Principal's First Principles: December 2023

Service To Others Really Matters!

Ten years ago in a different Australian state, a young teacher introduced me to STORMCo. It didn't take long to convince me of the value of this service-oriented youth program, and we ran one every year to Port Augusta, South Australia, on the eastern shores of the Spencer Gulf. I saw the program enhance the lives of the people we could be of service to, but perhaps even more, change the lives of the students who came along.

It's a privilege to now be in the heartland, home, and birthplace of STORMCo. In 1992, the BAC chaplains recognised that students needed and wanted to do something; not just sit around and learn about Christianity, but put their faith into practice.

The team set out for Moree in NSW without a plan except to help out any way they could. Visiting communities to serve without a pre-determined agenda or expectation of anything in return, they discovered what was to put Christianity into action. STORMCo became an institution in schools and youth groups around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, North America, Africa, and Europe.

At BAC, just days after graduation, our Year 12s get a choice. Do they want to go on Schoolies Week (a tradition for many graduates in Southeast Queensland) or the Bundaberg STORMCo Trip? Every year, a good proportion of BAC students choose the STORMCo Trip, a celebration that involves camaraderie and sweat in equal measure!

Our 2023 STORMco team is now home. While in Bundaberg, a Queensland regional town about 400km north of Brisbane on the Capricorn Coast, they hosted a Kids’ Club and served our sister school Hope Adventist School in various ways. They transformed backyards and sang community Christmas carols with the local social club and at an aged care facility.

"Our students were a big blessing in each space," says BAC chaplain, Pastor Annalise Cherry.

Graduate and brand new alumna Erin says, “It was so fun to serve the community alongside my friends and to get to know them even better.”

STORMCo and these students demonstrate the values we believe in so deeply at our school: Integrity, Respect, and Joy.

Principal's First Principles (PFP) is a blog series by BAC principal Mr Peter Charleson.