CHARTING COURSE: to holistic educating


We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are. — John Maxwell

When we speak of education at Brisbane Adventist College, we speak of growth. Not just of a student’s mind, but of their heart and their hands as well. We’re interested in who they are becoming.

Recent events show the strategic direction of education at BAC.

PRINCIPAL'S PRAYER BREAKFAST

We held our annual Principal’s Prayer Breakfast in mid-August with nearly 30 people in attendance. These included local church ministers, conference leaders, student leaders and College principals. 

It was an opportunity for us to deepen our connection with supporting organisations and share with them the progress BAC has made since we met for the first time last year. 

I also shared with them our goal of finding multiple, layered opportunities for students to become more service-minded. We want our students to become global contributors, not merely global consumers. 

ADRA ANGELS

A week after the Principal’s Prayer Breakfast, I met with ADRA Director for South East Queensland Irena Pule to discuss ADRA Angels as a possible way that BAC can be involved in the humanitarian work they carry out. 

ADRA Angels is a program that responds to short term needs of people in the community. This involves donating time and/or money towards helping people with anything from house or yard cleanups to providing shelter, food and other necessities of life.

“ADRA Angels is a hands and feet ministry,” says Mrs Pule. “When schools partner with us, it helps the people who need us as well as the students themselves — by reaching the potential that God has given them. Service is a seed planted in them. It makes them think more about the world and how there is more to life than just their own concerns. They realise it doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s life better — just a simple act of kindness. Done in a genuine way, with good intentions, you bless others and you are also blessed.”

While ADRA Angels is new to BAC, community service is not. Since 2011, Year 8 participants of the STARS program have been involved with a variety of community service organisations, including the ADRA Logan community centre and op shop. Community service is also a sport alternative and the focus of two major service initiatives run for and by Secondary students and their teachers: StormCo, which works with the outback bordertown of Mungindi; and SonShip, which works with villages in the Solomon Islands. These programs occur during school holidays, when volunteers, students and staff conduct social and spiritual programs with people in the local community and complete various building and maintenance projects.

We are looking forward to finding out how ADRA Angels could help make service a ‘way of being' for BAC students and further enrich the community service program already embedded in the culture of our college. 

GROWING WISE LEADERS

Becoming authentic contributors to the BAC community was the theme of our leadership weekend at Tamborine Mountain at the beginning of the term. It is also a major component of the new leadership skills program I am trialling with the senior student leadership team and other interested students.

Each week we learn about the strengths and attributes of people who are current or historical leaders. We look at Nehemiah, whose story of leading the Jews in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem is told in the Old Testament; William Wilberforce, a British politician who persisted in taking a bill for anti-slavery to parliament more than 20 times before the Slavery Abolition Act was finally passed in 1833; and John Maxwell, American speaker and pastor who has written several books on leadership.

Student leadership is not so much about what students achieve or accomplish during their term, but about developing and growing their skills. It is so much more than having the power to change a canteen menu or improve a seating arrangement, for, as John Maxwell says, “Leadership… is about one life influencing another.” When who they are, what they say, and how they act are in alignment, this is authentic leadership. And this is what we aim to achieve with our students as they grow with BAC.


AUTHOR: 'Charting Course' is a series of principal's blogs by Leanne Entermann in which she shares plans or topics that are significant to our future direction.