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News 2006

11 September 2006 TJINATJUNANYI

On Monday 11th September, members of Port Augusta Congress and Davenport Community met with the Regional Director of Education, David Craig, ICAN manager, Yvonne Barker, and local school principals to discuss the joint submission by Davenport Community and Congress to develop solutions for those Aboriginal students not attending school. In Term 4 a pilot program will commence at Davenport providing an educational program for students and families. As part of the proposals, Education Consultant, Dr Di Russell, has been engaged by Congress to consult with Aboriginal families and schools in Port Augusta and make recommendations concerning the issue of non-attendance. Dr Russell will be supported by members of Congress when she visits families. This partnership between Congress, Davenport Community and DECS (the Education Department), with the involvement and support of local organizations such as Pika Wiya, Port Augusta Hospital and others, has been given the name, Tjinatjunanyi, which is a Pitjantjatjara word meaning "to set free". Loosely translated, Tjinatjunanyi has become "Footprints to freedom".

Top L-R: Lavene Ngatokorua from Davenport Community and District Director of Education, David Craig, at the meeting.


Reverend Shayne Blackman, United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress National Administrator, and Alan Randell from the National Office met with SA Congress members at the recent Regional Council meeting in Port Augusta.

Pictured LtoR: Shayne Blackman, Hohaia Matthews and Elder, Bruce Carter.

20 August 2006 BAPTISMS

On Sunday Mr & Mrs. Timothy and Patricia Tahi-Tahi; Mr. Mark Tahi-Tahi and partner Ms. Rebecca Casey, presented their six children to be baptised at the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community Church in Port Augusta. The baptism ceremony was co-officiated by Rev. Hohaia Matthews and Rev. Ken Sumner.
Rev. Matthews said, "This was a fantastic time of celebration in the life of the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community and in the bigger picture of things of faith and God. Our challenge as parents and that of the church is to provide continued spiritual/physical support to both parents and children." After the baptismal service the community had a time of fellowship held around great food.


One of the major impacts at National Conference was the contribution of the youth from all states, not least from SA. The Youth report to National Conference made a deep impact on the delegates. The Youth called on Congress for support at the local level in all states but also for a National Youth Conference. The youth also participated strongly across the program in singing, musical accompiament and group work. Check out the photos.


Click on the images above to see larger pictures.


Rev. Ken Sumner was elected as national Deputy Chairperson of Congress at the National Conference held recently on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Rev. Wali Fejo, recently retired to Port Augusta, was honoured with a Life Membership.
Below Left, Ken Sumner; Right, Wali Fejo.
Below: Left, Ken Sumner and Nelson Varcoe. Right, Murray Bridge incl. Uncle Bruce and Auntie Kathy.


quilt On June 26th the UAICC held its Triennial National Conference at the Alexandra Conference Centre on the Sunshine Coast. South Australia sent over 70 to the conference out of the near 200 total attending. Of these near 30 were young people from the youth groups in SA. On the weekend before the conference the youth and women ran special programs.

one of the murals Two large painted murals were created by the youth and a quilt was made and displayed by the women of Congress. The large number of young people from SA surprised the delegates and their continued contribution and involvement in worship was inspiring.

Among the reports given to Congress National Conference was an impassioned speech by Rev. Ken Sumner on Covenanting. Uncle Victor gave a stirring testimony and a history lesson which is still unfolding. Many of these issues demanded a response from all people of goodwill but consideration for practicalities limited the number that could be advanced to the Assembly. Rev Gregor Henderson and General secretary Rev. Terence Corkin spent a couple of days at the Conference, meeting and listening to many Aboriginal people from all states.

28 April 2006 FAMILY FUN DAY

On Friday 28 April, Congress organised the first of a series of Family Fun Days under the auspices of Communities for Children Port Augusta. Racheal Tassone and members of the Congress Youth and Congress Faith Community set up the tents and spaces for the various organisations supporting the day. The weather held after elctrical storms the night before and the damp morning turned into a great day for families and children. Everything was free. Bouncy castle, slides, Early Childhood activities, face painting, bubble blowing and Old MacDonald's Travelling Farm baby animals. There were balloons and free pops handed out by the clowns and a sausage sizzle. It was great to see families and kids of all cultures mixing and having fun. Altogether a great day for Port Augusta families.

big slide fun smiles
families baby animals
clowns mix

Click on the images above to see larger pictures.


