With all the other events this week it would be easy to overlook an important occasion in the Australian and GCCC calendar. On the 11 November, I and the Primary and Middle School captains attended the Remembrance Day Service at the local RSL.
Unfortunately this year the timing clashed with Senior School exams so the College Captains could not be with us but Isabelle Westaway, Tyler Dickens, Sarah Mens and Casey Woods did the College proud with how they conducted themselves on the day.
Back at the College, the bell sounded for a minute’s silence and I’m told that you could not hear a pin drop (which doesn’t happen too often in a school of 850 students).
Classes had been learning about the significance of the day in different ways. Some created poppies to decorate the classroom, some made posters and others performed a light-hearted re-enactment on the oval. Although it is a very sad day, it is good to remember the ultimate sacrifice so many made on our behalf.
Year 12 Formal and Graduation
Our biggest graduation class ever meant that some changes had to be made and one of them was moving the red carpet arrival to a new venue where the formal dinner would take place. Forest Sanctuary provided a lovely backdrop for our students who transformed themselves from kids in school uniforms to stunning young men in smart suits and lovely young women in gorgeous dresses.
The students lived up to their new mature look by behaving themselves beautifully all night and having great fun at the same time. After some encouragement, it wasn’t long before most of the students (and many of the staff) were on the dance floor ‘busting some moves’.
Graduation the next day was a day of more mixed emotions. The finality of the last hours at GCCC had sunk in for many of the students and there were tears all round – students, staff, and families.
This year the graduation service was held in the Senior Undercover Area. It was a highlight having the whole school together for the service and the young Prep and Primary students were especially well behaved as they sat through the proceedings.
The clap out also went a slightly different route this year but the one thing that didn’t change was the emotions on the day. There was excitement about the future, sadness at leaving, relief that the last exam (for now) was over and a real sense that it was the end of something special and the beginning of something new.
On behalf of everyone at the College I would like to wish the 48 Year 12 students of 2013 all the very best. I look forward to learning of their accomplishments in the future.
We are sad to say farewell to the following staff at the end of 2013 and wish them the very best in their new positions in 2014.
Odette Perkins has been our College Registrar for three years and is moving to Sydney for her husband’s work at the end of the year. She has done an amazing job in attracting new families to the College and helping them feel like they belong here in a short amount of time. The ladies in Admin (Odette included) have been working their way through twice as many tissue boxes since learning of her departure.
Brett Costin is leaving to join Australian Christian Academy Caboolture. Brett has served the College mostly in the Upper Primary as a classroom teacher and more recently as the E-learning Coach in the Primary. This year Brett also headed up the High 5 program designed to build resilience in Primary aged children.
Neil Capps is leaving to become the Principal of Casino Christian College in northern NSW. Neil has served in many capacities at the College, in particular in the roles of Head of Maths and more recently as the Academic Operations Coordinator.
Jo Winlaw is leaving to become Head of English and Humanities at Chisolm Catholic College. Jo has served as Head of English and Humanities and has been a Senior Year Level Coordinator. She has been instrumental in introducing and shaping many of our secondary school traditions such as the Year 10 Dinner Dance, the Formal and Graduation Service and in the naming of our College Houses. She has directed all of the College musicals as well.
Anita Newell has served the College in many capacities in the Middle School and Senior School. She was also a board member for many years and was an integral part of the College’s inception. She has been an instigator of the Legacy Cup and headed up other Middle School centric initiatives. She has also notably been the assistant director of the College musicals and was a valuable contributor to the design of the library.
Ryan Fowler has received an offer he can’t refuse; to teach PE and be assistant head of the tennis program at Scotch College in Sydney. This will allow Ryan and his wife to be closer to their respective families as they begin the journey of parenthood in the very near future with the birth of their first child.
Colleen Devitt has been our Head of Hospitality and Year 9 Coordinator. She has built the Hospitality from a fledgling department to the buzzing and lively student centre it is today. She has also catered for an amazing amount of College functions, most of these in her own time. Staff members have often been the beneficiaries of delicious food produced under her guidance. Colleen is taking the role of Head of Hospitality at Pacific Lutheran College.
Joan Ferris has served the College as our Future Pathways Coordinator. She has either created or hunted down apprenticeship and training opportunities for many of our senior students. She has lifted the profile of the careers department in a very dramatic way. Joan is leaving to take up a position at her local church doing clerical work and pastoral care.
Suzanne Power is leaving at the end of the year. Suzanne has significantly progressed the curricular and pedagogical practices in her role as Head of Teaching and Learning Quality and Head of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Suzanne was instrumental in preparing the College for its first Accreditation review in which the College passed with flying colours. She has also been instrumental in the progress of the Learning Support area of the College.
I would like to most sincerely thank all of these people for their dedicated efforts during their time with us and pray that God richly blesses their future endeavours.
Mike Curtis, Principal