The South Pacific Division (SPD) is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and numerous islands throughout the South Pacific Ocean.
The Adventist Church counts about 423,000 members worshiping in nearly 2,000 churches. The division’s population is nearly 37 million people. More than 80 percent of the division’s membership lives in Papua New Guinea and Pacific island nations.
There are three universities in this region: Fulton College in Fiji, Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea, and Avondale College in Australia.
Sydney Adventist Hospital was built in 1903. It employs more than 2,200 staff and 750 accredited medical practitioners and offers surgical, medical and emergency services to more than 50,000 inpatients and 175,000 outpatients each year.
The hospital also operates the Healthcare Outreach Program, which since 1980 has partnered with AusAid and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to provide surgeries to 2,850 patients in mission fields around the world.
The Adventist Church’s Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company produces several health food products, including Weet-Bix, Australia’s top-selling breakfast cereal.
In 1891, Adventist Church co-founder Ellen White arrived in Australia. Her nine years in the region had a major impact on the church’s early work in the South Pacific.
In 1927, David Sibley is believed to have broadcast the first Adventist radio program in Melbourne. In 1966, the Adventist Media Centre in Australia began producing the “Focus on Living” films. Today, the Adventist Media Network operates television, music and magazine outreach ministries.
The division is a diverse region: several nations are predominantly Melanesian, Polynesian or Caucasian, and the division comprises substantial Asian, South American, African and Middle-Eastern communities.