Name: Dr Esme Bamblett
Occupation: CEO Aborigines Advancement League, Senior Pastor Barak Christian Ministries, Victoria Police Indigenous Officers’ Chaplain
Place of Residence: Melbourne, VIC
Tribe/Language: Bangerang and Wiradjuri people
Dr Esme Bamblett was just 9 years old when American Christian evangelist Franklin Graham passed through her little home church in Shepparton, Victoria. “I believe that’s when I gave my heart to the Lord,” said Esme. “I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. My passion is for the Lord.” Esme is also passionate about family, Indigenous affairs, Indigenous history and Indigenous culture.
Esme is Senior Pastor at Barak Christian Ministries and CEO of the Aborigines Advancement League. The League is one of the oldest Indigenous organisations in Australia and is primarily concerned with Indigenous welfare issues and the preservation of Indigenous culture and heritage. Esme completed her PhD in Koori Identity in 2010. She has 5 children, 16 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
“I like big families. My mum is one of 14 children. I actually wanted to have 10 children but I stopped myself at 5. All my children are born again Christians. They’ve been reared up in the nurture of the Lord,” said Esme.
“I’m a historian. I love history so I like stories. I could tell you a lot of stories about me and Jesus. Me and Jesus, we have a good thing going. He has done so many miracles in my life. He has looked after me and protected me through everything.
“I trekked to Queensland with my first husband, that’s 2000 kilometres or even 3000 kilometres…1900 miles it was back then. It took 6 days and we never had a cent. We stayed on the side of the road. I prayed every morning for a ride, and we got a ride every day.
“I love that Jesus loves me. He loves me unconditionally. He has always been there through think and thin. Even at my worst, Jesus has been there,” she said.
Esme is a Bangerang and Wiradjuri woman. She was born in Leighton, New South Wales, and grew up in Shepparton, Victoria. The Bangerang people are from the Murray Goulbourn area. The Wiradjuri People are the people of the three rivers – the Wambool (Macquarie), the Calare (Lachlan) and the Murrumbidgee. Some people believe they have lived in these lands and along these rivers for more than 40,000 years.
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