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Contemporary Aboriginal Spirituality: Cultural Celebrations and Rites of Passage

Studies of Religion

Acknowledgement of Country

Mount St Benedict College acknowledges and pays respect to the past and present raditional custodians and elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Ancestors have walked this country and we acknowledge their special and unique place in our nation’s historical, cultural and linguistic identity.

Visitors should be aware that this Research Guide may contain images or documentation relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are deceased.

Marri Djirang Nura- Big Tree Country

We acknowledge that Mount St Benedict College sits on the land of the Dharug people.

'Marri Djirang Nura- Big Tree Country' By Leanne Mulgo Watson (2022) Acrylic on Canvas.

This painting highlights the rich culture, flora, and fauna of the Dharug people and the Blue Gum Forest. The artwork incorporates various features of the Blue Gum Forest, Leanne's Dhurug heritage, and our College community. The pink background signifies the colour of the Blue Gum forest's bark, while the waratahs represent healing, and the leaves, cockatoos, and lizard depict the forest's diverse flora and fauna. The central circles symbolize the Bennie's community, and the half circles represent our staff and students. Finally, the tools are a representation of the strength of women.


Ngalawadyingun yagu Dharug Ngurrawa.

Bayady'u budyari Dharug warunggad yiyuragu.

Baranyiin yagu baribugu.

Bayady'u budyari Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Yiyuragu Ngurra bimalgu.

Yanma muday Ngurrawa.

Acknowledgement of Country Dharug Ngurra.

We are standing (we gather here) today on Dharug Country.

I speak well (I pay respect to) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their homelands.

Walk softly on Country. 





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Women's Business- Gunawirra

At Gunawirra we believe that connecting with our culture benefits our physical and emotional wellbeing. Our Women’s Business Program focuses on making ancient wisdom, tools, and culture relevant to our families in the 21st century


Ngunnawal man Adrian Brown demonstrates a smoking ceremony and explains the cultural significance of the smoking and plants he uses.

To an Aboriginal Australian, homeland is not just where you are born. It is where you will die and be buried. It is the center of gravity, heart and soul, beginning and end.

Tex Skuthorpe and Dr Arne Rubinstein discuss the rites of passage that provide a sense of place in community, and share their perspectives on teaching young people as they transition into adult life.

Cultural Celebrations

Examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Civics and Citizenship Celebrations/Commemorations


Throughout the year, there are a number of dedicated days and weeks that are significant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the field of civics and citizenship, and indeed all Australian citizens committed to the reconciliation movement. Listed below are some examples of such celebratory or commemorative events, both past and present.


Deadly Story

This page is all about Life and Lore for us Mob. It provides an overview of the important beliefs and values for Aboriginal people and how we express our culture and Lore. Lore refers to the stories, customs, beliefs and spirituality of Aboriginal people, that was given to us from the Dreaming. Our Lore was passed down through generations by our ancestors and it guides us in how we live our lives everyday.


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