The last few months have been pretty hectic here in Australia and I have been getting up to quite a lot of stuff so here is a latest update post.
Working Holiday Visa Extension
I am currently on a working holiday visa (subclass 417) that allows the holder to live and work in Australia for up to two full years from the date of first arrival. This is a valid option for citizens of certain countries to stay in Australia for a prolonged amount of time if you are between the ages of 18-30 (or for a few select countries, 35 years of age).
There is a requirement that to be eligible to apply for and stay for the second year of the visa, a person must work in a specified industry or field within Australia for a period of 3 calendar months. These specified industries are industries where the current Australian labour pool does not meet the desired amount of people needed to perform jobs that provide for the current Australian population. This includes industries such as farming, construction and mining to name a few.
I entered Australia on this visa at the beginning of March of this year for the latest Assistance Group and Volunteer Selection Project (VSP), and as I had already been volunteering for a number of months since passing the VSP, the time was quickly upon me to begin this work. If you would like to read more about this specific visa, you can click HERE.
This work is something that I knew I would be doing as my desire was and still is to stay being a volunteer for Divine Truth and God’s Way. This visa has given me the opportunity to follow my desire to volunteer for the short-term, and for that I feel very grateful. However, both Bex and I desire to be here in Australia indefinitely and so we are hoping to secure a permanent residency visa over the next year to allow ourselves to do this.
The type of work I have been doing towards extending my visa has been farm work. With huge thanks to Jesus & Mary, Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins and Catherine Spence (Mary, Eloisa and Catherine being directors of God’s Way, Jesus being a founding member), an opportunity arose for me to work at David & Jo Wilson’s farm down in Yarrawonga, Victoria which will count towards the requirements for extending my visa for a further year.
Dave & Jo have been listening to Divine Truth for a number of years and have been experimenting with using non-traditional farming methods and techniques on their farm with success for many years. As it goes, many of these farming methods are in harmony with God’s Way. Some of these methods include:
Dave & Jo have also been keen to complete some reforestation work on different areas of their property as a part of recovering the land under their stewardship into a better condition. This process has involved mulching mostly by hand large areas of land with straw, planting tree saplings into the soil, protecting them with a biodegradable cardboard sleeve and then watering them with a liquid consisting of water and worm castings to give them the best possible chance of establishing themselves in their new environment. Since doing these things, I have later observed that there are now a ton of insects, ants and spiders that have made themselves homes within the area and the trees themselves have been starting to grow.
All of these factors have combined together to make my experience working on their farm a great one. I feel very grateful as I have not only been working on their farm and assisting them which also qualifies for my visa extension, but I’ve also got to know them both more and learn a heap of new things about farming techniques – things I never ever thought I’d learn in my life!
I am completing the work in two periods, and now I am half way through my visa requirements before I return to the farm to complete the work in a few weeks time. Of course, I must say a massive thank you to both Dave & Jo for gifting me this opportunity to stay and work on their property and for showing me physical demonstrations of these farming methods in action – it has been better than I ever imagined and I thank them for everything.
One day during some volunteering at the Function Learning Centre, Jesus mentioned to me that he and the directors of God’s Way had a desire for somebody from the organisation to head down to Dave & Jo’s farm in Victoria to document the farming methods and techniques that they had been experimenting with in the hope that the data and information gathered could then be shared with the world.
As Dave & Jo themselves are also very interested in hearing about and experimenting with further farming and environmental recovery methods in harmony with God’s Way, they were also open to the possibility of having their current and future methods documented and shared with the world.
I have an interest in documentary filmmaking, and in 2018, I completed a documentary filmmaking course in London aimed to give students the theory and tools required to independently make their own films. I really enjoy the creative aspect of filmmaking, particularly the cinematography and visual elements of a production alongside the potential it has to share Truth with the world if done in the right way. I took the course with this thought in mind to one day use documentary as a package or vehicle to share God’s Truth with the world.
The mix of the above conditions presented an opportunity alongside the work I would be doing on Dave & Jo’s farm as part of my visa extension to also create a documentary about how farming God’s Way could viably look like – particularly when comparing this with the current negative effects seen today through traditional, unsustainable farming practices.
