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Tracing its humble beginnings to 11 students in the back of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia, in 1900, Macquarie College has grown to become one of the most recognizable Adventist educational institutions, offering education from Kindergarten through Year 12 in the Newcastle, New South Wales, area.

​The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in the South Pacific region has been fortunate that issues of military service have been relatively few and that national governments in the region have been prepared to work cooperatively with the Church on practical solutions that have met the needs of governments while respecting the SDA stand on noncombatancy.

​The First World War (1914-1918) radically affected New Zealand and Australian society, but its impact on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the region was limited by its geographic remoteness from the theaters of conflict and the Church’s circumspection over participation in the war. While almost all other religious groups actively promoted the war and the enlistment of their young men, the denomination walked a largely successful but very fine line between loyalty to the government and opposition to a worldly war that conflicted with the Church’s global mission and vision.

The Second World War had a significant impact on the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific, most notably in New Guinea, Papua, and the Solomon Islands, which were the scenes of bitter conflict between Japanese and Allied forces. In particular, the church had to negotiate its interaction with state authorities over support for the war effort and compulsory military service, and manage its work in war-affected regions.