My name is Jatham and I was born in Rockhampton, Queensland.
My heritage is the Darrumbal Tribe and the Waja-Waja tribe. I am both Aboriginal – from a line of cattle musterers and South Sea Islander – from a line of slaves and sugar cane farmers.
My grandparents are extraordinary people. With a heritage of slavery, family separation, government conflicts and my grandfather losing his parents in a tragic accident, they always chose to remain open, welcoming and inclusive. Through the hardship they endured, they never wavered in their faith and remained focused on the call on their lives. I was blessed to grow up with these people as some of my biggest influences.
For most of my childhood they chose to own a minibus so they could pick up and gather people who needed a lift to and from church. Their hearts were so incredibly focused on people that it didn’t matter what it cost them. They also found joy in opening their home for others. I remember so many meals shared at their table with people who they’d just simply sought to love on and support.
They live their lives for God, and I still watch as they continuously choose to pursue a life of faith and ministry. Like the minibus and the open table – they always make decisions with others in mind and always sharing their love of God.
Today I live in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, with my incredible wife and am the Creative Pastor for Hillsong Darwin. What I do, where I am and who I am, is all from the choices that my ancestors have made and their faith in God. They modelled a life of acceptance and a life helping other people even through incredible adversity and with so much history that could discourage them.
I believe that whatever past we have, good or bad, when we chose to love others, that choice brings hope, strength and unity that will impact future generations for the better.
With my amazing grandparents
Darwin, Northern Territory