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The Contemporary Years of the Catholic Church

  • Elizabeth Durack is Compelled by Aboriginal Culture

    Elizabeth Durack is Compelled by Aboriginal Culture
    In the early 1930s, with a group of Aboriginal people, Durack ventured into a cave and was overawed by walls full of Aboriginal art. This experience compelled her to create her own Aboriginal art that she hoped would help Australians appreciate Aboriginal culture.
  • Kathleen Mary Egan is Appointed an Institution for the Deaf.

    Kathleen Mary Egan is Appointed an Institution for the Deaf.
    In 1931 Kathleen Mary was appointed to the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb at Waratah, Newcastle in which she made many innovations based on her previous classroom experience.
  • Fr John Brosnan is Ordained a Priest

    Fr John Brosnan is Ordained a Priest
    On 22nd July, 1945, John Brosnan was ordained a priest by Archbishop Mannix at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne.
  • Kathleen Mary is Appointed Superior of St Mary's School for Deaf Children

    Kathleen Mary is Appointed Superior of St Mary's School for Deaf Children
    Early in 1948 Kathleen Mary was appointed superior of the new St Mary's School for Deaf Children at Delgany, Victoria.
  • Frank Fletcher is Ordained a Priest

    Frank Fletcher is Ordained a Priest
    Fletcher was ordained a priest in 1956 at St Mary's Cathedral, and in 1957 he was appointed to teach at Chevalier College, near Bowral.
  • Vatican II

    Vatican II
    Vatican II addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world.
  • Caritas Begins in Australia

    Caritas Begins in Australia
    Caritas began in Australia in 1962 as the Catholic Church Relief Fund (CCRF), which became the Catholic Overseas Relief Committee in 1964. In 1996 the agency became Caritas Australia.
  • Fr Brosnan Pushes to End Capital Punishment

    Fr Brosnan Pushes to End Capital Punishment
    Fr Brosnan took a vigorous role in the campaign to end capital punishment and became famous as the chaplain to Ronald Ryan, the last man hanged in Australia in 1967. Ryan's last words to him were: "Never forget, no matter how long you live, you were ordained for me."
  • The White Australia Policy is Renounced

    The White Australia Policy is Renounced
    In 1973 the Whitlam Labor government definitively renounced the White Australia policy. In its place it established a policy of multiculturalism in a nation that is now home to migrants from nearly 200 different countries.
  • Edward Clancy is Ordained as a Bishop

    Edward Clancy is Ordained as a Bishop
    Edward Bede Clancy was appointed as the auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Freeman in the Archdiocese of Sydney in 1973. He was then ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, in 1974.
  • Edward Clancy is Installed as Archbishop of Canberra

    Edward Clancy is Installed as Archbishop of Canberra
    Edward Clancy was installed as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn on 3 January 1979 at St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra.
  • Edward Clancy is Appointed Archbishop of Sydney

    Edward Clancy is Appointed Archbishop of Sydney
    Archbishop Clancy’s appointment as seventh Archbishop of Sydney was announced on 22 February 1983, and he was installed as Archbishop on the 27th of April the same year.
  • Catholicism Becomes the Largest Religious Group in Australia

    Catholicism Becomes the Largest Religious Group in Australia
    Up until this point Australia's most populous Christian church was the Anglican Church. Since 1986 Catholics have outnumbered Anglicans by an increasing margin.
  • Edward Clancy is Elevated to Cardinal

    Edward Clancy is Elevated to Cardinal
    Edward Clancy was elevated to Cardinal on 28 June 1988.
  • Fr Frank Fletcher Establishes the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry

    Fr Frank Fletcher Establishes the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
    Fletcher established the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in 1989.
    In setting it up, Fletcher was clear he did not want to lead. He told the community: ''I want you to do this the Aboriginal way, your way."
  • The Mabo Decision

    The Mabo Decision
    In 1992, the High Court of Australia decided that terra nullius should not have been applied to Australia. This decision known as the Mabo decision recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land.
  • The Native Title Act

    The Native Title Act
    The Native Title Act was a law passed by the Australian Parliament that recognises the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in land and waters according to their traditional laws and customs.
  • The Wik Decision

    The Wik Decision
    The Wik claim followed on the success of the Mabo claim, where the High Court of Australia voted for whether pastoral leases do or do not extinguish native title rights.
  • World Youth Day 2008

    World Youth Day 2008
    World Youth Day 2008 was a Catholic youth festival that started on 15 July and continued until 20 July 2008 in Sydney, Australia. It was the first World Youth Day held in Australia.
  • 2016 Census

    2016 Census
    The proportion of people reporting a religion other than Christianity in the Census increased from 5.6% in 2006 to 8.2% in 2016. With Islam making up 2.6% of Australia’s population, Buddhism with 2.4% and Hinduism with 1.9%.