From the Principal
Love, Faith and Influence
Last week I attended the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) / Independent Schools of Australia (ISA) National Education Forum in Canberra. The purpose was to discuss matters relating to the vital role that Independent Schools play in the lives of our young people. There are so many aspects to this, and as I listened to political leaders from the major parties, notable speakers in the fields of education, reconciliation, wellbeing, governance, e-safety, and economics, I reflected on the role that Christian College plays in the lives of our young people, and wider College community.
Over more than 40 years our College has influenced and shaped the lives of our students, staff, families, and more broadly, our local, national and global community. It is remarkable to think that in our relatively short history, there are so many people connected with the College contributing to society in so many ways, through wide spheres of influence: business, the arts, theatre, music, sport, medicine, law, science, the environment, recreation, community service, our churches – and more.
Whilst celebrating the life of a former colleague and friend Syd Strauch at his Memorial Service held in the Middle School Chapel last Friday afternoon, I was reminded of the impact that one person can have on a community. It was a privilege to gather with Syd’s wife Jan, his children Jenni, Zoe and Lachlan, and their family, friends, colleagues and many of the students Syd taught, to mark the life of a man who positively influenced the lives of others. Indeed, sadly this year, we have also had cause to reflect on the lives of Major Wilga Morris and Mr Bob Schultz who also passed away earlier this year. Wilga, a former Salvation Army member of our College Board, and Bob, through his involvement as a parent, like Syd, made wonderful contributions to the lives of others by contributing to the life and ministry of Christian College.
Interestingly, the data discussed during the National Forum indicates that increasing numbers of families are making the choice to send their children to Independent Schools. Enrolments in Christian Schools are growing at a significant rate.
In the conversation last week, we explored some of the important factors that challenge our young people and how schools can best meet the complex demands they face. I am convinced as I work each day alongside my colleagues at our College, that we are taking every measure in striving to meet the demands we face to support our students and staff to flourish.
Over the past few years, a significant amount of our energy has been directed toward the area of wellbeing with the lofty intention of seeing individuals and our community flourish. Flourishing might seem to be a fanciful notion in a world that is confronted with the horrific events in Ukraine, the recent floods along the east coast of Australia and a global pandemic. However, flourishing is our aim, and schools like ours can begin by providing the love, faith and influence through our Christian ethos that offer our young people and families a level of hope and peace in these uncertain and unsettling times.
At the recent Prefect Investitures, each Guest Speaker reminded us of the example Jesus is for our lives, whether we have been chosen for leadership or not. Learning from His life reminds us of our call to love and serve others as we seek to find meaning and purpose. And, as I think about that, I think about Syd, Wilga and Bob and what it was about them that we celebrated. It was their love and service to others – that’s why we mark those people’s lives as having been well lived.
The challenge then for schools and families in supporting our young people to flourish is to continue investing in the way we encourage, nurture and model the Christian faith each day.
This week our community has been blessed to have Rev. Tim Costello as our guest. It was a privilege to hear Tim share with our staff and students in various formats and as our Guest Speaker at the Gathering Hope Appeal Luncheon hosted by the College Foundation. His message of hope through a presentation which encouraged us to see the community strength provided through faith, morality and democracy, was poignant in light of current global uncertainty.
One of the first verses I recall learning in Sunday School was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” found in Philippians 4:13. I remember thinking that Jesus was a type of ‘super hero’ to provide such protection and support. As I think about that now I am reassured that despite the challenges that we see in the world, and the difficulties we might individually face, God’s love and grace help us to find a place of peace, contentment and safety in times that shake us.
The notion of a flourishing life is lofty. But with God’s help and influence, it is obtainable and available.
Perhaps this is why more families are seeking and choosing Christian schools for their children?
