Multicultural magic at Macarthur

Dancers representing Tonga in cultural dress.

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More than 1000 people attended Macarthur Adventist College’s recent multicultural night, which raised over $20,000.

The multicultural night aimed to raise money for the school’s year 11 service trip to Beulah Adventist College, Tonga. The project will involve renovating Beulah Adventist College classrooms, running a STORMCo program and providing essential items to the community.

Twenty-seven students will be embarking on the mission trip, being Macarthur Adventist College’s first mission trip to Tonga. This will also be their first mission trip post-COVID.

Run by staff and students at Macarthur, with the aid of the Macarthur parents and community group, Sydney Tongan Seventh-day Adventist church, Hoxton Park Seventh-day Adventist church and the school community, the fundraiser exceeded initial goals by around $10,000.

“The success of this event was dependent on our community,” said Tonga trip coordinator and teacher Annalise Vaovasa.

“Macarthur Adventist College is a close, growing community with a strong connection to its values and the supporting churches around the southwestern Sydney area. We are looking forward to serving the people of Tonga and sharing the love and support we have received from our Multicultural night.” 

Young Fijian performers on stage.

Cultural performances were organised by Macarthur’s year 11 and 12 students, who practised every lunchtime and after school for four weeks. The multicultural program had dance items from Tonga, Samoa, Philippines, Chile, India, Fiji, Nepal, Cook Islands and the Torres Strait. The hall was decorated with murals of various countries, painted by students from different pastoral care groups. Live music was provided by 4XL, a musical group featuring former Beulah College students, who sang songs from different Pacific Islands.

Food stalls provided a variety of cultural foods from Fiji, India, Australia, Tonga, Samoa and Philippines, as well as Middle Eastern sweets. Items were also available for auction on the night, including State of Origin tickets and signed NRL jerseys.

Macarthur has previously hosted mission trips to Cambodia, Laos and Fiji. Miss Vaovasa explains that the school has a strong Tongan community and ties with Sydney Tongan Seventh-day Adventist church in Leppington.

“Please pray for our project, the staff and students on this trip—we will be taking a lot of students who do not have an Adventist or Christian background and this will be an opportunity for us to demonstrate God’s love through service and Sabbath rest, which many of them will experience Sabbath for the first time,” Miss Vaovasa said.  

The school is currently looking at creating care packages and stationary packages for Beulah Adventist College. If you would like to donate, please visit their GoFundMe page.  

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