I’m part of the team at St Kilda Gatehouse, and the CEO. Life is pretty full.
Whitley broadened my thinking. It gave me permission to find my voice and opportunities to meet curious-minded students from different persuasions, worldviews and politics.
My name is Stacey Aslangul. I was at Whitley College from 2000 to 2011 and I’ve completed a Bachelor of Theology and a Diploma of Ministry.
My relationship to Whitley started when I got off at the tram stop one day in front of the college. I was fascinated by the shape of the building. I went inside to find out what this place was about. I was met by a member of the faculty and we talked.
I had no idea what ‘theology’ meant but I experienced a deep sense of welcome and invitation. So I sold my car that week to pay for my first semester of studies.
I was ordained in 2007. During my studies I was privileged to join the pastoral team at Ashburton Baptist as youth and young adult pastor. Then I moved to the Baptist Union of Victoria and Global Interaction. I also spent some time as the youth pastor at Westgate Baptist and co-pastor at St Kilda Baptist churches.
The sense of community and inclusion at Whitley was priceless. Plus, there was the challenge to think and dream big about God. And to not be afraid to explore uncertainty and doubt.
I am thankful to all the staff and faculty who were generous and gracious. In particular, Frank Rees who challenged me, Mark Brett who introduced me to the ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible, Marita Munro who made church history fascinating and engaging, Keith Dyer who helped me read the Jesus story with a sense of expectation, Simon Holt who taught me to think big and broad spiritually, and I will always hold Rosemary Dillon in my heart – she patiently counted my coins as I poured them onto her desk to pay for my subjects.
And the library staff. They helped me navigate the photocopier which I managed to jam most days!
I am married to Michael who is a star. We have four kids and a crazy dog.
I believe you have to take life’s moments. Like stepping off that tram and investigating Whitley. Fittingly, I’m three weeks into a hula-hooping course because I’d never learned how to hula hoop, not properly anyway. I love it and now I’m wondering how much I have missed out on!
In terms of future endeavours, I hope to never become complacent. I want to always be looking for ways to make the world a kinder and more just place, especially for those who tend to get left behind.