
Led a national group of young Indigenous Catholics representing NATSICC to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Melbourne, 2013
Attended the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention in Adelaide, 2014.
NATSICC Youth Proxy for Youth Councillor, October 2012
Hosted the 2015 NATSICC youth Assembly in Darwin
Attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2015
Activities and Programs
2017 NATSICC Youth Leadership Gathering
NATSICC hosted a group of young Aboriginal Catholic leaders at the 2017 NATSICC Youth Gathering - incorporating the Catholic Youth Festival as part of its commitment to fostering and encouraging the next generation of leaders in the Church. The Gathering program included learning about the local people, sharing faith and building confidence.
The 2017 Youth Festival was simply massive with nearly 20,000 young people in attendance. A good proportion of those delegates visited the NATSICC cultural space and learned about NATSICC, the ACMs around Australia and spoke to the young people in our group. The space was was visited by hundreds of young people over the 3 days. Activities included painting using traditional symbols, being 'painted up' by the Wadeye group, learning about Language groups and viewing Richard Campbell's iconic Stations of the Cross artwork.
2015 NATSICC Youth Assembly in Darwin
The Youth Assembly attracted 50 young Indigenous Catholics from every State and Territory. It ran separately from the main Assembly with a specific program focused on faith formation, issues facing the youth on a day to day basis and sharing through the medium of music. There were times when the Youth and Main Assemblies came together so that young people can share with the Elders and Elders can listen to the hopes, concerns and visions for the future that only young people can provide.
“We had two young people attend the youth assembly that were at a cross road in their lives. They were struck by the openness of the young people at the event and their willingness to discuss their faith and culture. They have returned from the Assembly with a renewed sense of faith and in their own words ‘a new clear direction in life’” said St Martin de Porres Chairperson Lorraine Tomlins.
2015 Catholic Youth Festival - Adelaide
NATSICC Sponsored five young people to attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide. The Festival drew over nearly 3000 young Catholics and was an enriching experience for the NATSICC group.
"This was my first time going to a youth festival and I really enjoyed it. The NATSICC people were really lovely and great to hang out with over the festival time. I really enjoyed talking to the Archbishops at the festival and asking them questions. They were really great!" said Annalis Harbin , a teacher from Perth in Western Australia.
2014 NATSICC Youth Gathering - Adelaide
Indigenous Catholic Youth from every State and Territory converged on the Adelaide, the City of Churches, for the 2014 NATSICC Youth Leadership Gathering.
Each youth had been nominated by their Ministry, Parish or Organisation as a leader in their community. These young people are looked up to and guide other young people in Culture and Faith.
They came to Adelaide to listen and share their experiences of the Catholic Church in their everyday
lives and the ways in which they combine their culture and faith.
Bishop Christopher Saunders made the journey from Broome to share the week. In addition to Bishop Saunders who guided the group through scripture,, Ian Tambo (Leadership), Sr Carmel Pilcher (Liturgy and the Mass), Bee Cruise (Leadership), Mitch Firth (Leadership) and Marlon Riley (Culture) provided inspiring talks to the group.
In Adelaide at the same time was the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention at St Aloysius College. The NATSICC group ingrained itself on the event by participating in the Opening and closing Masses as well as facilitating a 'booked out' workshop on Aboriginal Culture and Catholic Faith.
Our youth were very visible in their black 'hoodies' and could be seen talking to groups and leaders at every meal break. For many of the convention delegates, it was the first time they were able to discuss the issues of faith with an Indigenous person.
The Gathering was a successful event and we have learned many things that we can do to improve the outcomes for young people in the Church, particularly the importance of providing engaging faith formation to our young people.
2010 NATSICC Youth Leadership gathering - Brisbane
30 young Indigenous Catholics attended the 2010 Leadership Gathering in Brisbane from 13-16 May. The Australian Catholic University were kind enough to sponsor the event by allowing us to use their facilities and their staff were very generous with their time.
The group was made up of youth ranging from 16 – 30 and from remote areas such as Santa Teresa and Urban centres like Perth and Melbourne.
The focus of the Gathering was to listen and share with the future of our Church. In doing so we held workshops on developing social networks such as Facebook and listening to renowned Elders Evelyn Parkin and Joan Hendriks. They explained how Religion and Indigenous Spirituality go hand in hand.
Sean Choolburra spoke to the group. Sean was a member of Bangarra dance company and has been featured on various television programs. He is a very positive role model for our youth. Elwyn Henaway from ACU was kind enough to take the group on a cultural tour of the local area. There are very special places very close to ACU.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 08 8363 2963