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19 July, 2021
Year 12 student from Chanel College Gladstone, Jamila Rebel, participates in the Water Ceremony during Catholic Education NAIDOC Mass celebration at Holy Family Church recently.

NAIDOC Mass celebrations were held at Holy Family Church North Rockhampton and St Joseph’s Church North Mackay this month presided by Fr Peter Tonti and Fr James Ezeocha respectively.

The Masses drew together representative staff and students from Catholic school communities, Elders and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and members of the wider parish communities.

The uplifting and meaningful liturgies focused on this year’s NAIDOC theme, “Heal Country”, which calls for all Australians to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction.

Following Mass, medallions were presented to recipients of this year’s Catholic Education Scholarship for Indigenous Students including Hamish Nolan Munns (The Cathedral College, Rockhampton) and Jorjja Hustler (Emmaus College, North Rockhampton) at the Rockhampton celebration, and Rueben Bishop (Holy Spirit College, North Mackay) and Harper John Ford (Mercy College, Mackay) at the Mackay gathering.

Recipients of the Catholic Education Scholarship for Indigenous Students (centre left) Hamish Nolan Munns and (centre right) Jorjja Hustler with Catholic Education Indigenous Education Coordinator Brad Jarro and Diocesan Director Leesa Jeffcoat during the NAIDOC Mass celebrations.

Catholic Education Indigenous Education Coordinator Brad Jarro said the selection process was extremely difficult due to the high calibre of applications.

“I extend a very sincere congratulations to the four scholarship recipients and also to all the applicants for their dedication to their studies and contribution to their respective colleges, and for the great role models they are to their peers and their school communities,” Mr Jarro said.