First established in 2021, Excelsia Productions seeks to contribute to creating cultural arts that benefit the world through exploration and representation of the beauty and brokenness of life in God’s creation. Excelsia Productions chose one of the oldest and most read books in history, the book of Job, from the Bible, as its first feature length film, which will be approximately 90 minutes in length. Tim Lim, 2021 Bachelor of Dramatic Art graduate, will star as Elihu, a comforter of Job and his three friends and defender of God. We talked to Tim about this exciting experience as filming prepares to get underway in early July!


Tell us a bit about your character Elihu.

Elihu is one very unique character in the sense that the only one he sides with is God himself. The name Elihu means ‘My God is He.’ He takes a stance against Job’s three friends and calls out against Job’s rebukes calling Job’s remarks against God unjust. However, he does not threaten Job with aggression like Job’s other three friends. In many ways God uses Elihu to speak with Job and he is the only one of Job’s friends who God doesn’t rebuke at the end of the story.


How did your studies at Excelsia help you prepare to act in 18. The Book of Job?

This script is word for word from the Bible and Elihu has a behemoth of a monologue. Even in my first year of my course here, I performed in one play with 30 to 40 pages of dialogue split between two characters. I had to learn the harsh way of the importance of learning lines early, accurately, and quickly. However, this is both a script and Scripture, thus leading me to learn the meaning underneath the lines as well. This has brought me to reading different versions of the same verses such as New International Version and King James Version to find implications that our WEB Version may not explicitly reveal.


What are you most looking forward to about this experience?

Before I even knew about this production, I was reading the book of Job in my daily devotions, and I acted out all the characters as I was reading them. I loved the idea of bringing this piece of biblical literature to a format more easily consumed such as screen or theatre, where characters can be seen living and breathing not just talking in biblical verses. God has already used this role to develop my growth as an actor and person and I’m very keen to see what else He has in store.


Why do you think the book of Job is such an important book in the Bible that should be adapted to the screen?

The book of Job deals with some of the hardest topics and questions that life and Christianity has to offer. When I struggled with faith, this book was always recommended to me. I think it’s important to ask God why He allows suffering because that’s a question even many Christians still face. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get people to watch something on screen than to read pages and pages of dialogue.


The book of Job is very meaningful to me. I wrote a play (Rapture, 2021) in third year based on Job’s story, about a pastor who lost his family and cried out against God. I’m also a big superhero fan so naturally this pastor finds sci-fi technology and becomes a super villain which is obviously where he and Job diverge. We had to cut out the three friends. I played the pastor in this play and had another student as the equivalent of Elihu where he’d rebuke me. This play came out of a fragmentation of my faith that held resentment toward God but now, as I study the words of Elihu, it’s not just God speaking through me but God speaking to me as well.


We can’t wait to see Tim take to the screen and be a part of a film that will educate the world, especially as we navigate times in a post pandemic world.

The Kingdom Good Coalition will present the IMMINENT Leadership Summit on Thursday 14 July. This one-day event will take place at Wesley Conference Centre in Sydney, as well as in various locations across Brisbane and Melbourne. This event is being organised through Christian Media & Arts Australia.

 

The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Take a courageous step toward the future’ and participants and leading practitioners will explore a number of timely questions including ethical approaches to technology adoption, the Meta Church and the future intersection of virtual and face to face, what is Web 3.0 and do we engage with NFTs, blockchain and crypto, the first steps to cultivating innovation, and creating movement from social media to mobilisation. This will take place in a collective learning environment. On top of robust discussions, there will be case studies and practical steps that churches, media, social justice, not-for-profit organisations and the education sector can take.

 

Speakers will include:

 

· Nils Smith – Chief Strategist Social Media and Innovation

· Sam Valich – Senior Director, Global Brand at Compassion

· Dave Adamson – Digital Strategist, Author and Speaker

· Richenda Vermeulen – Founder and CEO, Ntegrity (Panel – Melbourne only)

· Joshua Crowther – Executive Director, Dunham+Company Australia

· Felicity Marlow – Principal, Norwest Christian College

· Stuart Cranney – Director of innovation, CV Global

 

The purpose of IMMINENT is to serve the greater church in our nation and to be able to critically engage in the spaces of digital, brand, engagement, and innovation. Excelsia is proud to partner with Christian Media & Arts Australia and unite with other organisations, charities and individuals to help further the Gospel across Australia and provide practical steps to help our communities.

