Aboriginal Australian Pentecostals taking the initiative in Mount Druitt’s urban songlines

  • Tanya Riches Fuller Theological Seminary
Keywords: church, Aboriginal, Pentecostalism, performance, identity


This article outlines identity negotiation observed within the musical performance of Initiative Church, an indigenous-led urban Pentecostal church located in the suburb of Mount Druitt, Sydney Australia, which performs under the name ‘Mount Druitt Indigenous Choir’. The group’s engagement with its various ‘others’ is evident in performance. In particular, music facilitates a nuanced conversation between elders of the Dharug nation, local dominant-culture Pentecostal congregations, Australian mega-churches such as Hillsong, and North American Pentecostal music distributors such as Bethel Church in Redding, California. Pentecostalism provides the possibility for negotiating these global and local influences, while constructing a revised group identity in music.

Author Biography

Tanya Riches, Fuller Theological Seminary
Ph.D. Student