From the Dean of Christian Culture

Engagement with…Community

Our College Leadership Team, from the very beginning of this year, has been encouraging our students, staff and families to focus, if possible, on the theme of engagement; the notion of new or renewed possibilities being created through the building of connection.

Early on during this process we noted that engagement increases opportunity, engagement releases strategy, and engagement delivers fruitfulness; and then we shifted our gaze to begin discovering areas in which we might possibly choose to engage or re-engage in 2022.

Recently, we raised the thought that perhaps this year could provide the opportunity for us to become engaged or re-engaged with the joy and delight of asking questions – with a view to learning and growing; and ultimately therefore being able to make a positive contribution to the lives of others.

This week we have another suggestion to consider; a further option for us to potentially view as an area of life in which we may like to engage or re-engage.


One of the most wonderful moments in the life and growth of a school is when you can see, feel, and notice the clear presence of a strong sense of community. Our desire here at Christian College is to continue growing a healthy understanding and experience of community internally, but also to take this a step further, beyond the gates of the school, by developing wonderful young people who are thoughtful global citizens, helping to build our broader society; young women and men who will step out into the world and make a positive difference by leading, serving, collaborating, initiating, innovating, and creating.

How does this happen? How do people learn to do this? In community.

This learning begins at home, and it is supported at school – home and school being two of the most basic and yet strongest forms of community existing within our society. Other examples of current environments in which community learning occurs could include, but would not be limited to; churches, sporting clubs, arts organisations, music clubs, youth groups, and community hubs.

Human beings are designed to live and work in groups, not alone. We are built for relationships – it is how we learn, how we grow and how we create the next generation. We need one another. We can do so much more together than we can do on our own. Community is so important because we function so much more effectively when we are able to work together. It is not always easy to work in community, but it is always the best way.

We will continue as a College to search for ways which may help us all learn about and demonstrate community. Through the classroom, our sporting clubs, our camps, excursions and trips interstate and overseas, our Year 9 Transformation Program, the Our World experiences, and specifically invited guest speakers, (including the Rev. Tim Costello AO who will be speaking with our staff and students on site in two weeks’ time), we aim to teach and encourage a better understanding of why community is so vitally important.

There is a great scripture in Deuteronomy 32:30 which says, “…one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight…” simply meaning that the combined efforts and abilities of two or more people is exponentially more productive than one person acting alone.

An extrapolated definition of the term community would include the areas of building relationships, developing social understanding, supporting wellbeing, working toward a desired future, and acknowledging shared culture and history – a clear picture of what is sitting within the terminology. The word ‘community’ is important.

In fact, if we look at the word community we can see that there are two very strong hints contained within as to the foundations of the concept of community – those being “communication” and “unity.”


The notion here is not that we should all be the same – on the contrary, community in all its forms is stronger and more effective when we are different – because each individual lends their particular gifts to the group as a whole, providing much-needed diversity in thinking and in action.

It is helpful for us to remember that we are talking about unity not uniformity – there is a massive difference between the two. We can use the analogy of an orchestra with every member under the baton of the conductor beginning to play the same note for the same length of time at the same volume on the same instrument – that is uniformity, and it would not be pleasant. Instead, the orchestra members play a range of notes for a mixture of lengths of time, at various volumes, on a variety of instruments – but as they all play in unity their very differences become the beautiful strength of the whole.

If a musical example is not your preferred analogy, contemplate a football team. We need the rucks, the midfielders, the forwards, and the backline, all with different skills, different heights and builds, and different speeds to combine to make a team that is capable of getting the job done. A team of 22 rucks alone will not win a premiership!

This same pattern of unity within community is referred to in Scripture.

“…Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it…”1 Corinthians 12:14-26

Unity is working together and using our differences for the good of the team – developing community.


The most basic and in some ways most important foundational skill within community is communication. Nothing happens without effective communication. Community is about relationships, and relationships are about communication. Communication is often difficult, but it must be a focus for all of us – open, honest, regular communication. It can be verbal, written, expressed or inferred but it has to happen openly, honestly and regularly.

