South Australia

Indigenous Catholics: 2507

Total Catholics: 19669

Complete SA Stats


SA Councillor, Chairperson and Public Officer - John Lochowiak

John is a Wadi (initiated Man) who has strong ties to many language groups throughout Australia including but not limited to Pitjantjatjara, Kaurna, Ramindjeri and Arerrnte. His strong cultural grounding is complemented by his deep Catholic faith. His position on NATSICC compliments his current role as Manager of Aboriginal Services at Centacare and as the head of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM) in Adelaide.


John and his family have been involved with the Adelaide ACM for 3 decades and have seen 3 generations receive the sacraments and practice their faith at the iconic South Australian organisation.



Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Adelaide

The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (or Otherway Centre as it is more commonly known) was formed in 1980 and originally located at 185 Pirie St Adelaide. A play on words, the Otherway Centre was a viable option for those wanting to get away from the nearby Overway Hotel - they went the 'Otherway' and came to the centre.


After 20 years, the centre moved out of its central location into the suburb of Stepney. The 'new' building is a former school and has a commercial kitchen, large hall and most importantly, the newest ordained Chapel in South Australia. Renovated with the assistance of Centacare Family Services, the new chapel is a symbol of Inculturation that contains Indigenous artwork and symbols.


Click here for ACM Adelaide page (including address and contact details)

NATSICC State and Territory Councillors


Indigenous Catholics:

Total Catholics:

Complete Vic Stats


Councillor - Sherry Balcombe

My name is Sherry Balcombe I have worked at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria for the past 12 years this year 2015 taking on the role of Coordinator.

I am a Western Yalanji, Djabaguy / Okola woman from Far North Queensland but I was born on Wurrundjeri Country. I come from a strong Aboriginal family who still reside in FNQ.


I have a history in welfare and I worked for 6 years at the Victoria Aboriginal Child Care Agency in the Foster Care Section.

I currently do lots of cross cultural education as part of my role at the Ministry; this brings me great joy as I am helping to educate not only children but young adults about our beautiful Culture and our rich faith that we as Aboriginal people naturally posses.


I get to do many things in my role including visiting Indigenous Youth in detention as  far as disadvantages go these are the most disadvantaged so I enjoy having a chance to engage with them all. I currently do a liturgy service on a weekly basis with the Aboriginal Elders at our nursing home here in Brunswick Victoria so I am very lucky to have a job that fore fills so many things and brings much joy on a regular basis.


I am a mother to four children whom I am very proud of ,I have been with my husband for 35 years and we live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. I am extremely passionate about my Aboriginal heritage, culture and my Catholic faith. I love my job and see it more as a lifestyle than anything else, I am passionate about social justice issues and try to offer support when ever I can, we strive at this ministry to continue to fight for Justice for all Aboriginal People.


Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne


The artwork represents the Aboriginal community all coming together under the Catholic Church, represented by the cross above them. This cross  ACM VISION STATEMENT


To be perceived as an Aboriginal Community recognised for its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples having their rightful place in the Church and the wider Community. Inspired by the Gospel, we are committed to the dignity of each person to open hospitality, to truth-telling about dispossession and to be a place of connection. We work for reconciliation in partnership with those who believe that there can be an alternative to the present order.


Click here for ACM Melbourne page (including address and contact details)

New South Wales

Indigenous Catholics: 2507

Total Catholics: 19669

Complete NSW Stats


Councillor - Doreen Flanders

Doreen Flanders a proud Aboriginal woman born and raised at Bowraville - part of the Gumbaynggirr Nation. Doreen is the Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Lismore’s Aboriginal Education Advisor, a role she has held for 21 years. The role involves addressing Indigenous education and issues effecting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students in mainstream classrooms. Doreen has vast experience in developing theology studies for students and incorporating spirituality into the classroom.






Aboriginal Catholic Ministries in NSW


A full list of NSW ACMs can be found at the link below. The page includes links to their individual websites, conact details, maps and upcoming events. Please support your local Ministry!


Click here for a detailed list of NSW ACMs

Northern Territory





Councillor - Dean Chisholm


Dean Chisholm is of Aboriginal decent, a proud husband and a father of 5 children, 2 grandsons and a discerning Deacon with the Catholic Church. He has been brought up in a loving environment with strict family values and my family is from Central Australia Arrente country.


"We have been taught to respect others, their values, to understand and value our

Aboriginal heritage as well our European side." Dean has extensive knowledge and

understanding of the environment and Aboriginal Cultures, and the ability

to communicate with a range of stakeholders. He is passionate about human rights, Indigenous issues, and helping to break down generational trauma to create strong families and positive pathways for future generations.


Northern Territory Catholic Information Page


The Northern Territory is home to the largest per capita Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic population in Australia. Over 12000 Indigenous people are Catholic and make up over 26% of the population as a whole.


With great support from the Diocese, the communities spread throughout the  Territory have been able to incorporate their own Culture and symbolism into their Catholic Faith. Culture and spirituality are very alive in the top end.


