Sunday, November 30, 2008

Emily Hill

At lunch in Credo on Friday Samara introduced me to an artist called Emily, who had been walking through Chinatown, and decided to go into The Den, because someone she knew had told her some stuff about Urban Seed, particularly that we do some art stuff. She's been visiting Melbourne to find out a bit of what artists are doing over here, and particularly how the church is engaging in art.
You can see some of her art on her website, here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Credo farewells Gordon

Yesterday we had an afternoon tea in Credo, to farewell Gordon. Next week will be his last week as director of Urban Seed.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Started reading the Book of Revelation, alongside Unveiling Empire, in preparation for a workshop I'll be running for NCYC in January.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants [or slaves] what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant [or slave] John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
(Revelation 1:1-2)
Thinking about what it means for Christians living in the Roman Empire around 100 AD to identify as God's slaves. We know that some of the early church were owned as slaves, and I wonder what their masters would have thought of the idea that their slaves now belonged to God? If you're a slave to God, does that mean you're free to do God's work, rather than your master's work? And each Christian is God's slave, does that mean they're all equal?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'Squat students set to defy uni order'

The students who have been squatting in some of Melbourne Uni's terrace houses have been given till tomorrow to move out:

This week the university issued an ultimatum to squatters that they leave by tomorrow.
But the students, who formed the Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC), have refused to move out and will hold a rally at the houses tomorrow.
"We have nowhere else to go and this rally shows that we're not planning to go quietly," student Elizabeth Patterson said.
Inner Melbourne rental vacancy rates are only 1.1 per cent and median rents have gone up by 17 per cent.
The students have proposed converting the properties into a student-run housing co-operative under housing association Common Equity Housing.
Read the whole article from, The Age, here.


Earlier this year I planted some seedlings on the roof, which I had used for some installation art about the parable of the sower, at State Youth Games. Some of them survived, and so now we have some city-grown onions! Here is Jeff, modelling one of our onions:
We also have some celery on the way from the State Youth Games crop. (The leeks and lettuce didn't survive.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Illegal aliens

So we have Theresa and John staying with us this week. This afternoon John had a discussion with our staff about the implications of being foreign people in this land, and the need to either 'go back where we came from' to connect with our ancestral lands, or to connect with this land, but on the terms of it's tradition custodians. I didn't understand it that well, but I think that is okay for the moment. John connected these ideas to some of Paul's ideas:

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' (Acts 17:24-28)
John and Theresa also ran a workshop at the Den tonight, called 'Living on Aboriginal Land'. I wasn't able to go - but anyone who did, it'd be nice to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saw these on top of a traffic light control box, while walking home last night.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reflections from Laneway Labyrinth

This is some of the stuff people talked about while we debreifed the Laneway Labyrinth walk over supper on Thursday night:

  • Contrast between what's going on out the front of places (shops, hotels, restaurants, bars) and what's going on out the back. Often when we visit these places we don't think about who's working out the back, or the kind of conditions they're working in.
  • The immense amount of stuff we throw out. We import all this stuff, often produced by people who don't have enough to eat, and then we chuck a lot of it out anyway!
  • A sense that God is not just in the nice, safe, well-lit places that our society celebrates, but also in the dark, dirty places where our society hides it's less attractive aspects.
  • We don't have to go far to encounter God. God is right here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'Romans 1.1-25: a targum in the face of economic collapse'

Brian Walsh (co-author of Colossians Remixed, with Sylvia Keesmaat), has posted a targum (a bit like a remix) of the begining of Paul's letter to the Romans:

To all of you who live in the empire of global capitalism, to you who live at the very heart of that empire and are called out to be an alternative people: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace. You won’t have one without the other, and both are on offer from Jesus.
You can download the targum from Empire Remixed here.
Props to Jonny Baker.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Indigenous Hospitality House open day (and call for residents)

'Muslim women start fighting back'

Interesting article about Islamic feminism in Australia, from The Age:

Ms Ihram said new voices had begun to challenge the authority of ethnic religious leadership in the mosque, partly in frustration at the politics and limited capability of ethnic Muslim associations.
New organisations and leaders were emerging through Australian-born Muslims who responded to "media moral panics" and bypassed Islamic councils to present a moderate, local and English-speaking voice of Islam.
Women were starting to take leadership positions through their writing and as academics. "Women can speak out from the Muslim community into the mainstream, but it's very hard to get a platform into the Muslim community, to get constructive female voices."
Full article here.

