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Norwegian family arrive for 12 month stay

Towards the end of July, the ALC community welcomed a visiting scholar and his family from Norway, as they embarked on an experience of a lifetime – an experience that was initially planned to take place several years earlier but which was delayed due to COVID and subsequent travel restrictions.

Jo Bertil Vaernesbranden is a PhD Research Fellow in Systematic Theology at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (MF), in Oslo, Norway. For the next year he will be a Visiting Scholar at ALC, during which he plans to complete his PhD on Luther and Derrida, a project springing out of his interest in the intersection between theology and (continental) philosophy. Jo is an ordained minister in the Church of Norway, and beyond ministering he has done anything from NATO-soldier in Kosovo to stay-home dad (not that different). Beyond church, academics and family life with his wife Maggie (who is also undertaking research related to her medical career while in Adelaide) and three children, Jo’s interests include music and football (‘soccer’!).

‘We are loving Adelaide’, said Jo and Maggie, reflecting on their time here so far. ‘We're enjoying being part of the ALC campus community and are thankful to all the people who helped set up our house. We love the adventure of exploring our new surroundings. We're enjoying the city, the food, the people, the atmosphere, and the somewhat calmer life style (for our family at least!). The children seem well settled at school, and us adults are off to a good start with our jobs.’ 

‘One thing that has taken our family a bit of getting used to however, is the cold houses! Back in Norway we're used to really low outside temperatures, and we don't mind (well, Maggie minds), but inside we keep it warm and cosy with our fireplace and under-floor heating and - up until recently - our cheap electricity. Luckily we were advised to get Ugg boots - best advice in a long time. And the kids are loving the Oodies they received at the airport when we arrived (thank you!!). Australians we find are really friendly and welcoming, always open for a chat - one lady on the bus even remarked that our son looked like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his wild blond hair! That was super funny and would not have happened in Norway.’ 

ALC staff and students look forward to getting to know the Vaernesbranden family during their 12 month stay in Adelaide.