Go back!

Friday, August 16, 2019
Homecoming’s call to reconnect as alumni of Avondale

“Go back to where you came from” had another airing this past month (July). No, not the Logie Award-winning Australian television series broadcast on SBS. Remember the series? Six Australians explore the lives and historical struggles of refugees by tracing, in reverse, the journey that refugees take to reach Australia. On its premiere, Go Back To Where You Came From became the number one trending topic on Twitter worldwide.

The social networking service lit up again when United States President Donald Trump used the phrase in a tweet about a group of Democratic congresswomen. Criticism, rightly, followed.

“Go back to where you came from” worked as a documentary title and as a microblogging tirade because it is, at best, controversial. But I use it here to describe what you may decide to do next weekend. Note the words “you have decided.” Going back to Avondale is your call. And for some, it’s a big call.

Going back can be intimidating. “Who will I know?” “Will I feel welcome?” “How will I fit in?” You’ll probably hear stories at Avondale Alumni’s Homecoming next weekend (August 23-24) of courage, endurance and adaptation. Celebrate the success. But you’ll also hear stories of disillusionment, dislocation and of the need for tolerance, compassion and trust. Listen and learn. If you go, I hope you’ll get a strong sense of reconnection.

Seventh-day Adventist pioneer Ellen White reminds us of our call to connect in a book giving biblical principles of Christian education. Her message (simplified and paraphrased): God’s given you the power to think and do, so explore and engage. I’ll be asking those at Homecoming to join a journey through giving with Avondale by donating to Think&Do.

The campaign at Homecoming will help us complete refurbishment of a contemporary hub for new and prospective students. Now home to admissions, the academic office and student finance, with reception and the business office sharing the space, too, the Student Administration Services Building is a one-stop-shop for our most important clients. The donations we receive will help make this building look its best, presenting a clean and modern welcome feel. Students will find their experience more pleasant and productive.

We hope they’ll make the same decision those at Homecoming have, to go back.

Homecoming 2019

Homecoming (August 23-24) is the largest Avondale Alumni event of the year. All alumni and friends of Avondale College of Higher Education, and their families, from all years and classes are welcome. The heart of Homecoming: the honour year and other reunions. If you studied or worked at Avondale in 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 or 2009, this is your honour year. Featuring: opening reception with live music; worship service with music by Avondale Conservatorium; and Hymns and Songs of Praise concert produced by Dr Lyell Heise and the Institute of Worship.

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Author

Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale College of Higher Education’s Public Relations Officer. He brings to the role a decade’s experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities. He is also co-convenor of Manifest, a movement exploring, encouraging and celebrating #faithfulcreativity in the Adventist Church.

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