Australian Women Preach podcast celebrates first anniversary

Australian Women Preach podcast celebrates first anniversary

The Australian Women Preach podcast is celebrating its first anniversary.

An initiative of Women and the Australian Church (WATAC) and the Grail in Australia, the podcast grew out of a desire to share the gifts and insights of diverse women within the church in Australia.

Dr Tracy McEwan is WATAC’s vice-president and part of the Australian Women Preach organisation team.

“When WATAC and the Grail in Australia launched on International Women’s Day 2021, we hoped it would be a witness to the faith and the gifts of women preaching,” she said.

Dr McEwan noted that in the Catholic Church and some other Christian denominations still do not have women preach during a Sunday Mass or service.

“Since our first episode we have had 52 women preachers from across different denominations, one every week preaching on the Gospel for the coming Sunday. Each preacher has brought their own experiences, each has shared from their heart and we’re very excited that all those women have had that opportunity.”

A special anniversary podcast episode was released on Tuesday 8 March. It features a conversation with Tracy and four women who have preached on the podcast; Jacqui Remond, Di Langham, Rev. Radhika Sukhuma White, and Professor Mary Coloe.

Prof. Mary Coloe is a Presentation Sister and Professor of New Testament studies at Yarra Theological College. She expressed her hope the podcast might lead to changes within the Catholic Church that authorise women to preach.

“I hope hearing women preach on the podcast can normalise the experience that women are well able to break open the word, to normalise seeing women at the lectern, women with good biblical background who communicate well, women speaking with authority, not because they’ve gone through a ritual, but because they’ve done the study and they’re very competent.”

Jacqui Remond, co-founder of the Laudato Si movement and the former director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, was the first preacher on the podcast a year ago. She described it as a really special experience.

“It gave me a sense of confidence that I could be part of this preaching story. While it felt nerve wracking or daunting at first, it has actually given me a sense of confidence that we all have a place to bring our voices to the world.”

“Not only is it an opportunity for women in Australia like never before to hear one other, it’s an opportunity for everyone to listen, to hear something new, something really insightful and something needed in our world.”

The anniversary podcast is available here.

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