Julian Meyrick on creativity during the time of the coronavirus

Julian Meyrick writes:

‘The arts and culture we will turn to in coming months to fill our time in isolation will provide us not just with distraction, but with meaning …

Arts and culture make important and varied contributions to the national economy and social cohesion. But the reason they do so is because of their intrinsic value. This arises in two forms.

Firstly, our culture is a steady source of thoughts, feelings, stories, images and moments which coalesce and collectively define us – what the philosopher John Searle called “the background”. Culture brings us pleasure, connection, meaning and joy, and in the current situation that’s a significant contribution to our narrowing lives.

Secondly, and even more crucially, it is where we may find our best selves. To act in a creative way is to act generously. This is not to say that artists are better than anyone else, or that creativity is the sole preserve of the arts. It is to observe that to be creative is to give to others through a selfless impulse to share, and not just a desire to monetise that relationship as an economic transaction …’.

You can read the full article here.


Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (The Unborn), 1978. Acrylic, shellac emulsion and lead on paper collage laid on canvas, 170 x 189 cm. Private collection, Switzerland.jpg

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence for which music alone finds the word,
And the silence of the woods before the winds of spring begin,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities—
We cannot speak.

A curious boy asks an old soldier
Sitting in front of the grocery store,
“How did you lose your leg?”
And the old soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away
Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.
It comes back jocosely
And he says, “A bear bit it off.”
And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
Dumbly, feebly lives over
The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
The shrieks of the slain,
And himself lying on the ground,
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
And the long days in bed.
But if he could describe it all
He would be an artist.
But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
Which he could not describe.

There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of a deep peace of mind,
And the silence of an embittered friendship,
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
And the silence of the gods who understand each other without speech,
There is the silence of defeat.
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;
And the silence of the dying whose hand
Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence between father and son,
When the father cannot explain his life,
Even though he be misunderstood for it.

There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There is the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And the silence of Napoleon
After Waterloo.
And the silence of Jeanne d’Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blesséd Jesus”—
Revealing in two words all sorrow, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.

And there is the silence of the dead.
If we who are in life cannot speak
Of profound experiences,
Why do you marvel that the dead
Do not tell you of death?
Their silence shall be interpreted
As we approach them.

– Edgar Lee Masters, ‘Silence’, Poetry (February, 1915), 209–11.

Image: Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (The Unborn), 1978. Acrylic, shellac emulsion and lead on paper collage laid on canvas, 170 x 189 cm. Private collection, Switzerland.

[Reposted from]



Street Art, February 2019 0711.JPG

pull down the blinds
bolt the doors shut
plaster over the

this is the year of desolation
no communion here
we are not celebrating
our eyes are stinging
deep grief
on this desecrated land

there is a stand
at the doorway
bowl of Nairm’s salty water
large terracotta pot
not with living soil
but full of the ash of the fires
of the last two centuries
in this country

make a paste
smear the lintels
walls and windows
so that the angel of death
might pass over
that we might be freed from the
tyranny of false truths
lazy assumptions
greedy self interest

we can barely comprehend
the extinction of species
those not yet discovered
plants animals and marine life
the pollution of waterways
contamination of soil
all in the

this year of sackcloth
and ashes to unmask and
master consumption
let us gather
together the fragments of truth
as they catch in
eyelashes and throats
and bury them
that this land
and people
might be healed

3 January 2020, Keren McClelland

Photo by Jason Goroncy


Keren McClelland is a Baptist minister currently completing a Master of Urban Horticulture. She works with gardeners in private and community gardens across Melbourne in her business Wagtail Gardens. Keren lives of the land of the Wurundjeri people.

Coronavirus: cancelling culture

The global coronavirus pandemic is escalating so rapidly that an observation made in the morning is likely to out of date by the afternoon. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, however, that the material conditions of artists and arts workers nationally, and globally, are being destroyed by this pandemic. An industry that relies on people being able to gather is wholly vulnerable in a time when no one can gather. And yet people find a way: one of the few gladdening stories to emerge in recent days has been the knowledge that quarantined Italians are singing and playing music to each other from their balconies.

