home page What we Believe Community Worship News Contact

News 2005

11 November 2005 YOUTH GROUP REPORTS

Racheal Tassone, one of the Congress Youth leaders reports on an "awesome" year for Congress youth in Port Augusta. Our other leader, David "Gadget" Highfold, is commencing training as a Community Police Constable and we wish him well in his new career. Here is Racheal's report . . .

Well, the last year has been cool. As the Youth Worker for the Uniting Aboriginal Islander Christian Congress in Port Augusta, we have had a few hiccups but we go on. Due to the fact that we have very limited access to money for programs that we would like to run every single week, this makes my job a bit harder to run. At times I pay out of my own pocket. If my position wasn't funded by a grant and supported by the members of the Congregation, then the ministry amongst our young people and the support for their families wouldn't be happening.

I've found that a lot of young people in the past year are looking for and finding support and encouragement in the group for the things they've been striving for. It shows to their families that they are being supported and not judged in what they have done wrong in the community or to themselves. They are soul-searching for something much bigger than themselves and may be GOD is the one that they're trying to reach for in their lives?

The youth in our community and in our Congregation suffer from loss of family members nearly every week. Over the last year a lot of young people took their own lives and for what ever reason, no one will ever know.

I know a lot of young people were willing to express their feelings and talk to me about situations in their lives e.g.(school, family, home, work etc), which they don't even talk to their families about.

My ministry to these young people is sitting down and listening to what they have to say, encouraging them, being a friend to them, being a mentor to them, being a good role model and that's why I love my job. By this, I get to meet and welcome young people and their families to our Congregation with open arms and let them know there is support, love and hope.

Rock Da Villa Youth Group: Racheal Tassone

8 November 2005 SYNOD COACH 2005

Synod 2005 began with a celebration of worship. With a whistle blast, "coach", Re. Hohaia Matthews called members to the "heavenly dreamers' club". He called the Synod to team work and challenged people to "go the extra mile." The Synod which met over five days supported a proposal from South Australian Congress "to explore ways of supporting Congress in the implementation of their strategic mission directions".

. . . from New Times

5 September 2005 CONGRESS STORM

Congress in Port Augusta has entered an all girls B Grade Basketball team in the Basketball Association Competition which will commence on September 27th. The team will be known as the "Congress Storm".


Six young people from Congress South Australia were fortunate to attend the second Multicultural Church Institute Conference in New Mexico, USA from August 8th to 14th at The Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu. The conference is organized by the Presbyterian Church of the USA. Those who attended from Port Augusta were Racheal Tassone, David "Gadget" Highfold, Sonny Matthews and Joanne Waye-Hill. Russell Cole and Natasha Sumner also attended from Adelaide. Racheal, "Gadget" and Russell are youth workers with Congress in South Australia.

Conference delegates pictured from left: Russell Cole, Joanne WayeHill, Natasha Sumner, Racheal Tassone, Sonny Matthews and David Highfold.

Topics that were studied at the conference included "Church Renewal and growth through Multicultural Outreach." Another workshop based on the work of Martin Luther King explored some of the Biblical and theological resources for the church's ministry in racial justice and reconciliation. Congress leaders in South Australia said "We want our youth leaders to be exposed to forms of ministry, worship and theology which are culturally aware, inspire them to seek justice, and provide alternative experiences and models to the dominant, mainstream church models." As well as undertaking their own fundraising the delegates were supported by the wider church in which our deepest gratitude is extended. Our gratefulness goes to the Uniting Foundation, the Highbury Fund and the Presbytery of the Coorong.

. . . from UAICC E-Magazine Message Stick


We decided to take our Youth Group to Ankara Camp at Walkers Flat and left on Friday. The camp was based on building relationships with our peersw and as a team. We had plenty to eat with Chef "Poppy Tom", great devotions with Uncle Joe and stacks of fun, dishes and games with Aunty Rachael and Gadget. there were great stories . . . The Pelican sitting on the cliff and Old Girl. We had an awesome weekend and we were on our way back to Port Augusta in time for Night Service at Church!!


masquerade A series of events were supported and run by Congress members and the youth over the week; a Mini- Masquerade Ball, a Mini-Ball for up to 12 year olds which had a winter theme where everything was white and finally culminating in a Senior Ball on Saturday night.