In the research I have been reading recently regarding the development of resilience and strength in young people, communication sits in the top five attributes needed. I am sure the same can be said in relation to the development of community. Those five attributes are:

  • Sense of purpose and identity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to build relationships
  • Communication skills
  • Sense of humour

We are all part of this community at Christian College, and together we are aiming to further develop our sense of community by improving our understanding and practice of unity and communication. Perhaps this is a focus area with which you could consider engaging or re-engaging in 2022? If we all chose to engage in strengthening our sense of community this year, can you imagine what the positive impact of that decision might well be for many years to come? It could be very exciting!

Bless you all.

What’s Happening at Middle School

Week 7, Monday 14th March 2022

Mon 14th Mar – Labour Day Holiday

Tues 15th Mar – House Swimming Carnival

Wed 16th Mar – GISSA Swimming & Diving Championships

Week 8, Monday 21st March 2022

Tues 22nd Mar – Year 5 Parent Cuppa Morning

Tues 22nd Mar – Nth Geelong Division Swimming Championships

Student Leaders’ Investiture and Service of Dedication

This afternoon, we celebrated our 2022 Student Leaders’ Investiture and Service of Dedication in our Middle School – Highton SAC. It was a wonderful event which provided an opportunity to recognise our student Leaders, including Project Care Representatives from Years 5-8 and Prefects, House Leaders and Mentors from Year 9.

The program included inspiring musical performances by our Middle School – Highton Choir and Intermediate Concert Band, encouraging prayer and blessings, and comforting scripture. Our guest speaker for today’s service was Mr Nathan Friend. Nathan is a Youth Pastor at Kardinia Church, a former star of the Geelong Supercats basketball club, and a pioneer of the Increase Leadership Conference, for the leaders of tomorrow. Nathan has dedicated his life to raising leaders and seeing young people fulfil their God-given potential, and we were blessed to have him speak into the lives of our student leaders today.

During this event, our Middle School – Highton School and Vice Captains for 2022 were also announced. It gives me great pleasure to inform you that our School Captains for this year are Micah Boseley and Gemma Nwanze, and our Vice Captains are Oscar Kattwinkel and Jamie McKie. Please congratulate these students, and all of our student leaders, when you see them around the campus during the year ahead.

It was especially pleasing to be able to welcome a small number of families back on to campus for this event. Thank you to those who were able to make it along today, in support of all of our student leaders. As Victorian Government restrictions continue to ease, I look forward to being able to welcome our families back on campus much more regularly.

Year 9 Food Studies Students Bake and Create

Y 9 Food Studies Students Bake and Create

Students from Year 9 Food Studies have the opportunity to set up a business. They have to do everything an entrepreneur would do from coming up with a food business idea, marketing, sales and preparing a business plan. The students made fruity icy pops, pretzels, baked doughnuts, carrot slice, cookies and brownies. In doing so, students gained educational experience about the recipe-testing process and preparing food to be shared. This week, the Y 9 Pop–Up Café provided the students with the opportunity to bring their business plan to life and recognise how to get things done.

I asked students to share what they learned. Here’s what they had to say:

Freya Arnott 9R

Q: What were some of the things you did in this unit?

A: On Wednesday, at recess, we had a pop-up shop for Food Studies where we sold the food we made in class to the rest of the school.

We learnt sales techniques and money management; this was a great opportunity for me because I learnt many things about business. My group’s products sold out very quickly and I got many compliments after about how good the food was. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience that I will remember for a long time.

Ellie Morgan 9 R

Q: What were your takeaways? What did you learn?

A: I have loved Food Studies this term, learning about running a business and cooking food to a high quality. We made a pop-up café on Wednesday called ‘Brookies’ where we sold brownies and cookies for $1 each. It was a great outcome and we sold out by the end of recess. I got the chance to learn about how to run a business and it made me feel ready and prepared for when I go for a job and how to work around food. It was great fun, and I would highly recommend this elective for future Year 9s.

