The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit

A Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernández de Quirós, (1563 – 1615) crossed the Pacific in search of Terra Australis the mythical “great south land,” claiming it for Spain and the Church. Terra Australis was one of several names applied to the actual continent of Australia, after its European discovery; and it is the inspiration for the continent’s modern name.

The Spanish were unaware that this great continent, larger in size than the United States (excluding Alaska) was populated by Aborigines retaining a cultural heritage that was thousands of years old. Australia with a population of 23 million people is the 12th largest economy and a first world nation. This contrasts with the sad third world state of many remote Aboriginal indigenous communities today.

Australian Aborigines are actually made up of two distinct groups being Aborigines who come from the mainland of Australian and Tasmania, and Torres Strait Islanders who inhabit the island between Australia and Papua New Guinea. These people are now known as “The First Australians” and Indigenous Australians. The author of Aboriginal Traditional Ceremonies Sourcebook has provided A.C.T.S. with the following information from the books introduction.*