Shalom Christian College’s motto, “Many cultures: One faith”, has never been more true. Annette Dale explores the many things worth celebrating at the college last month.
The Shalom Christian College community began three days of celebration on 10 September when Deloitte transferred responsibility of the college to the Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod, officially making it a Uniting Church school.
This marked the end of more than a year’s joint effort by teams from Deloitte, Board Matters and the Queensland Synod to honour the vision of Shalom Christian College as a provider of quality education for more than 300 Indigenous students after the school went into voluntary administration in 2012.
“First and foremost has been our desire to honour the work that has been done in the past by ensuring sustainability into the future. It has been a real privilege to work alongside Rev Dennis Corowa as Chair of Calvary Presbytery and the staff at Shalom during this time,” said Synod Schools Commission Executive Officer, Elaine Rae.
Celebrations continued on 11 September with a commissioning service for new Shalom principal, Chris England.
“I feel humbled and honoured to be able to lead the school in continuing the original vision of providing real pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” said Mr England.
Mr England accepted the commission of serving God in the community of Shalom Christian College which was offered by the President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, Rev Rronang Garrawurra, and Queensland Synod Moderator, Rev Kaye Ronalds.
In return, staff, students and community members welcomed Mr England and promised to support him in his role.
Mr Garrawurra challenged the congregation using the Great Commission of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew. Listeners were reminded that it is essential to have their hearts and minds open to what God wants them to do in their current situation and to move forward with God as the focus in their lives.
The following day the whole school community participated in NAIDOC celebrations—singing, dancing, sharing stories, eating together and being further encouraged in their Christian walk by Mr Garrawurra. Displays of students’ artwork showcased the talent, creativity and culture nurtured in the college and gave life to the Shalom motto, “Many cultures: One faith”.
The Uniting Church, through the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Congress and the Queensland Synod, has made a commitment to the ongoing work of Shalom Christian College. Ms Ronalds encouraged Uniting Church members to join the college community in continuing to pray that God’s Spirit will be seen and heard in this place.