More than 160 educational leaders from Australia and New Zealand recently gathered in Melbourne, Victoria, for their biennial conference.
The conference was titled “Our God—My Strength”, with several local and international speakers exploring a range of key themes relating to maintaining an Adventist worldview in all facets of educational programs in societies that are becoming increasingly secular and less tolerant of Christianity.
Another key focus for the conference was learning to meet the wellbeing needs of both school staff and students, as the growing number of students in society who are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety is of significant concern to educators. Dr Peter Beamish and Dr Darren Morton from Avondale College of Higher Education provided many practical suggestions in relation to enhancing support systems and structures for staff and students.
Worship was another conference highlight, with devotionals on the fruit of the spirit led by Pastor Dick Duerksen, assistant to the president for the Oregon Conference (USA). Students and staff from Edinburgh College, Gilson College, Nunawading Christian College and Heritage College also led in praise and worship and shared inspiring testimonies.
While the main conference concluded on Tuesday afternoon, an additional day focusing on school improvement was offered on the Wednesday. More than 120 leaders continued their learning in relation to building strong professional learning communities in their schools.
“It was exciting to see so many school leaders dedicated to being engaged in developing skills to build school communities of excellence across Australia and New Zealand,” said Dr Daryl Murdoch, education director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia (AUC).
“Participants returned to their schools refreshed, inspired and refocused as they continue at the forefront of outreach to communities.”