Semester 2 | 2021
The President, Management Committee and CEO of Anglican Schools Australia wish you a HAPPY AND HOLY CHRISTMAS
Feature Articles What is 'meant' by Service in Anglican Schools? Loving at a distance Four walk the Larapinta trail Celebrating 175 years 125 years of community
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President’s Message With a theme of Character and Service, this edition of ASA News provides an insight into our Anglican schools and communities throughout 2021. The overarching themes of Character and Service, as articulated in our Enhancing our Anglican Identity paper, are inextricably linked. As expressed by The Reverend Daniel Heischman, they are ‘mutual blessings’ in that we bless others through service, but we too are blessed by those experiences.
The start of the new year heralded great hope that the worst of the global pandemic was behind us; however, this past year has presented ongoing disruption with continued lockdowns and a great deal of uncertainty. While it has been an intense year in many ways, I am reminded that intensity is not such a bad thing. It can help us to do things efficiently and effectively, and ultimately, we are stronger and wiser for the lived experience. We have learned to put the needs of others before our own, knowing that serving others brings intrinsic joy, happiness and hope. Hope is the thing that keeps us going in trying times and allows us to see the light through the darkness; we have all called on hope during the past 12 months. It gives us the faith and courage to push on, and most importantly, it provides perspective. As an organisation, we have been unable to meet in person for more than two years. The last time that we gathered as a community was at the 2019 Anglican Schools Australia Conference in Hobart, which feels like a lifetime ago. Despite this, I am delighted that ASA has still achieved a great deal over the past 12 months, with the increased three-year terms of the ASA Management Committee providing ongoing stability as we look to the future.
We knew that the learning curve would be steep when we made the bold decision to transition the Intersection Conference to a virtual platform. We put our faith in the overarching, sustaining need to meet in 2021, and when physical gatherings were not possible, we had to get creative and step outside the box. The ensuing virtual conference was a tremendous success and provided collegiality and fellowship at a time of need, especially with New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory all in lockdown throughout the conference. I would particularly like to thank the Principals and Chaplains of ASA Schools for the enormous role that they have played in their communities over the past 12 months. As we continue to live with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased focus in schools on wellbeing and connection to community, and a heightened value on the pastoral and spiritual leadership demonstrated by these people. I would also like to sincerely thank the ASA Management Committee, who have provided tremendous support in a year where we could only gather online. It is a privilege to work with such committed colleagues and I look forward to meeting in person when interstate borders allow.
There has also been a great deal to celebrate this year. The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, bestowed the Lambeth Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship upon our CEO, The Reverend Peter Laurence OAM, and the 2021 Melbourne ASA Conference Organising Committee triumphed with their delivery of an outstanding ‘Intersection’ virtual conference.
In closing, I thank you for your support of ASA throughout 2021 and look forward to gathering in-person at our 2022 ASA Conference in beautiful Perth where collectively we can be lifted in spirit.
I commend ASA President-Elect and 2021 Conference Chair, Mrs Debbie Dunwoody, and her organising committee for delivering ASA’s first virtual conference.
Mrs Judith Tudball President, Anglican Schools Australia Principal, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School
I wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and hope over this Christmas period.
CEO’s Column Being Strategic in a Pandemic Over the past 20 months, schools have learnt to ‘flex’ as never before. In and out of lockdown, in and out of home learning, in and out of masks… the list is far too long for this article. How great we’ve been. Just surviving through 2020-2021 has been a major challenge. Yet schools have gone far beyond survival, ensuring students, staff and families have been cared for in every way possible. It’s taken a toll on our people, but schools are resilient communities.
It may seem odd to talk of ‘strategy’ moving forward at a time when simply existing in operational mode was a challenge. But as I scan the websites, social media pages and newsletters of our member schools across Australia, it’s evident that our learning communities haven’t simply been in survival mode. Operating through this period has required innovative thinking and strategic planning. We are days away from 2022, when we’ve reason to believe that all states and territories will open the school year with all students on campus. ‘The new normal’ will be the strategy adopted to chart our respective courses through the next few years.
