Conference: Exiled from Country – Deep Listening to the Spirit of Place

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Presenter:  Keith Castle and Stella Hayes

Date: Jul 21, 2016 to Jul 24, 2016

Time: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Contact person:  Keith Castle
T: 08 8955 0851/0418 898 095

Location:  Whitegums at Honeymoon Gap, Bullen Rd, 20km west of Alice Springs NT

Non-indigenous Australians came to this land with their mythologies and ideas that evolved from other countries. These imported preconceptions and assumptions have not been seriously challenged since  colonial times. Many Indigenous people of Australia feel their connection with this place has been compromised through the ways in which non Indigenous people have taken control of this country. In seeking economic efficiency, all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, have developed ways of physically surviving in this country that take us away from direct engagement with the land. Whilst the land sustains our very existence, there are ways we can all feel disconnected, alienated or dispossessed from it. We find ourselves in a context where many feel a sense of exile from our home, our place.

  • How can we find a way to deepen our understanding of and spiritual connection to place?
  • How do we build genuine relationships across cultures that grows our reverence for our land?
  • How do we learn to deeply listen to place?


  • Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr (AO) is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu (Daly River), where she served for many years as the principal of the local Catholic primary school. She is a renowned artist, writer and public speaker.
  • Miriam-Rose will share with us about her work around Dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us.
  • Margaret Kemarrre Turner OAM – is an Eastern Arrernte elder from Central Australia and author of the book Iwenhe Tyerrtye – what it means to be an Aboriginal person. Margaret will be joined by a range of local Aboriginal people who’s passion is to teach both their Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people the importance of their cultural traditions.
  • David Tacey is a public intellectual and a recognised international authority on psychoanalysis and spirituality and has a published many books. His book Edge of the Sacred was in many ways the inspiration for this conference series where we attempt to brings things of the Spirit into the public arena.
  • Sarah Bachelard Resurrection and Moral imagination is a Christian philosopher who draws on the Christian story envisaging a new world from which to act, that can be perceived even without explicit religious belonging.
  • Graeme Garrett God Matters, Dodging Angels on Saturday and Jan Morgan Earths Cry. Graeme and Jan are engaged in a profound eco-theological project seeking to learn a practice of listening to the voice of creation. They will share about their work and introduce us to their practice of listening.

Cost:                           $300 covers all meals. Please talk to us if you need assistance with the fee.

Accommodation:       Camping – $20 pp per night; other offsite accommodation can be arranged

Accommodation: Whitegums is located 18kms West of the town of Alice Springs. We are limited to camping facilities at Whitegums. Those not wanting to camp will need accommodation in town. Some people staying in the town may require transport to and from Whitegums each day. Please let us know your situation so that we can ensure pickups and accommodation work effectively.

Booking Flights: Qantas flies daily to Alice Springs from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This event will take place in peak tourist season in the outback so book as early as you can. Flights are approximately $600-$700 return.

Register now: Places at the conference are still available – please feel free to invite friends or share these promo materials around to those who you think might be interested. Early registration is recommended  as the numbers are limited.

Brochure:  Edge of Sacred Brochure

Payment Options

Direct Deposit
Account: NAB Keith Castle and Stella Hayes
BSB   082 309     Account No 63409 2787

payable to Keith Castle and Stella Hayes
PO Box 449 Alice Springs 0871