My name is Eseta Waqabaca Meneilly. I live in Doncaster East and am a Minister, presently ministering in Boronia Road Uniting Church.
When I left Fiji, it was a sad time for me, I knew I was uprooting and that’s always sad for people who love their country.
And when we came to Melbourne, I promised myself that I’m going to make a patchwork quilt of Fijian design – didn’t know how – but I was going to make one.
So it made it really easy for me, then, to find my identity, and to acknowledge who I am and to be able to participate and to contribute.
One of the artworks I have learnt to do to incorporate my cultural background and my faith journey is to make ecclesiastical stoles.
Every stole I’ve worn I have made. I take great pride in putting a new stole on and explaining the symbolisms.
The people in my congregation take particular interest so I have to be careful that it’s very neat and looks good.
My cultural heritage is the formation – the basic formation of who I am. It gives me my identity, it gives me my story and my history. It gives me my artwork, and without that I will not have a complete ministry.
Don’t tell your minister.