Supporting Personal Development Through House Groups
Over the past two years our House System at Senior School has undergone some significant transformations in order to better support our young people. In 2021 we amalgamated the Year Level Coordinator role with the Head of House role to allow for each student to have consistent support across their three-year journey with us in pastoral, academic and behavioural matters. The role of Assistant Head of House was created to support the Head of House, House Mentors and students under this new iteration of our pastoral care system. We also reimagined the role of the House Group Teacher, which became the House Mentor. Whilst this may seem like a simple matter of semantics, the title change was an appropriate way to reframe and reiterate the important role our House Mentors play in the lives of our young people. House Mentors are not simply disseminators of knowledge or working towards achieving a fixed outcome, (which is how the role of teacher can sometimes be considered), but rather a trusted advisor who can provide guidance, motivation and emotional support. The change in title recognises the significant role these people play in the life of your child – they are the first person they see each morning across the whole of their three years with us and are intended to be that key support person to help them flourish over the course of these important years of adolescence.
As part of our plan to offer increased support for our students, we introduced the next phase of our House Group transformation this year. We transitioned from ‘vertical’ House Groups containing a mix of students from years 10, 11 and 12, to ‘horizontal’ House Groups containing students from single year levels. One reason for this change was to allow us to be more intentional and more targeted with the support and guidance we can offer our students. Over the course of Term 1, House Mentors have been working with their students on important topics that can help set them up for success this year. Topics such as: organisation, time-management and study plans; goal setting (both academic and personal); and how and where they can find support for themselves and others. From the end of last year and throughout this term, teachers have been working in teams to create a program tailored to each year level that has been consistently shared with all students in House Group time each morning.
As we look ahead to Terms 2 and 3, we will continue to use our House Group time to delve into topics that are of vital importance to our young people. These sessions fall under the banners of ‘Faith’, ‘Healthy Relationships’, ‘Making Good Choices’, ‘Positive Mental Health’ and ‘Diversity & Inclusion’. Some of the topics that will be explored with students include Positive Coping Strategies, Safe Partying, Cyber-bullying and Developing Emotional Literacy. We will also be connecting topics to events happening beyond our school, such as developing a better understanding of our Indigenous history during Reconciliation Week and exploring Help-seeking under the banner of Positive Mental Health, which will coincide with RUOK? Day in Term 3. Where appropriate, we will give opportunity for parents to join in on these conversations also. This may be through sharing information or resources with you via email that can support you as a parent to help your child navigate some of life’s tricky phases, or it may be through inviting you to hear from experts in particular areas to help us continue to work together as teachers, students and families to see our young people flourish.
These past two years have been the beginning of an exciting ‘next phase’ for us as a campus as we further enhance what we believe was already a strong support system for our students; equipping them with some of the knowledge, strategies and tools that can help them navigate what is an increasingly complex and challenging period of their lives. We see this part of our role as a privilege and thank parents for entrusting your child into our care – the significance of this is not lost on us and we are committed to doing our best for you and your child.
Important Dates for Senior School
Tuesday 29 March – Year 12 Drama to Top Class – Melbourne
Wednesday 30 March – GISSA Surfing Championships
Tuesday 5 April – Year 12 English Analytical Response AM
Friday 8 April -Last day of Term 1 (2.30 pm dismissal)
Cyber Safe Schools Program: Parent Update
Parents may recall that in Week 1 of this term I introduced our new Online Safety Hub as part of a new Cyber Safe Schools Program that the College is in the process of implementing. This is in formal partnership with Linewize by Family Zone, providing tools and support for school and home to work together and guide our students in the development of positive digital behaviours.
Over this term, we have been putting in place some new tools at school that will help support and protect students in the digital space while at school and enable teachers and pastoral staff to be empowered to support our students’ wellbeing more effectively going forward.
In my communication earlier this term, I also shared some excitement about some complimentary Family Zone parental tools that will be made available to parents as part of the Cyber Safe Schools Program. These optional tools for the home will support Christian College parents to have better visibility and awareness of their child’s digital behaviour while at home. I’m pleased to share that these tools will be made available to parents, along with further information about the wider program, early in Term 2.
We’re delighted that these significant preparations to better protect and support our students in partnership with parents are nearing completion. Parents can look forward to the official launch of the Cyber Safe Schools Program in Term 2 as part of a broader wellbeing focus that will provide opportunities for parents to connect, engage and partner with the College to support the wellbeing of our young people while at school and in the home.
