19 to 28 April 2024

WHAT IS BIG CAMP?

Big Camp is a special week where our church family comes together to grow closer to God and each other. It's for everyone, no matter how young or old, and it's filled with fun activities, stories about Jesus, and lessons that help us understand how to live better as Christians. We spend time singing, learning, playing, and making new friends, all in a beautiful place where we can see how amazing God's world is.

At Big Camp, you take a break from everyday life and spend time thinking about God, talking to Him, and learning more about what it means to be a part of our big church family. It's a week full of fun, friendship, and faith, where you come back feeling refreshed and ready to live out God's love in your life. So, come join us! It's a great way to make your faith stronger and have a lot of fun at the same time.

HOW TO BE PART OF IT?

Ready to join us at Big Camp 2024? It's easy to sign up!

We're preparing for a fantastic week full of stories about Jesus, games, singing, and making new friends. Just a quick click and you'll be on your way to all the fun and faith-building activities we have planned. Don't wait too long – grab your spot now! A button below will take you straight to where you need to go to register.

See you at Big Camp!
Registration Closed

THE PROGRAM BOOKLET

Super Sunday is a market day event held on the first Sunday of Big Camp. There will be lots of different ministries featured along with jumping castles, food trucks, kids activities and live music.
Discover more

SPEAKERS

Gt Ng

BIG TENT
Dr. G. T. Ng, PhD, a dedicated servant of the church for 49 years, started his ministry in war-torn Cambodia. Esteemed for his roles as pastor, educator, and administrator, he served as a professor and dean in the Philippines before becoming the executive secretary of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. Elected as the Executive Secretary of the world church in 2010, he retired in 2021. Currently, he consults for the White Estate and aids in leadership development. Dr. Ng, a proud family man with two children and three grandchildren, holds degrees from Singapore, the Philippines, and the USA.

Seth Pierce

CONNECTION TENT
Seth Pierce, PhD, serves as the lead pastor of Sunnyside SDA Church in Portland, Oregon, and contributes as an adjunct professor of communication and religion. A prolific writer, Seth has authored many books and articles, with his latest work, "Seeking an Understanding: How to Have Difficult Conversations Without Destroying Your Relationships," published in 2021. Additionally, he hosts the "Beast & Bible" podcast, delving into the fascinating crossroads of religion, monsters, and popular culture.

Ty Gibson 

YOUNG ADULTS TENT
Ty Gibson, a dynamic speaker and director for Light Bearers, also serves as the pastor of Storyline Adventist Church. Renowned for his captivating communication style, Ty specialises in teaching a range of topics, emphasising God's unfailing love as the Bible's core message. Alongside his professional commitments, Ty cherishes his personal life, sharing it with his wife Sue, their three adult children, and two grandsons.

Jonathon Gillard

TEEN TENT
Jonathon Gillard, originally from Christchurch, moved across the ditch to join his wife, Catherine. With a rich background in ministry, serving as both chaplain and pastor in South New Zealand and Victoria, he has recently stepped into the role of Associate Youth Director for the Vic Conference. Jonathon excels in presenting biblical truths in ways that resonate with people of all ages, fostering curiosity about the depth of Christianity and the love of God. An enthusiast of rugby union, Star Wars, Marvel, Lego, TikTok, and video games, Jonathon (or Jono, as he prefers) is always eager to engage in conversations about his interests.

Bernard Deojee

JUNIOR TENT
Bernard 'Deojee, affectionately known as 'Beez,' brings over 15 years of experience to his role as a chaplain and pastoral life coach. His expertise spans organizational leadership, prison, college, and pastoral chaplaincy. Currently, he serves as the high school chaplain at Macarthur Adventist College in the Greater Sydney Conference. 'Beez' is dedicated to fostering a Christ-centered foundation, empowering individuals to find purposeful and meaningful direction in their lives.

Dada Fialho

UPPER PRIMARY
Odailson Fialho, also known as Dada, leads the Alstonville and Ballina church as its pastor. Alongside his wife, Leticia, and their two children, Bella, aged 10, and Benji, aged 7, he has dedicated nine years to serving in our conference. Dada is committed to ministering to individuals across all age groups, holding the profound wish to witness the return of Jesus within his lifetime.