2022 Conference The annual National Conference forms a centrepiece of ASA’s strategy. Approximately 250 members gather to worship, learn, network and have fun, as we are challenged and inspired in our mission as Anglican schools.
In light of the learnings arising from the global pandemic, schools will be reviewing and revising their strategic plans to ensure they are well prepared for a different world. Anglican Schools Australia is no different.
The Chaplains’ Mini Conference and ‘Leading in an Anglican School’ Day will be held concurrently on Sunday 14 August 2022. These dates will give delegates an opportunity to fly west to enjoy the weekend prior to the Conference or stay for a few days after it to enjoy Western Australia.
When I wrote in the last edition of ASA News some six months ago, the Management Committee was about to embark on our Strategic Planning Workshop, armed with member schools’ feedback from our earlier survey. Then borders closed, ‘Delta’ arrived in Australia and the workshop was postponed for six months. November came, and again our country remained disconnected through hard or controlled borders. Management Committee decided to postpone it once more until we can gather face-to-face for two days in early June 2022. Until there is a new plan in place, ASA continues to operate under the strategic direction of the current plan, getting on with the numerous activities which form our focus.
SEMESTER 2 | 2021
When we gather as a ‘family’ in Perth next August, it will be the first time in three years that we have done so. How special that will be. As many changes have come about through living in Covid-19 times and learning from it, we’ve decided to move the main Conference to a Monday and Tuesday, the 15th and 16th of August 2022.
The Conference Theme is ‘Lifted in Spirit’, and don’t our spirits need lifting right now. Our spirits will be lifted in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we fellowship with one another. How privileged to have the Archbishop of York join us as leading Keynote Speaker. Now that international borders are dropping, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell hopes to be with us ‘in person’, our Conference immediately following the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion’s bishops. He will be joined by a team of inspiring keynote speakers from across Australia. The Conference Registration Brochure will be sent to all member schools and friends of ASA by March next year. Please keep an eye out for it and register early!
CEO’s Column (cont’d) State Gatherings In the last edition of ASA News, I advised that the Management Committee was working towards a series of networking and collegial gatherings late this year across our capital cities. As you will appreciate, due to the spread of the Delta variant and its consequences for our schools and communities, planning for these gatherings stopped. Management Committee has decided to focus on the August 2022 Conference as our next face-to-face gathering, which we hope will be well attended, with member schools having an appetite to reconnect. Our Travel Partners As borders start to open (domestically and internationally), please remember ASA’s Travel Partners - Orbit Travel (our Travel Management Company) and Virgin Australia (our partner airline). Through Orbit, ASA member schools and individuals have access to special pricing on Virgin Australia and their international partner airlines. As you begin to plan future school trips, you’re invited to contact Orbit to access the best possible airfares and other travel deals for your staff and students. Advent Advent commenced late November. It’s a time to prepare our hearts, minds and spirits to again receive the good news of Jesus Christ being born into our world and our lives. At the heart of the mission of an Anglican school is the daily preparation of young (and not-so-young) lives to receive the Christ-child, Christ crucified and Christ raised in glory. I thank the Management Committee for their leadership and support throughout the pandemic, most especially our President Mrs Judith Tudball and President-Elect Mrs Debbie Dunwoody. Thanks also to the team in the ASA Office in Perth – Executive Assistant Ms Hazel Cole, Director of Communications Ms Aila Dann, CFO Mrs Irene Clarke and Finance Officers Ms Asher Dukic (to August 2021) and Ms Kerry Campbell. The coming months will be both exciting and challenging for all Australians as international borders reopen and we reconnect with the world. Amidst the uncertainty of the past twenty months and what 2022 will hold for us, may Christmas and the New Year be a time of hope for you and your school community, bringing new beginnings and opportunities. Every blessing. The Reverend Peter Laurence OAM CEO, Anglican Schools Australia
School News SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS PRINCIPALS Mr Justin Beckett | Arden Anglican School, NSW (effective January 2022) Mrs Tracey Gray | Frederick Irwin Anglican School, WA (effective January 2022) Mr Brett Harley | Rouse Hill Anglican College, NSW, (effective January 2022) Ms Leonie Harwood | Burgmann Anglican School, ACT (effective January 2022) Dr Rachel Horton | The Armidale School, NSW Mr Geoff Marsh | The Riverina Anglican College, NSW (effective January 2022) Mr Stephen McGinley | Beaconhills College Mr Trevor Norman | Wollondilly Anglican College, NSW (commenced 2021)