The first stage of production has involved me capturing as much B-Roll footage on the farm as possible during my first stint on the farm. B-Roll is supplementary footage captured with the purpose to be inserted as cutaways over an interview or narrative to help tell a story to the audience. This is what I have done so far.
The second stage of production will involve me recording a main interview with Dave & Jo where I will ask them specific questions about not only their farm, but also the problems facing farming communities today amongst other things. I am planning on shooting this when I return to the farm in a few weeks alongside capturing more B-Roll footage (it’s always good to get as much footage as possible whilst you are on location to give you more options during the post production phase).
This has all coincided with one of the busiest farming periods of the year – the harvest. As a result, I have found myself being incredibly busy balancing my time doing the actual work on the farm assisting Dave as much as possible alongside planning, shooting and safely backing up all recorded video onto external hard disk drives during my trip at appropriate moments.
I have predominantly been using my own personal gear to obtain this footage and also Jesus kindly allowed me to borrow a sound recording kit to take with me to the farm. Sound is probably the most difficult aspect of a production to get right, and if not done so will result in many hours upon hours attempting to fix or “clean” it in post-production.
I came into this process a complete novice with little to no previous knowledge or experience about farming or farming practices, and it has felt quite overwhelming at times. I am finding the entire subject of farming and land regeneration fascinating and actively engaging in it is helping me to learn so much more about God’s nature, personality, principles and my own personal sin that I have engaged in towards the environment, alongside learning of the amount of hard, physical labour required involved in the reparation process.
This process that I have been engaging in hasn’t been a rosy, idyllic, joyful experience from the beginning bustling with desire, or free from emotional impediments to the whole thing. I had found that there have been some quite large emotions in me of resistance to the amount of hard, physical labour involved in doing the work required, alongside the fact that sometimes I was out doing work in scorching heat dripping with sweat and being stinky on one side of the coin to cold, rainy and windy conditions and being wet, soggy and muddy on the other.
I found each different task and the conditions alongside them brought up different emotional injuries and errors within me. However, I have more faith in the emotional process nowadays and I do feel a sense of certainty in that if I allow myself to be humble to every little feeling and process it when I can, I will not carry the same emotions with me going forwards and will find more joy and satisfaction in doing things more in harmony with God’s Way as I keep plodding forwards. It has sometimes been a messy and unhinged yet authentic experience!
I have been finding that I have had to let myself feel my demands and spoilt child emotions when they have been coming up (whilst also acknowledging that they are wrong) as they have really helped me to see that my attitude has been an unloving and ungrateful one to everything that God has provided for his children.
Feeling these demands has allowed me to visibly see my own unloving attitude to the damage I have caused by not engaging the process with desire to correct it. This has helped me to absorb some truth about the fact that God created all of the Universe and Earth for our education and pleasure, and if I loved I would do what I could to help repair this amazing provision for the benefit of others after me.
I am also starting to see that reparation can only be real when your heart is fully involved. This means rolling up your sleeves and getting out there doing the work (emotional and physical), giving of your energy, time and resources, including money if applicable (obviously you can’t just throw money at a person in an attempt to blot out your sin towards them!) to the endeavour and generally doing whatever you can (in harmony with love) to try to improve something that you have previously damaged, whether that be the environment, a relationship or something else.
I am so grateful to be able to do my farm work on a farm such as Dave & Jo’s where their practices are in harmony with God’s Way. As many farming practices seen today still focus on taking from the land, and thus further destroying it, I have had the opportunity to put effort into “giving” to the land and beginning my own reparation process. I see the work that I have been doing on the farm alongside the opportunity to create a documentary such as the one I am making an effort towards atoning for my past mistakes and a way to share with others the things I am learning myself.
I feel as though I am on a steep learning curve at the moment, but I am really enjoying the entire experience and I am looking forward to learning more and more going forwards. I am beginning to feel how I did when I was 5 years old – constantly being amazed by the world around me, always asking questions and wanting to find out more.
Again, I’d just like to re-iterate my thanks and gratitude to Jesus, Mary, Eloisa and Catherine alongside Dave & Jo for helping to make this entire experience that I am having possible.
Until next time,