The beginning of NAIDOC Week 2019 was acknowledged and celebrated on Sunday 7 July at Sacred Heart Cathedral. It was a truly ecumenical service, including Aboriginal, Catholic, Anglican, Hebrew, Muslim and Bahá’í communities, with many others in attendance.

The service began outside where attendees were welcomed to Awabakal Country and invited into the Cathedral through a Smoking Ceremony. The liturgy and prayers of the service were formed around the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, and the 2019 NAIDOC Theme ‘VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH. Let’s work together for a Shared Future’ was central. It was a reflective and prayerful service.

Reverend Di Langham’s daughter, Bonnie, shared some of her own stories, and Reverend Greg Colby reflected further on the ‘Uluru Statement of the Heart’ in his address. Bishop Sonia Roulston, representing Bishop Peter Stuart, and Catholic Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright blessed attendees with water from a Coolamon. The service concluded with afternoon tea.

Some prayers from the service are included below for your own personal reflection during NAIDOC Week:

Great Creator Spirit,

from the dawn of creation

you have given your children

the good things of Mother Earth.

In the vast desert and in the scrub,

in the cities and at the water’s edge

creation sings your praise.


At the very beginning you blessed the water,

your great gift to us.

In water, we receive your gift of peace

for water holds the promise of food

and the blessing of harmony amongst ourselves

and everything that lives.


Now we ask that your blessing be renewed in this water.

May its cooling touch

strengthen the commitment of all your people

to walk in your way, your truth and your life.


* * *


Creator Spirit

we stand before you as brothers and sisters.

Cleanse us and heal us

of all words and actions

that create division and disrespect.

Open our hearts to your good spirit

which creates love and peace.


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