Following the upheaval and challenges of the past two years, the need to proactively support our young people in the areas of wellbeing and the development of positive digital behaviours has never been greater, and we’re so excited about the steps we’re taking with parents to meet that need.
Tim Costello’s Visit to Senior School
On Thursday this week, selected students were able to join Tim Costello to listen to share some of his experiences and answer their questions. The morning was broken into two groups, students from 12 Global Politics, 10 Our World Local Community/Our World First Nations, 10 Geography – Human Wellbeing and the second group of Year 12 leaders and Year 11 aspiring leaders.
The first session, started with a very local feel and moved out into a global scale. Tim talked about his involvement in working with the homeless in St Kilda which led to him running to be mayor. The council he headed was the first in Australia to use ratepayers’ money to provide social housing. With each experience that we went on to share such as First Nations perspective and Australia’s involvement in East Timor, he took the students on a journey by giving the history of the situation right through into modern day. Some of the situations that Tim discussed were about hard-hitting topics like drug detoxing and human rights for girls, however, just like his encounter with Putin when he was the CEO of World Vision, he showed that he was not afraid to challenge what is happening in our world today.
The leaders’ session with Tim focused on the divisive power of Us and Them. It started with a video that offered choices giving money to those who agree/disagree with you and would you be prepared to have less for yourself, and those who agree with you, just so you can ensure that those who disagree with you have even less. Tim provoked the students with what their purpose was for being a leader and gave examples of leadership, both good and bad, from the Bible and modern day. When sharing his leadership opportunities he made strong references to church and community organisations that offer occasions to develop the transferable skills that will help good leaders of the future. One of the students asked about his influences and it was interesting to hear about the variety of influences he has had in his life.
Tim naturally included a Christian worldview in a various ways. He made reference to God and how He is in everyone, but he also imparted so many examples of faith in action through his discussion of human rights and Non-Government organisations. Throughout both of his talks, Tim included questions that he did not necessarily answer, they were often there to challenge the thinking of the students.
This experience was so rewarding and I am sure that each message Tim shared will have impacted each and every student in the room.
Building Resilience in Turbulent Times – Free Webinar
Leading clinical psychologist and author, Dr Andrew Fuller is presenting a free Webinar for parents and carers titled “Building Resilience in Turbulent Times”. This free event is hosted by Independent Schools Victoria and is taking place on Tuesday 29th March 8-9pm. Follow the link below to register.
Turbulent times call for resilient minds. From COVID-19, the Ukraine invasion and rampant flooding, it’s already been a tough start to 2022. As resilience is being tested, our children are looking to us for support and guidance.
How might we understand and reduce anxiety for ourselves and our children? How can we engage in conversation about tough times? And how can we create hope and positivity for the future?
Topics Andrew will cover in this live webinar include:
- Learn the three active ingredients of resilience
- Develop strategies to reduce anxiety
- Build self-esteem and deal with setbacks
- Gain strategies for engaging in tough conversations
- Help our children prepare for a better future.
Presentation Balls 2022 Partners wanted
Dear Parents of Year 11 students,
We are so excited to be proceeding with the 2022 Presentation Balls, below you will find some clarity re rehearsals. Firstly however, thank you for your patience as we worked through some details regarding the Presentation Balls for 2022. It was great that so many of you were able to attend the information session and/or you’ve made enquiries about the nights or rehearsals.
We have taken on board feedback from students/families who were concerned about rehearsals. After extended consultation with the venue manager and the dance trainers the following is the outline for rehearsals for this year.
|Rehearsal time||6.30pm to 8.30pm sharp|
|Supervision||Supervision will be provided before and during rehearsal but parents must be on time for pick up at 8.30pm|
|Rehearsal dates||Monday 9th May, Monday 23rd May, Monday 30th May, Monday 6th June, Wednesday 8th June, Thursday 16th June.|
If these revised times and dates mean that your son or daughter may now participate (or can no longer participate) please contact me as soon as possible.
