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When Natalie Cirillo was teaching religion
to secondary students last year she was
struggling to find ways to make it relevant, new
and meaningful...until she came across Fresh
Fresh Ministry is a Christian not-for-profit group
of young Adelaide artists using their collective
talents of dance, rap, music, art, design,
teaching, poetry, acting and singing to connect
Fresh Ministry most recently performed at a
fundraising event for an Early Learning Centre at
Holy Family Catholic School, Parafield Gardens.
“Fresh Ministry is a vibrant and engaging way
for students to connect with their faith in a non-
traditional and relevant way,” said Natalie. “The
group’s vibrancy and dedication to living out the
gospel message made me want to be involved,”
Natalie joined the group after making contact with
Fresh Ministry co-founder and hip-hop dancer
Victor Kamara. A former teaching student, Natalie
is developing a school program for Fresh Ministry.
“As a teacher I try to be a living example of that
gospel message for my students and I want
them to know that it is okay to be a Catholic and
express their faith openly.”
The 24-year-old attends St Francis Xavier’s
Cathedral and St Paul of the Cross Church, Glen
Osmond. She is teaching religious education
and art and is a member of the Cathedral parish
youth group and teaches children’s liturgy there
too. She was educated at St Francis de Sales
College, Mt Barker.
Victor migrated from Liberia with his family in
2003. The Blackfriars Priory School old scholar
is a talented hip-hop dancer who made it to the
top 100 of the So You Think You Can Dance
television series in 2009. He is currently studying
dance while instructing about 10 young people
A devoted Christian, Victor and his friends Mark
Gaye and Benjamin Cheng Jin began Fresh
Ministry as a hip-hop dance group. However, as
interest in the group increased, Fresh Ministry
became an independent platform for young
Christian artists across different genres.
“Fresh Ministry is about young people using their
talents to spread the word of God and show
youth that they can openly follow their faith with
confidence,” said Victor. “Having a talent of any
sort is a gift from God and it shouldn’t be hidden,
it should be expressed to glorify Him.”
In the past year Fresh Ministry has performed at
various African cultural events and at a Catholic
Office for Youth and Young People’s Faithology
event. The group, which is run through volunteers
and donations, is in need of equipment.
Anyone interested in joining or supporting
Fresh Ministry can email freshministry116@
gmail.com or visit the Fresh Ministry Facebook
Ten is a pretty special number for Lachlan
Searles from the Tea Tree Gully parish.
He made a promise to ride 100km before
turning 10 on December 30 to initially
raise $105 for the St Vincent de Paul
Society (SA) Inc to feed a family of four for
Ten days before his 10th birthday he had
raised almost 10 times his original target
with about 40km to go.
“I thought $105 was going to be hard to
get and then Mum and I put it (the funding
target) up to $210 and I thought I wouldn’t
get that either,” says Lachlan.
“Now, I’m like wow,” he said.
At last count, Lachlan’s “100Before10”
fundraiser had accumulated donations
amounting to almost $2000. Although
he reached his 100km birthday deadline,
Lachlan plans to continue fundraising for
Vinnies throughout the year.
Lachlan says he was motivated to raise
money for the less fortunate around
Christmas time after hearing, several
times, at Mass at St David’s Church, the
call to help others and that every person
can make a difference.
“I thought a lot of homeless children
wouldn’t be getting presents like us and
they could do with a nice meal,” said the
Year 5 student from Our Lady of Hope
Primary School, Greenwith.
An enthusiastic bike rider, Lachlan and
his father Leroy (a bike rider for 10 years)
devised the fundraising plan of 100km
before turning 10. “I really like riding my
bike with Dad,” says Lachlan. A sticker on
his bike makes the same declaration.
“I’m really proud of him,” says Lachlan’s
“He is a very giving person and he
is creative, likes to think big and is
determined,” she said.
To donate to Lachlan’s “100Before10”
fundraiser go to www.cycle.
PEDAL POWER: Ten-year-old Lachlan Searles rode 100km before his 10th birthday,
so far raising about $2000 for disadvantaged families.
Lachlan saddles up for a good cause
CREATIVE: Fresh Ministry members (L-R) Mark Gaye, Victor Kamara, Patience Taye, and Igor Igiranezaat at the Holy
Family Catholic School where they performed for a school fundraiser late last year. Inset: (L-R) Cathedral Parish youth
group member Natalie Cirillo and Fresh Ministry co-founder Victor Kamara.
Artists provide breath of fresh air
The Southern Cross continues its Living
Catholic page which features articles
and photographs highlighting the many
good works that often go unnoticed
but make a big difference to people’s
lives and to the community in general.
Parishes are invited to submit
suggestions for stories that
demonstrate in a practical sense
Living Catholic. Please send an email to
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