Meet Australia's Laughing Bird

Meet the Writer of the Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources


Australia's Laughing Bird - The Kookaburra

Click on the pictures for enlargements

We named our website after the Kookaburra because she seems to us to be Australia's natural symbol of the Holy Spirit. Why? Well, her call, which is the most unmistakable laugh of the whole bird world, fills the air with good humour, but can at the same time, be a call to humility - a rather sharp reminder of one's own absurdity. Furthermore, this is a bird that does battle with snakes, and usually wins. So, she is a symbol of the Spirit's power to spread joy and laughter, to remind people not to take themselves too seriously, and to confront and overcome forces of evil.

For the ornothologists among you, there are actually two closely related species of Kookaburra. The two pictured on the left are Laughing Kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae) and the two on the right are Blue-winged Kookaburras (Dacelo leachii). The former has the more pronounced rollicking laugh. The latter has more of a coughing cackle. The two are sufficiently similar that they often interact in territorial behaviour as though they were the same species.









Photo available here

G'day. My name's Nathan Nettleton and I write or compile the materials offered at Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources. I am pastor to the South Yarra Community Baptist Church, a small congregation located on the edge of a large public housing estate in the middle of what is otherwise one of the wealthiest areas of the city of Melbourne, Australia.

I'm married to Margaret Welsford and we have one daughter, Acacia aged sixteen, and two dogs.

I have gained a Master of Theology degree from the Melbourne College of Divinity for studies in Liturgical Theology. I was ordained by the Baptist Union of Victoria in 1994 and I combine my pastoral work with teaching liturgical studies at Whitley College, the Baptist Theological College of Victoria.

I'm a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy and I represent the Baptist Union of Australia on the ecumenical Australian Consultation on Liturgy.

I convene the Baptists in Worship group, an international email discussion group focused on Baptist Worship and Spirituality.