However, we are not quite there and I am seeking some parent support if possible. I have a number of students who want to participate but do not have a partner. If there are any boys out there who would be willing, who can make those rehearsal times and who would like to be a part of this event please email me. I’d really love it if everyone who wants to participate can. So if your son would like to participate but hasn’t put his name down, it is not too late.
English Incursion – Year 12 Author visit – Toni Jordan, Nine Days
This week our Year 12 English classes had the wonderful opportunity to hear the author Toni Jordan, present on her book, Nine Days. This is one of the texts studied as part of Year 12’s coursework and final English Exam.
Toni began with a visual, which is now on the front cover of the book and explained how the visual was key to the story being written. She discussed how she created a story to represent the lives of the different generations within a family and the symbolism she used to maintain a significant thread through the various stories.
Toni presented her thinking about the story’s structure and the various choices she made within the writing process. She talked about the range of themes within the text and her reasons for the plot and character development to show these ideas.
It was such a blessing to have Toni with us in person and for our students to learn more about who she is and how she writes
Year 10 Extension English
This term, Year 10 Extension English students have been engaged in a ‘Crafting Texts’ unit with a focus on discrimination in Australia, past and present. One writing task set during this unit was to respond to the life story of a First Nations person who lived through or was affected by the trauma of the Stolen Generations. The piece below is a creative response and biographical explanation by Jaimie Donnan, responding to the life and story of Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts.
Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts is a writer, an activist, winner of the 2019 Young People’s Human Rights Medal, and a proud Bundjalung, Widubul-Wiabul woman. She is also a member of the stolen generations.
When she was 11 years old, she was taken from her family under falsified allegations of neglect. Her mother had suffered from mental health disorders her whole life and her father was a dark-skinned Aboriginal man. There was a case worker beside her mother’s bed when she gave birth to Vanessa. Protocols and policies were not followed – Vanessa should have been placed with another family member, or another Indigenous member of her community, at least to someone in her community, but instead she was placed in 10 different non-Indigenous households. She faced horrific treatment in these households: racial and physical attacks. One of her carers told her not to tell people that she was Aboriginal, and when she asked why he said, “because they will treat you differently”. When really, she knew he didn’t want his own identity questioned.
Vanessa has seen and faced the horrors of growing up as an Aboriginal person in Australia. She has seen the pain and neglect her peoples are dealt by a government which is meant to be protecting and supporting them. Turnbull-Roberts is a stirring and educative writer and academic, with her writings published across magazines, news articles, and podcasts, and she now holds a Bachelor of Law and Social Work and a Bachelor of Social Work, both from UNSW. She is an inspiration to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.
By Jaimie Donnan
* The bolded words are direct quotes from Turnbull-Roberts
The ones here, she sees you
But she sees past you
To the ones that aren’t here
The ones lost
Lost their family
Lost their way
Lost their community
Lost their lives
Lost their freedom
It’s the year of Kevin Rudd’s sorry speech
Falsified allegations of neglect
“Bub, I’m so sorry, they’re coming to get you”
She is taken
Taken from her country
Taken from her mob
Taken from her mother
Taken from her father
Taken from her heritage
They waited for her
For 11 years
They were always there
An Aboriginal birth
And they loom
Beside her mother’s bedside
The case worker looks down at Vanessa
I’ll come for you
“We are here to support you”
Where were they then
Abusive, racist foster homes
77 Aboriginal suicides
77 lost Aboriginal lives
5 months, 2 lives lost a week
73 under the poverty line
No community lead long-term solutions
Black lives do not matter in Australia
Her mother’s life, her best friend’s life
Taken by their own hand
Cycles and cycles
Placed in out of home care
“Don’t tell anyone you’re aboriginal”
Pushed out when they’re 18
Forced to steal
Forced to survive
Forced to prison
She thought, I thought, we thought
Sorry means you don’t do it again
Why didn’t you think?
Empty words, empty promises
STEAM Careers Forum – Careers Related to Mental Health and Community Wellbeing
Students of years 10, 11 and 12 have an amazing opportunity to connect with leading professional role models who will share how they work with purpose and passion to support mental health and community wellbeing. These guest speakers work in career fields including science, technology, engineering, arts and maths and use their skills and knowledge to provide better health opportunities for the community.
