Jaylene Miller from the Yarrabah Community shares about faith and reconciliation, and what this looks like for both her community and the wider relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia.
Jaylene: My name is Jaylene Miller. I’m a Patient Transport Officer at Gurriny Yealamucka Heath Service, and a community leader amongst the youth in Yarrabah.
Shane: What motivates you to do what you do?
Jaylene: In terms of leading the youth in the community, it’s my faith. And my hope to see them turn away from alcohol, drugs, and violence, and help them see that there is a better life ahead for them. And part of that true life is walking with God, and to embrace his love and receive everything that he has for them. A lot of the youth in the community come from broken families, and they want to be loved, feel wanted, and be around people who have time to sit and listen to them. I believe that God has used me in this area, to be there for them. I’m there to help them see that God can mend their brokenness, and see God’s love work miracles in their lives.
Shane: What does reconciliation look like to you?
Jaylene: It’s hard. Black fellas don’t fit into the Western world very easily, and white fellas don’t fit into our world very easily. But I think that there are many people and organisations who are trying to build the bridge from one nationality to another. You’ll only find a few on that bridge who are crossing over. I don’t think it will ever fully work in the big picture, but it will work in some parts with those who are willing to reconcile.
Shane: What do you think it would take for there to be true reconciliation, particularly given our history? Is it possible?
Jaylene: From two different perspectives, I’d say yes. In the “real world” perspective, we need a peace treaty. And from a “spiritual” perspective, for people to receive Jesus and say, “Yes! There is real peace here.”