Where do you currently live and where do you worship?
I currently live in my family home in Upper Coomera and worship at The Parish of Robina on the southern Gold Coast.
How long have you been involved in the Anglican Church and in what roles?
I have been involved in the Anglican Church for 18 months. I began as an intern after graduating high school and now coordinate our music and digital ministries here at Robina.
What is your current role, including any voluntary roles, and what does your role involve?
Currently I serve as director of music and technology at Robina, which is a Resource Church. My role involves the organisation of volunteers for our Sunday services in various ministry spaces, including music, technology and hospitality. Additionally, I ensure the maintenance and growth of primarily our contemporary music and digital ministry areas, as well as contribute to our youth ministry as a leader.
What projects and activities are you currently working on?
Currently I am working alongside our neighbours in The Parish of Burleigh Heads in growing their digital ministry through a redesign of their website. We are also exploring the creation of our own original worship music to add to our repertoire and encourage growth in creativity.
What has been one of the highlights of your time in your role so far?
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching young people grow in their own service through music. Earlier in the year I visited a local Anglican school where I partnered with their worship bands as a special collaborative Easter event. We spent a couple of days preparing a service to end the school term. Being able to meet and work alongside these talented students is one of the biggest highlights so far.
What have been the key challenges of your roles so far and how have you worked through these?
I have quite enjoyed the challenge of being able to create a worship space that all our congregations can enjoy. With two services on a Sunday morning, each with different styles of worship, I constantly find myself trying to find the middle ground between everyone’s preferred style of worship.
The Parish of Robina is one of the ACSQ churches participating in the Resource Churches Project – what is a key learning you have gained as a Resource Church Specialist and how have you implemented this learning?
The biggest lesson I have learnt quickly as a Resource Church Specialist is that changes and improvements always come. Especially now considering the exponential growth in online churchgoers, many churches are looking to develop and improve their digital presence. Being able to work alongside other parishes has taught me that there are always ways to improve and grow our online ministries to spread the message to more and more people each day.
What are some of the ways The Parish of Robina is resourcing and supporting other parishes in the short and long terms?
Our current major long-term project is working alongside The Parish of Burleigh Heads in building their new website and establishing their ministry on an online platform. This project has been a part of a growing connection between the two parishes where we have been collaborating to bring both communities closer together.
What are your plans and goals for the next 12 months?
One of the biggest goals is to spend intentional time focused on creating original worship music. We have a hope here at Robina that we will be able to create and distribute original worship music for other ministries to use.
Can you tell us a little about your personal faith journey?
My faith journey officially began around three to four years ago when I was in my senior years of high school at Coomera Anglican College. My love of music led me to join the school’s worship band, and the more involved I became the more I experienced and enjoyed being a part of a community that explored the greater depths of life and meaning. Upon graduation my school chaplain invited me to The Parish at Robina at the end of 2020 and I have found a home here ever since.
How does your faith inspire you and shape your outlook, life choices and character?
I believe my faith journey has encouraged me to see the best in everything and everyone – to view the world we live in as one established by relationship and connection everywhere and to see beauty in all things.
What is your favourite scripture and why?
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is high up on the list, particularly because of the line the father says to the eldest son: “Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.”’
What person of faith inspires you the most and why?
Our Associate Priest and my high school chaplain The Rev’d Mary-Anne Rulfs inspires me the most. She has been a calming presence in my life for the past eight years now and will always be someone I look up to in my ministry.
2022’s Diocesan theme is ‘Being Together: Embracing Joy’. What are some practical ways that we can celebrate the way differences help to make us whole and the importance of diversity in our unity?
Earlier this year, our parish hosted a “Hello Evening”’ dinner, which is an initiative of Bishop Daniel Abot from Toowoomba. It was a great opportunity for people of different cultures to come together and experience diversity through food, fellowship and conversation. The dinner highlighted the importance of diversity in our communities.
What are the primary strengths of the Church and what is the best way to make the most of these for the benefit of our communities?
One of the biggest strengths of the Church is its ability to establish and grow meaningful relationships. In our parish, our small groups (our youth and young adults communities) have been intentionally working at fostering these relationships, which have led to a higher engagement in service in our wider community.
Why is Reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples important?
It’s important because it opens up the space for conversation between communities and invites us to listen to one another’s stories.
What is the kindest gesture you have ever received or witnessed?
A few years ago, a man whom I had met only a handful of times cleared his afternoon schedule to be with me and support me through what was a difficult time. This act was one that I had never forgotten and this man is now a very close friend.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
My high school chaplain once shared this Paula D’Arcy quote with me: “God comes to us disguised as our life”. I find it has always been something I come back to time and time again.
What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?
I always tend to go for walks in our local nature reserves.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what three things would you choose to have with you?
I would bring a guitar, a basketball and a deck of cards (because my aunty always told me you should never go anywhere without a deck of cards)
Where do you do your best thinking?
I tend to do my best thinking whilst driving.
What is your karaoke go-to song?
‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations.
What is your earliest memory?
One of my earliest memories is my mother taking me to the botanical gardens in Dunedin, New Zealand when I was three years old.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Pizza, because you can change the toppings whenever!
What item should you throw out, but can’t bear to part with?
Arnott’s Chicken Crimpy Shapes.
What’s your unanswerable question – the question you are always asking yourself?
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