A ground-breaking ceremony was recently held at Mamarapha College, a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution for the indigenous population in Australia. The planned AU$2 million (US$1.5 million) expansion and refurbishment of its campus is set to commence in mid-April 2022.
The ceremony was attended by college staff and members of the Mamarapha College Board, including Australian Union Conference (AUC) members, president Terry Johnson, secretary Michael Worker, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries (ATSIM) director Darren Garlett.
“This development will provide additional classrooms, a dining hall, a computer lab, as well as additional space for administration and staff,” Worker explained.
“The existing classrooms and administrative spaces will be refreshed during this process, and extensive decking will be constructed so that the buildings and associated amenities will all be on one level,” Worker said. It is something that will provide “a more integrated campus experience for students and staff,” he added.
The development will completely transform the current facilities, allowing the college to provide a better learning environment, church leaders said.
“Since the beginning of Mamarapha College in 1997, God has grown His college,” principal David Garrard said. “In the last five to ten years, applications have exceeded seating capacity, giving evidence of the significant impact the college is having among our First Nations communities.”
Mamarapha College has had more than 1,500 students enrolled since it opened, with approximately 120 students attending each year before the COVID pandemic.
The school continues to add to its available courses, with students currently able to complete a variety of diploma and advanced diploma courses in Indigenous Studies, such as Ministry, Lifestyle Health Promotion, Community Bible Worker, and Pastoral Ministry.
“Mamarapha staff and students have long dreamed of having a modern, spacious learning center, and we joyously praise God for His goodness,” Garrard said. “We are all very excited that the work has begun.”
“The new development will see a greater number of Indigenous students coming through Mamarapha College,” Worker said. “This is not only wonderful for the students but will have a greater impact when the students return home and share their knowledge and faith with their local communities,” he said.
Mamarapha College is located in Karragullen, in the scenic bush surrounds of Perth’s orchard region in Western Australia. According to the school website, it is “a quiet, peaceful place where you can connect with God and grow in your walk with Him.”