Report: Blanket and Coats distribution to the Nauiyu community
Report by Member of the Order in NT, Dr Frances Booth
On Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, seven of us joined Fr Ched as we drove from Darwin to the Nauiyu community west of Katherine on the Daly River and south of Darwin for the distribution of coats and blankets. The population is around 450 people and is 86 per cent Aboriginal – most of whom speak English, and largely Catholic. There are 10 different language groups and the traditional owners of the land are the Malak Malak people. The community also has a store, school, health clinic and police station. The area was originally a source of copper mining.
After 230kms and a drive of two and a half hours south of Darwin – we arrived at the Presbytery, originally part of a Jesuit Mission, and met up with the Principal of St Francis Xavier Catholic School, Frances Enilane. The school is an Indigenous Catholic Community School with nine teaching staff drawn from all over Australia. It is supported by local Indigenous teaching assistants and caters for 55 students from years 1 to 10.
Mass with Fr Ched was a highlight on this Sunday of Corpus Christie in the beautiful church. Dr Frances explained to some of the congregation elders, family members and teachers, the purpose of our visit, the humble donation of coats and blankets to the community. Following Mass, cordial drinks were produced, and several of the coats and blankets were distributed. Fran will supervise distribution of the remainder.