Name: Patricia Waria-Read (Auntie Pat)
Occupation: Chaplain, Department of Correctional Services
Place of Residence: Port Adelaide, SA
Tribe/Language: Ngadjuri Clan (from mid-north of SA)
Although Pat Waria-Read grew up without a biological father, she discovered an intimate relationship with her heavenly Father. She grew up at Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The Mission was established in 1868 by the Moravian missionary Reverend W. Julius Kuhn.
“Here I was, meeting this Father who was so loving, so kind and so generous. It’s just so wonderful when you start that relationship with God,” said Pat.
Pat’s mother, Winnie Branson, was the South Australian state secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) from 1967 to 1971. Winnie was part of a delegation of Indigenous representatives who visited Canberra once a month before the referendum to canvass all MPs, asking for assurances that they would publically support a YES vote. She was active in the Aborigines’ Progress Association in the 1960s and helped form the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia.
Pat is a descendant of the Ngadjuri Indigenous Australian tribe from South Australia’s mid-north. Pat has 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Pat derives great satisfaction from her work as a chaplain at a women’s correctional facility. “I love working for them women. I do church service in the jail, prayer and encouragement. I’ve seen God work for them. I just praise the Lord when I think about what He has done for them women,” she said.
According to Pat, the Christian walk is about much more than just sitting in a church pew. “It’s about getting up, doing the work and focussing on God. I want to know that when I’m passing on, when I’m leaving to go from this world to the precious world of Jesus Christ that I’ve done my work,” she said.
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