“They couldn’t give a damn about us”
The Emergency Situation of the Australian Rural Catholic Church
Desmond Cahill, RMIT University
Conference Report, Christian Research Association, Rural Roundtable, June 2009
Rural and remote Australia has always been at the centre of the Australian psyche since Euro-pean settlement began in 1788 and, later on, through the finding of a passageway through the Blue Mountains in 1813 to reveal the Western plains of NSW – in our poems, in our short sto-ries, in our art and in our films. These days, however, it is less at the centre of national atten-tion because Australia has become more urban-ized; less and less do the so-called city slickers have direct contact with regional, rural and re-mote Australia through family connections ex-cept to have the occasional holiday in some rural beauty spot or to drive speedily through it along such roads as the Pacific or Newell Highways on the way to some beach destination.