City of Melbourne's angels

The other day Mehrin was having a look at the angels I'd been drawing, and said, 'Oh, those are like the ones hanging up in the city.'
So I started wondering if I'd been drawing them the way I had because I'd seen them on the City of Melbourne's Christmas banners other years, and had forgotten that that's where I'd gotten the idea. So I started doing them a bit differently. I made the halos a lot more squiggly.

When I was walking through the city this afternoon I had a look at the banners, and realised that my drawings weren't so similar after all:

But I still like the squiggly halos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Living on Aboriginal Land'

A workshop with Baganan Kurityityin Theresa Creed and John Tracey

This workshop challenges non-Aboriginal participants to explore the relevance of concepts such as land rights, native title, sovereignty, reconciliation, treaty, self-determination, Aboriginal deaths in custody, customary law, traditional owner etc. to their own life on this country.
It explores ways in which non-Aboriginal people can support Aboriginal Australia.
The workshop offers no easy answers, only difficult questions.

6pm, Tuesday November 25th
@ “The Den” 116 Little Bourke St. Melbourne
(between Russell St. And Exhibition St. on the north side of the street)

Baganan is a Kalkadoon and Pitta Pitta woman. She was born on Woorabinda Mission and her parents were removed as children from their homelands and sent to Palm Island under the Queensland’s notorious Aboriginal protection regime. She discusses where her family come from, how they ended up in the mission system and what effect the mission system has had on her, her family and Aboriginal people in general. She presents issues such as poverty, the stolen generation, stolen wages, and cultural healing from a personal perspective. See

John is a non-Aboriginal Australian who has been involved in Aboriginal support work since the Land Rights protests associated with the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982. John will provide an overview of White Australia’s history including the frontier wars, the protection laws and present day indigenous policy. John is a member of the “Oodgeroo of the Tribe Noonuccal, Custodian of the Land Minjerriba, Peace, Prosperity and Healing, Sacred Treaty Circles”, based on Minjerriba (Stradbroke Island). He will discuss this process as a specific model of non-Aboriginal support for Aboriginal Australia.

For more info please contact Virginia at Urban Seed or 9650-8034

Monday, November 17, 2008

Paramedics are great

This afternoon the buzzer went off, and when I answered it, it was Gin asking me to come down to the laneway because she'd just called an ambulance for a guy who was down there, and asking me to bring a blanket for him. So I brought a blanket down. Turned out it wasn't an overdose this time. The guy was sitting up, with his legs crossed, and he had a crutch. One of his feet was really swollen, which might have been why he wasn't wearing shoes. Gin introduced me to him, and he said I had a cool beard. Gin had been hanging out with him in the morning, when she was cleaning the laneway. She asked if I could go up the end of the laneway and wave to the paramedics when they turned up, so they'd know where we were.
So I brought the paramedics down the laneway (they parked out in Little Collins Street), and they asked they guy what was wrong. He said he had a broken hip, and an inflamed foot, and that he'd collapsed, and that there was a particular hospital he didn't want to be taken to because he'd already been there twice in two weeks, and so they reckoned he was just being a nuisance. The paramedics said they had to take him to the same hospital, because at that hospital they'd already have some records about him, which would be helpful. So the guy got pretty angry and said that he wasn't going to let them take him anywhere, and started to get himself up, screaming with pain, and said he was going to walk to his friend's place in Carlton. We managed to get him to sit down again, and the paramedics agreed to take him to a different hospital (which seemed like it might have been a more appropriate hospital anyway). So they went and got a stretcher to take him to the ambulance. Gin gave them her card so they could contact us and let us know anything we could do to help.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Andreana and Dave's blogs

Just thought I should mention two blogs that I haven't previously linked to:

Andreana has been sharing an apartment with Spriggsy and I since halfway through the year and has recently cut her hair short.

