Mamarapha College held their graduation on November 19, celebrating the achievements of nearly 30 students. Held at Livingston Adventist Church (WA), the afternoon service saw 13 students receive a certificate, diplomas or advanced diploma, and 15 students receive progression awards.
The ceremony included a welcome to country by national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries (ATSIM) director Pastor Darren Garlett, a keynote address from Australian Union Conference (AUC) president Pastor Terry Johnson and a student charge led by Livingston pastor Andrew Skeggs.
“Our students come from diverse backgrounds and remote communities with constant challenges, and for some, even just getting to the College is an ordeal,” said Mamarapha principal Pastor David Garrard. “So it’s really encouraging to see those students completing the course.”
The Mamarapha graduation was the final event in a two-week graduation study block, themed “More than Conquerors.” Each day during the study block the students would spend time learning about God’s grace during the morning worships. At the end of the first week, on Friday night, the students re-traced Christ’s final hours, spending time in prayer and repentance. A special service on Saturday night (November 12) featured an Agape Feast to begin the final week of the study block.
While the end-of-year spiritual and academic emphasis is a highlight for Mamarapha, there is also excitement over the $A2.2m upgrades the College has received. The building project, which commenced in May this year, features new classrooms, a computer lab, student area and extra office space additions to their administration block, and is due to be completed in January 2023—just in time for the incoming class.
As for the graduating class, many of the students are excited about their next steps. Those who graduate with diplomas usually become senior leaders within their churches, taking on significant roles and responsibilities. Those graduating with advanced diplomas in ministry are very often employed by local conferences—one student has been picked up by the North New South Wales Conference, while another will soon join the Greater Sydney Conference.
“[Student] numbers are still down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have still had a really good year,” said Pastor Garrard. “It’s a lot of hard work, but to have students publicly affirm and acknowledge the enormous effort our staff put into helping them in their spiritual and academic journey, that makes it all worth it.”