CHAPLAINS Ms Sophia Cameron (Assistant Chaplain) | Macarthur Anglican School, NSW The Reverend Constantine Osuchukwu | Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, NSW (commenced 2021)
DEPARTURES PRINCIPALS Mr Justin Beckett | Trinity Anglican College, NSW (effective December 2021) Mrs Helen Carmody | Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, VIC (effective January 2022) Mrs Tracey Gray | Sapphire Coast Anglican College, NSW Mr Paul Humble | The Riverina Anglican College, NSW (effective December 2021) Mr Alan Jones | The Armidale School, NSW (effective October 2021) Mrs Anna Owen | Canberra Girls Grammar School, ACT (effective December 2021)
CHAPLAINS The Reverend Mark Rundle | Arden Anglican School, NSW
EDITOR’S NOTE Anglican Schools Australia invites principals, chaplains and teachers, as well as chairs, governors and friends of Anglican Schools to submit articles for publication in ASA NEWS. We are particularly interested in publishing articles about school Religious Studies, Service Learning and Indigenous programs. We welcome submissions of feature articles of approximately 750-1000 words and news articles of 350 words, together with a selection of high quality digital images of 300 dpi. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are published at the discretion of the Editor.
www.anglicanschoolsaustralia.edu.au SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Cover Images: Main Image - Christmas card designed by Year 1 students from John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School: Alice Lamb, Batul Vohra and Julian Field. Inset - Arden Anglican School students on Rodna Homeland in the Northern Territory in June 2021
Year 12 Final Day Blessing at Caulfield Grammar School
What is meant by ‘service’ in Anglican Schools? The Reverend Ryan Holt, Head of Chaplaincy | Caulfield Grammar School, VIC
The term ‘service’ is readily used yet surprisingly slippery to grasp. The word often used for service in scripture diakonia occurs frequently and includes complementary perspectives. Service reflects the nature of the Triune God and character of the incarnate Jesus who ‘did not come to be served but to serve’ (Matt 20:28), and declares, ‘l am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27). Following the way of Jesus, all those who identify as Christian and belong to a community that shares his name are called to serve. Jesus Christ as the embodied of what it means to be fully human also reveals that service is part of being our full or whole selves, with service universally recognised and respected across the ages. Whilst all followers of Jesus are called to serve, we learn that different people are also called to different forms of service or gifts of service for the health of the whole (1 Cor 12; 1 Peter 4). Service spans waiting on tables (Acts 6) to the nature of true community leadership (Luke 22). Whilst it is difficult to capture every biblical aspect of service, we can see service as both a virtue and practice, gifted by the Triune God to all people, exemplified by Christ, holistic, located in the ordinary and extended to all in different measure. Service is also an expression of a selfless love willing to learn from and with others. When mentioned in Anglican Schools ‘service’ can encompass a range of other interdependent and related themes or virtues, such as the call to love our neighbour, 6
hospitality, community engagement, justice, charity, social enterprise, advocacy and character. Service is not only a virtue and practice it is also a popular experiential pedagogy ‘Service Learning’. To have service stated as a priority at an Anglican School or broader network is common and rarely contested. ‘Character and Service’ emerged as an important pillar of Anglican School identity in the paper by Rev Dr Daniel Heischman for Anglican Schools Australia, ‘service’ remains a core value of Anglican Schools Australia and service is the focus of this edition! Yet, if we asked our school communities what service means, I wonder what they would say? What experiences would they draw upon as exemplary? Does service have limits to preserve its essence or is the term problematic? Does Anglicanism have a particular flavour of service in a marketplace full of meaning? Or to quote, Dennis Denuto in the Aussie classic, The Castle, ‘It’s just the vibe of the thing’. These ideas and questions (Denis Denuto excluded) are being considered as part of my doctoral research in my own context of Caulfield Grammar School. An Anglican School in Melbourne which has service as its founding vision through its founder the Rev Joseph Henry Davies ASA NEWS