Elvina Hughes

EARLY PRIMARY
Elvina Hughes has dedicated over two decades to children's ministry, engaging in Sabbath School, Adventurers, Pathfinders, and Vacation Bible School programs. Her passion for music is a family affair, shared with her husband and teenage son, with whom she loves to sing and play instruments. A self-proclaimed bookworm, Elvina also delights in crafts, shopping, and exploring great coffee shops. Her deepest desire is for every child to understand their immense value to God. This year, she aims to teach the kids how staying "On Track with Jesus" can empower them to be good friends, tackle challenges, maintain hope, exhibit courage, and embrace the promise of eternal life.

Carolin Schmitz

PRESCHOOL TENT 
Carolin Schmitz, affectionately known as Caz, returns for a thrilling third year in the preschool tent, brimming with enthusiasm for guiding children and families towards a deep appreciation of their incredible, creative God. As the founder of Happy Hands Art and Happy Hearts Family ministries, Caz is committed to crafting engaging, positive, and lively spaces that foster meaningful bonds between parents and children, with God's presence at the heart of every experience. Beyond her ministry, Caz has a fervent love for the great outdoors, nature, watercolour painting, shell art, singing, playing the ukulele, and creative writing. A devoted mother to two teenage boys, a supportive wife, and a proud daughter of the Heavenly King, she and the preschool team are excited to share God's profound and beautiful love with your cherished little ones at this year's Big Camp!

Adam & Kayla Schulz and Darren & Rebecca Cheers

BEGINNER'S TENT 
The Beginners Tent is a collaborative effort led by dedicated parents and pastors united in their mission to introduce Jesus to young children. Adam and Kayla Schulz, blessed with two sons, Julian and Oliver, play a pivotal role in this endeavour. Adam serves the community as the youth pastor at Wallsend Church. Complementing this team are Darren and Rebecca Cheers, parents to three daughters: Samantha, Chloe, and Phoebe. Rebecca brings her expertise as the Children's Pastor at Wallsend Church. At the same time, Darren extends his pastoral care to both Newcastle Multicultural Church and Nelson Bay Church, enriching the spiritual lives of many.

Peau & Julie Afoa

HYPERACTIVE FAITH TENT
Peau Afoa serves as the pastor for the churches in Narrabri and Moree, alongside his wife Julieanne, a registered nurse at Narrabri Hospital and the local GP Medical Centre. Before entering the ministry, they lived in Melbourne, Australia, for thirty years and later earned bachelor's degrees in Theology/Ministry and Registered Nursing from Avondale University. The Afoas are parents to three teenagers—Angelo, Iosefa, and Sia—who enjoy sports and social activities.

The Afoa family is dedicated to creating engaging and inclusive programs for children with ADHD or autism, aiming to lead them towards a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. This initiative also provides an opportunity for parents to fully participate in camp activities and meetings. Inspired by their son Iosefa, who has autism and ADHD, they have embarked on this ministry with the hope that all children will recognize their value in God's eyes and grow in their knowledge of Jesus, becoming influential figures for His kingdom.

Jennifer Skues

ADVENTIST WOMEN
Jennifer has been a practising Psychologist since 1993, offering her expertise to those grappling with stress and trauma-related disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, addictions, and relationship challenges. Her therapeutic approach emphasizes psycho-education, aiming to deepen clients' understanding of brain function and the interconnections between mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Jennifer employs various treatment methods, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, relaxation techniques, neuroplasticity exercises for brain rewiring, and stress management strategies. Beyond her professional life, Jennifer finds joy and balance through her love for her two beautiful Siamese cats and her appreciation of nature, passions that nourish her own well-being.

David Garrard

ATSIM
Pastor David Garrard has dedicated nearly three decades to ATSIM, focusing on guiding Indigenous people towards a relationship with Jesus and fostering their journey of discipleship. David has initiated various grassroots ministries, notably DreamTrack, to support at-risk Indigenous young people throughout his career. He recently completed a six-year tenure as the Principal of Mamarapha College in Western Australia and currently serves in the South Queensland Conference. David and his wife, Beryl, of Wanyi, Kalkadoon, and Barada Barna descent, are proud parents to three grown sons and grandchildren to seven grandchildren.

WORKSHOPS

Ross Grant

A Little Help in Understanding Health
11am - 12pm Monday - Friday
Young Adults Tent
The recent increase in death rate and sickness across all age groups has caused growing concern over what keeps us healthy and what is making us so sick. This workshop will unpack the relationship between how habits of daily living influence how well you feel and how healthy you actually are. Presentations address how lifestyle modification can reduce morbidity and mortality; demystifying nutritional choices; how physical activity influences disease; why you need sleep and how to get more; and how can we deal with anxiety.