 

To find out more about the event, click the link below

https://www.mintix.com.au/event/imminent22/?partner=excelsiacollege

Peninah (Penny) Kansiime is a Lecturer of Social Work and has been with Excelsia College for nearly one and a half years. She has a heart for social issues including forced migration, child protection, family and domestic violence, mental health, and HIV/AIDS, having practised in the field for 12 years. Penny has an international and local practice background and has worked both in university and college settings across Sydney, as well as Uganda. She brings her cross-cultural experience to the College. Penny’s approach to teaching is by helping students to become critically reflective practitioners.

 

In her work as a social worker and lecturer, Penny has learned from God to think outside of the box and consider multiple perspectives. ‘Outofthebox thinking involves me getting out of the comfort zone regarding what I know and listening to different opinions and respecting them,even if they are contrary to mine,’ Penny says.

 

God has also taught Penny the value of kindness and empathy. Our students come from across the world, and I have learned with time that we have to listen, understand and treat them as individuals because each of their circumstance is unique,’ she explains. ‘God has challenged me to judge less and be more empathetic.’

 

One of Penny’s favourite books in the Bible is Psalm 91. Verses 12 say,Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’

 

One of the things that has surprised Penny the most is the generosity of Excelsia in looking after her emotional wellbeing. Penny would describe the College as a genuinely caring environment’ and it is this care that she brings to her teaching and students as she educates the next generation of social workers. With a down to earth personality and beautiful smile, Penny is a fitting Excellent Personality and Excelsia is lucky to have her.

 

If you’re interested in helping to care for people and want to learn from compassionate staff like Penny, why not explore our Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course?

 

Anthea Agoratsios graduated from Excelsia College in 2021 with a Master of Counselling, having previously completed her undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (majoring in Performance) in 2017. I always knew after I completed my drama degree that I wanted to pursue counselling and specialise in working with actors and other creatives on a therapeutic level. The Master of Counselling offered by Excelsia covered a wide range of therapeutic modalities that aligned with the kind of therapy style I wanted to pursue. I felt a degree like this one would be a great starting point for me,’ Anthea explains.


Over her seven years spent at Excelsia, Anthea has seen the community grow and change as the College has expanded and diversified in its course offerings. Despite the changes, she has noticed the consistent love and support within the student community. ‘Excelsia is welcoming, diverse, and creative; I fell in love with the warmth and hospitality of the community atmosphere. The students I have met during my studies have left a lasting and special impact on my life; the memories I have made are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Through Excelsia I have met my chosen family and for that I will be forever grateful,she says.


Life can be scary and uncertain at times, especially during seasons of change such as completing your studies and moving into your chosen career, however Anthea feels that the student community at Excelsia has supported her in this transition. ‘No matter how uncertain things may seem, there will always be a support network rallying behind you while you complete the transition. Additionally, the importance of hard work, dedication and resilience when striving to achieve your ambitions has been reinforced countless times.

Anthea has many highlights and defining moments from her seven years spent at Excelsia College, however a defining theme she has noticed is her personal and professional growth. Both counselling and acting training require a great deal of introspection and, for me personally, that has led to an immense amount of transformation. I can sometimes hardly recognise the girl that started at Excelsia seven years ago and I am extremely proud of the woman I’ve become,’ says Anthea.


After finishing her studies at the end of last year, Anthea took some well-deserved time off to travel. Now, she is working as a clinic coordinator at a healthcare clinic whilst continuing to aspire towards her goals to becoming a counsellor.


We are proud to have inspiring graduates such as Anthea who embody the College’s values of hard work and a desire to grow not only intellectually but also emotionally. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for Anthea as she uses her knowledge gained to assist actors and creatives. If you want to be transformed, why not explore what Excelsia College can offer you? With courses in counselling, social work, education, creative and performing arts and business, you will be extended in ways you never thought possible.


Enquire with us today by visiting https://excelsia.edu.au/

Since graduating from Excelsia College with the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2020, Esther Williams has started to make a name for herself in the performing arts industry, having been cast in a film, and more recently in a television show and lead in a commercial, both soon to be aired. Esther is about to star as a main character in a play titled The Sweet Science of Bruising. The show is set in London during the year 1869 and revolves around four very different Victorian women who find freedom inside a boxing ring. We talked to Esther about how Excelsia helped to train her for her creative pursuits, what attracted her to The Sweet Science of Bruising and what it has been like working alongside other alumni and current students at the College.