Students will hear from technologists who build apps to improve youth mental health, scientists who work with artists to find better ways to motivate people to improve their mental health, and psychologists who work across disciplines to help disenfranchised groups of people with mental health challenges. Students will be inspired as these guest speakers share their career journeys and discuss how they use their STEAM skills and transdisciplinary approaches to follow their passion and make a difference.
Students will also have the opportunity to experience an interactive tour of the MENTAL exhibition led by University STEM student facilitators. MENTAL is a welcoming place to confront societal bias and stereotypes about mental health, and for students to explore what it means to be human using science, technology and creativity.
This webinar is being held at the college on Monday 4 April from12:30-14:00pm. If your child is interested in attending, please ask them to contact Ms Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org
Language Assistant From Japan
The Exchange Program is Back Again – “Hope and reconnected”
We wish to welcome our new Japanese assistant Kana from Wakayama, Japan. Kana is a graduate from Naga High School and arrived last Friday safely after waiting for two years due to the changing government regulations regarding the Covid pandemic. She has already started helping the Japanese classes. Having a native speaker to share and communicate the current issues in Japanese and Japan’s latest news is extremely beneficial to our students. Thank you to the Ruplal family for their generosity to host Kana as a part of their family. She will work at all of our campuses until December 2022 and she is very much looking forward to meeting Christian College students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
If you are interested in hosting Kana in Term 4, please contact me at email@example.com for further information.
Year 11 Product Design Materials
Year 11 students have been given the opportunity to choose an existing product, modify it in several ways including making it a more sustainable product, and constructing the project. Will Burr has decided to research, design and build a doghouse for his loved pet. As you can see, he will be repurposing pallets for the frame and floor of his structure and then cladding it with fence boards. His roof material will be cedar shakes or shingles, which he is planning on sourcing from cutoffs produced by a local business.
It has been pleasing to see the students’ progression through this course! They began by gathering inspiration and annotating a range of images, discussing constraints and considerations, and drafting a variety of drawings and ideations for the project even before construction commences. Will decided to build a small prototype (see image) using panels designed in a CAD program and cut on the laser cutter. I am looking forward to getting some pictures of his dog in that new, custom-made abode!
2022 GISSA Swimming Championships
Our CCG Eagles Swimming Team recently competed at the GISSA Swimming Championships at Kardinia Aquatic Centre, coming agonisingly close to capturing the biggest prize on offer.
Our squad of over 40 students from our Bellarine Campus, Middle School Highton Campus and Senior School Campus all performed to a high standard as our College finished second in the overall Association Championship, less than 70 points behind first place.
The strong performance featured a stand-out showing from the Senior girls contingent of our team, which clinched the Shield for the Senior Female Section of the Championships – a title that encapsulates the Under-16 and Open Age Groups.
We had 11 students win their individuals races throughout all different age levels and strokes, with six of those students winning multiple events and two who went home with a stack of blue ribbons after winning four individual races and relay events.
In particular, our Sport Faculty would like to thank the Year 12 students who competed at this event, which, for many put the finishing touches on years of incredible service to our CCG Eagles Swimming Program competing at events such as the GISSA Titles.
Our Sport Faculty would like to congratulate Flynn Falcon Madison Cooper, Taylor’s Maya Fuller, Penman’s Oscar Murdoch and Burrows Bear Ben Breguet, as well as Flynn’s Luka Mathe, who was selected in the team but was unable to compete on the day.
Our College is blessed with a large crop of talented swimmers coming through our Swimming Program, as evidenced not only by this result at the GISSA Championships but also the performances on show throughout our recently-concluded House Swimming Championships season.
We look forward to watching many of our students compete in other events outside of school over the course of the year and we wish them all the best for the rest of 2022.
The College wishes to acknowledge and congratulate some fantastic student performances at recent state sporting events. We are always encouraged by the knowledge that our students are actively engaged in community sport, and we look forward to giving a number of these students an opportunity to represent the college on various sporting fields and in aquatic environments this year.