Felicity Rogerson,

Classroom Teacher

Interhouse Basketball

On Tuesday the first of a series of interhouse basketball events were held.  The ‘5-on-5-off’ format allowed for many students to participate, and it was great to see a blend of Years 7s, 8s and 9s doing so.

The Prefects and House Captains ably assisted with the promotion and organisation of the events and are off to a fabulous start in their new roles.  We are looking forward to the rest of the series, culminating with the traditional Staff vs Students game towards the end of term.

Brittany Dietrich,

Classroom Teacher

Swimming Carnival

We are looking forward to our Swimming Carnival which will be held in Week 7 of this term. Please read the attachments carefully so you have the information you need prior to the day. Please know that times on the program are approximate.

Parents and guardians are warmly invited to attend this event. To help ensure as COVID-safe an environment as possible, families will be asked to remain in an allocated area throughout the day, rather than mingle amongst the student group. Visitors will also be asked to show a vaccination certificate upon arrival at the pool.

Any further questions you can contact Miss Dietrich.


Highton Swimming Carnival Information:
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2022 Swimming Carnival Program:
View Download

Brittany Dietrich,

Classroom Teacher

Notice to All Parents Regarding CSEF Funding

The Victorian State Government runs a program called the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF).  As the name suggests, the fund is designed to assist families meet costs associated with school camps, sport and excursions and requires families to apply in each year they have a child who is eligible. Families who have an eligible child will receive $125 per year for a primary aged student and $225 per year for a secondary aged student.

If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. Please complete a 2022 Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) Application Form and return to your campus administration office by the end of Term 1 please.

Please read the attached letter for further information

Application Form:
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CSEF Information Guide:
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Student Opportunity – The Santos Science Experience

A nationwide STEM outreach program for Years 9 & 10 students

The Santos Science Experience is a three-day hands-on science activities program. The program aims to inform students of the importance of science and technology while stimulating and heightening student interests in a wide range of scientific disciplines and career opportunities; encouraging further studies in the science, while at the same time giving students a ‘taste’ of university/tertiary life.

The following programs are being offered in Victoria this year:

Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Queenscliff11 April 2022
University of Melbourne, Parkville11-13 April 2022
Federation University, Ballarat27-29 June 2002
RMIT University, Melbourne28-30 June 2022
Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn6-9 July 2022
KIOSC, Wantirna18-20 July 2022
Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Queenscliff27 September 2022
Federation University, Gippsland20-22 September 2022
Federation University, Berwick20-22 September 2022
University of Melbourne, Dookie30 November – 2 December 2022

Details of the programs offered at each venue can be found at www.scienceexperience.com.au or on the attached flyer. Interested students should register directly via the website. Cost is $190 per student for the three day programs and $65 per student for the one day (at Queenscliff).

Further information can be obtained by calling 03 9756 7534 or email admin@scienceexperience.com.au

Science Experience Program :
View Download

In-Time Reporting and Feedback

Beginning school and being back in the classroom, establishing friendships, packing a school bag and school lunches can sometimes be quite overwhelming for parents, carers and students alike. Especially after what has been the most incredible years of disruption to routines, patterns and familiarities. However, regardless of whether you are joining us in Prep, and or reconnecting at our Middle Schools or Senior Campus, the partnerships between home and school have demonstrated that children learn best when the significant adults in their lives (parents, carers, teachers), work together to encourage and support them.

At Christian College, feedback about student engagement and progress in learning is an integral component to building the Home / School Partnership. It provides parents, carers, students and teachers with information about learning experiences, and sets a direction to inform future teaching and learning experiences, both in and outside of the classroom. Powerful feedback occurs when the learner understands the gap between their current level of performance and that of their desired performance.