Dave moved down down to Melbourne from Sydney this year, and has been hanging around the Collins Street Baptist Church/Urban Seed mob quite a bit, and well as the Seeds folk in Footscray. He is a community development geek. And he has posted some dot points about 'The global economic meltdown of mega-doom'.

Adam and Patrick's baptism

This morning we went to Adam and Patrick's baptism at South Melbourne beach. (They sometimes come to Credo with their dad.)

After Adam got baptised, he baptised Ben and Jeff as well.

After the baptism we went back to the church and had lunch.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Been doing a bit of art for Advent (the seson leading up to Chirstmas).

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The chives in our garden on the roof are flowering.

And the flowers are attracting bees.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Walk home (version 2)

This is more like what I wanted the first time.


Been doing more experiments with Premiere.

(With this one I didn't have the camera fixed to the tripod tightly enough, so the camera turned a bit each time I pressed the shutter button.)

Learning to use Premiere

Been working out how to use Adobe Premiere. This is my first experiment.

Not exactly what I wanted, but I've worked out a little bit of how the program works, which is good.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A visit from friends

Last night we were having our City Seeds dinner, and Gin and Jeff had said they had some friends who were going to be staying over, and asked if it was okay if they came for dinner. I made a salad.

Jeff let it slip about half an hour before their friends arrived that it was Paul and Amber, back from overseas! So they are staying for us for a few days, and then going back to Canberra.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Ben stuck this on my door yesterday, when he returned my gaffertape.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

First Australians

Sunday night at Collins Street Baptist Church, Jon recommended to everyone watching First Australians on SBS later that night. I'd been vaguely aware that it was on, but I don't really watch TV normally, so I hadn't seen any episodes. Sunday night was the last episode, so we watched it after dinner and it was really good. You can watch it on the website as well (though this might be only available in Australia - I don't know), so I've started watching it from the beginning. All Australians should watch it. White Australians. Black Australians. Orange Australians. Know your history!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Rudd's inconsistency on capital punishment

During Kevin Rudd's election campaign last year he told Robert McClelland off for saying that the Labor Party would advocate for an end to capital punishment in Southeast Asia.
The Bali bombers execution could occur today, and Mr Rudd has been saying that, 'They deserve the justice that we delivered to them.' But he also says, 'We are universally opposed to the death penalty.'
That makes no sense!
If you're confused, you can write the PM an email here.

Click here to read an article from ABC News about Ali Imron, one of the Bali bombers who is now campaigning against terrorism. It's from last year, but is still worth a read.

Catchment Detox

Have been on the ABC website playing Catchment Detox
, a game which my dad has been trying to get me to play for ages. In the game you have a water catchment, and you have to look after it environmentally, but also try to build an economy around it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Indigenous Hospitality House

Went up to Carlton again yesterday afternoon, to the Indigenous Hospitality House. Mehrin was moving in there today. She is staying there in November, to work out if she wants to live and work there next year.

While I was on my way up to Carlton I saw some Tamil people marching, trying to draw attention to the fact that their people are being persecuted by the Sri Lankan government.

The Indigenous Hospitality House is a place where indigenous people can come and stay when they have a relative in hospital in Melbourne, so that they can be close by. (Samara and Shobie, who also work at Urban Seed, also live there at the moment.)

Spring Racing Carnival

I hate the Spring Racing Carnival. If it weren't for the Spring Racing Carnival I would have been able to sleep in this morning. Instead I was woken up at 6:30am by several expensively dressed, very drunk people, who were sitting on the roof of the next building (dunno how they got there - maybe it's their workplace), being extremely noisy and irritating.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Suit shopping

Just been up in Carlton with Trav, Jono and Craig, buying various brightly-coloured suits for Trav and Cara's wedding.