Ashton Schram (Yr8) won a gold and silver medal in the individual board race and board relay at the State Surf Life Saving Titles and as a result is off to represent his club and the State at the Australian Titles on the Gold Coast next week. Following on from his successful season in the surf, Ashton has been selected in the U15 State Hockey team that will be competing in the National Tournament in Newcastle during the first week of the school holidays.
Harry Leigh (Yr12) and Kade Leigh (Yr11) have been selected in the U18 State Hockey team to compete at the National Championships in Cairns during the upcoming school holidays. This is the third year in succession that these brothers have represented their State in hockey, which is a great achievement.
Jasmine King (Yr8) competed at the State Track & Field Championships, where she achieved personal bests in all three of her Field events – shot put, discus and javelin. With a javelin throw of 39.39m she became the State U14 Champion, and then followed this claiming a bronze medal in both the shot put and discus events.
We wish Guy Williams (Yr8) and Ethan Grills (Yr12) all the very best at the Australian Track & Field Championships in the coming week. After medaling in three events at the State Championships, Guy will be competing in the high jump, triple and long jump. Ethan will be out to compliment his State 3000m medal with a national medal. We wish both boys all the best in their respective events at these Championships.
The following students enjoyed swimming success at the State Championships recently – Madison Cooper (Yr12) swam in five finals and collected one gold, one silver and two bronze medals; Nicole Briscoe (Yr11) swam in eight finals and collected two gold medals; Matilda Byrnes (Yr9), nine finals, three gold and four silver medals as well as being named female swimmer of the ‘meet’; Brooke Briscoe (Yr9), ten finals, one gold, two silver and one bronze medal; Hayley Mackinder (Yr9), five finals, two gold and 1 silver medal; Meg Conheady (Yr9) and Zeke Lamborne (Yr9) swam PBs in their respective races and Dax Conheady (Yr7) finished 8th in his breaststroke final. Unfortunately, due to having to isolate, Noah Stephens (Yr7) missed that State Titles where he was competing in numerous stroke events. As a result of their performances at the State Championships, Madison, Nicole, Matilda, Brooke and Hayley have qualified to compete at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide next month.
Finally, our college was well represented at the Head of the Schoolgirls rowing regatta last weekend. Alice Joyce (Yr10) rowed beautifully across the three days winning a silver medal in the Yr10 girl’s single scull. Isabelle Brehaut (Yr8), Molly Callahan (Yr8), Abbey Powers (Yr8), Billie Ballard (Yr9) and Grace Perrin (Yr9), competed very well in their Yr9 quad scull division at this regatta. If students are interested in getting involved in this great sport of rowing, then please speak to these students or contact Mr Richardson.
We congratulate these students on these impressive performances and wish the students who are competing at the National level all the very best in the coming weeks.
You will find attached the Careers Newsletter for your information. We hope that you find it helpful. Don’t forget to look in the parent portal in SEQTA Engage for our CAREERS section. There is a lot of important information sitting there for students and parents.
Topics this week:
Year 12 students
- ADF Gap Year – applications now open
- University – early entry programs now open
- Applying for medicine or dentistry?
- Australia National University – Tuckwell Scholarship
- Book a university campus tour for you and your family
- Information technology – websites
- Apprenticeships and traineeships – resources
- Career planning and job seeker program
- Updates from Monash University
- Focus on the Skills Road website
- Motorsports courses
- Information on studying in the UK
- William Angliss specialist institute (food, events, tourism, hospitality etc.)
- Filmmaking competition
- Ocean Youth Program – ocean and marine conservation
- Upcoming career events
Foundation 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Christian College seeks the services of a Digital Technologies teacher for Terms 2, 3 and 4 this year.
This is a part-time (0.5) position based at our Middle School – Highton Campus. Interested, or know someone who might be? Check our website for a Position Description and application details (Homepage > Join > Employment)
A MYTERN Thought for the Week
In this world of uncertainty , try not to be too influenced by the opinion of others.
It is not THEIR journey. Your journey is unique. Seek advice, but then make sure that you are in control of the roads that you choose to drive down 😊
Discover more about MYTERN here