When Father Michael Lowcock OAM joined the Catholic priesthood 50 years ago, he had no idea he’d spend most of his adult life in remote Mount Isa advocating for better services for the Indigenous community.
The boy from Bowen in The Whitsundays has spent the past 30 years in the mining city, establishing a range of services for people in Northwest Queensland, including migrants, and helping Aboriginal Australians break out of the cycle of poverty.
This includes setting up the North West Queensland Indigenous Catholic Social Services (NWQICSS) that employs 85 staff, 85 per cent of whom are Indigenous.
NWQICSS caters to Indigenous people in disadvantaged situations by providing services to children and families, at-risk youth, community support at Boulia and Mount Isa and those associated with the criminal justice system.
Fr Mick also established the Jangawala Kitchen to provide meals to the homeless and the watch house inmates.