Bethlehem Live is proudly a free event for the entire Bundaberg community and always will be thanks to the generosity of local businesses and organisations.

A new sponsor for 2019 is Macadamia’s Australia – a proud local family business with a passion for the community.

Director of Corporate Services, Janelle Gerry, explains that as a family business Macadamia’s Australia loves seeing events that promote the community and families to come together.

“Bethlehem Live aligns with our family values of family, purpose, faith, freedom and attitude of gratitude and I personally love the way that it brings the community together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas” she says. “These values along with our business values of people, innovation, quality and integrity are why we are proud to be a sponsor of an event that has proven itself to the Bundaberg community.”

The first time Ms Gerry visited Bethlehem Live, she was amazed and shocked at the way it felt so authentic. “My first impressions of this event was the authenticity. It looked, felt and even smelt the way I imagine Bethlehem would have centuries ago” she said. “Everyone was in character, nothing was out of place and the smell of the camels and of something cooking in the middle of the city just blew me away; as well as the fact that this was all done by volunteers from local churches and not by professional actors”

Ms Gerry and her family business have been part of the Bundaberg community since her parents Ron and Marion Steinhardt established their first family farm in the area in 1958 and have continued to grow since then with the Steinhardt family name well known and respected in Bundaberg.

“Bundaberg is the largest grower of Macadamia’s in Australia and I expect it to continue to grow over the next decade” Ms Gerry explained. “Our family transitioned from horticulture crops in 2003 and now we have 2000 acres with 200 000 trees, exporting not only the nuts internationally, but our nut products that we sell online and in retail stores locally and around Australia.”

As a sponsor of Bethlehem Live, Macadamia’s Australia hope that visitors to the event in the week before Christmas will be prompted to seek out the question of their faith. “I hope that people take away that there is more to Christmas than what we see and hear in shopping centres” Ms Gerry said; “but also that people take the time as a family to reflect on what Christmas is and why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”

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Matt Gees is a freelance reporter based in Bundaberg. He has worked in Community Radio, for the ABC and for Vision Christian Media as well as volunteering his professional skills with a number of charity and not for profits like SU Chaplaincy, Uniting Church, parkrun, Scouts and Cancer Council. Outside of this Matt can often be found either behind a camera or a microphone or chasing his 4 energetic children as they 'Follow the Star' at Bethlehem Live.

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