Streets of Sydney Episode Six: Hills District

The Hills. Rolling, verdant, lush with potential and privilege, Sydney’s Hills District is where the elite meet to breathe the air so sweet. Not only that, but they know why it’s sweet: the grace of Jesus. Yes, the Hills District is Sydney’s Bible Belt, a place where like-minded folk have gathered together to give thanks to He who gives us all good gifts, who creates and sustains us and our property portfolios.

Youth worker Kane Skase puts his finger on what makes the Hills District special. “Everyone’s really cool.” That they are. Look at Noah Deer. Not only is he a Christian – well known as the coolest religion – but he’s a musician too! That’s right – faith AND music, coming together: a concept that might seem “crazy” to some, but is perfectly normal here in the Hills, where such innovation is de rigueur among the funky youngsters who’ve made spreading the gospel while rocking out their raison d’etre.

Church isn’t everything in the Hills: teacher Tobias Lloyd prefers to spend his days dressing up in medieval gear and pretending to be a knight. In some ways it’s sad to see such descent into fantasy, when the joy of reality is just around the corner at Hillsong, but there are many paths to God, and mocking noobs wearing sunglasses is as valid as any, one might suppose. Tobias is plagued by anachronism just as painfully as the Hills’ Christians are plagued by those who think Christians can’t kick out the jams.

Noah has known hardship too: blinded as a boy, he has no need for eyes because he sees all the wonder of the world through the message of Christ and His chosen emissaries on Earth: Creed, Nickelback and Shannon Noll. His journey mirrors that of the Hills District itself: an unfashionable slice of western Sydney that has overcome misconceptions and prejudices to become the national capital of prosperity gospel. Up on Castle Hill, they’ve got life pretty sussed out. When you see Kane Skase’s ecstatic face gazing up at the Christian warriors marching to their own badass beat, you see what they’re getting at. If God truly is everywhere, it must surely also be true that He is in the Hills just a little bit more than other places. Like, say, Blacktown.

View Previous Episodes:

Streets of Sydney was filmed and produced by More Chillis Productions.