This enchanting image of the Three Kings has been especially painted for Frontier Services‘ supporters by artist Lavene Ngatokorua. Inside: Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Bible Verse: When they saw the star they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Matthew 2:10-11

Lavene was born in Port Augusta and she grew up at the Umeewarra Children‘s Home. Lavene‘s art reflects her knowledge and commitment to her culture and also her community involvement. She uses both traditional and contemporary colours and styles to express herself in her art. Lavene believes that culture is dynamic and therefore changes with the times but her culture underlies everything she does.

Therefore her art represents a mix of traditional and contemporary issues and is presented in such a way to ensure it is relevant to today‘s society. As an artist she is known as Inkatja which means new moon, Lavene believes this is an appropriate name for an artist who is bringing a contemporary style to such an ancient art form.

To order cards contact Congress or your local Uniting Church.

2 April 2006 KCO 2006

Kids of the Uniting Church in Australia Camp Out at West Beach Caravan Park or KCO 2006. Again a whole mob of kids went from Port Augusta and Salisbury and the Flinders Ranges. Lots of leaders and big kids looking after little kids, fun and laughter and learning about being God's kids. Not to mention being on TV! Check out the pics. . . .

pile up games
games kermit
yellow hats crafts
Salisbury Mob interview
relax stilts

Click on the images above to see larger pictures.


Well, ministry in Port Augusta has sky rocketed through the roof. Last September the Uniting Aboriginal Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Port Augusta decided to enter a Youth/Womens Indigenous basketball team (Congress Storm) in B grade of the Port Augusta Basketball Association.

After a long 7 months of training and basketball games, coached by Rev. Hohaia Matthews and Lavene Ngatokorua, we made it into the finals. We were more than happy to get that far. To top it off, we then made it to the Grand Final! Who would have ever thought that in our first season such a young Indigenous team would get to the Grand Final? To make the occassion more special we, the Congress Storm, played another Indigenous Team, the Shadows, who have been in the Basketball Association over 10 years. This was a first for the Port Augusta Basketball Association, to have two Aboriginal teams play-off in a Grand Final.

The Grand Final was awesome! With the support of our families, friends, our cheer squad, supporters from other basketball clubs and members of our Congregation, we fought to the end. We might have been gallant losers but we were truly champion winners in making history for the Basketball Association. The rival team happened to be aunties, cousins and sisters so it was a real family affair and the two teams created another first by hugging each other at the end of the game.

On behalf of the Congress Storm basketball players we would like to thank Uncle Rev. Hohaia and Aunty Dawn Matthews for all their help, especially for all their financial support so we could play in the basketball competition.

Top L-R: Kristen Vesant, Leilamarie Likouresis, Shellander Champion, Racheal Tassone (Team Manager), Brianna Warren, Rev Hohaia Matthews AKA "Father Joe" (Coach) Bottom: Danika Lester, Joanne Waye-Hill, Candace Champion

Great things are happening in our Community and our Ministry is growing day by day. This is a great story and there will be plenty more to come from us here in Port Augusta. We hope you can keep us and the people in this community in your prayers. We would also appreciate any support you could offer us, in any shape or form.

If you are coming to Port Augusta, or passing through Port Augusta, please don't hesitate to contact us or drop in for a cuppa. If you are looking for somewhere to bring your Youth Group or members of your church, think of Port Augusta, and if you would like to be a part of our dynamic ministry, please get in contact with us.

God Bless.
Racheal Tassone, UAICC Port Augusta - Youth Worker
P.O Box 2113, Port Augusta, SA 5700
mobile: 0428 548 363

19 January 2006 PORT AUGUSTA

We have cleared the decks for 2006. What an awesome year we had in 2005! Check out the highlights by clicking on the archive link to the left or here. Uncle Joe and Auntie Dawn have just returned from South Africa so news on that soon. Be sure to stay tuned to this station. More is to come.

Coming Events
Agents of Change - NCYC
3 - 9 January 2007
The National Christian Youth Convention will be held in Perth next year. Find out more by going to http://agentsofchange.org.au/

About F.A.C.E. 8
1 - 21 July 2007
Faith and culture exchange. An opportunity to spend time in indigenous communities in Australia and overseas in order to * develop friendships * build bridges of understanding * share stories * and more
Find out more by going to http://aboutface.unitingchurch.org.au