Mercy Partners Formation held its annual Indigenous Encounter Day at Garbutt Catholic Church in Townsville. Leaders of Mercy Partners ministries in Townsville: St Patrick’s College, Mater Hospital and Mercy Community joined with Townsville Sisters of Mercy, diocesan clergy including Bishop Tim Harris and representatives of a variety of local groups: SVDP, Caritas, Catholic Mission, Shalom College, Holy Spirit Sisters and parishioners to hear from First Nations Peoples on local initiatives surrounding reconciliation and healing.
The Shalom College Dance troupe began the day with some delightful Indigenous dance and speakers from the Men’s Healing Group, Cowboys House, Community Gro and local elders shared their personal stories in wisdom circles. Participants also considered Frank Brennan’s Ten Steps for Approaching the Voice Referendum (based on Catholic Social Teaching) and discussed the importance of the upcoming Voice Referendum for Australia’s reconciliation journey.
We are indebted to Trudy Clarke, Fr Dave Lancini and the Garbutt community for their warm welcome and their willingness to host this important annual event.