We gather even without being able to gather. Such feats of solidarity and creativity are essential during this crisis.

What does singing matter when so much is at stake? Who cares about art when people are dying? Art matters because it is one of the most ancient ways we have of forming community: telling stories, singing songs, and making sound and images, are acts that bond us together as human beings. More than this, these acts can teach us something about our place in a complex and fragile ecosystem, a web of life. In an essay for [The Monthly] last year, which detailed the long-term damage done to Australian arts by decades of funding cuts and political neglect, Alison Croggon wrote: “It feels fatuous to talk about Australian art and culture amid such overwhelming global crises – and yet it also feels impossible not to note this context.” That observation is just as applicable now.

From Monday, March 16, “non-essential” outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people were temporarily banned by the federal government, and the list of cancelled arts events and festivals in Australia is growing rapidly. Sydney’s annual Vivid Festival, scheduled for May, was cancelled last Sunday. Byron Bay’s Bluesfest is cancelled for the first time in 30 years. Sydney Writers’ Festival, scheduled for late April, was cancelled, after having only announced its full program last week. Arts venues in Victoria, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre Melbourne, have closed their doors. The Melbourne Comedy Festival is cancelled, and the Melbourne Theatre Company has cancelled all remaining performances of its current productions, as has the Sydney Theatre Company. Sydney Film Festival, scheduled for mid-June, was cancelled on Wednesday. Now that the ban has been extended to indoor gatherings of 100 people or more – as it needs to be, if we are to avoid the scale of public health disaster that has been taking place in Italy – that list of cancellations will only get longer. All but the smallest of arts companies will be prevented from public performance and exhibition under these rules, and even the smallest, as our public health emergency deepens, are cancelling their schedules, out of caution and social responsibility.

Hundreds of thousands of arts workers are going to lose, or have already lost, sources of income because of all this: actors, musicians, writers, comedians, visual artists, programmers, producers, event managers, copywriters, box-office staff, front-of-house staff, technicians, road crew, arts critics and arts journalists, and more. Not to mention those workers employed by hospitality and tourism businesses that rely on venue contracts, or festival visitors, to stay solvent.

The cancellations mentioned above are just the big-ticket, big city events and organisations. Along with them are ranged all the medium to small arts companies – particularly regional arts companies – and individual workers, who are already operating in conditions of precarity, pushed there by long-term funding cuts and widespread casual labour, both within the arts industry and outside of it. The website I Lost My Gig, where arts workers can self-report cancelled employment due to COVID-19, had, by Tuesday, already tallied $100 million dollars of lost income, and counted 380,000 affected workers. The gig economy now so prevalent across different employment sectors, from food delivery to tech, has been the default arts employment mode for a long time, but when there is so little funding available to bolster artists’ wages or production costs, and when the industries that arts workers often turn to for a secondary or even primary income – low-paid industries like hospitality and retail, or tutoring – are also based on casual and contract labour, there is no financial buffer for people to rely on when the shock of a crisis looms. Australian arts has been in crisis for years, so what do you call a crisis on top of a crisis? A catastrophe?

Even in the best circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic would have done enormous damage to Australian arts, but these are far from the best circumstances. As Croggon detailed in her essay last year, part of the long-term problem with Australian arts has been its two-tiered funding model, by which major companies receive the lion’s share of Australia Council funding, while the scraps are left to small organisations and individual artists. Many receive no funding whatsoever. I want to stress that this is not the fault of the Australia Council, which after all must take direction from federal government. And governments both Coalition and Labor have shown a historic tendency to fiddle with the Council’s make-up, its funding models, and the money available to it, as in 2015, when the then federal arts minister, George Brandis, under the prime ministership of Tony Abbott, took $104 million from the Australia Council’s budget to divert into a new ministerial arts fund, Catalyst, while ring-fencing some major arts companies from the Australia Council’s consequent funding cuts. The Catalyst fund, in turn, was axed in 2017, but the money taken has never been returned to the federal arts budget.