in 1881 and today 140 years on, commends service in its value of ‘Living Wholeheartedly - engaging in life with purpose, courage, passion, humility and in service with other’. Where does service sit within your school? and ‘What does service mean?’ Part 1 of the study will be the descriptive phase. This includes gives formal attention to gathering research from the community through methods such as interviews and focus groups of students past and present, staff and community members. Some possible questions - ‘What does service mean?’ ‘How is it experienced?’ ‘When is it most meaningful?’ Parking my own suspicion about what will be shared I am curious about what will be named, critiqued, and if patterns will emerge. Part 2, the interpretive phase. This will involve focussing on the lived experience and asking the ‘why’ questions. Unveiling the multivalent meanings behind our practice and experience. What influences what we do? Where do we find wisdom? What can we learn from and with other disciplines beyond theology? Part 3, the nominative phase. What ought to be happening? Drawing upon the resources of theology, our Anglican tradition, ethics, exemplary communities of learning and own ethos, how does what we espouse ethos marry with our lived experience? Part 4, the performative phase. What should we do or consider going forward? Does our framework, practice or use of the word ‘service’ need to be narrowed, expanded, or even renamed? Do our practices hold together in a purposeful way? This phase of the cycle returns to the first and invites renewed practice as well as understanding. Each phase or task forms a whole and a recurring cycle of consideration with questions, enabling a fluid back and forth. The hope of the research, commencing in 2022, is that it will not only inform my own context but will invite conversation and consideration in Anglicans Schools across Australia and beyond. Whilst my own school context has its own particularity, we have much in common and share in the same questions as others. Asking questions about service in a COVID immersed world may bring nostalgia, numbness, or even new imagination? Time will tell. Major Brendan Nottle of the Salvation Army, a much-loved Melburnian, and our first keynote speaker at the 2021 Anglican Schools Australia online conference, invited us to the imagery of a typical Bourke Street intersection (a true delight to the senses), with a cross section of people from all sectors, seasons, and stages of life, with their own longings and life stories. Standing at the intersection as both participant and observer, Brendan challenged each of us to be a humble guest and ask wholeheartedly, ‘What is actually happening in the world today?’ and ‘How can we participate faithfully, hopefully and lovingly?’ In looking for encouragement to these formidable questions, we need not look further than the well-worn gates of Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium which remind us, ‘You’ll never walk alone’. We are called not just as individuals but as communities to learn and serve, and even walk with and follow, ‘The One among us who serves’ and who ‘Came not be served but to serve’. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
New Chaplain Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, NSW The Reverend Jacqueline Weston has joined the Bishop Tyrrell community to commence her first Chaplaincy role within a school. It was Bishop Tyrrell’s community faith story and holistic approach to learning that inspired her to consider the move from her previous role at St. James’ Anglican Church at Morpeth, where she was the parish priest. “School for me was a time of questioning the meaning and purpose of everything. It’s a privilege to join a school like this that values critical thinking and assists students in their own journey of asking the big questions at this stage in their lives.” Said Jacqui. “Young people are growing up in a world that has lost the sense that the dignity and purpose of human life are found in being made in the image of God. Instead, young people feel under enormous pressure to be ‘winners’ in life to believe they are worthwhile. This hinders their confidence and their willingness to learn by making mistakes.” “But shame and fear do not lead to flourishing human life; the message of the gospel is that care and dignity bring out the best in people. Every child needs to know that they are accepted and valued, not just for their achievements, but for the wholeness of who they are.” Jacqui hopes to nurture a healthy Christian community through Bishop Tyrrell’s shared understanding that faith creates wholeness and balance in the community by giving students the confidence to pursue their unique gifts. “In helping to discover their gifts we are building community,” explains Jacqui. “We are all equipped with different gifts for building up the body of Christ. The holistic approach to learning at Bishop Tyrrell fosters an attitude of curiosity and many opportunities for young people to discover gifts they didn’t even know they had! The dream is for every student to know they have value, self-worth, and are encouraged to follow their passions and share their unique gifts with others.” “This is how I hope to help Bishop Tyrrell’s learning community live out its faith: by bringing people into communion with God and with one another.” Jacqui is a Cambridge Trust Scholar and had the “dream” opportunity to do postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. She enjoys softball, comedy, detective stories, and family life with her ten-year-old son. 7
