Who am I?

Here’s a brief introduction

Who am I? Well, I am a Christian and a member of an Australian Navy family. My youth was spent moving from city to city, state to state, enrolling in different schools, making new friends, participating in various church denominations and communities.

Following my graduation from secondary school, I pursued my childhood dream and joined the Royal Australian Army, and my life was going to my plan. I successfully completed the Army Recruit Training and 99% of my induction training course until one afternoon while driving back to the barracks in my ’72 Holden HQ Premier One Tonne Ute, I was involved in a head-on collision with a ’92 Toyota Land Cruiser. After getting cut out of the wreck, I spent nearly a month comatose in the Alfred Hospital, followed by around eighteen months of physical and cognitive rehabilitation as an inpatient than outpatient at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond, Melbourne.

By the grace of God, I recovered well enough to be discharged and fly back to Western Australia. Soon after touchdown, I responded to the University offers I received after my high school graduation and completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate of Heritage Studies at the University of Western Australia.

Inspired by Proverbs 8 and Ecclesiastes 7:25, “Seek Wisdom” has been the motto of UWA since 1911

So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.

Ecclesiastes 7:25

During this transition back into the ‘real world’, as I liked to call it, I was invited to the birthday party of one of my housemate’s sister’s friends, who, after admiring my collection of Roman coins and WWII swords and bayonets, thought I’d enjoy the curiosities of the Perth Gothic Community. So naturally, I agreed, and against my better judgement, was quickly absorbed into the shadowy depths of Sin.

Ahem, let me clarify. Once known as “Sin”, this gothic club was held in the basement of the historic Young Australia League building at the end of Murray Street in East Perth. Almost befitting this setting of help and support, those who attended Sin were somewhat lost, broken, or forgotten people searching for community and fraternal validation and association.

Anyhow, I got myself nice and blackened at Mame Clothing and went to Sin from 10pm to 3am every Saturday night and Sunday morning for nigh on two years. Week by week, it gradually dawned on me that the life I was living was outright hypocrisy. Apparently, 2-3am is the peak period for apparitional experiences, which has something to do with the increase of melatonin in the body.

One morning, as I was walking to a lecture theatre at UWA, I noticed a banner fixed across the library overpass advertising the weekly meetings of the Christian Union of UWA. I stopped and put the dates into my calendar. I vividly remember the feelings of joy and excitement I had during the next meeting.

I soon attended the Christian Union’s Mid-Year Conference and the National Training Event at the end of the year, which were spiritually enriching and life-changing experiences. Following my graduation, I flew east and lived and studied at Sydney Missionary and Bible College. During two years studying for a Graduate Diploma of Divinity, I was involved in Christian missions internationally at Adam Road Presbyterian Church in Singapore and locally at Albion Park Anglican Church.

Despite living and studying in a Christian community, I allowed myself to mute the call for Christlikeness and pursue immortality. Ignoring the loving advice of friends and college staff, my whirlwind relationship with a non-believer resulted in my course failure. So I moved back to Perth and completed my studies at Trinity Theological College, where my third mission was with the Port Hedland Seafarers Centre.

During an illuminating conversation with a Serbian-Orthodox crewman on a container ship berthed in the Port, I was told that “the ship begins to feel like a prison” due to their lengthy sailing schedules. This comment stuck with me, and during some research back at my assigned residence, I came across Prison Fellowship Australia. After reading their ‘About Us’, and ‘Programs’ pages, I filled out their volunteer form.

After getting certified to serve in the Prisons, I led and assisted in chapel services for male inmates at Hakea Prison and female inmates at Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility, where I also participated in The Prisoners Journey course. “Honestly, prison visiting is not an easy ministry. It can take months or even years to see a change in an inmate’s life, but change does happen.” Julie, a Prison Fellowship Volunteer.

“Every person is made in the image of God. Therefore, no life is beyond His reach.”

While studying a Graduate Diploma of Chaplaincy at Murdoch University the following year, I fell in love with a beautiful Filipina woman I sat next to each week during a class appropriately titled Community Development Theory and Practice. Short story short, we got married three seas away in the Philippines the following January.

As it happened, the Taal Volcano erupted on January 12, prohibiting many of our international guests to attend, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) called a global public-health emergency (COVID-19) on January 30, 2020, scrapping our honeymoon plans in Taiwan.

High-level eruption at Taal Volcano, Philippines – Ash fired 55,000 ft. (16.8km) into the stratosphere, creating a direct cooling effect.  

On the blessings in disguise side of things, while living in the Philippines under one of the world’s longest lockdowns, I completed and published my historical memoir, “A Maze of Miracles & Madness”, which I started writing when I was twenty-five. As I look back, my first quarter-century was a whirlwind of blessings from God; times of darkness and redemption.

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