On Saturday Aug 19, 2023, Heritage Christian School celebrated its 40th year of educating students of the Port Macquarie area. Over 600 people joined in the Gala Day, which began with a morning service, followed by an afternoon of live music, food stalls, and games run by Word of Life Ministries. Many past staff, students and their families attended the day, turning it into the biggest ‘reunion’ in the school’s history.

The Gala Day was also attended by Mr Pat Conaghan MP, Federal Member for Cowper, and Ms Peta Pinson, Mayor of Port Macquarie. Mr Conaghan addressed the audience in the morning ceremony, stating that Heritage Christian School plays an important role in the community’s “need for faith, family and values.” This ceremony, held in the school building affectionately known as ‘The Woolshed’, also featured remembrances of the rich 40 past years of school life, as well as speeches by the current Hastings Association for Christian Education’s Board Chair, Mrs Bree Brown, current Principal, Mr Matt Cohen, and Pastor David Pym of Port Macquarie Baptist Church. Mr Cohen spoke of the debt owed to the school’s founding families, long-serving staff and school leaders who grew the school from a fledgling group of 20 students in Years K-5 in 1983.

Heritage Christian School opened on 8 February, 1983 in the Presbyterian hall on Table Street. It began with one teacher, Mr Robert Koster, who taught all students with some assistance from parents. In 1987, student numbers required a bigger site, and the current location of the school in Mumford Street was purchased and repurposed as a school.

Saturday’s Gala Day was a resounding success for the school as it continues to grow and lead Christian Education in the Port Macquarie area. The school’s belief is that its four values – “Honour God”, “Learn with Courage”, “Serve in Community” and “Live with Integrity” – are as relevant today as they were in 1983. Given the school’s continued growth, they look to be relevant for the next 40 years as well.