anglican focus

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Q&A with St John’s College UQ journalism student, All Saints’ graduate, Duke of Ed expedition staff member and anglican focus reporter, Fenlan Miller

Spotlight Q&A

Meet Fenlan Miller and find out about his various ACSQ roles, what great Australian of faith inspires him the most and why, the best advice his dad has given him and his secret skill

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Fenlan Miller is a former All Saints’ Anglican School student who lives at St John’s College within the University of Queensland. He is a talented journalism student who is currently completing a work placement with anglican focus.

Where do you currently live and what are your current Anglican Church Southern Queensland roles?

I am currently residing at St John’s College within the University of Queensland, where I moved after graduating from All Saints’ Anglican School on the Gold Coast. I am also doing a work placement with anglican focus.

“I graduated All Saints’ Anglican School in 2018 and I vividly remember the bittersweet feeling of excitement for the opportunities that awaited me” (Fenlan Miller)

What projects and activities are you currently engaged in as a member of our Diocesan community?

I am currently working with the St John’s College marketing and communications team to contribute to social media, college publications and college events. As I am currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts at UQ this has been a fantastic opportunity to gain some industry experience at the College.

I also continue to work closely with the All Saints’ Anglican School’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program as an expedition staff member. I am working towards my own Gold Award.

“The beautiful Border Track in the Gold Coast hinterland is one of my favourite places that the Duke of Edinburgh Award program has taken me to”

I have also been doing a work placement with anglican focus since early September. In this role I am reporting on key events for media releases and the anglican focus news site, as well as learning how to work in a multifaceted organisation over a large geographical area.

St John’s College UQ student Fenlan Miller meeting with the Justice Unit’s Peter Branjerdporn, anglican focus Editor Michelle McDonald and Justice Unit work placement student Sayesha Dhal in September 2021 to plan media activities for the On Earth Festival

What has been the highlight of your involvement at St John’s College so far?

This year’s St John’s College family night is the highlight for me so far. At the event, I met with Old Johnians whose children now reside at the College with me. It was fantastic to see the intergenerational legacy of the College community.

This year’s Diocesan theme is ‘Being Together: Nurturing Relationships’. What are some practical ways that we can communicate with each other when we are not in conflict and build trust so we have strong foundations when inevitable differences arise?

A very real and practical way to facilitate open and respectful communication is to not only accept but to embrace diversity in how we think and behave in a team. As part of this, I think it is crucial to understand our own strengths and weaknesses and to respect those who think and feel differently to us.

Having worked with many groups in the All Saints’ Duke of Edinburgh community, I believe that embracing a diversity of thinking styles and ideas is what helps teams in tough times, such as during expeditions.

On his first work placement day with anglican focus in September 2021, UQ journalism student Fenlan Miller met RAP Coordinator Aunty Sandra King, Bishop Daniel Abot and South Sudanese elder Abraham Akech at St Francis College

What person of faith inspires you the most and why?

Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, who was raised in a Christian home and was awarded Australian of the Year in 1977. During World War II whilst posted on Java as an army surgeon, instead of taking the opportunity to escape capture before Java was occupied by the Japanese forces, he chose to be captured and imprisoned as a POW so he could continue to provide medical treatment to injured and sick soldiers. What I find particularly incredible about Dunlop was his ability to maintain his humanity and compassion in the direst of circumstances. Dunlop was a hero to the prisoners.

What is the kindest gesture you have ever received or witnessed?

My great-grandad, who passed away when I six years old, left a family pocket knife to me with instructions for my father to give it to me when I was older. He was a farmer in Inverell and he used the pocket knife in his work. I treasure it.

“Col Edmonds, or ‘Big Popa’ as I knew him, was an incredibly kind and gentle man who has served as an inspiration to me throughout my life” (Fenlan Miller)

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?

The best piece of advice I have ever received was passed on to me from my dad. It comes from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’:

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

This poem really helped to keep me grounded in my adolescent years.

“I had the opportunity to commemorate my ‘Big Popa’ in 2018 as part of the Queensland Premiere’s Anzac Prize, and my family was with me to support me in doing so” (Fenlan Miller)

If you found yourself on a deserted island, what three things would you choose to have with you?

A satellite phone to call for help. A flint and steel for fire. A pot to boil water in.

If you could have a billboard with any text on it, what would it say and why?

“Don’t panic” because I think this is good advice regardless of the situation you are in.

Where do you do your best thinking?

In my head.

What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?

I enjoy running because it clears my head.

“Pages Pinnacle on the Gold Coast is a gorgeous place I like to visit to help clear my head and be a part of nature” (Fenlan Miller)

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Fortuitously breaking down on the motor way while I was on the way to a dinner with the extended family.

What makes you nostalgic and why?

Very oddly, the Back To the Future series. Even though I wasn’t alive when the movies were released, I have always loved the character of Marty McFly.

What is your secret skill?

I could always guess which shaped window the Play School story would be told through.

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