The wisdom of Benedict as the context for BENet will be explored through storytelling,
reflection, prayer and listening. The Benedictine imperative to ‘listen with the ear of your
heart’ (RB Prologue) will guide the program which will also draw inspiration from one of
the oldest traditions in Australian indigenous culture – that of songlines. Like the epic
poems of many cultural traditions, songlines are where stories are both held and passed on;
like teacher and guide, imparting knowledge, language and wisdom across the land and
across the years.
The Southern Cross, though present in the skies of other southern hemisphere continents and nations, exists most prominently in the Australian skies. It is strongly associated with ideas of Australian identity and its Indigenous and European history. It has been part of indigenous cosmology for millennia and features prominently in many dreaming stories of the more than 400 cultural groups across the country. In the Arrente language of the central desert, it means ‘God’s finger’ Ngkartele Tywepware. The Southern Cross played a significant role for European navigators from the 16th century as the southern hemisphere was increasingly explored. It has appeared on flags representing Australia since 1832 - famously on the Eureka Flag of the Ballarat miners’ uprising in 1854 and as the centrepiece of the Australian flag since 1901.