The Adventist School System
Jun 04, 2016
Firstly let me thank you for being part of the Seventh-day Adventist school system in Australia. We are proud to offer quality, values based Christian education in Australia to families such as yours for over one hundred and twenty years within the Australian context. Thank you for partnering with us to prepare excellent citizens to build our nation.
Having been involved in the Adventist school system for some forty years now I tend to take for granted the ‘system’ of forty eight schools that we run across Australia. There are actually few true systems of schools in Australia and there are many strengths associated with working as a system for the thirteen thousand students and their families in our schools
Our system in Australia extends beyond offering education to Early Learning to Year 12 students. It extends to a tertiary training college, Avondale College of Higher Education, just out of Morisset in the Hunter Valley. Hence the system provides a steady source of dedicated Christian teachers for our schools across Australia. These teachers understand our values and ethos and this adds to the cohesive nature of our schools.
Working as a system has benefits in the area of curriculum development, improvement programs, training, advanced study, staffing, bulk purchasing power, and representation to statutory and Government bodies. Such collaboration enhances opportunities to provide affordable, quality educational opportunities for young people in our schools.
What may surprise you is the fact that Adventist education extends well beyond Australia. In fact, Adventist education is the largest Protestant education system in the world. At this time there are 7,618 Adventist schools across the world with 82, 400 teachers educating some 1,720,000 students according to 2014 statistics. In addition, there are 115 colleges and universities across the world providing teacher education training – among other degrees offered.
While being a small part of the worldwide network of Adventist education, our system of schools sit in a very privileged position in Australia. We are fortunate that there is bi-partisan support for choice and diversity of educational opportunities. Enshrined on Federal government legislation is funding for both private and public schools. States and Territories follow a similar path, although at varying levels of support.
Christian education is made affordable and attainable to a broad cross section of Australian families as a consequence of funding from both Federal and State levels and it is important that we don’t take for granted the choices of schooling at our disposal. Any moves to change the bipartisan support for the funding of private education or the modification of legislation to prevent Christian education being able to freely employ teachers who uphold the values and ethos of our schools need to be closely scrutinised.
I encourage you to engage in the life of your Adventist school and come to appreciate the strength and diversity that comes from being a system of schools. Our schools are always seeking individuals who have a passion for supporting and encouraging young people on their journey to personal excellence.
Dr Daryl Murdoch
Director - Adventist Schools Australia