Tuesday, 17th August 2021 may have seemed an odd time to bring more than one hundred SCEA staff, Association Members, and SCEA Pioneers together at Mundaring Christian College’s Great Hall. However, the significance of the mid-week gathering was not lost on the crowd who celebrated the anniversary of when a small group of devoted Christian parents came together to plan the first SCEA school – exactly 40 years ago in 1981.
Mundaring’s hospitality students led by Mrs Melinda Edwards, worked to prepare and serve a fabulous display of food (three courses!) and drinks, as the Association Members watched video tributes from:
- SCEA ‘pioneers’ Mr Bill and Mrs Joan Grosser, who chaired that first meeting,
- Dr Tim Hanna, who was a local pastor and SCEA parent in the early days,
- Former Board Member Mr David Binstead and his wife Alanda, and
- Former Swan Christian College Principal Dr Ian Lambert, who sent his greetings from The Scots College in Sydney, where he has been Headmaster for the last 15 years.
SCEA President Mr Robert Edkins spoke of the growth of SCEA over 40 years, tracing the small group of 50 parents who met in the Midland Town Hall in 1981 to the seven-school, 4000 student population that is today’s SCEA.
Board Member Mr Stephen McAlpine gave the keynote address for the evening and asked the question: ‘What will SCEA look like in 2061 – 40 years from now?’ He highlighted the many things that have changed since 1981, and emphasised the things that will not change, even in 2061: God’s love for us, the need for a saving grace and the concept of eternity and connection in our world.
As is customary at the President’s Reception, staff who have reached career milestones are recognised for their contribution to SCEA. Mr Martin Thyer was honoured for reaching 35 years of service by Mundaring Christian College Principal Mr Rod McNeill, who fondly recalled their time together at Swan Christian College and now at Mundaring Christian College.
The night closed with many of the SCEA founders and long-time staff chatting together of God’s blessing on the work of SCEA over the many years and reconnecting with former colleagues, many of who are now retired or serving in other areas of ministry.
SCEA President Mr Robert Edkins concluded the evening by highlighting the continuous challenge for SCEA as it pursues its mission for the next 40 years:
“Our goal is to offer the love of Christ and the opportunity to fellowship with Christians in the community for many years to come.
Many lives have come to Christ through their connection to SCEA.
Our hope is that we will continue to offer a Christ-centred education that bears fruit – a positive, uplifting voice in the communities we serve and a heart to see people come and enjoy a relationship with Jesus, just as we do.”