What a wonderful start to our year. Over the years I have walked around a lot of schools both here in Australia and also overseas and I have always tried to catch the “feel” of a school. Some schools have been really encouraging but others have left me asking some serious questions.  As I have walked around our school this year I am so thankful for our students and the enthusiasm I can feel as I stop and talk to them or, simply watch them from a distance. Our first primary assembly, which was held last week, was another uplifting occasion as students shared some of their “wow” learning moments in writing. The recent photos and video clips on our Facebook page have also captured many of these great moments.

In this newsletter you will be able to learn more about the events which have occurred in our various subschools and I hope that, you too, will catch the excitement and “feel” for what is happening. I wasn’t able to get out to visit the year 7 camp on the Kalgan but the feedback has been excellent. You will enjoy the report and photos of their camp in the Junior Secondary School (JSS) report.

In week three we also held our first Years 11-12 Leadership Camp. I went out and observed some of the sessions and again I was most impressed. See Senior School report below for more details.

Pedal Prix and Sponsorship

Our teacher Daniel Pitman has also been very active in developing a number of projects across the school this year. I previously mentioned the Pedal Prix event he has entered our school into. This event will be held at Busselton in August and will involve a support team of 12 students going. This is a national event and will be widely publicized. The Year 9 class is very thankful for our P&F who have donated money towards this event. By the way, the Pedal Prix is still a great opportunity for sponsorship and Daniel Pitman would be glad to hear from anyone who might have suggestions about this.

T&E Grant Awarded to School

We are also excited about the $5000 grant we recently received for Digital technology resources. This will go towards buying two 3D printers, robotics equipment and mobile storage. Thanks Daniel Pitman!

Congratulations to our Online Distance Education Students

  • Callum McManus completed his Year 12 General subjects and a Certificate IV in, Preparation of Health and Nursing Studies. He has just enrolled in paramedics study at ECU.

  • Shuan Hern Lee (Yr 10 in 2018) has been granted immediate entry into a music degree at UWA having gained entrance directly from Year 10. This is an outstanding achievement.

  • Rohan Mackenzie was another of our 2018 Year 10 students and he too, has gained entry into an ECU music degree. What an incredible achievement.

  • Kaylee Walton (Year 8) has achieved great success in the World Figure Skating championships for her age.

  • Congratulations also to Kayne Dellar who placed 2nd in the Western Australian, Junior Sedan Championships, after competing in Albany in late January.

Update on buildings

I am so thankful for the patience shown by staff, students and parents as we await the delivery of our modular buildings. Our buildings have been completed and the DA has been approved by council. We are now just waiting for the building permit to be approved and then we can install.

Architect discussions

I have also been in discussions with local architects, council and our ACC consultants concerning the design and construction of our first double storey secondary building. The major issue we are currently working on is being able to meet the 2019 bushfire requirements and we are receiving some wonderful assistance from a range of knowledgeable locals with expertise in this area.

School Registration Inspection

Currently I am working on submitting all the final documents to meet the demands of the registration process. This has curtailed some of my ability to move around the school lately but it has also forced me to document the many wonderful features of our school. I have been able to show how much our school has grown over the past four years and how we have also developed our academic programs to meet the needs of our students. The story of our school and the quality of the staff who have been drawn to it is most exciting. I cannot help but give thanks to God for all that He has been doing.

Coffee Discussion mornings

Last year I held a number of open coffee mornings at Three Anchors so that everyone had an opportunity to meet with me and ask any questions. I am quite keen to continue with this idea if that would be helpful. I am considering the first few weeks of Term 2 on a Wednesday morning at 9am. Please let me know if you think that would suitable.

R. Malcolm Bromhead

Thought for Reflection

“If we want to grow as teachers -- we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives -- risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.”

― Parker J. Palmer,
The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

This is a very interesting and challenging quote I came across recently but I think this does not just apply to teachers. The willingness and strength to be vulnerable as we interact with people is becoming increasingly rare these days. I have even been in churches where people have been eager to talk but never to be real. And so I have been pondering this whole question of identity and reading more on what Tim Keller has to say.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2

“And here we see the richness, complexity, and startling distinctiveness of the Christian approach to identity. Because unlike either traditional or secular culture, a Christian’s identity is not achieved but received. When we ask God the Father to accept us, adopt us, unite with us, not on the basis of our performance and moral efforts but because of Christ’s, we receive a relationship with God that is a gift.

This becomes the Christian model of self-donation, of sacrificial love and forgiveness. But the cross doesn’t simply give us an inspiring example. Through faith in the cross we get a new foundation for an identity that both humbles us out of our egoism yet is so infallibly secure in love that we are enabled to embrace rather than exclude those who are different.” (extract from Making Sense of God).

