25 July 2021
It’s just 4 degrees outside on a chilly Mount Isa morning. The bright pink cloud formations unique to the state’s north-west are already dominating the broad Queensland sky.
Nine-year-old Kevin is tucking into a cup of Milo in the kitchen of Mount Isa’s youth hub. He’s also had a hot shower and bacon and eggs for breakfast.
He’s shrouded in his warm blue hoodie – he might live in Queensland, but he’s riding high on New South Wales’ win in the State of Origin the night before.
An enormous white-toothed grin appears as he talks of his favourite player, Josh Addo-Carr.
The youth hub is his second home.
Father Mick Lowcock walks by and pats him on the shoulders, with a quick chat and a quiet word.
He’s known as Father Mick and he is the figurehead — the person behind the youth hub, which sits on the grounds of the Good Shepherd Parish in Mount Isa.
This calm, softly spoken Catholic priest has made this mining town on Kalkadoon country his home for nearly 30 years.
It is also a long way from what he had in mind when he joined the priesthood nearly 50 years ago.