Again, it’s not the fault of major arts companies that the arts sector in Australia is so inequitably funded. Every arts company, large or small, is vulnerable in this crisis. But when small organisations and individual artists have no monies whatsoever to spare, the result is likely to be permanent wipe-out for them, in a sector that has already felt the damage – especially the cultural damage – of an economic landscape in which sustaining a long-term arts practice at a small scale, or on a not-for-profit basis, is already close to impossible. My fear is that a federal arts stimulus package – should there even be one – will reinforce this unevenness of funding. And funding matters so much in the Australian context in part because we have nothing like the scale of private philanthropy that bolsters arts organisations in, say, the United States. Now is the time, more than ever, for all arts organisations and arts workers to argue for a significant, widespread and equitably distributed stimulus package.

The virtual roundtable convened by the federal government on Tuesday, and hosted by Arts Minister Paul Fletcher, “provided”, in the bloodless words of the minister’s press release, “an opportunity for Minister Fletcher to hear directly from the arts organisations on the ways they are responding to the challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19, as well as their suggestions for support measures”. But no support measures specific to the arts have actually been announced. Instead, the minister referred back to the assistance measures outlined in last week’s general stimulus package, through which small to medium businesses can apply for up to $25,000 to cover the cost of employee’s wages. This will do nothing to assist casual employees or contract workers in the arts, and $25,000 will hardly be sufficient to make up for the cash-flow shortfall to small arts companies, whose entire operating budgets are now in jeopardy. Nor should writers be forgotten here, though they are often left out of such discussions because their work is done alone, as if this magically protects them from the labour conditions that affect the arts industry as a whole. There are plenty of writers now wondering if their scheduled books will be published, their newly published books bought, their teaching gigs scrapped, and so on. The cancellation of writers’ festivals, book launches and book tours will have a deleterious effect on authors, who depend on the publicity generated by these events to boost their sales.

In an article for The Conversation on Tuesday, arts writer and Monash University lecturer Ben Eltham outlined some ideas for how an arts stimulus might be put into effect, including by making payments to artist sole traders through the Australian Tax Office. This is the crux of the matter: money needs to go directly to arts workers themselves. It’s no solution if the federal government’s best suggestion, as it has been so far, is to direct all affected casual workers – in the arts sector or otherwise – to Centrelink, there to await the slow administration of a manifestly inadequate unemployment allowance, or a short-term sickness benefit. Forgive me if I have little faith in the Morrison government’s willingness to help arts workers to any degree, when the same government, in December, abolished the federal arts ministry.

In a situation where the global spread of COVID-19 underlines, once again, that an economic system based entirely on profit-making and commodity production will quickly spiral into crisis when things cannot be bought and sold, art matters precisely because the value it creates is never wholly measurable in terms of profit. Art matters now because it demonstrates, as it always has, that there are ways of being in the world, and things we can make in the world, that might be an alternative to commodity production. Meanwhile, we live inside of capitalism – this enormous global commodity system, its parts intermeshed – which means that arts workers, along with everyone else, have got to sell something to survive: their labour or art, or both. And all of a sudden there is precious little to sell. May this crisis make us think more deeply, more urgently, about the need to organise together; about the fact that when workers, including arts workers, bear all the risk in a labour market, we are all acutely vulnerable when the risks multiply. This vulnerability is not inevitable, just the way things are; it is the result of politics. I think again of Bertolt Brecht, and the motto he appended to a section of his Svendborg Poems cycle, in 1939:

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.

Reposted from The Monthly.

Image from Italy Magazine.


Anwen Crawford is The Monthly’s music critic.

Circle Drawing

circle drawing.jpg

The last time I drew circle drawings in this way I was in the midst of the worst period of my life; the separation and eventual divorce from my now ex-husband. That the divorce happened was a huge surprise, and then very quickly, quite inevitably, I became quite unwell for some time. The stress of this period exasperated my already-significant fibromyalgia. Circle drawing is something I had done a bit of before and developed into one of the very few things I could do for a while outside of simply survive. Eventually, circle drawing led to other drawings and creative engagement and the divorce had to become something that I became used to. But for a long while, the focus and intensity of the small circles was one of the very few things that allowed my brain to rest within this terribly encompassing experience from which I could not escape or change no matter what I did.

