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Royal Honour for AC Alumnus, Reverend Iliafi Talotusitusi Esera

AC graduate of the Master of Leadership, Reverend Iliafi Talotusitusi Esera, has been honoured as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the Samoan community and Christian ministry. Rev Esera is the General Superintendent of New Zealand AOG and the Senior Pastor of Faith City Church in Whanganui. 

"Reverend Esera provides leadership for Faith City School, which was established as Faith Academy in 1979 with 25 students. Under his leadership the school rebranded and is now the largest inter-denominational school in the Whanganui area with 150 students. He is overseer for Faith City United Churches in Australia, New Zealand and Samoa. He became an executive committee member of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand (AGNZ) in 2001 and was elected Assistant Superintendent in 2003. He became General Superintendent of AGNZ in 2011, the first non-European appointment to the role. He currently oversees 600 ministers and 231 churches in New Zealand and is Apostolic Overseer of Great Life International Churches in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Samoa. He has helped establish Māori Assemblies of God churches around the country. He established the Samoan Pastors and Leaders International Network in 2001, with more than 300 pastors across Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and the US. He has fundraised for numerous overseas Christian missions and natural disaster relief efforts in Asia and the Pacific. Reverend Esera heads the To’omaga Ministry who support people, particularly Samoans, with legal and family violence issues."

AC congratulates Rev Esera for this prestigious honour. Further information about the Queen's Birthday Honour List is available on the New Zealand Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's website. Further information about Rev Esera and the New Zealand AOG is available via the AOG in NZ website

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Meeting with Ministers

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In March 2021, AC President Stephen Fogarty, Council Chair Michael Murphy, Associate Dean of Education David Hastie, and our Political Liaison Nick Jensen met with the Federal Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge. For a background to the new Minister it is worth reading David’s excellent piece in the Australian. They discussed AC’s University College application, as well as recent changes to the Provider categories standards and the implications for AC. The Minister was also very interested in AC’s Hub model of teacher training and is calling for a review of initial teacher education in which it can be considered. They also met with the Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, as well as the education advisor for the Prime Minister and the Regional Education Minister.


Church Community Restoration Project

On Monday 22nd February, Alphacrucis College facilitated the ‘Church Community Restoration Project’. The project was essentially a joint letter signed by a range of faith-based social service organisations committing to post-COVID support, as well as a Parliamentary roundtable event. You can read the letter here with the participants involved, as well as Eternity News’ take here

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and AC President Stephen Fogarty


With God Age is Not a Factor

After graduating in 2018, AC BMin alumna, Shirley Mortara, thought her age negated the value of her studies. She writes, “ I was wrong. With God age is not a factor. Never thought at 69, I would be doing the things I am now.” Shirley writes about her involvement in various administrative roles and speaking engagements she has had at her church, and notes that even though her health and mobility is not optimal, God still uses her.

Shirley is administratively involved in a ministry birthed out of Central Christian Life Church called “Beauty for Ashes”. This ministry supplies hygiene packs and school packs to victims of Domestic Violence, and works with the police and Coast Shelter. In 2019, Beauty for Ashes was awarded a community grant of $121, 000.

 After sharing her story, Shirley states that she “just wanted to let you know [that] age is not a factor when it comes to God using a person.”

 For more information about Beauty for Ashes vist: https://www.beauty4ashescc.com.au/


Motivate Your Volunteers, And Care for Them

AC President, Professor Stephen Fogarty, speaks with Hope 103.2's Laura Bennett. //"In Australia in 2014, over 5.8 million people participated in volunteer work, worth an estimated $43 billion dollars in value across the country... It’s no small thing that volunteers make this commitment—so how can leaders value their contribution and motivate volunteer teams?

"A leader needs to have enough humility to put themselves on the same level as those they’re leading.""//

Full radio interview available here: https://hope1032.com.au/


PM prays with us and refuses to keep his faith in a box. Amen to that

AC President, Professor Stephen Fogarty, writes for The Sydney Morning Herald // "People’s beliefs, consciences, opinions and religion aren’t something that can be just kept in box. It makes up the fundamentals of who we are.

As I recall the PM's final words to Australia’s largest annual conference, he said: "I speak about my faith because I want everyone to feel comfortable to talk about their faith in this country. It’s not a political agenda; it’s who we are, and who you are."

Amen to that."

Full article available here: https://www.smh.com.au/


The Australian Election: A Moment or a Movement?

AC Lecturer in Theology, Dr Jacqueline Service, writes for TEAR Australia // "Moments are immediate. Moments are decisive. Moments can change trajectories. Moments are important.

For Christians the re-orientation of our lives towards the Triune God should not merely be articulated in the moment of our voting. Rather, our engagement for the common good of our political and social environment should be a continual movement of speech-in-action."

Full article available here: https://www.tear.org.au/.


Here’s a plan to create more inspirational teachers

AC Associate Dean of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Dr David Hastie, writes for The Australian // "The Morrison government’s commitment to bond teachers into rural and remote schools gets my standing ovation.

In the NSW Hunter region, the St Philip’s group of six schools has flipped the [University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education's] model of teacher training: the clinical practice model on steroids. This hub model involves a cluster of schools, connected through geographical proximity and ethos, of up to 10,000 school student enrolments. They go into close partnership with a tertiary institution: in this particular prototype through an MOU with Alphacrucis College, Australia’s largest Protestant-affiliated teacher-training provider. This combination of “local” and incentive has created a great inducement for high-quality candidates to stay in the Hunter — including places like the tough mining town of Cessnock — to train in the place they call home."

Full article available here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/.


"Every Christian business person, needs Christian thinking"

AC President, Professor Stephen Fogarty interviewed by @eternity.news // “The idea is that ‘ministry’ is not just professional church ministry, so that in any vocation, employment, or as an entrepreneur, my employment can be seen as God’s call and a way of contributing to God.