Click here for the Northern Territory page (including address and contact details)

Torres Strait Islands





Dolly McGaughey is the NATSICC representative for the Torres Strait Islands. We are very happy to have a representative for the Torres Strait and look forward to making the most of Dolly's experience and knowledge. She is passionate about climate change, her family and culture and her Catholic faith


Now retired, Dolly has worked closely with the Catholic Education Office for many years in many different roles. A talented musician, Dolly's music has been included on a number of CD releases. Dolly has a large family,located on the mainland as well as on the IslandsC



Torres Strait Islander Information and events

The Torres Strait Islander page is a resource containing the contact details and upcoming events that are occurring on the Torres Strait Islands.


If you have any information you would like to add to the page please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.




Click here for the Torres Strait Islander page page (including address and contact details)









Councillor - Evelyn Parkin

Evelyn Parkin is a respected Elder and Theologian from Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). Having completed a Masters of Arts in Theology at Brisbane’s Australian Catholic University campus in 2006, Evelyn shared this knowledge for two years as a lecturer at the Cairns ecumenical Wontulp-Bi-Buya College for the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Church and community leaders.


Evelyn is involved preparing children for baptisms where required and supporting

the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Community to express their faith and traditional culture.




Queensland Catholic Indigenous information page AICC page (including addresses and contact details)





Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Council








Australian Capital Territory





Councillor - Sally FitzGerald


I am Sally FitzGerald and I am a Muruwari woman. My country is in the north west of NSW and it includes towns such as Bourke, Brewarrina and Lightening Ridge. Whilst this is the home of my people I was not born there. I was born and raised in a tiny town in NSW called Murrumburrah where my father was also born. I am the second eldest in a family of seven children-three of which have died.

I was raised as a white person because of the Stolen Generation and it was not until I was in my 20s that I knew that I was Aboriginal and it was not until I was in my 30s that I tracked down my extended family-and have never looked back. I identify as Aboriginal and here in Canberra I am accepted as an Aboriginal woman.


My mother's father was an Aboriginal man-he was born in Tinnunburra-in north west NSW. He was a shearer and he married a young English girl. They moved around a lot in country NSW to shear in all the sheds. He became quite famous as he could shear two sheep to everyone else's one-even with a broken finger! He was called William Smith but is known to all as Duceum Smith. He was inducted into the Shearer's Hall of Fame in Hay in 2005 and his history can be found at AISATSIS.


I work at Calvary Hospital in Canberra as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer and I love this job-it is the best of two worlds-I visit all the Indigenous patients and yet I also do administrative work. I have been in this position since 2011 when it was created but am looking forward to retirement next year! I volunteer with the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry for the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese and I love it. We are only a small group but we have a great vision for the future-small steps!


ACT Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Information Page


The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Canberra celebrates Mass on the 3rd Sunday of every month at St Benedict’s Narrabundah, starting at 11am.


The Ministry is a growing concern and is led by NATSICC ACT Councillor Sally Fitzgerald. Sally and her small team of volunteers work tirelessly to support Indigenous Catholics in the Canberra Goulburn Diocese.


The Ministry is hoping to celebrate Mass around the Diocese in 2016.


Click here for the ACT page (including address and contact details)

Western Australia








Councillor - Shirley Quaresimin


Shirley Quaresimin is the NATSICC Deputy Chairperson. Shirley is a Nyikina person from the Kimberley and was involved in the establishment of NATSICC over 20 years ago. She brings vast experience of regional and urban Aboriginal Catholics to NATSICC.


At just 8 years old, Shirley attended the first Catholic School in Derby and it is here that the Sisters of St. John of God and the Pallottine Fathers played a part in developing her faith journey.   The Sisters prepared Shirley for life, to have the ability to be part of church and for young Aboriginal girls a message/creed for living.


Shirley was inspired by her Grandmother Emily who taught her how to understand her Aboriginal spirituality and Catholic faith.  She was also a Catholic but did not lose her own Spirituality.


Western Australian Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Information


The Western Australian page is a resource containing the contact details and upcoming events that are occurring on the west.


If you have any information you would like to add to the page please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.


Click here for the WA Aboriginal Catholic Information page (including address and contact details)







Councillor - Jaimi Lee Armstrong


Jaimi-Lee Armstrong has worked in Catholic Education for the past five years. Jaimi-Lee has completed certificates III and IV in Business and has recently completed her Diploma in Business. She has also been working in the information technology area completed a Certificate IV in IT in 2014 and currently working on her Diploma in IT as well as studying a degree at Swinburne University. Jaimi-Lee is the Tasmanian Representative for NATSICC (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council) where she is proud to be able to represent the Tasmanian Catholic Indigenous Community. Jaimi-Lee is passionate about her work and determined to continue to strive in these areas. Her experiences to date has provided a solid foundation for the future.


Tasmanian Aboriginal Catholic Information

Tasmania is covered by the Diocese of Hobart and  is home to nearly 4000 Aboriginal Catholics.


Click here for Tasmania page (including addresses and contact details)


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

'The peak Indigenous advisory body to the Catholic Church'

80C Payneham Rd.

Stepney SA 5069   |   | 08 8363 2963


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