The Australian Jesuits’ engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples stretches back to the early Aboriginal Missions at Daly River in the late 1800s.
In recent years, the Province has had a number of Jesuits engaged in ministry among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including our current Provincial Fr Brian McCoy SJ, who has been particularly involved with communities in the Kutjungka region of the Kimberley. Other Jesuits who work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include Fr Pat Mullins SJ, who works in Western Sydney, and Fr Frank Brennan SJ, who has a long history of advocacy on Indigenous issues.
A number of the Province’s ministries also have a focus on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Jesuit Social Services partners with Arrente communities in the Northern Territory, and works with various young Indigenous people in its other programs in Melbourne and Sydney. Meanwhile, a number of Jesuit schools have partnerships and run immersion programs with Aboriginal communities.
The Province’s Bookends Project aims to raise awareness and prompt action right across the Province in support of First Nations peoples. The Project is calling on staff in all Province’s ministries to ask themselves, ‘How can I open my heart and contribute to better relations with our First Nations peoples?’