Conference dates: 17 to 20 January 2017

Worship Under the Southern Cross

For those of us who live and move and have our being under the Southern Cross, at once our worship is distinctive. How do we proclaim the Good News under the Southern Cross in our day?

What can we learn from the first peoples of our lands?

What do we inherit from the European settlers who first brought the Gospel to our lands? What do we keep? What should we reject? 

What can our Asian and Pacific neighbours teach us about worship in a new cultural milieu?

How should our worship look under the Southern Cross?

Conference Details

Join with about seventy scholars, students and practitioners in Christian liturgy from Australia, New Zealand, and beyond in our biannual National Conference. Participants are likely to come from a number of Christian denominations and traditions, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Baptist and Salvation Army.

When: 17 to 20 January, 2017

Where: Hunter Valley Hotel Academy, Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia

Our site is the Hunter Valley Hotel Academy on the grounds of Kurri Kurri TAFE in the beautiful Hunter Valley. Wake up in a bushland setting far from the worries of city life. Enjoy an afternoon at the Vineyards just minutes from the Conference; or head into Newcastle and explore the beaches and the harbour foreshore. Hear our public lecture and music recital in the famous Christ Church Cathedral after a picnic dinner on its lawn.

Conference Programme


Each of our keynote speakers are asked to prepare a paper ready for publication in our journal—The Australian Journal of Liturgy—and to present their paper with the following format:

  • Lecture- 45 min
  • Questions- 15 min

A response to the lecture will follow (usually after morning or afternoon tea). This response will allow some insights from non-Anglo communities as well as time for the conference participants to reflect with each other in small groups. The response format is:

  • Aboriginal Reflection- 15 min
  • Pacific Islander Reflection- 15 min
  • Conversation- 30 min (in small groups)

Public Lecture and Recital

On Wednesday evening, 18 January, our Conference Public Lecture will be held at Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral. We are also planning to have a recital including organ music from the Cathedral’s organist, Mr Peter Guy, and a presentation from a local Aboriginal dance group. The format of the Public Lecture is a lecture of 45 minutes followed by about 15 minutes for questions from those present. A supper will follow the lecture and recital.

Panel Discussion

On Friday morning, we plan to have a panel discussion with our speakers. This will include prepared questions and an opportunity from the conference participants to ask general questions of all the speakers about the conference topic. Each speaker will also be given four minutes to summarise their own thinking about Worship Under the Southern Cross.


All those participating in the conference have the opportunity to join one of two excursions on Wednesday afternoon, 18 January. The first of these excursions will take participants through the Pokolbin area of the Hunter Valley to two boutique wineries. The other excursion will head into Newcastle and will tour along the famous Harbour Foreshore and a couple of Newcastle’s best beaches. The bus will drop people off at several places allowing them to walk the foreshore or swim at one of the beaches before being picked up for the short ride up the hill to the cathedral.

Short Papers

Conference participants are invited to prepare and present short papers during the conference. These papers may provide insight into ongoing research; reflection on particular liturgical practices; insights into developments in liturgical theology; reports on actions taken by denominations, publishers and other bodies in liturgical fields; completed artworks in the liturgical field; or exploration of the processes involved in developing liturgical art and music. It is hoped that the short papers prepared will reflect the theme of the Conference when possible. The format of the presentation of short papers is:

  • Lecture- 30 min
  • Questions- 15 min

Short paper proposals must be presented to the Council of AAL by 15 December, 2016.

Daily Programme

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