Australian Embassy
Holy See

2023 Events


Reconciliation Week 2023 (29 May to 3 June 2023)

The Australian Embassy to the Holy See held a series of special events from 29 May to 3 June 2023, focused on reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. The events coincided with the visit by Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, a renowned Australian Aboriginal elder, educator and artist who met with Pope Francis in what was her first trip from Australia’s ‘outback’ to Rome.

Dr Ungunmerr Baumann trained in a Catholic mission school in her rural community near Darwin and went on to become the first fully-qualified Aboriginal teacher in Australia’s Northern Territory. Throughout her life, she has made an enormous contribution to education, environmental protection and the promotion of Indigenous culture and art, earning her the recognition of Senior Australian of the Year in 2021. Her presence in Rome, which will take place during what Australians refer to as National Reconciliation Week, added special significance to a year in which we also marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Holy See.

In addition to a high profile unveiling of one of Dr Ungunmerr Baumann's paintings at the Vatican Museums (30 May 2023), the following public events took place as part of the visit:

Building bridges through education and culture

31 May 2023 at ACU Rome Campus

A dialogue hosted by the Australian Catholic University between Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann and Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary, Dicastery of Education and Culture, moderated by Dr Donna Orsuto, Director of the Lay Centre, with remarks by Fr David Holdcroft SJ, Education Specialist, Jesuit Refugee Service.


Marking 50 years since the first Aboriginal Liturgy

31 May 2023 at Domus Australia

A mass presided by HEm Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.


An Indigenous perspective on integral ecology: the concept of Dadirri

1 June 2023 at the UISG Headquarters

A conversation hosted by UISG with Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann on caring for our common home, facilitated by Sr Adele Howard RSM, in partnership with Caritas Internationalis.


A contemporary Australian perspective on the recognition of Aboriginal rights

3 June 2023 at the Pontifical Gregorian University

A lecture by Fr Frank Brennan SJ, advocate for Indigenous Australians followed by remarks from Monsignor Anthony Ekpo, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.