Illustrator and Yarra Valley Grammar Chaplain, The Reverend Paul Joy, created a visual summary of Major Brendan Nottle’s keynote address at the 2021 ASA Conference
Loving at a Distance
Reflections on attending the 2021 ASA Virtual Conference The Reverend Andrew Stewart | Mentone Grammar School, VIC
For many chaplains one of the highlights of a normal school year is gathering for the annual Anglican Schools Australia conference. While we as chaplains often can feel a bit on the margins in our schools, the ASA conference gathers a community who really value and appreciate what we do. Community is a really important aspect of the conference. It is our annual collegial catchup where friendships are formed, ideas are shared, and networks are established. You come away from the time spent together refreshed and energised for your role in your school. It therefore made perfect sense to postpone the conference last year. We couldn’t gather in person so why gather at all? COVID 19 however has been impressively persistent. We couldn’t just stop learning in our schools when we went into lockdown. We had to find ways to make learning work online. As chaplains we didn’t stop ministering in our schools when we went into lockdown; we have found creative ways to do this. So, with the prospect of having to postpone meeting face to face for yet another year, ASA conference organisers found a way to make it work by gathering us online for a virtual conference. And work it did; what a wonderful conference we experienced. The conference theme of ‘Intersection’ invited us to reflect on the intersection between faith and learning. The Primate made the point in his words of welcome, that often faith and learning can be parallel tracks in our schools and he invited us to reflect on how we can we get the two to fruitfully intersect. Points of intersection were explored by the various conference speakers. Brendan Nottle from the Salvation Army encouraged us to engage at the intersection, as challenging a place as that can sometimes be to minister in. As we tuned in to the various conference presentations the sidebar chat was gently humming along with appreciative comments and reflections on what was being said. The conference Cathedral worship service shouldn’t have worked. How do you authentically celebrate what lies at the heart of Anglican schools, our students, with a virtual service? But again, conference organisers defied expectations. Students shared the prayers they had written for the occasion full of words of hope and promise. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The service concluded with ‘The Blessing,’ a song that has become the worldwide churches’ pandemic anthem. It was sung with great gusto by students from Anglican schools across Victoria. The students were singing individually in their homes and schools dealing with lockdowns and yet through the video they combined together as a unified choir. The song served as a stirring reminder that in all the adversity we have faced and are currently facing God is with us. God is with our schools and God is especially with our students who have had such disrupted lives over the past eighteen months. Conference organisers did so well amidst really challenging circumstances to deliver a high-quality conference that exceeded everyone’s expectations. I don’t think any of us expected that we would feel so connected to each other meeting up online. Our feelings were nicely summed up and conveyed by conference chaplain, Bishop Lindsay Urwin, who described the online conference experience as ‘loving at a distance.’ God richly blessed our time together. 9
Four walk the Larapinta Trail The Reverend Kirsty Ross, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School, VIC. The Reverend Wendy Morecroft, St John’s Grammar School, SA. The Reverend Dr Katherine Rainger, Radford College, ACT. The Reverend Gillian Moses, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, QLD
Four ASA chaplains. 65 km of hard trail. Countless rocky outcrops. One great cause. In the last week of June 2021, four intrepid ASA Chaplains met for the first time in the foyer of an Alice Springs hotel to embark on the ABM Larapinta Challenge. The challenge consists of five days of hiking and camping on one of the great walks of Australia, the Larapinta Trail. Together, The Reverend Gillian Moses (St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School), The Reverend Wendy Morecroft (St John’s Grammar School), The Reverend Dr Katherine Rainger (Radford College) and The Reverend Kirsty Ross (Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School) laced up their boots and shouldered their packs to help raise money for the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM). With fellow hikers from all over Australia they raised more than $124,000.