 

How did Excelsia help you to develop your acting skills and confidence to pursue a role in the creative arts industry? 

 

Excelsia has some amazing teachers (some of whom I keep in contact with to this day). They have taught me to be brave and to trust my work and myself. The drama performance degree had so much to offer from movement, to voice, to the vast array of acting techniques and much, much more. Being then able to perform several times at Excelsia’s theatre in front of an audience throughout the degree, with all the techniques I learned, made the transition into the real world a lot less daunting! These techniques and the confidence the degree gave me are the very things that aid me in terms of adaptation to a character when I am performing on stage or on screen. Excelsia also offers great networking for their students, to help with developing connections inside the industry, and is one of the things that contributed to me getting my role in The Sweet Science of Bruising!

 

What are your career aspirations?

 

My heart will always feel at home on stage, and I can only thank Excelsia for that as their amazing theatre productions gave me that confidence. I want to keep building on my career in theatre, but down the line, I’d also love to have some roles in a few indie films. I’m obsessed with films that are unapologetically raw and showcase the pure essence of human emotions.

 

What appealed to you about The Sweet Science of Bruising?

 

What drew me in most about this play is that it puts women at its core. It’s a true depiction of all that we are capable of as women, when it comes to getting what we want both alone and untied. It strays away from the stereotypes that often label us. We need more stories like this! Reading through the script for the first time, I instantly fell in love with my character, Polly. She’s fierce, extremely cheeky but most of all, powers through whatever life throws at her. I admire her strength and am thrilled to be walking alongside her through this journey.

 

What has it been like working alongside other Excelsia alumni and current students?

 

It’s been so, so great! In The Sweet Science of Bruising, I am working alongside four other Excelsia alumni and current students. To know that we’ve all come from the same place and are working towards our passions, is so exciting and inspiring. All of them have come so far and ooze zest and talent, so I feel super privileged to be taking on this production with such an awesome team!

 

Excelsia loves to work alongside passionate individuals who aspire to work in theatre, film, and television, or in producing and directing their own plays. Please contact Excelsia College if your desire lies within the creative and performing arts space just like it does for Esther! Visit https://excelsia.edu.au/study/creative-and-performing-arts/

Excelsia College’s International Student Recruitment Manager Jennifer Han and the student acquisition team attended the Austrade Virtual Fair on 28 May. This was the first time the College participated in the event run between Austrade and Study Australia. Over 1,933 visitors attended this year’s event, helping to expose Excelsia College’s brand to potential students, parents, and industry people in the northeast Asian regions. Approximately 98.3 per cent of attendees were between the ages of 20 to 30.

Han connected with prospective students and their parents across Korea, Mongolia, Japan, and Hong Kong over the four-hour session using online video call and live chat conversations with automatic translation (Study Australia, 2022). Excelsia was also able to customise its virtual booth with brochures, videos, and photos.

According to market insights garnered by Study Australia (2022), Korea is the 10th largest source country for Australia’s international education sector. Australia is the second most preferred study destination for Koreans, who are seeking the opportunity to upskill as they prepare to enter the competitive job market and receive post-study work visas to gain industry experience.

Japan is the 16th largest source country for Australia’s international education sector and Australia appeals as a study destination to this group as the Japanese Government augments English language education in school and more recruits are expected to have stronger language skills by employers (Study Australia, 2022). For Mongolians, Australia is their second most popular English-speaking higher education destination just behind America, with strong business links between Australia and Mongolia (Study Australia, 2022). Hong Kong was a prime market for 2021 full-year student enrolments in Australia and the sixth largest source market for the Australian higher education sector (Study Australia, 2022).

The Austrade Virtual Fair is held annually under the ‘Study Australia’ education brand and is the only Australian Government education fair in the region (Study Australia, 2022). Excelsia’s presence at Austrade was a success and will help to increase brand awareness to the Northeast Asia market (specifically Korea, Mongolia, Japan, and Hong Kong). We can’t wait to welcome more international students to Excelsia College and support them on their learning journey.