Recently, I have begun circle drawing again. In fact, I have somewhat ambitiously begun the largest one I’ve ever attempted. Never fear though; I am, kind of surprisingly, doing very well and not at all in the depths of despair. Nothing terrible is happening in my life but I have come to recognize that the pull back to the practice of circles this time is a practice in reassurance.

Although I’m not experiencing any great turmoil, there are a number of things in my life that do require great deliberation and that I feel I must get ‘just right’. The most significant of these being that I have a short while left in which to develop and define the PhD question which I will be researching for the next three years.

And I think this is why I decided to resume circle drawing. Circle drawing provides a creative practice that is restful and that is unrushed. Lots of creativity is about constant decision-making – something I do often find enjoyable and enlivening. But at the moment, this large decision is constantly, and at times subconsciously, being wrestled with and circle drawing provides containment. It confines the creative decisions through paper size, type of pen, even the choice of pattern. It also provides a, perhaps lengthy but foreseeable, conclusion. It is finished when the paper is full.

20200306_170542 2.jpg

The process is also one that insists on me being present and moving slowly. I sometimes draw while listening to the TV or a podcast, but never something that I need to pay attention to – something that washes over me. Circle drawing requires I move slowly and peacefully in order to create neat circles. Even though I’ve been very conscious of this, I still often end up rushing and some of the circles aren’t quite what I would prefer. But they are also part of the larger whole and so I’ve accepted it and so I either stop and come back when I am able to settle myself, or I take the time to settle myself, reminding myself not to rush and to lean into the practice of taking it slowly.

I must also hold the pen very loosely, not grip it tightly, or my hand quickly becomes very sore, something I must pay attention to given the amount of typing and computer work I also do – repetitive work requires healthy practices. So I sit and deliberately release the tension in my hand.

Circle drawing has provided an ongoing creative project that seems to compliment the deep thinking I do during the day. At the same time, it provides an ongoing creative project. And I am conscious that this time around, this is a ‘large’ project. The paper chosen this time doesn’t allow for this piece to be done on my knees sitting on the couch or bed the way the previous ones were. For a long time, I only did anything I could do in bed or on the couch. But this is different, it requires being seated at the table. This tells me that this round of circle drawing is actually quite different to the last – it is more ambitious, more considered, and will take longer – both in the amount of time but also in proportionally, I am simply not spending as much of my day on it. But there are also great similarities in what the practice of creativity offers: the opportunity for focus and flow, for moments of rest, and a space to consider what is happening in work, study, and life, as well as being a creative outlet. At various times it allows me to focus and at other times to allow my mind to wander and sometimes even pray and maybe, just maybe, to help me create a lifestyle in which I can do what needs to be done and make some decisions.


Karly Michelle is a mixed media artist currently doing a PhD researching biography in palliative care. She is interested in stories of life and faith and her creative work often focuses on rest and repetition. Her current ‘One A Week Psalm Project’ explores creativity as spiritual practice. Karly lives with fibromyalgia, which affects life in varying degrees at different times. Karly lives on Wurundjeri land. Find more about her arts practice at

A Pirate Faith

Pirate church.jpg

It is largely uncontested that institutional Christianity in the West is declining in numbers and influence. Even when you take into account surging numbers in certain large Pentecostal and Calvinist movements, the overall trend is downward.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has confirmed that churches generally have toxic cultures that have provided a safe forum for abuse. The real question isn’t ‘Why did so many priests become abusers?’; the real question is ‘Why did so many abusers become priests?’. And the answer to that question is now crystal clear: the churches provided ready access to children and vulnerable people, a corrupt understanding of power and authority, and an institutional culture that protected the strong over the weak. In the past, it was easy to say there were a few bad eggs. But we can’t actually say that anymore. The reality is that the institutional church was a bad place, and bad people were drawn to it as a good place to hunt.

