Mary MacKillop meets with the Pope

Mary MacKillop meets with the Pope

Kanawinka Global Geopark logo

Kanawinka Global Geopark logo

The Kanawinka Global Geopark Board is intended to actively participate in the economic and cultural development of the Kanawinka Global Geopark region.

The cultural development facet of the Kanawinka Global Geopark Board is Creative Kanawinka. Creative Kanawinka is assisting in bringing the play At the Centre of Light to tour the Kanawinka Global Geopark region in late July.

At the Centre of Light

Carolyn Bock plays Mary MacKillop

Carolyn Bock plays Mary MacKillop

– Reprinted with revision from an article in the Kanawinka Global Geopark Newsletter – Autumn 2009,

2009 is the centenary year of Blessed Mary MacKillop. She is our first Australian waiting for sainthood. The play At the Centre of Light – looks at the human side of Mary – the struggles she endures, and the incredible journey she undertakes with Father Woods to co-create the first Australian order of nuns. As 19th centuryAustralia is being mapped, explored for minerals and carved up for land grabs, Mary discovers another landscape made up of beliefs and dreams. She takes a vision of a new order of nuns to Rome to request the Pope’s approval of the order. The Pope however is a prisoner in the Vatican and time is short. To tell her story Mary uses rocks from the landscapes she walked to mark the different chapters of her story.

A scene from the play

A scene from the play

The company is delighted to bring this play to the Kanawinka Geopark particularly because of the resonances of landscape to text. Kanawinka Geopark is one of our principal supporters helping us to take the show on tour. The four actors in the play are Carolyn Bock (currently seen on City Homicide and Neighbours.  Carolyn started her career in performing arts dancing in ballet companies around the world), Lee Mason, Phil Roberts and Peter Stratford (a face recognisable from TV shows from 1970’s on!) as the Pope.  Co-Directed by Peter Stratford and writer Rosemary Johns.

Peter Stratford plays the Pope

Peter Stratford plays the Pope

The play will tour late July before the Melbourne season – dates and venues are still being confirmed with a probability of shows at Portland Arts Centre Fri 31st July and a Saturday matinee August 1st and a show at Monivae, Hamilton, July 29th kindly arranged with the help of Graeme and Joy at Glenelg Music. There will be a further week of touring in mid August. In November the play makes its way to Mumbai – where it has been selected for the 8th Women’s International Playwrights Conference – and will be read/performed by Indian actors. So the story of Blessed Mary MacKillop will reach many peoples and creeds.

A scene from the play

A scene from the play

Judie Irving – Kanawinka Creative

Article published with kind permission of

Judie Irving – Creative Kanawinka

Photographs published with kind permission of

Peter Mumford

At the Centre of Light

At the Centre of Light