One of the significant benefits of teachers involving families as partners in the feedback cycle, is that parents themselves can provide additional informed support for student learning at home.

At Christian College such feedback is communicated to parents via various mechanisms. In-Time reporting in the SEQTA Engage platform, SEQTA Notifications, sometimes via email, Assessment Tasks themselves, verbally via a learning conference and ultimately on a Student Report distributed at the completion of each semester.

The agile nature of education in the last few years has brought with it some benefits in the use of technology, and this now provides a medium whereby parents and carers can access information at anytime and anywhere from a number of devices. At Christian College we hope to leverage off this benefit to provide more ‘In Time’ feedback regarding student learning, self-management and progression against the learning standards. Not only is this achievable through the SEQTA Engage platform, but for students with a College device, we would also encourage you to sit with your child and their device to view the work they are undertaking in their digital learning platforms, such as the Microsoft Teams App, where overviews of the learning may be visible in the upcoming Assignments feature of Teams.

Please don’t forget that there is also the SEQTA Engage App available for all parents and carers. The SEQTA Engage App is available for download, making details about your child’s learning, feedback and outcomes even more accessible than ever – and via the device of your personal choice. Instructions on how to install the App are linked here.

Parents of students undertaking studies in VCE Units 3 and 4, should note that the mark awarded and displayed by Christian College Geelong for any School Assessed Coursework (SAC) or School Assessed Task (SAT) is a raw score only, and is not the finalised score for the assessment. This mark remains subject to statistical moderation and review by Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

We look forward to working in partnership with you as you connect with your young person’s progress in learning here at Christian College Geelong.


Syd Strauch 15/12/1953 – 05/03/2022

An inspiring teacher and much-loved member of the Christian College community

Our College community was saddened to receive news of the passing of Syd Strauch last weekend who died surrounded by his loving family on Saturday after a brave and courageous battle with illness.

Syd served our College in a range of roles including Deputy Head of Senior School, Director of Student Services, Head of Careers, Burrows House Group Teacher and as a teacher of History. He joined the College staff in 1994 and retired in 2016. He was a teacher whose knowledge, experience and wisdom were well-respected. He was also a man who loved to laugh, was down-to-earth, friendly, always ready with a one-liner or opinion on any number of other things that might enter a conversation…and whose penchant for donning a Hawaiian shirt to mark the first day for teachers after students had left for the year, became well-known.

Principal, Mr Glen McKeeman and former colleagues of Syd at Christian College, Rev. Denis Tomlins and Mr Daryl Pobjoy pay tribute to a man whose impact on Christian College – and in particular our Senior School Campus – along with the lives of thousands of students and staff was, and in many cases continues to be, profound. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.


Syd’s outstanding capacity as a teacher, together with his remarkable intellect and knowledge of history and global issues underpinned his impact on the countless students privileged to be inspired by his unique and broad contribution to education in Geelong and throughout Victoria over a period of more than 40 years.

A hallmark of Syd’s contribution to the lives of many students was his support and encouragement when providing careers advice and assistance with tertiary applications. He was also a long-term contributor to the Geelong Careers Teacher’s Association.

Syd contributed generously to the lives of his colleagues, providing incredible support to the growth of the professional development programs, curriculum design, the administration of VCE Studies as well as assessment and reporting procedures.

His contribution to College life extended to many sporting, musical, cultural, and collegiate events, participating in camps, tours, and conferences. He certainly left a mark and helped shape our college significantly.

Syd will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by our wider college community as well as many throughout education circles in Geelong, including Geelong High School, where he taught prior to joining Christian College in 1995.

He lived a very full life that we shall celebrate with his family at a Memorial Service at a time to be confirmed.

Our love and sincere condolences as a College family go out to his loving wife Jan, children Jenni, Zoe and husband Josh, Lachie and wife Emily and grandchildren Jack Sydney and Lucy Grace – they are very much in our prayers.

Glen McKeeman





It was my turn to lead Devotions!