Distance Education

This has been one of our Teleconference weeks and it creates an excited stir amongst the teachers as we all so enjoy connecting and catching up with our online students. The attendance has been a whole lot better this week with students logging in from a wide variety of places and I look forward to the next lot of sessions in two week’s time.

Supervisors and parents can now choose to be Observer’s in their children’s courses. A copy of the letter we sent out has been uploaded into the Modules section of our School Notice Board known as Takumuna Southlands. Please make every effort to become an Observer in your child’s courses, thank you.

Even though we have had some teething glitches from migrating to Canvas, our new learning management system, I often hear from students how they are enjoying the new layout. We are still learning about all the extra things we can do in Canvas and we regularly update the Modules in Takumuna giving hints and some help tips under the Resources heading. This should make things easier for our student body.

We wish all the best for our students sitting the OLNA tests. We hope the tests do not disrupt your study routine too much.

Each year, all students in Years 1 - 10 complete ACER tests in March and October. These are an important means for our school to collect data on the students’ learning. Please make sure your child/children have completed their tests, thank you.

Upcoming Events in Albany - More information will follow; please know all online distance education students are welcome to participate in:

  • 29th March Athletics Carnival
  • 12th April X-Country Event

Please be in prayer for our forthcoming Registration visit from the Education Department. Many hours have gone into the preparation for explaining how online distance education runs and how successful it is. May we find favour with those who visit.

God bless

Terry Phipson

Distance Education

Primary School

Our upgrade of the Early Childhood playground has began with new sand being added to the sand area. The students loved watching the tractor work involved to make this happen. We are planning and working with volunteers to design and make a mud kitchen. We are very excited about this project and we have some amazing community members donating materials and time to make this happen.

Children across the primary are all reading in levelled groups for 3 half hour sessions a week. This is an amazing program that is assisted by high school student tutors. We are making the most of the great weather by reading outside under the trees.

Mr Findlay the new music teacher has put out the surveys for interest in instrument lessons, please return these to the office to have your say.

Thank you to all the parents that turned up for the primary school’s first assembly of the year. Some great writing was presented by all years as we continue our Talk4Writing program. Next assembly is in week 8, March 20.

Merit certificate winners at our first assembly

Names right to left:

Kira Waugh, Lily Banks, Denby Sharpe, Mataya Little, Taylor Smith, Isabella Little, Tory McDonald, Aaron Zemunik, Emily Smith, Aiden Nash, Evan Hancock, Josiah Burns, Alyssa Bailey

Mrs Rachel Power

Head of Primary

Junior Senior School

Year 7 Orientation Camp

Change is never easy for anyone, especially for children. Arguably the biggest change any student experiences during their schooling life is entering secondary school. Year 7 students go from a single classroom teacher to many teachers. They have this confusing sheet of paper called a timetable which tells where to go for each lesson. They have more new students in their class than any other year level. Their lesson structures change and they now use this weird thing called Canvas. The list of changes seem endless, and quite daunting for that matter!

One of the best aspects about Australian Christian College Junior Secondary School (JSS) is that we prepare Year 7, 8 and 9 students for Senior Secondary School and all the changes along the way. To help our young Year 7 students start Secondary School strongly, ACC held the first ever 2-day Year 7 Orientation Camp in the second week of the schooling year. This was held at the beautiful Glen Echo Farm located just outside of town. The aim of the camp was, not only to have an awesome time, but to help Year 7 students become more familiar with their fellow peers and JSS teachers as well.

As the Head of Junior Secondary School (and a huge fan of camping for that matter), I felt it was essential for the Year 7’s to become familiar with my face, so I helped lead the camp. Along with myself, the Year 7 Pastoral Care and Science Teacher, Ms Dragan, and ACC’s Chaplin, Mr Burns took 21 Year 7 students to Glen Echo Thursday morning in Week 2. We also had a few extra JSS staff come during the camp to help assist particular activities, and so that students could become more familiar with their teachers. Mr Pitman and Mr Sephton ran fishing and canoeing activities, while Mrs Myhill took charge of the amazing dinner and breakfast. Ms Dragan has put together a fantastic video recapping the Year 7 adventure at Glen Echo: Year 7 Orientation Camp Video.

One of my favourite things to see at the camp was the new friendships being formed. Not only that, but particular students came out of their comfort zone and became more confident in front of their peers. This was achieved through our fun tribal team challenges. Students not only had to participate and work together, but they all came up with some pretty impressive war cries! Not once did I witness any arguing, belittling or negative talk between the students, which was extremely impressive to see. The following week, I let them know how proud I was of their behaviour, attitude and efforts during camp.