more spontaneous, inspired by someone else posting on social media that they were going. Gillian was motivated by her daughter (also a priest) signing up, and by spending ‘slow time’ seeing the desert at walking pace, while Kirsty signed up in 2020, when Melbourne was in the midst of what turned out to be a 111-day lockdown and walking in the wide spaces of the Northern Territory was very appealing.
The experience was a significant one for all four Chaplains. Below, they reflect on the different elements of the experience.
The greatest challenge Most walkers were not seasoned trekkers, and the training required for the trek was a challenge in itself. Apart from the training, the chaplains were also trying to raise money for ABM, who provided lots of assistance. The four schools proved to be great fundraising partners who really stepped up for the cause through casual clothes days, student led events, and donations.
Why the Larapinta Trail? The Larapinta Trail had been a bucket list item for Wendy for the last ten years, and she was keen to do a guided walk with an Indigenous focus. Katherine’s decision was
On the walk itself, early starts each day before dawn meant that tiredness quickly became a factor, and a number of walkers were battling injuries by the end of the walk, from blisters and bruised feet to torn ligaments. ASA NEWS
We are all changed by our walking on Arrente Country, and we are confident that our experiences will continue to shape us and our school communities. Kirsty keeps a photo of herself on the summit of Mt Rwetyepme on her office wall, to remind herself that she can do anything she puts her mind to. What is so special about ABM? All the training and walking was to support the amazing work of ABM, both in Australia with First Nations communities and overseas in places such as Myanmar, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Gaza. Its model of partnering with local communities here and abroad means that its projects are targeted and embedded in the community. The chaplains’ appreciated the partnership model, which values the knowledge and expertise of local communities. It is a model they try to bring to their schools’ service learning experiences. The highlight of the trip Gillian said walking into the meteor impact site known as the Ormiston Pound in silence, just after dawn, with only the spinifex pigeons for company was a definitive highlight for her, while Wendy ranks walking out to Counts Point over really rocky ground, to see the eight nearest ancient mountain ranges and others in the distance as her highlight. Kirsty and Katherine both nominated the sunrise from the top of Mt Rwepyetme, ascended in the dark and descended in the brightening day. A key feature for all was the Eucharist held for the Coming of the Light, commemorating 150 years since English missionaries came to the people of the Torres Strait. All four chaplains concelebrated with two other women priests in the soothing sandy riverbed of the Larapinta (Finke) River under the shade of a majestic river gum. All reported feeling a deep connection with the First Peoples of this land, and the God who has always been with them. “But in the end it was the other people we walked with as a community of pilgrims, singing as we walked or as we gathered around the fire at night,” Gillian said. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
“Some we already knew well as colleagues or family, but others we met for the first time, quickly bonding over dawn coffee, welcome fires, and evening prayer.” As Katherine observes: “It was like ‘camp for grown-ups and it was wonderful!” What will you take back into chaplaincy from this experience? Gillian said when walking the Larapinta Trail, one cannot help but notice that we are very small and young, in the midst of something vast and ancient. “This can be comforting at a time when many of us are experiencing existential crises brought about by COVID, modern life, and all sorts of pressures. We can step out of time and place and be held by timelessness and eternity,” she said. Wendy, as a relative newcomer both to ordained ministry and to School Chaplaincy, said she made the most of every opportunity to gather experiences and resources from the other chaplains. She said she also benefited from an informal mentoring conversation with a Principal taking part in the Trail who added greatly to her perspective on school life. “It would be great to see other school principals taking up the opportunity to walk with their chaplains on future ABM treks,” Wendy said. Kirsty said her key learning is that her school is proud of its Anglican identity and is keen to support the work of the Church’s largest mission agency. For Katherine it is deeper commitment to learning from First Nations peoples and their knowledge of Country, wherever we walk. 11
