Avondale students trained to be media-ready

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Wahroonga, New South Wales

A select group of Avondale Seminary students have enjoyed two days of training provided by Australian media personality and news reader, Tracey Spicer.

The Church’s long-term goal is to think media. Let’s maximise this opportunity and avenue for the proclamation of the gospel.

The training, held yesterday and today, was organised by Adventist Media and primarily involved final year BA Theology/Ministry and Graduate Diploma students who had shown an interest and talent for media ministry.

“The Church’s long-term goal is to think media,” said Dr Erika Puni, Avondale Seminary lecturer. “Let’s maximise this opportunity and avenue for the proclamation of the gospel.”

Dr Puni said having good presentation skills also helps to improve preaching. 

Funding for the initiative partially came from a special evangelism fund set up by former ministers to provide scholarships and cross-cultural ministry opportunities. “This opportunity is creating both an interest and awareness in the power of media and to give some hands-on-skills in presenting and communicating the gospel to those in the community who are open to it,” Dr Puni said.

Event organiser and head of Hope Channel in the South Pacific, Pastor Wayne Boehm, agrees. “Its great to see Avondale placing an emphasis on media training and recognising value in developing young ministers,” he said. “It will enable young people to engage with them through mediums like Facebook live, Periscope, Twitter, as well as helping their preaching.”

Hope Channel hopes to work closely with local ministers and pastors to show them how to use media to reach their neighbours and communities. Pastor Boehm said Hope Channel is facilitating the training with the support of the Avondale Seminary to “develop new, young, fresh presenters for media to really connect young people in the community with the message of Jesus”.

Both Dr Puni and Pastor Boehm expressed the hope that it would become a regular program, along with other training opportunties Adventist Media can provide.

Fourth-year Chaplaincy student Annalise Lindsay said the training had been beneficial. “Tracey Spicer is very knowledgeable so she has helped us in a lot of different areas, including how to present to camera and to interviewers,” she said. “It has been really helpful, even just in teaching skills in public speaking. I have learned a lot in a short amount of time.”

Australian media personality and news reader, Tracey Spicer (left), with fourth-year Chaplaincy student, Annalise Lindsay.

Graduate Diploma student Daniel Maher said it had honed his skills and he had found the presenting to camera session particularly helpful. “It is quite specialised; at the same time for people of my generation it is considered to be a growing area of importance,” he said. “I have been impressed at how practical (the training) has been.”