The idea behind the double degrees was just as every Christian business person needs some Christian thinking – they really need to expose themselves to Christian theology to get a deeper, more holistic understanding of what business is – on the other side, every Christian minister gains from business training."

Full article available here: https://www.eternitynews.com.au/.


Alphacrucis and Dan Tehan, Minister for Education

Dan Tehan and Alphacrucis

On Thursday, 7 February 2019, Rev Dr David Perry, Dr David Hastie and Nick Jensen met with the Minister for Education, Dan Tehan.
This was a positive and affirming discussion regarding how AC can further contribute toward high quality, innovative higher education delivery in the service of the broader Australian society.


Australia Day 2019 Honours Ralph Estherby

AC congratulates Ralph Estherby, the National Director of Chaplaincy Australia, who is on the 2019 Australia Day Honours List. Mr Estherby has been awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for services to the men and women of the armed forces. This recognises the major contribution he has made to all the armed services in Australia. AC maintains a close relationship with Chaplaincy Australia through joint professional projects, as well as delivery of chaplaincy training.

For more information on the work of Chaplaincy Australia, please follow this link.


Grant Awarded to Paul Oslington

Professor Paul Oslington, Dean of the Faculty of Business, has won an award of $30 000 from a grant provider for his project Postgraduate Training for the Next Generation of Christian Non-for-Profit Leaders. The grant funds awarded will engage New River Leadership (Dr Peter Kaldor and Naomi Nash) to work collaboratively with Paul and other AC staff to establish a Non-for-Profit leadership stream within AC's existing Master of Leadership program.

The College is uniquely situated in its providing Christian theological and business/leadership training at a degree-level. This project addresses further needs specifically within the Christian NFP sector by training up Christian leaders who are equipped with both leadership and theological expertise, and therefore able to manage complex NFP organisations.  Paul’s project is anticipated to make a long term contribution to the quality of Christian leadership in the sector.


Community Heritage Grant Win

The annual Community Heritage Grants were announced at the National Library of Australia in Canberra on 30 October, 2018.

This year, grants worth $367,470 were distributed to 60 community groups and organisations from around Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections. The Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre has been awarded $2475 for a disaster preparedness training workshop which is a vital step in ensuring the long-term preservation of our precious collection.  The workshop will equip participants with an industry-standard approach to the development of a Disaster Preparedness Plan and provide training in significance assessment; reducing risk and prioritisng actions; response and recovery plans; salvage procedures and practical disaster response. 

In the past, items in our collection have been subject to damage due to natural disaster, so the opportunity for grant-funded training in this area is vital.  

CHG is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.


AC Library Amnesty Project

AC offer a range of opportunities for staff, students and volunteers to contribute to the local community. In 2018, the AC Library Amnesty Project, overseen by AC's Sydney Campus Library Manager, Emma Austin, called for donations for a hunger relief initiative. Together, the AC community donated 11.5kg of food, as well as a monetary donation from overdue library fee payments, to Food Bank NSW.

Food Bank is Australia's largest hunger relief organisation, providing 67million meals each year. It is a non-denominational, non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry.

For more information on Food Bank, including information on how you can help, please visit their website here.


Raising Money for Scholarships

Principal Stephen Fogarty"Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure they become everything that they can"

- Carol Ann Tomlinson

This quote is at the heart of education at Alphacrucis College. We want to make sure that those seeking a Christian education from other countries have the opportunity to study at AC.

We have just granted a scholarship to a Christian leader from Malaysia to complete a PhD at AC. The cost of this scholarship is $30,000. I currently have five scholarship applications from Asian church leaders and teachers who wish to study at AC. We would like to be able to approve all of these applications and help to build the church in Asia.

As you know I run marathons every year to raise support for AC's University vision. This year I would like to focus on raising funds to provide scholarships for missionaries and for emerging leaders from majority world nations who wish to enhance their leadership and ministry skills by studying at AC.  

As I run I will be thinking about the lives we are changing that you helped to support.

Four marathons this year are really challenging me, but I need you to help push me. Support me to help the University by pledging your support in my effort to raise $50,000. No gift is too small.

Stephen Fogarty

AC President


Missions

Since its inception, in 1948, Alphacrucis College (AC – formerly Commonwealth Bible College then Southern Cross College), has had a strong emphasis on onshore and offshore missions work. AC works closely with Australian Christian Churches International (ACCI) to support the work of missions.

AC's Mission vision is also outworked through various conferences, global engagement field studies, fundraising and weekly chapel offerings, and the annual AC Student Treks and Student Missions Trips.

India

Through AC Missions fundraising and weekly chapel offerings, AC also supports AC graduates who are serving in various capacities overseas, including:

  • Ruth Lesmana (class of 2008) – Thai Burma Border, Project Officer, Global Arms Inc. Ruth is involved in prevention, protection and employment of abused women and children.
  • Ben and Theeda Prevost (graduates of World Harvest Institute) – Cambodia, ACCI missionaries to Cambodia. The Prevost family are involved in various projects in Phnom Penh.
  • Marlo Phillip (class of 1998) – Dehli, India is Principal of Bethesda Bible College and assistant pastor.
  • David Armstrong (class of 1999) – Indigenous Sydney outreach and Blacktown church pioneer. David also lectures at AC and is involved in a children's indigenous Bibles campaign.

More information and testimonials on AC's Mission Vision is available here. You can also find information on AC's Student Missions Programs here.


ACC Safer Churches Program

AC partnering with the ACC Safer Churches program

Ps Duane van Vuuren updates us on how AC is assisting the ACC community through the Safer Churches program.