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News 2009

22 Jul 2009 Congress Is Brewing A Storm
Yes that is correct. Basketsball season is about to commence in a few months and the Storm are ready to take to the courts again to produce another fantastic season. All teams have had a well deserved rest and are ready. Watch this space as the season commences soon.

08 Jul 2009 Congress Caters For NAIDOC
This year Congress catered for the Mini NAIDOC Ball, which was held in Port Augusta. The theme was the Yellow Brick Road which Umeewarra Media, the local Aboriginal radio station here in Port Augusta, organised. They had characters who visited the children, including the Lion who was prowling around the hall, to the Tin Man, and the Great OZ. These were only a few characters that created a theme of magic and happiness for three hours of the kid’s night. With all this magic and mayhem going on Congress assembled many youth and adults to cater: lolly entree’s, chips, pies and nuggets, and the touch of ice cream to finish off the night. All in all it was a fun night and rewarding to have experienced it. Having Congress a part of NAIDOC this year was a privilege.

18 Jun 2009 White House Update
So far the Matthews have been living in this White House for six months waiting for the new house to be built. After many visits to Adelaide to discuss plans with various people they are 95 percent sure of completion of the new manse building. So watch this space as more information comes to hand.

03 Jun 2009 Uncle Ken & Jordan Visit Philippines
In early April Jordan Sumner was asked to represent the Uniting Church in attending a Youth Conference in the Philippines. Later that month, after returning back home from New Zealand, he along with his dad the Reverend Ken Sumner travelled to Singapore, where they were greeted by a chauffeur and taken to their hotel in one of the latest model Mercedes. The next day they flew to Manila… that’s when they got the shock of the amount of Poverty all over the nation’s capital. They spent their first night staying at an Ecumenical House in Metro- Manila… the weather was muggy and hot they had no air-conditioners until their bus ride the next night.
They travelled for 10 hours through the night until they reached Santiago City, where they changed buses from an air-conditioned state liner to a “mini bus” where they fitted 50 people on, that’s right not just in but on…
They finally reached their destination in the small township of Mayoyao, Ifugao where the 3rd National Youth Camp of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) was held. It was an experience that they will never forget because majority of the bible study classes were told in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. The camp was based on how we can be a Greener Planet and reducing our carbon footprint, the theme was “Making the Earth our home”.
It rained for most of the camp and they were caught in a Typhoon it got up to Signal 3, everyone was crying and praying on the last night, not just because the camp was almost over but because of the storm and lack of power. For the last three days of the camp they had no electricity.
On the day the camp ended it was still raining but everyone got on the buses and off they went, they got to the top on a hill and pulled over, the driver got out and others climbed off the roof but there were still over 40 people on the mini bus. They were stopped for a while, they changed the 2 front tires whilst everyone was on the bus, after that they took off again. It wasn’t even 5 minutes and they pulled over again, the tires were loose!! They tightened them and off they went.
Just when they thought they’d never get out of the mountains they pulled over again, this time they saw other buses pulled over too. There had been a landslide and they had to try to build a road over the landslide, but then they heard the horn of a bus, with that they quickly moved out of the way and the bus went flying over the dirt piled up over the road. They made it back safely and will always remember their first trip to the Philippines.
What did they learn spiritually on this trip? They learnt how to pray like they’ve never prayed before.

01 Jun 2009 Congress Farewells Aunty Eva & Family
Sunday in Port Augusta was another service that we all fare welled Aunty Eva, Uncle Charlie, Noah, Sheona, & Taylor. Who have been a part of Congress for many years they will all be missed as they return home to New Zealand. The service was shared with songs of praise and worship with also a few people sharing their experiences they have had with the family. Many stories were told that night and many more to come. After service we had our usual big feed in the hall next to the church. Sharing a plate of food and catching up with family and friends is a regular event at Congress, but tonight was special as we all shared our last meal at Congress with the family we all loved.

25 May 2009 Tjina Students visit Parliament
During our stay in Adelaide Tjina went to Parliament House. It was an experience which some of our students will remember. We went to the House of Representatives where all of our students sat in the seats where politicians talk and discuss different issues. The students looked around the room and in silence sat there and listened to the history and stories which our tour guide had. Many interesting facts included woven carpets of S.A symbols, the painting on the walls to the colour of the seats. The day was seen by the students as a learning experience and now knowing who their local Member of Parliament is and how the government runs.

22 May 2009 Congress In Basketball Grandfinal
On the 21st March, Port Augusta held its annual Basketball Grand Finals. This season Congress increased its team capacity from 3 to 5, and with 3 teams playing in the Grand final it’s definitely something for the community to be proud of and that they did by coming and showing their support to the teams that were playing.

Grand Final day kicked off with the C Grade Men playing against the Galahs, the crowd was ready for an awesome contest between these two team as they both had close games throughout the season, but it was under the leadership of Uncle Michael Brown Snr that HISTORY was made… We won!!! This is Congress first (and wont be the last) premiership within the Port Augusta Basketball Association.

With a Premiership already in hand it was left up to both the B Grade Men and Women’s teams to add, but unfortunately these teams were defeated in the quest for premiership glory.

Attached are some pictures from the day, C Grade premiers and our club champions for 2008-09.

19 Feb 2009 Tjina Seniors First Aid
Tjina had our students involved in a Senior First Aid which we all have training in various skills that we can use. We all learnt to bandage up injuries, assess emergency situations, and other skills. Besides all the laugher there was a serious side to all of this training. Having the students involved in first aid, meant we gave them important life saving skills. They are hopefully the first of many students to use this vital resource.

08 Jan 2009 Matthews Family move into the White House
After the fire the Matthews family were homeless. Fortunately the "White House" became available. No, Barak Obama didn't invite them. This White House is in Stirling North and was an answer to prayer.....
Moving into the house was a day which hopefully won’t happen again until we move back to our previous house. Having trucks line the street and people waiting their turn to help us set up our new home was a blessing. Getting life back to normal for The Matthews was made quickly by moving into this house which could accommodate our big family. Sorting out which rooms we would all have was not a difficult issue for Dawn & Hohaia. The boys would share a room with four beds in this ex lounge room and one more bedroom for the boys, and the other two for the girls. Also Dawn & Hohaia would have a room as well. Once we have sorted out which rooms all of us were staying in it was all good. It seemed like we have lived in The White House for many years as we started to get back to some normality. Not worrying about what have just happened to our previous house we just picked up ourselves and kept going. I think this has made it easier for all of us as a family to settle in. As for the future we await the anticipation of our new house being rebuilt and creating new memories in a home which will finally be our home.

02 Jan 2009 Wilmington Camp
In December the Tjinatjunanyi sudents attended a camp in Wilmington as part of the Crime Prevention Program being run with funding from the Justice Department.

Coming Events
NCYC 2011
Wednesday 29 December 2010 to Tuesday 4 January 2011
Turn it UP for NCYC 2011 on the beautiful Gold Coast.
This will be a life-changing encounter for your Christian faith and discipleship through community, speakers, concerts, Bible Studies, and a whole lot of fun at the cheapest price ever !

Find out more by going to
NCYC 2011 website

About F.A.C.E. 9
28 June - 19 July 2009
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 Aboutface website