Reference

Study Australia Virtual Fair, 28 May 2022. Event Participation Opportunity – Study Australia Virtual Fair 2022 Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Hong Kong. https://www.austrade.gov.au/event/SAvirtualfair2022#/event

On Tuesday 31 May, Excelsia College attended the annual Sydney Prayer Breakfast at the Grand Ballroom in the International Convention Centre. It was an unforgettable morning of spirituality and discussion as roughly 1,700 Christians across Sydney (and more online) came together to stop and pray for the city of Sydney and share stories of faith. These people came from a variety of industries such as Churches, financial and business institutions, and higher education providers. Attendees also enjoyed breakfast and worshipping with Emu Music, who filled the ballroom with beautiful Christian music.

 

Excelsia College is proud to be a major sponsor of Sydney Prayer Breakfast, which enabled us to focus on brand awareness and highlight our Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Bachelor of Music (Worship) courses. The College had a stall that was well visited, and staff from the marketing team distributed College merchandise to prospective students at the breakfast. Our promotional advertising featuring a 30 per cent discount for Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Bachelor of Music (Worship) courses had prime position on the large screen in the Grand Ballroom, as well as inside the official Prayer Breakfast booklet.

  

Peter Gibbs, a Gamillaroi man from the community of Weilmoringle in far West New South Wales was this year’s keynote speaker. Gibbs was responsible for helping to develop The Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery Program (IPROWD), a training model to develop First Nations Australians for a career with the NSW Police Force. IPROWD is now one of the most highprofile programs in New South Wales (City Bible Forum, 2021). Peter shared his journey of faith and how coming to Christ led him from violence to faith and fromdespair to hope. Gibbs also shared a prayer for First Nations Australians and reflected on how far Australia has come for National Reconciliation Week; an important time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements (Reconciliation Australia, 2022).

 

The chosen Bible verse for the event was Ephesians 6:18 which says, ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.’ This verse is so fitting as we remember to pray for the city of Sydney and our increasingly secular world.

 

Thank you to Neville Cox, an Excelsia College Board Member and Chairman of The Sydney Prayer Breakfast for his commitment to this crucial initiative. Excelsia looks forward to continuing its partnership as an ongoing sponsor for Sydney Prayer Breakfast!

 

 

Reference

 

City Bible Forum. (2021). Sydney Prayer Breakfast 2021 – Interview with Peter Gibbscitybibleforum.org/city/episode/sydney-prayer-breakfast-2021-interview-peter-gibbs

 

Reconciliation Australia. (2022). National Reconciliation Week.

www.reconciliation.org.au/our-work/national-reconciliation-week/#:~:text=National%20Reconciliation%20Week%20(NRW)%20is,to%20achieving%20reconciliation%20in%20Australia.

On Friday 20 May, Excelsia’s School of Business held an HDR Symposium Research Showcase in the Auditorium and via Zoom. The symposium allowed students the opportunity to showcase their research projects to all people in the School of Business. All students who presented their research received a Certificate of Presentation. Additionally, awards were presented to select PhD and Master of Business (Research) students for the best presentations.

 

The Award for the Best Presentation for the PhD went to two students, Subodh Sharma Sigdel who explored leadership styles and organisational outcomes of public enterprises of Nepal, and Samuel Sterland who studied the value of organisational culture to understanding church life.

 

Duy The Bui won the Award for the Best Presentation for the Master of Business (Research) for his research on narcissistic traits and good leadership in Australian financial services SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

 

The list of PhD students who presented includes Henry Shililu, Sathyapriya Govindarajulu, Subodh Sharma Sigdel and Samuel Sterland.

 

The Master of Business Research (MBR) students who presented include Dipen Jayendrakuman Acharya, Sudip Sainju, Sandip Deuja, Ramya Tunikipati and Duy The Bui.

 

Well done to Excelsia academic and administrative staff and students involved in making this symposium a success. We can’t wait to see the high standard of research that is produced by our students.

 

If you are interested in undertaking further research, why not explore what Excelsia College’s Master of Business (Research) or PhD in Organisational Leadership can offer you? Enquire with us today!

For the past six months, Rabina Giri has been working as a Student Advisor at Excelsia College, but her association with the College began back in 2019 as a Master of Counselling student. Back home in Nepal, Rabina had studied a Bachelor of Social Work, and when she arrived in Australia she initially had a difficult time adjusting to study in a new country. ‘When I was a student, I wanted to change courses to a Master of Social Work because I was not doing well in my studies, however I did not give up and that one decision led to me having an amazing student experience.’

