Glenn explores the idea of Aboriginality as an alternative to Aboriginal spirituality and posits the idea that being born Aboriginal is enough; there is no need for the word spirituality to be used as a descriptor. “We are born into country and the universe and our vocation is to live out of that between the two trees of life – birth and death. We do not take on the identity that comes with spirituality, we Aboriginal and that is enough.” The topic will be explored through personal story grounded in an Aboriginal way of seeing.
Glenn Loughrey is a Wiradjuri man and an Anglican priest at St Oswald’s, Glen Iris. He is an artist with a particular interest in exploring identity and story through the visual arts. He is engaged in the dialogue for treaty, sovereignty, reconciliation and self-determination for First Nation peoples and is presently in demand to speak on aboriginal issues and travels extensively to do so.
Glenn is responsible for the development of a reconciliation garden in Glen Iris from where he and his team of volunteers develop and distribute educational frameworks for use in state and private schools and community groups.
Glenn has worked in many different places and fields including: setting up the youth outreach ministry for the Salvation Army in Brisbane which continues some 35 years later; a decade in business as the director of a company providing services to non-profit organisations; developed a support program for students at a school in a lower socioeconomic environment in Brisbane; setting up the first welfare service within the Royal Australian Navy at HMAS Kuttabul, Garden Island, Sydney and was a chaplain in a school in northern NSW.
He has pioneered performance and visual arts as a tool for working with disadvantaged youth having studied at the Marcel Marceau School of Mime in Paris. He has been nominated for Queenslander Father of the Year (1985), Queenslander of the Year (2005) and received the System Commander’s Commendation for Service to the Royal Australian Navy (2005/6).
Glenn is a published writer, an exhibiting artist and speaker. He has contributed to publications on Thomas Merton, youth work and theology and has contributed art to a number of publications by other authors. He has been a finalist and semi-finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait prize, the richest such prize in Australia in 2017 & 2018 and presently has work in a group exhibition at Hearth Gallery, Healesville; Koorie Heritage Art Exhibition, Federation Square and at the Sourpuss Emporium, Camberwell.
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