John Addis
& Rod Bailey

God’s Garden
7am – 8:30am Monday – Friday
Meet at the garden by following the signposts behind the Connections Tent
Experience closeness to nature & God’s creation at Big Camp’s onsite syntropic garden. Through lessons in agricultural evangelism, sustainable living, market gardening and daily devotionals, John & Rod will teach participants how to happily grow a forest-style orchard & food garden using agroforestry principles. By cooperating with God’s design in creation, rather than fighting against it, we will learn how to be “with nature and with God” (Ministry of Healing, ch 3).

Erin Keegan
& Kate Garriga

Health Ministries Visioning & Connection Workshop
2:30-3:30pm Monday
Young Adults Tent
Calling all health leaders, pastors & health enthusiasts! You are invited to the Health Ministries Visioning & Connection Workshop to network with your wider NNSW family in Christ to inspire one another in creating a vision for your church & community’s health needs. You’ll discover health program training and resources available to you, reflect on your unique skills and capacity to serve, consider how follow up programs can build friendship with participants, and share how you can lead participants on a journey to connect with the Source of all healing.

Carolin Schmitz

Art as Therapy for Positive Wellness Watercolour Workshop
2:30-3:30pm Thursday
Family Ministries Tent
Come share in the positive wellness benefits and calming stress relief of watercolour art. This practical workshop for all ages highlights exploring artistic playfulness, trusting the artistic process and basic relaxation techniques. With no experience needed and no pressure on outcomes, this wonderful form of art can be used for ministry within your own communities with flourishing positive connections, or simply incorporated into part of your own positive wellness practice. Workshop limited to 50 people. $10 per person for materials.

Trent Keegan

The Nuts and Bolts
of Men’s Ministry
Monday Afternoon
TBC
Do you have a passion for ministering to the men in your church and surrounding community? Is there a desire to see your church leading the charge in calling men of all ages to be men of God?

We invite you to join us 2.30pm Monday afternoon. The Nuts and Bolts of Men’s Ministry workshop includes a panel of men who have responded to the call and are leading a variety of men’s groups in their areas. There’ll be a time of prayer for the men in our church and an opportunity to receive encouragement and inspiration from success stories. The Nuts and Bolts will introduce the Kinsmen Redeemed model, and also have a library of books and videos that can be helpful in equipping anyone wishing to prepare for their own men’s group.
We invite you to join us on Wednesday to experience a Kinsmen program at the Men and Boy BBQ Dinner hosted by the Family Ministries in collaboration with Kinsmen for food, fun activities, community and prayer.

More information coming soon!

Nina Atcheson

Children’s Sabbath
School Training
Tuesday, Wednesday 2:30-4:30pm
Family Ministries Tent
Nina serves as the Curriculum
Manager and Senior Editor of the new Alive in Jesus Sabbath School curriculum at the General Conference. She is married to Matt and loves being a Mum to three teenagers. She lives to be faithful to God’s call and mission and has a burden to inspire and equip children and youth to know God deeply and personally through making the Bible come alive in meaningful ways.

Why a New Sabbath School Curriculum?
This session will explore the reasons and purpose behind the new Alive in Jesus Sabbath School curriculum. In addition to unpacking the overarching goals, we’ll consider what is new about this curriculum compared to what we’ve had in the past, and how Alive in Jesus seeks to build faith and spiritually nurture the next generation.

A Closer Look at the Alive in Jesus Sabbath School Curriculum In this session, information, activities, and ideas about the new Babies, Beginner, Kindergarten, and Primary levels will be shared. You’ll have a glimpse into what the new curriculum will look like in your families and churches as the little people in our churches are transformed to know and love Jesus.

Charlene Luzuk

Welcome to My World
ADRA Australia
2:30pm-3:30pm Tuesday
Young Adults Tent
Come along to this interactive and compelling ADRA workshop, where you will take on a different identity and navigate through the day to day experiences of someone who faces very different challenges to what the average Australian does. Past participants have shared that this workshop really opened up their eyes and was an emotional and impactful experience that has stayed with them long after the simulation finishes.

Charlene is the National Programs Director with ADRA Australia and has worked in various countries with ADRA over the past 17 years. Charlene has a passion for seeing church groups connect with their communities, and enjoys taking interactive workshops where the attendees take an active part and share their own experiences.

Eugene Prewitt

Real Love in End Time Events
9:30am-10:30am Weekdays
Young Adults Tent
More information coming soon!

Quintin Betteridge

How to Share When
They Don’t Care
9:30am-10:30am Weekdays
Young Adults Tent
More information coming soon!

More coming soon

HOW TO GET THERE

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