 

As a student, Rabina’s favourite things about the College included interacting with a diverse group of students across varied aged groups and the support provided by the academic staff. ‘I got to learn from mature students, as well as share my ideas as a young student. The academic staff were also very supportive of me throughout my learning process even when I had setbacks in the initial stage of starting my course.’

 

Within the Master of Counselling course, students develop self-awareness and reflection as they consider how to enhance the quality of their own professional practice, as well as their ongoing personal maturity. ‘Counselling sessions have been an immense support through this journey. As an international student, my mental health was taken care of, and I always had a safe place to go. The course not only prepares you to be a counsellor but also helps you gain insight into yourself and others. I have enjoyed every aspect of this course,’ says Rabina.

 

Rabina’s perseverance paid off and at the end of 2021 she completed her studies. Within a month upon finishing, Rabina had gone from student to member of the Student Acquisition team! ‘It all happened so quickly, and I was honoured to have this opportunity to join Excelsia as a staff member. I was warmly welcomed by all the staff members and my team has been extremely supportive through my learning. There are still many things I need to learn; however, everyone has been helping me through this process.’

 

‘Excelsia has exceeded my expectations as both a student and staff member. I love being able to work within the college in this Student Advisor position. It was a surprise for me, and I took it because God wanted me to be here. I have learned to trust and have faith in God as I am loved and looked after.’

 

A helpful piece of advice Rabina has taken from Excelsia College is ‘to always remember that my voice matters and to speak up. I was also encouraged to continue my studies by my counsellor, I learned to never give up.’ It is this fighting attitude that makes Rabina an Excellent Personality. We’re so pleased that Rabina can continue at Excelsia College in a new role and can’t wait to see her blossom further.

 

Just like Rabina has, experience the excellence at Excelsia College. Explore a Master of Counselling or job opportunities at the College.

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge – Proverbs 18:15

 

At Excelsia College, our core values are to continually seek knowledge, wisdom, and capability to flourish and contribute to an ever-changing world. Our mission is to transform individuals through Christ-centered education and for the students to transform their workplaces. Excelsia College is excited to see 1029 international students enrolled at our College and take up our courses in education, creative and performing arts, social work, counselling, and business.

 

Education is important but sadly not everyone has equal access. In Sub-Saharan Africa for example, 32 million primary school aged children remain uneducated, as well as in Central and Eastern Asia and the Pacific where over 27 million children considered illiterate (Humanium, date unknown).

 

The United Nations General Assembly have declared 24 January as International Day of Education. This year, the focus is on ‘Changing Course and Transforming Education.’ As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, ‘Universal education is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity, to pave the way toward making many more nations self-sufficient and self-sustaining’ (Tutu and Van Roekel, 2010). So why is international education important to us? It is tied to Excelsia’s Christian mission, helping to safeguard our planet and unlock the potential in every one of us. Our educators and teaching staff are committed to helping shape our learning and change the world and help students expand their knowledge and transform their lives, through becoming empowered through the power of education. In turn, this can help to break the poverty cycle, improve their living conditions and those of their families.

 

Learning doesn’t just happen in a school, university, or workplace context, but also in everyday situations. As Christians, lifelong learning should not be about self-growth, self-satisfaction and self-motivation. Although to a large extent lifelong learning is self-driven, it should not be about ourselves, our own good, benefit and satisfaction, but should be about making change and contribution and transforming the world, making an impact on the world and our community. To be a disciple is to be a learner. Excelsia College is proud to serve the community through running free creative and performing art workshops and masterclasses in creative and performing arts, counselling, and education. Some of those workshops assists HSC students to be better prepared for their exams.

   

If you feel inspired to change your world or educate future generations, why not explore Excelsia College today? https://excelsia.edu.au/courses/  

 

References 

Humanium. (n.d). Right to Education: Situation around the worldhumanium.org/en/right-to-education/  

Tutu, D and Van Roekel, D. (2010, April 21). Desmond Tutu: Facing the Future: Global Education at the Crossroads. Global Campaign For Education United Statescampaignforeducationusa.org/blog/detail/desmond-tutu-facing-the-future-global-education-at-the-crossroads