Another manifestation of this corrupt understanding of authority has been the marginalisation and disempowerment of women and queer people, and we’re now seeing this play out on an international stage as the old denominations tear themselves apart over those insidious gays and their dangerous female allies.

Here in Australia and throughout the world, that sick ecclesiastical culture also provided a safe justification for colonisation. The destruction of culture and language, the deliberate extermination of whole peoples, enslavement, and ongoing oppression. The churches were hand in glove with that work, and the oppression is ongoing.

By now you may be wondering why you’re reading an article written by a comedian because there’s nothing funny about any of this.

But the context is important because I am an agent of the Anglican Church, which was (and in many respects still is) the Department of Religion of the British Empire. I’m also that rare creature, a priest who is younger than 40, and who is also a theological and social progressive. When I think of myself as a priest, I like to think of myself as a beautiful unicorn, with a flowing mane and a shiny horn, ready to pierce my enemies through the heart. I’d appreciate if you would do likewise.

On Sundays, I lead worship in a neo-gothic church building wearing Roman civil costume speaking the language of Empire, set in an almost-universally white middle-class village in the Perth hills. I can click my fingers, and a plate of scones with jam and cream will instantly appear. I have become the village vicar that I vowed as a young man I would never become. My parish is small but sustainable. We do good stuff and we’re good people. But we are still part of an institution, which is part of a broader movement, which is badly screwed up, and which is rightly crumbling to dust.

In the Church of England and around the world, a trend of planting new churches has emerged. Variously called ‘Fresh Expressions’, ‘Mission-shaped Ministry’ or ‘Missional Church’, there has been strong grassroots and, in some cases, hierarchical support for new churches. These are churches intended for people who are not currently a member of any church. I am supportive of this movement, though I’m conscious that the new churches can very quickly become infected with the same toxic culture as the old church. There’s also a range of movements seeking to refresh and renew the church, not least through the inclusion of voices previously silenced. I’ve done some of my own work in this area, but there’s plenty left to do before we are a truly inclusive church. Jesus will probably return first.

I’ve done a rough sketch of the context I and many of you inhabit just to lay some groundwork. So what, then should be our artistic response to this context? I’m not sure exactly. But I am pretty sure that it involves pirates.

Now, a quick word about what Pirate Church isn’t. Pirate Church isn’t a pirate-themed church service for kiddies. I know there are Messy Churches and Vacation Bible Schools that would do that sort of thing, but Pirate Church spits on that sort of nonsense. Pirate Church is not a fresh expression of church. It is not an outreach. It is not an evangelistic enterprise that uses Piracy as a gimmick. Pirate Church is art, created by two artists who happen to work in the medium of sketch comedy and immersive theatre, and it’s a somewhat collaborative artform as the audience also gets involved.

Pirate Church is Werzel and me. Werzel is actually a Churches of Christ Minister named Paul Montague. But before he was in ministry, he was ‘The King of Perth Comedy’. We met because there was this extraordinary moment where he was a stand-up comedian exploring a vocation to ministry, and I was a priest exploring a vocation to stand-up comedy. The idea for something like Pirate Church had been brewing in Werzel’s head for some time, and after many long conversations the phenomenon was born.

A Pirate Church show consists of two halves. The first is a kind of sketch and variety show about ‘the wacky world of religion’. It usually begins with a song, then there’s a game show segment where the audience competes based on their knowledge of current ludicrous religious news stories, then there are sketches. So, for instance, over the years we’ve introduced Margaret and Joyce, the vicious matriarchs of the Ladies Auxiliary who hate everyone (but Muslims most of all). Father Hayter, a clapped-out and rather rude Catholic priest, and Pastor Jayden who is hip with the kids. One of our hits is a sketch called Hellsong, which is about a Megachurch of Satan.

No one is immune from the Pirate Church treatment – the hippy earth mother Christians are satirised by Margaret and Dennis at Laughing Goanna Retreat Centre, and the Orthodox by Brother Gyorgiy who is a missionary trying to correct the date of Christmas in Australia.

