Bishop Michael Putney has established a new Indigenous Catholic Council (ICC) which had its inaugural meeting on Thursday, 14 December, 2006. The new Council consist of 15 members drawn from around the Diocese. The ICC will advise the Bishop on pastoral and spiritual concerns within the Indigenous Catholic Community, provide a forum for outreach programs and alert other diocesan agencies regarding appropriate ways of responding to needs within the Indigenous Catholic Community.

Membership is:

Megan Harrison - CHAIRPERSON
Len Horner (Chancellor)
Elizabeth Dempsey
Fiona Hill
Leonora Aldridge
Teresa Creed
Therese Cowley
Len Horner
Fr Mick Peters
Karl McKenzie
Katie Armit
Veronica Little
Michelle Hegarty
Fr Emmanuel Gyamfi
Alice Bin Tahal (Minutes Secretary)

Church Indigenous Group Meets

The Townsville Diocese Indigenous Catholic Council held their inaugural meeting at the Catholic Centre just before Christmas. During the meeting the council came up with a number of issues which they will be advising the Bishop, Townsville Catholic Diocesan Office and Diocesan Agencies on. These issues included:

  • Priorities on the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and/or communities within the Catholic structures and institutions (e.g. schools and parishes).
  • Education and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members in effective leadership and decision-making processes.
  • Culturally suitable pastoral care, support and opportunities to be afforded to Aboriginal and Islander communities especially the sick and those incarcerated.

The General Objectives adopted by the new Council are:

  • To support the Diocese in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive culturally appropriate Catholic religious experiences.
  • To support a process to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Diocese to play an active role in the Queensland and National levels of the Catholic Commission's consultation process.
  • To give Catholic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to hear and to provide the wisdom to add Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality and rituals into prayer and liturgy.
  • To oversee the implementation of a cross-cultural program for members of the Catholic Church that reflects the region's unique perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and world views.
  • To allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide advice to Indigenous Catholic Council to focus on the area of Catholic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development within the Catholic ethos.
  • To provide strategic advice to the Diocesan office regarding the budgetary and financial expenditure and allocation of funds from various avenues including the Diocese for resourcing the Ministry.
  • To actively encourage the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and/or communities within the Catholic structures and institutions (e.g. schools and parishes). Members of the new Catholic Indigenous Council have been appointed by the Bishop from the Catholic community.

At least sixty per cent of the total membership of fifteen members of the Council will be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. They will include the Diocesan Chancellor, representatives of Parish/ AICCs from Mt Isa, Palm Island and Townsville, the Council of Priests, Centacare, the St Vincent De Paul Society, Catholic Education Office and three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander appointees of the Bishop.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC)

During 1992 the Australian Bishops established a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) with a secretariat based in Canberra.