Developing friendships and working together is very important for a child in Year 7. They are quite regularly mentioned in the Bible. A great verse for our young JSS students is one found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT). King Solomon writes, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble… A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Paul Gandini

Head of Junior Secondary

Visual Arts

The Year 9/10 Art students attended an excursion in Week 2 to see the Moth exhibition by local artist Chelsea Hopkins-Allan. Chelsea won the biennial Great Southern Art Award in 2017 with a large detailed painting of the Southern Old Lady Moth. Along with her $5,000 prize, Chelsea could choose between a short term residency at the VAC or a fully supported exhibition. This exhibition is a presentation of her research and exploration into the moth species of the Great Southern.

Students got to meet the artist at her exhibition where she gave a talk about her work. Students completed gallery worksheets and were able to ask Chelsea questions about her paintings and her new career as an emerging artist.

We all had a great time and and the students came away from this exhibition excursion feeling inspired, with a renewed sense of appreciation of how much time and work goes into creating work for an exhibition. Chelsea was impressed by our students behaviour. I look forward to taking our students to future art exhibitions at the Vancouver Arts Centre.  

Mrs Elisa Pitavanik

Senior Secondary School

Year 11 - 12 Leadership Camp

Leadership is a skill that is increasing identified as necessary for success in the twenty-first century. Job advertisements call for prospective employees with ‘leadership skills’ and ‘leaders’ are required for community organisations, voluntary positions and ministries. We believe that all students are able to develop leadership qualities, and at our school we see value in developing leadership qualities in each one of our Year 11 and 12 students. This year, we will be involving all of our senior students in a range of activities that will give them the opportunity to develop as leaders.

The first of these activities occurred in Week 3 when our Year 11 and 12 students embarked on ACC’s inaugural Leadership Camp. Students participated in a conference style camp, where expert speakers shared their insights into a range of topics relevant to leadership and senior secondary study, including cultivating a growth mindset, dealing with stress and anxiety, and developing a style of leadership that is grounded in service, community and vision. We were fortunate to have a Perth-based guest speaker, Amit Khaira, who works extensively with youth and university students, share the importance for each of us to understand our story and to live with purpose and vision. We also heard from our chaplain, Tim Burns, who discussed the necessity of risk-taking, while Michelle Dragan and Holly Beeck also shared mental strategies to help students to thrive in their studies. Additionally, local chaplains Kathryn Davis and Jason Bresanello worked with girls and boys to build encouraging communities. The feedback from the camp has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited to note the positive effects that the camp has already had upon individual students and our school community.

Universities Regional Tour

On Wednesday 27th February, the Year 10, 11 and 12 students were visited by the Universities Regional Tour group. They learned about the value of university study and the range of pathways available for students to gain university entrance. This information was particularly valuable for our university bound students, however, it was important for all students to understand that there are also a range of post-school pathways to gain university entrance.

Some of the topics discussed included:

  • ATAR pathways and non-ATAR pathways
  • University preparation courses
  • Mature age entrance
  • Regional ATAR adjustments
  • Scholarships
  • TISC applications
  • Perth accommodation options
  • Features of university life
  • Support services

Students had the opportunity to obtain information from representatives from Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Murdoch University, the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University. Each representative discussed the strengths and features of their universities. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm of each representative for their respective universities and they clearly modelled the quality of life-long learning.

Our students will have further opportunities to learn about post-school education as the year progresses. Most notably, our Perth Futures study tour will be occurring in Term 2.

Keys for Life

Year 10 students will be participating in the Keys for Life pre-driver training program on the 20th of March. Students will gain valuable life skills as well as knowledge about road rules, licensing, safer vehicles and safer driving. They will also have the opportunity to sit their Learner’s Permit Test here at school.

Jade Baker

Head of Senior Secondary

ACC Southlands P & F Association

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 28th March -  6.00pm, at Dome.

One of the easiest ways to help support the P&F is with our Friday Sausage Sizzles. Please click on the below link for more information and to sign up to help.

P & F Association Members, voted in at the recent AGM:

Barbara Gill - President

Terry Phipson - Vice President

Michelle Dragan - Secretary

Kelly Sephton - Treasurer

ACC Soccer 2019

Calling all individuals who have a passion for the world game! The soccer season is upon us and we would like to call upon all students, staff, parents and the wider community to be involved with our ever-growing ACC Soccer Academy. We are looking for players, coaches, team managers and volunteers to join us.

Please check your emails for more information.  You can register your interest by 21st March via our online form.

Tim Burns & Wing Kuen Wee

Soccer Coordinator

Community Notices