Redfern Aboriginal 1 Redfern Aboriginal 2

I’ve been contacted by a high up Hillsong insider who believes that Hillsong has gone off the rails and wants to tell their story.

This article is the sixth in a series of articles publishing the eye-witness testimonies of this Hillsong insider.

Hillsong insider speaks:

“Dear Donald

That particular incident with Aboriginal kids stealing stuff from the Hillsong City premises was 2004 and 2005.

At the same time there was a community Hillsong female pastor from the America. She was a reformed prostitute and drug addict.

She started to help people out down at The Block in Redfern. (edit: ‘The Block’ in Redfern is the name given to an area inhabited by Sydney aborigines near Redfern Railway Station a few kilometres south of the City fringe)

She was amazing.

She had been to the Hillsong Bible College. She didn’t fit in as a Hillsong pastor because she was down to earth and Hillsong pastors must be stuck up, snobby, ‘above others’ types of people

She got a bashing more than once from locals and copped heaps of verbal abuse from the Hillsong pastors who were mad at her.

The Hillsong pastors couldn’t cope with all the problems that the Aboriginal kids and older Aboriginals she brought around to Hillsong City church. Those types of people can’t cope with Aboriginals from The Block because the Redfern Aboriginal are poor, down and out, on welfare and have no cash. The kids have had the worst life, and most were white trash or black kids

She has a gift from God for people who are down and out”.

My comments:

The writer Donald Elley

The writer Donald Elley of Bellingen

The beautiful Aboriginal people, the historic owners of all of Australia for at least 40,000 years, walked down from Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia when the earth’s sea level was much lower and there was a land isthmus between the Asian Continent and Australia.

Prior to the coming of the White Man from Europe and the UK, the beautiful extremely sensitive, yet hardy and smart Aboriginal people lived a natural nomadic lifestyle, living off the land.

If you want to get an insight into the Aboriginal, the movie ‘Ten Canoes’ is a good starting point.

In Australian city and regional libraries there are heaps of old photographic portrayals of the Aboriginal at the turn of the nineteenth century and prior to photography, numerous beautiful paintings recorded Aboriginal life when the First Settlers arrived and formed a penal colony in the 18th century.

‘Ten Canoes’ is the only movie I’ve ever been to when I was the only person in the cinema. It was an afternoon session at the Verona Cinema in Paddington, Sydney. I’m not sure what the interest was in the movie but it was nice to sit there in the dark with no sounds of people talking during the movie, and no sounds of people eating lollies or potato crisps.

Ten Canoes

Ten Canoes

Ten Canoes 3 Ten Canoes 2 Ten Canoes 1

Ten Canoes

From Wikipedia

Directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr

Produced by Rolf de Heer

Julie Ryan

Written by Rolf de Heer

Starring Jamie Gulpilil

Narrated by David Gulpilil

Cinematography Ian Jones

Edited by Tania Nehme

Distributed by Palace Films

Release dates 29 June 2006

Running time 92 minutes

Country Australia

Language Yolngu Matha


Budget A$2,200,000

Box office A$3,000,000

Ten Canoes is a 2006 Australian period drama film directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr and starring Crusoe Kurddal. The title of the film arose from discussions between de Heer and David Gulpilil about a photograph of ten canoeists poling across the Arafura Swamp, taken by anthropologist Donald Thomson in 1936. It is the first ever movie entirely filmed in Australian Aboriginal languages.

The film is set in Arnhem Land, in a time before Western contact, and tells the story of a group of ten men hunting goose eggs. The leader of the group, Minygululu, tells the young Dayindi (Jamie Gulpilil) a story about another young man even further back in time who, like Dayindi, coveted his elder brother’s youngest wife. The sequences featuring Dayindi and the hunt are in black and white, while shots set in distant past are in colour. All protagonists speak in indigenous languages of the Yolŋu Matha language group, with subtitles. The film is narrated in English by David Gulpilil, although versions of the film without narration, and featuring narration in Yolŋu Matha, are also available.

Minygululu tells a story of the great warrior Ridjimiraril, who suspects a visiting stranger of kidnapping his second wife. In a case of mistaken identity, Ridjimiraril kills a member of a neighbouring tribe. To prevent all-out war, tribal laws dictate that the offending tribe allow the offender to be speared from a distance by the tribe of the slain man. The offender is allowed to be accompanied by a companion, and he takes his younger brother. Whenever one of the two is hit, the spear-throwers will stop, and justice will have been served. Ridjimiraril is hit and mortally wounded but survives long enough to return to his camp, where he is tended to by his eldest wife. After he finally succumbs, the elder brother’s kidnapped second wife finds her way back to the camp. She reveals that she had been kidnapped by a different tribe, much farther away and had taken this long to return. She mourns her lost husband, who had attacked the wrong tribe, though now she and the elder wife take his younger brother as their new husband. The younger brother, who was only interested in the youngest of the three wives, now has to care for all of them, and satisfying their many and constant demands is much more than he bargained for.

Minygululu tells this story in the hope that Dayindi learns of the added responsibilities of a husband and elder statesman in the tribe, and in the end we see Dayindi withdrawing from his pursuit of Minygululu’s young wife.

Cast and crew
Crusoe Kurddal is from Maningrida and speaks Gunwinggu. Other actors and actresses from Ramingining speak various dialects of the Yolngu Matha language family.

My comments:

At Hillsong City Church we have a clash of cultures. Sure an enthusiastic America pastor came to Hillsong and tried to cut it with the Aboriginal at Redfern. From the Hillsong Insiders account she made a good fist of it.

But Hillsong Pastors like Pastor Steve McGhie, Brian Houston’s brother-in-law, lack the historical knowledge and insight, spiritual and cultural sensitivity, street smarts and Holy Spirit anointing to cut any ground with the Aboriginal.

On the contrary, Hillsong pastors like Pastor Steve McGhie are more likely to offend all of Hillsong’s neighbours, and especially the Aboriginal, rather than build cultural and spiritual bridges to them.

Pastor Steve McGhie’s choice of movies is probably action movies like ‘Rambo First Blood’ or ‘Terminator’.

“Ten Canoes’ would be lost on Pastor Steve McGhie. He’d probably fall asleep in the first 15 minutes.

Pastor Steve McGhie

Pastor Steve McGhie. Hillsong pastor. Great White Hunter. Culturally insensitive.