Handover of the Macquarie Street site (1965) (A Stephenson)
Junior School students and staff 1892
JR Buckland 1846-74
Whole school at Hutchins following amalgamation in 1907
Celebrating 175 years Dr Rob McEwan, Headmaster | The Hutchins School, TAS
Named after Archdeacon William Hutchins, a man of ‘high-character’, The Hutchins School was founded on the development of character in boys moulded by faith, learning and service to others. William Hutchins believed that schools and churches were the way to establish a community built on social responsibility and Christian values. He put kindness before rules and regulation. He gave generously to the building of churches and was described as a good man; the very qualities the first Headmaster, Reverend John Richard Buckland said he wanted to remain at the forefront of all boys who attended Hutchins. 175 years later, kindness remains a core value and the development of character remains central to the School’s purpose. As a pioneering school in Australia, being one of the oldest in this country since the very first day of operation, Hutchins has remained at the forefront of boys’ education throughout its long history. Hutchins was the first to introduce an Outdoor Education program 74 years ago. Hutchins was also one of the first schools to introduce a Middle School, a concept that continues to develop with the opening of a new building to accommodate Year 6 SEMESTER 2 | 2021
students into the Middle School at our 175th anniversary on 3 August this year. Significantly, the new building was named after another man of good character, long-serving former staff member, Chris Rae. The Hutchins School continues to lead with initiatives such as the Power of 9, a Dance Troupe with over 120 boys, a Sailing Academy and an explicit Character Development Program, to name a few. 2021 was a time for us all to celebrate and give thanks for the opportunities given to so many generations of students and staff over 175 years of operation. This year is also a time to look to the future with great optimism and enthusiasm as we continue to build on the founding vision of this school. To be a school that nurtures character in every student and provides an inspirational education where each student strives to achieve their personal best and is willing to serve their community. 13
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: Long table celebration dinner
125 years of community, belonging for a lifetime Guildford Grammar School, WA
2021 marks the 125-year anniversary of one of Western Australia’s oldest independent schools, Guildford Grammar School. Located in unrivalled, natural surroundings on the banks of the Swan River, the School leads the way as an inclusive, K-12, co-educational boarding and day school in Western Australia. The School was formed 125 years ago in 1896, when pastoralist and Parliamentarian, Charles Harper saw the critical need for better education as a way to transform lives. That vision drives the School’s purpose today which inspires students to have a positive impact on the world and places the student at the heart of the community. Birthdays encourage reflection, prompt great celebration and bring people together. A series of events have been hosted by the School across the year to mark this special occasion and celebrate with the community. Past, present and future Guildfordians continue to come together to celebrate the School’s multi-generational legacy of community and connectedness. “I am passionate about ensuring that our School reflects the society in which it lives and breathes” stated Principal, Anne Dunstan, the 13th Principal in the School’s history. The spectacular candlelit Long Table Dinner Under the Stars was held on the lawn under the School’s stunning 14
Chapel of St Mary and St George, earlier this year, bringing staff, students, parents and alumni together to create an unforgettable evening of celebration for the School’s rich heritage. “(Our long table dinner) was truly a night to remember” reflected Principal, Anne Dunstan. “Our community is who we are, and the dinner was just one of many ways we continue our ongoing commitment to building strong and meaningful relationships between students, staff and families that extend beyond students’ time at school. It’s more than just a feeling here, it’s belonging for a lifetime.” Most recently, as part of the special activities to celebrate the 125th anniversary year, students across the whole school planted over 140 trees on campus, contributing to the green and spacious surroundings and enabling students the opportunity to proudly watch the trees grow, serving as a strong symbolic reminder of the School’s special milestone. ASA NEWS
