Amity College, Illawarra Campus celebrated its 20th anniversary with the inauguration of the new High School buildings on Saturday 21 September at the school grounds in Shellharbour.

The event was attended by a large number of guests including local and state politicians, academics, community leaders, parents and students in a festive atmosphere with performances, free lunch and gifts for everybody.

Following a cocktail reception, the formal program commenced with  welcome by the MC Mr Hussein Salem followed by national anthem by Amity College Choir and welcome to the country by Mr Jade Kennedy.

A visiting educationist from Germany Professor Mehmet Ali Sengul talked about his first visit to Australia as far back in 1988 and congratulated the community for developing educational centres of excellence during the last three decades in Australia utilising the opportunities available in this great country.

The principal Amity College, Illawarra Campus, Dr Mehmet Aslan during his address acknowledged the presence of distinguished guests extending a special thanks to Ms Marianne Saliba, Mayor of Shellharbour City Council for Amity to reach this milestone.

Traditional Uyghur dance by Sumaya Jurad.

“However, we will be knocking on your door for assistance in achieving the second stage that will benefit the whole community. We are not done yet and hope that the second part of the high school construction is smooth sailing. Mayor Marianne Saliba , we still have a lot to achieve together!” Dr Aslan emphasised.

Pointing out to the new infrastructure, he said, “our new buildings are a true blessing as these great facilities are important to the growth and success which are illustrated in the great school outcomes. These children here today will be a result of the great contribution to our community now and into the future.

He thanked the Amity College board members for their support for the Illawarra campus saying, “School board members, Mr Recep Aydogan and Mr Deniz Erdogan truly believe in the commitment to this region and their positive presence within our local campus and their meticulous work ethics have allowed Amity Illawarra to achieve the great success it is today.

African Waka Waka dance.

The current Executive Principal of Amity College, Mr Deniz Erdogan who arrived in 1999 in Australia to occupy the position of founding principal of Amity Illawarra during his address said, “ today we commemorate the past 20 years of Amity (Sule) College Illawarra Campus as well as celebrating the Opening of the High School Stage 1 Building. We are honoured with your presence to witness this historic moment of Amity (Sule) College, just like some of you did 20 years ago.”

Talking about the future plans, Mr Erdogan further added, “as you all know, our school was registered as a K-10 school in 2017, and we currently cater up to Year 9. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that our School Board has recently decided to extend our facilities in stage 2 buildings to cater for Year 11 and 12 as well. We are hoping to complete stage 2 double-storey buildings by the end of next year.”

The program included highly entertaining performances showcasing traditional Uyghur dance by Sumaya Jurad, African Waka Waka dance  and Arabic folk dance supervised by Ms Fatima Raad, dance teacher.

Arabic folk dance.

The audience were also addressed by Mr Stephen Jones MP, Ms Marianne Saliba, Mayor of Shellharbour City Council and Mr Gordon Bradbery Lord Mayor of Wollongong City Council.

Mr Bradbury, during his address called for the celebration for Australia as a successful multicultural society and acknowledged the contribution of Islam to our modern civilisation from Arabic numerals to scientific advancement spanning several centuries as well as Turkish traditions and culture, all enriching Australian way of life today.

Mr Abdullah Aksu, Chairman of the Amity College school board, who was born in Wollongong talked about the humble beginnings of Amity (Sule) college and its track record of rapid development and thanked all the early pioneers for their great contribution.

The formal program ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new school buildings at the Shellharbour campus and its guided tour.