News reports from Avondale College (Australia), Germany, Cambodia, Life Health Foods (Australia) and Hong Kong.

Those seeking to enhance or commence a counselling career can now do so at postgraduate level through Avondale following approval of a new graduate diploma. Students need no previous training or experience to complete the two-year course. “The major or specialization of your first degree doesn’t matter,” says Counselling Strand Convenor Paul Bogacs. “The Graduate Diploma in Counselling is an entry-level program that can be your pathway into setting up a private practice, working in an agency or working as a school counsellor, drug and alcohol counsellor or case manager.”

Avondale offers the course in two modes: by distance with four, one-week intensives, or; face-to-face on-campus. “You have options,” says Bogacs. “Study online and just come to Avondale for the intensives. These will give you practical experience and the opportunity to meet your lecturers and counsellor-in-training colleagues. Or study on our Lake Macquarie campus over two years full-time or up to six part-time.”

The Graduate Diploma in Counselling, approved by Avondale and Charles Sturt University as part of a Jointly Conferred Award Scheme, is now offered in addition to a three-year counselling specialization or major as part of the Bachelor of Arts. Both courses include a one-year clinical placement and meet the requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

“Counselling is one of the most satisfying careers,” says Bogacs, who moved into the field more than 20 years ago after a career in ministry. “I love it because I value emotional health and I’m passionate about helping people.”

According to European Adventist news service, APD,, an international Adventist youth congress, met from 6 to 10 February in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a town in the eastern part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The event drew 330 participants from all over Europe. The slogan for the event was “My Church. My Home. My Mission – Building Together.” The congress challenged participants to build community, strengthen their beliefs and more clearly define and prepare to serve in their own vocations. The congress aimed to offer objective, high-quality training for professionals and volunteers in the church’s youth and community work. Young people from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Norway, Hungary, Denmark, Great Britain and Spain were encouraged to help and support their local churches. The topics ranged from social justice through transmission of values to addressing the importance of community. was organized by the youth department of the Adventist Church in continental Western and Southern Europe.

From APD – The Seventh-day Adventist denomination has opened the Battambang Essential Life Center in Cambodia’s second largest city. It will help urban residents learn a healthful lifestyle. The center is landscaped with plants and includes a gym, a vegetarian restaurant, and a playground for children and teens, as well as a place of worship. It features a multipurpose building that houses a school for young people and offers music lessons. Volunteers are currently offering free medical services for the community.

Life Health Foods (LHF), a company owned by the Adventist denomination in Australia, has teamed up with former Olympian Stephanie Rice to increase awareness of the benefits of following a plant-based diet and market its Vegie Delights brand. Rice won three gold medals for swimming at the 2008 Olympics and became a vegan after suffering bouts of bloating, skin outbreaks and stomach aches. Dean Epps, general manager of LHF, said, “We are delighted to be working with Rice. She’s just as passionate about the vegan lifestyle as we are.”

Millions of Chinese live in cities around the world; 54 million to be exact. If you are looking for materials to use in reaching the Chinese in your community with the gospel of Jesus, the denomination’s China Union Conference in Hong Kong has a catalogue for your reference. It can be downloaded as a PDF here —

To comment, click here