Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

Through collaborative partnerships, cultural awareness initiatives, pastoral support, and advocacy for justice and reconciliation, we endeavour to honour and respect the unique cultural heritage of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities while promoting unity, understanding, and mutual respect. If you are part of the Indigenous community, you can contact the following services for support:

Catholic Care: offers counselling, family services, and cultural support to enhance well-being and strengthen local Indigenous families and individuals.

Image: Caritas Australia

Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation: offers essential services to the Indigenous community in Western Sydney, including cultural programs, educational support, and resources to promote holistic well-being. Their comprehensive approach aims to empower and strengthen the local Indigenous population.

Jesuit Social Services: provides culturally sensitive support for mental health, employment, education, and family well-being, with a strong commitment to addressing the unique challenges and promoting the dignity of Indigenous Australians.

The Catholic Church acknowledges the deep dignity and significant contribution of Australia’s Indigenous communities. We recognise the special spiritual connection that Indigenous peoples have with the land and their enduring cultures. The Church is committed to promoting reconciliation, upholding the rights of Indigenous Australians, and actively participating in efforts to address the historical injustices they have endured.

The 2023-2024 Australian Bishop’s Social Justice StatementListen, Learn, Love‘ speaks to the opportunity all Catholics have to establish meaningful relationships with our Indigenous sisters and brothers, based on mutual respect, a better understanding of our history, and the wisdom and traditions that are invaluable assets to the nation. Through various initiatives, the Church strives to support the preservation of Indigenous cultures and ensure that Indigenous Australians are treated with the respect and dignity they rightly deserve.

We want Catholics to understand that Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic social action are not simply theoretical and academic exercises. We hear what God is saying to us about justice by being with our sisters and brothers on the peripheries of society. By getting “bruised, hurt and dirty” from being on the streets and in the bush where they are. This has been at the heart of Pope Francis’ message to us all from the beginning of his pontificate. It is not new. “Gaudem et Spes” or Joy and Hope is the title of the Second Vatican Council’s seminal document. It invites us to be attuned to the signs of the times. To be with people where they are and listen to their joy and hope, grief and anxiety wherever they are. Indeed, in the Gospel itself, we learn from Jesus that following Him means being on the streets, and listening and responding to what people are saying about their lives and what they hope for.

Bishop Vincent Long, Address at the 2023-24 ACBC Social Justice Statement Launch

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