Senator Troy Pendleton-Coombs, Minister for Freedom, is a Bible-believing Christian politician who sees no conflict in ultra-nationalism, and white supremacy low-level fascism. He’s obviously a very unrealistic character who bears no resemblance to anyone in real life.

The second half of the show is a liturgy on board a pirate ship. It’s a little hard to explain without experiencing it, but perhaps it’s helpful to think of the pirate realm as a bit of a Narnia-style alternative universe. The Armada holds sway there, but there’s a group of rebels who sail aboard the Good Ship Fisher’o’men, living life free and wild and somewhat drunkenly. The Captain, who built and founded the ship was actually murdered by the Armada and nailed to the mast, but he did not stay dead and is returning. Surrounding the pirates on every side is The Deep, which is both the ocean and a kind of terrifying yet benevolent force who shapes their lives. And accompanying them on their travels is the Ghostly Parrot, who provides both a tender comforting presence and a tendency to peck at the eyes of people who do the wrong thing. When the ship’s crew gathers for church, there’s a reading from the ship’s log, which contains records of stories from the time of the Captain, and then Reverend Squall or the Saucy Jim the ship’s mate expound the log to explain it to the gathered throng. Rum is shared. All must share and none are left out. And, of course, the liturgy is punctuated by sea shanties.

Pirate Church is unashamedly theologically orthodox. We work very, very hard to sustain a commitment to trinitarian theology. So even when we are writing a Log Reading or a Saaarrrrrmon set in an alternative universe, it has to pass a test against the historical formulations. We are also faithful to the scriptures, sometimes slavishly so. Even though we are operating in the world of allegory, it’s important that the characters and narrative are recognizable, and speak intelligibly to the scriptural experience. We are creating satire, not mockery. There is no end of people who take the piss out of religion, but we are actual believers who genuinely love and follow Christ, and our aim is to provoke both laughter and reflection inside the bosom of the faith.

Now, the way I see the world, artists create art which attempts to integrate the world they inhabit, their own experience, their particular creative gifts and skills and the real or perceived needs of an audience. Art should be provocative and somewhat transgressive. Great art is both beautiful and discomfiting. For six years of the Pirate Church project, my work as an artist was affirmed by my peers – many clergy including bishops came to see the shows, we were nominated for and won awards, we appeared at national Christian conferences, and were interviewed in various media. Not once from my own institution was any concern expressed.

I guess I should have seen it coming, but I genuinely didn’t.

At the start of 2017, the day after we finished an amazing few days performing and teaching at Yurora, the National Christian Youth Convention, I received a letter from the Director of Professional Standards of the Diocese of Perth which began a descent into a rabbit hole that took fifteen months to finally resolve, and involved me being stood down from ministry for six months. The short version of this story is that the Professional Standards Director personally made a complaint against me to the professional standards committee, which then sort-of investigated. They ultimately referred the complaint to the Professional Standards Board, a kind of tribunal. All of this, of course, while the Royal Commission is at its peak and the churches are being publicly critiqued, and while my own Archbishop was ‘stood aside’ having admitted to letting down survivors of child abuse.

After a national media and solidarity campaign, which included my beautiful parishioners protesting on the steps of Church House, the complaint was withdrawn. But the trauma remains, and the sense of betrayal remains. I, and many others, still find it unfathomable that the Church in 2017 deployed tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours of staff time, and significant positional power, to attack and try to silence an artist. And it did so in the middle of a massive genuine crisis in the life of the church.

But, on reflection, I think it was important that the institutional church exposed its agenda in this way because it made it clear that a Pirate Faith is absolutely necessary. A faith that is wild and untameable and fears no one. A faith that goes on adventures seeking buried treasure. A faith that sings, and shouts, and fights, and gets dirty, and has a place for everyone, no matter how munted, is a faith that we all need right now. It is no mistake that totalitarians always come after artists because we are dangerous people.

Creating art is a political act. It is a holy act. It is an act of faith to create, devise, construct, draft, perform, exhibit. Art is the work of the pirate, not of the Armada.


The Reverend Chris Bedding is Rector of the Anglican Parish of Darlington-Bellevue in Perth, WA. He is also a performing artist and social activist.