Click on the image to enlarge.


The 3 on 3 Deadly Vibe Basketball and Hip Hop was in town and the Youth Group were asked if we wanted to do a canteen to assist with outr fund raising.... we said YES!! But the best was yet to come. We were asked if we wanted to run the disco that night and we did! We had 100 kids, 20 paremts, with Youth Group members running the show and all the Congress mums & aunties in the kitchen. The Congress bus was used to transport the families home. What a night and Kyle Van da Kyte dropped in.


The Youth Leadership Dinner was the major fund raising event for our Youth Leaders to attend the Multicultural Church Institute Conference in New Mexico, USA later in the year. Over 250 people came, many from the wider Port augusta Community who had no connections or idea about Congress, so it also became a great publicity event. The Youth leadership would like to thank the Congress Congregation, families and sponsors. Also the spectacular voice and heart of gold of Mr James Kerr from Sydney. The night was alive with auctions, raffles, giveaways, a magnificent meal and great entertainment. Outside it rain stormed and part of Port Augusta blacked out while we partied on.


The first Congress mixed basketball team in Port Augusta comp played on this day. The crowd yelled and screamed and they won! They sat second on the ladder and played in the Grand Final, losing by 9 points. If only Jojo and Gadget had been there, but they were away in America, it might have been different!

13 March 2005 KUCA CAMP OUT

Kids of the Uniting Church in Australia Camp Out at West Beach Caravan Park or KCO 2005. A whole mob of kids went from Port Augusta and Salisbury and it was a challenging time for the youth leaders. Lots of experience in looking after the little kids. Auntie Dawn and the team put on the usual great meals. Uncle Joe addressed the troops. Everyone was dressed in yellow. It was a great time for all. In the end the batteries ran low and some didn't get to see the last evening event but snoozed instead! Check out the pics. . . .

cool speech
Big Slide Conference
Ready to swim! Beach

Click on the images above to see larger pictures.

5 January 2004 NEW T SHIRT DESIGN

One of our Youth Group members has designed a new t-shirt for the group. This exclusive design is only available to the members and Congress and special others.

5 January 2005   NCYC 2005 CONGRESS ROCKS!

ncyc logo They came from all over Australia and beyond. Aboriginal and Islander people from Queensland, Elcho Island and the top end, Alice Springs and the Centre, Port Augusta, Adelaide and everywhere, Maori and Tongan, everyone was there!

from the Lands .... gathered

For Port Augusta and Adelaide Congress it was a major logistical event. Buses and cars converged on Tent City. Port Augusta Congress organised the feeding of all the Congress people from wherever they came. Auntie Dawn and her tireless team swung into action and fed hundreds for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. And the food was magnificent.

preparation team lunch

Though the rain poured down and the lightning flashed and thunder rolled there was hardly a hiccup to the process. Uncle Ian, Dean and Ken organised and problem solved. Uncle Joe and the band, No Set Menu, led the Bible Studies for the orange team and rocked the whole assembly at Wednesday morning worship. The message; from The Matrix. The challenge; to stand alongside the marginalised. Uncle James swept up the crowds in some awesome songs. No one will forget "I can see clearly now, the rain has gone, ...". Auntie Denise and Auntie Ruth and others told stories around the "campfire".

On Stage
Whole Convention Bits & Pieces
Bits & Pieces It rocked!
Bible Study like no other! Tongans
It was all awesome. And more was to come..............

Click on the images above to see larger pictures.

A selection of 99 photos taken in sequence during NCYC. Your photographer was not present at all events but if you were at the big tent or at the Bible Study look to see if you were snapped. Well, look anyway. Click here for album.

Coming Events
About Face 7
2 - 23 January 2006
About Face is a faith and culture exchange program for young adults in the 18-30 year old age group. Find out more by going to http://aboutface.unitingchurch.org.au/

Past Events
3 - 8 January 2005
Our own Hohaia Matthews was one of the Bible Study Leaders at this big big event. See the news on this page! Also go to http://adelaide2005.ncyc.com.au