As I rose to share some thoughts, designed to offer focus for the commencement of the day, from somewhere in the room a voice proposed an alternative focus; “Anyone know how Arsenal went last night?” From the back of the room came an obviously pained response, “Oh, alright!”

Poor Syd! His team in the UK’s Premiership League had lost. We all enjoyed a laugh, possibly at Syd’s expense yet, before we launched into things of the Spirit, we had been grounded in that brief exchange.

Over the 14 years I was privileged to have Syd as a colleague and friend, I remember and celebrate the comfortable ease with which he negotiated his way through the challenges of establishing a new school, his personable style among the student body, along with the warmth and trust he developed with the College community.

His death is a significant loss for the many he touched throughout his teaching career, and I extend to Jan, Jenny, Lachlan, Zoe and family members, my deepest condolences and prayerful support as you meet the challenges in the days ahead.

Rev. Denis Tomlins

Former Chaplain, Christian College Geelong


Syd and I had similar backgrounds when we both came to Christian College. We each had around 16 years in the State Education system.

Syd’s areas of expertise – History/Humanities, and mine – Physics/Science was not a barrier to our working relationship. We both enjoyed our time as Homeroom teachers in Burrows House.

In 2000, both Syd and I were appointed joint Deputy Heads of the new Senior School Campus. Syd in the role of Student Services and me in Operations. When John Nelson retired as Head of the Senior School, we both had the opportunity to apply for that position but we decided that we were both in the positions we were meant to be in.

When Glen McKeeman arrived as the new Head of Senior School we were appointed Directors of Student Services and Operations which allowed for the position of Deputy Head to go to up-and-coming staff. Assisting and advising new, younger staff was something we both enjoyed.

Syd’s passion for guiding students on career choices was legendary as was his passion for his beloved subject of History.

I have so many great memories of our 20-plus years working together. What a privilege and pleasure to have shared this educational journey with Syd.

The many tributes to him from past students bear witness to his great legacy.

Daryl Pobjoy

Former Deputy-Head, Senior School Campus

Online Ordering – Canteen

The online canteen ordering system has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The online ordering system as you know it still works the same way, but in the back end, the IT department have been working closely with the vendor to rebuild the product from the beginning.

The biggest issue this will resolve, is the linking of students to their parents. Existing account credits will be moved across to the new version.

We wish to thank all parents for their patience whilst this has been worked through and look forward to receiving your orders electronically into the future.

The IT department will change from the current broken application to the newly rebuilt application during the course of the long weekend.

If you have any issues regarding the online ordering system, please email helpdesk@ccg.vic.edu.au.

Chair’s Lunch

Join the Chair of the Foundation Board for lunch on Friday, 8 April 2022 as we celebrate the significance of Easter and learn more about the work of the Foundation.

All funds raised from this event will be allocated to our Scholarship Fund supporting current students who need financial assistance.

Book online today at www.ccgfoundation.org.au/chairslunch

For all enquiries, please contact Jennifer Freind via j.freind@ccg.vic.edu.au.


Jennifer Freind,

Foundation Manager

Casual Wood Workshop Assistant Position – Bellarine Campus

Christian College seeks the services of a trade-experienced Wood Workshop Assistant to work at our Bellarine Campus in Drysdale. If you are a hardworking, self-starter who demonstrates initiative and pride, with a passion for helping students and team-first approach, we would like to hear from you.

Duties include taking responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of all worship equipment in safe working order and liaising with teaching staff and administration to ensure materials are ordered and prepared.

This is a casual, one-day per week position with no work during school holidays. Please visit the Employment page on our website for a Position Description and application details (Home > Join > Employment). Closing date: Thursday March 24.

A MYTERN Thought for This Week

The less you judge the road that others are on,
the less you will judge yourself. 

Remember, we never really know what someone else is experiencing.

So be kind and compassionate towards them…as well as yourself. 😊❤️


Discover more about MYTERN here