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UnitingSA celebrates 100 years of support

After months in the making, our Centenary Birthday Party at Alberton, South Australia on October 19 was a huge success.

More than 700 community members, staff, clients and supporters gathered at Alberton Oval to commemorate 100 years of service to South Australians.

An official welcome was delivered by SA Minister for Child Protection, Rachel Sanderson, followed by three hours packed with free activities, food and entertainment.

The Centenary Birthday Party wraps up a year of celebrations held across UnitingSA sites in regional and metropolitan SA.

A big thank you to our staff, volunteers and event partners for making this event one to remember. Proudly supported by the Port Adelaide Football Club, Maughan Thiem, the Employee Foundation of SA Power Networks, SUEZ, Belmore Nurses, Butterfields, Shannahan Crash Repairs, CMI Toyota and Compliant Fire Services. 

SALA Art Exhibition: Beyond the Wharf Sheds

In recognition of UnitingSA’s centenary in 2019, a mixed media art exhibition celebrated the talent that lies within UnitingSA’s clients, residents, staff, families, carers and volunteers of all ages and experiences.

The exhibition was launched on 23 August and ran until 1 September at the Black Diamond Gallery in the heart of Port Adelaide. We were overwhelmed with submissions and are excited to say we showcased over 90 artworks!

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Claire Boan officially opened the exhibition to a tremendous turn-out of artists, family and friends from the UnitingSA community, including staff, volunteers and the people we support.

Our Board Chair Gael Fraser also spoke at the event, giving special thanks to WSE employee Darren Terrell who came up with the idea for the exhibition, and to WSE Manager Penny McAuley for all her work bringing his vision to life.

WSE supported employees Matt Stokes, Simon Bartholomaeus and John Hindmarsh also put their talents front and centre, entertaining the audience with their own original music. For some it was their first time performing publicly and they did a fantastic job.

UnitingSA was proud to present this inaugural exhibition which reflects our vision for a compassionate, respectful and just community in which all people participate and flourish.

Commemorating 100 years of service

We officially celebrated the day of our founding on April 8 with a special event at Port Adelaide Uniting Church, attended by key supporters from our 100-year story.

We were privileged to have His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, join us as one of our guest speakers. Speeches were also delivered by our Board Chair Gael Fraser, CEO Libby Craft, the Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod in SA, Rev Sue Ellis, and past Superintendent Minister, Rev Don Catford.

“It is incredible to think that on this day, 100 years ago, our organisation began as the Port Adelaide Central Methodist Mission,” Gael told the gathering. “In those early days, nobody could have imagined how significant the work of the Mission would become.”

Libby added: “I would like to think that 100 years from now, another occasion will be held in which future generations will look back and reflect on the positive difference we are making in people’s lives today. It would be incredible to think that by then, our vision for ‘a compassionate, respectful and just community in which all people participate and flourish’ is no longer a vision – but a reality.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special occasion. We look forward to continuing our centenary celebrations with all of the special people who are part of UnitingSA across South Australia throughout the year.

Historical Forum ' Together We Can: Building Stronger Communities'

Our free historical forum commemorating UnitingSA’s centenary was a wonderful occasion, with more than 50 people coming together to explore the evolution of our organisation and what it means to ‘build community’.

We hosted the event on May 15 at Port Adelaide Uniting Church, in partnership with the Uniting Church Historical Society of South Australia.

Many members of the Port Adelaide Uniting Church, local history buffs and former and current UnitingSA staff joined in an interactive day of panel sessions, presentations and special interest seminars.

Our Board Chair Gael Fraser shared her journey with our Minister Rev. Les Underwood during a Q&A session, while our CEO Libby Craft joined former Superintendent Don Catford and CEO Peter Bicknell in a panel discussion delving into past learnings and future challenges for our organisation.

Participants were engaged in smaller group discussions in the afternoon around the topics of community centres, Indigenous culture and reconciliation, ethnic traditions, housing and homelessness, mental health and art, and aged care.

Thank you to all of the facilitators who led discussions and to all of the attendees who shared their time throughout this informative and engaging day!

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Taperoo Community Centre participant (pictured with Centre Coordinator Kathy)

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