My name is Mikenzie and I am a proud Wiradjuri woman.
My identity as an Aboriginal woman is something that I have had to grow in, and that I hold with deep pride and wonder. My family history meant that I was raised disconnected from my land, and culture, and community. I grew up with a quiet ache which came from knowing of, but not being able to learn or express, a big part of who I am.
However, God has begun a journey of building the connections I’ve longed for. It has released something profound in my life; a deep validation of my Aboriginal identity as a vital part of who God has created me to be. I was formed as I am, for a reason. My people are who we are, for a reason.
Humanity is made in the image of God, and as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we display that image in unique and beautiful ways. We have understandings, and ways of relating with God, which hold a deep richness the body of Christ needs.
There is MUCH about our culture that I celebrate, but today I would highlight our resilience and pride. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have continued to rise and look toward our future. We are determined to stand with strength and honour, in spite of history, and take our place within humanity. Though our history has been brutal, it has not been allowed to take our beauty.
Reconciliation, to me, means recognition and connection. It is acknowledging past and present wrongs, with repentance, respect and love. Recognition paths the way for healing, forgiveness, and new connections where Indigenous peoples are able to stand equally within Australia, the Church and the Nations.
Mikenzie is part of Hillsong Macquarie Campus in Sydney and is currently completing her Degree in Theology at Hillsong College. Mikenzie is passionate about the Church, Indigenous communities and education.