South Pacific

Adventist School in Australia Turns 40

Hope Adventist School originally began as the Bundaberg Seventh-day Adventist School in 1983.

Australia | Juliana Muniz

Hope Adventist School, formerly known as Coral Coast Christian School, celebrated 40 years of Adventist education in Bundaberg, Australia, on March 8, 2024.

The day of celebration featured speeches and presentations from many who have been part of the school’s journey.

“So many people have a connection to our little school in Bundaberg,” said principal Tanya Barbuto. “We’re like a big family, so bringing past students, past principals, and staff to celebrate together felt like a family reunion.”

After a pancake breakfast, attendees participated in the chapel program, which included singing led by past staff and students, followed by a talk by Dr John Hammond, former South Queensland (SQ) Adventist Education and Adventist Schools Australia (ASA) director, who’s also a former principal of the school.

Included in the community celebration were speeches from Mrs Barbuto, Dr Jean Carter, ASA director, Jack Ryan, Adventist Education director for SQ, and Tom Smith, the chair of the schools’ advisory and Member for Bundaberg.

The program also featured a student-led tour of the school, the opening of a new student pathway, and the Stepping Stones Garden gifted by the 2021 student leaders. Continuing the long-time tradition, the school also opened a time capsule last buried 10 years ago.

Hope Adventist School originally began as the Bundaberg Seventh-day Adventist School in 1983. The land was purchased by the Bundaberg Seventh-day Adventist Church with the dream of starting a church school.

Church members raised money through various projects, including growing watermelon crops. Geoff Smith, a local church member, built the school.

The enrolments for the first year remained at around 28 students from grades 1 to 7. In the second year, a second teacher was employed as the enrolment had grown to about 40.

Mrs Barbuto, who has been working at the school for almost seven years, said she’s seen the school’s growth. “Many things have changed over the years, but we have definitely grown in numbers,” she said. The school currently has more than 50 enrolled students.

Speaking at the celebration, Mr Ryan congratulated the school on the milestone: “Congratulations to Hope. We pray God will continue to guide, bless, and grow our beautiful little school in Bundaberg.”

The original article was published on the South Pacific Division news site, Adventist Record.

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