The whole school 125th Anniversary Assembly was a wonderful celebration of Guildford Grammar School’s diverse and enriching heritage and a recognition of the thousands of lives influenced by our School. No birthday would of course be complete without birthday cake. In addition to this milestone year for the School, 2021 has welcomed the opening of the School’s brand new, state-of-the-art co-educational Boarding House. Set in the heart of the School’s spectacular 100-acre campus, featuring stunning views across the Swan River Flats, the Boarding House welcomes boys and girls from regional Western Australia, interstate and overseas to learn and grow together. “At Guildford Grammar School, we are proud of our 125year tradition of boarding and reputation for being a home away from home for our boarders, where lifelong friendships are formed,” said Head of Boarding, Mr Matthew Weston. “With the introduction of co-educational boarding in 2020, and, now, our new Boarding House, we are excited to see our community grow. It is our warm and welcoming community that sets boarding at Guildford Grammar School apart.” During the School’s birthday, the school has engaged with many community partners and groups. The Principal stated, “Students, current and past staff and parents and Old Guildfordians all celebrating together, honouring our past and collectively contributing to build our future. Everyone is part of our Guildford Grammar School family.” The School’s future focused approach, transition to co-education and collective learnings of 125 years of expertise and excellence, sees the School looking ahead to the next 125 years and what the educational system as a whole could look like. The School hosted a virtual summit event to explore the question, “What is an education worth having?” Students, staff, parents, educators and global speakers were invited to challenge the existing educational model and question how it could better reflect the needs of future students. The combined learnings will help define the School’s vision for learning that empowers students to go forward and make meaningful contributions to society. Here’s to the next 125 years of going forward! SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Service during Lockdown Claire Burden, Director of Service | Cranbrook School, NSW
Cranbrook students are regularly involved in genuine and sustained service within our community. Active involvement in community service is woven in to the rich tapestry of School life. Whether it be through the academic curriculum, pastoral system, outdoor education programme or the Duke of Edinburgh and IB programmes, every Cranbrook School student is involved in service learning throughout their School life. We aim to educate young men in to becoming actively involved and lifelong contributors within their communities. This year alone students have been involved in a wide range of service-based initiatives including: Surf Lifesaving at a range of local beaches, volunteering at local libraries, assisting at the community kitchen Our Big Kitchen, removing rubbish from the local area with Responsible Runners, assisting with local after school care activities, mentoring younger students throughout NSW to improve their reading with the Smith Family Student2Student buddy reading programme, campaigning for social justice with Amnesty International and many more. While some initiatives such as the Smith Family Student2Student buddy reading programme and the Amnesty International write for rights campaigning have been able to continue as per usual through the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, students involved in other initiatives have had to find creative ways to fulfil their service commitments. Some students have been able to adapt their activities such boys who were volunteering at aged care homes are now talking to the residents online, writing letters and one group are writing instructions for the residents to use online games.
In other cases where students can no longer continue with their current service initiatives due to lockdown restrictions, they have turned to online or remote service instead. Such initiatives include transcribing documents for the National Archives of Australia making access to these records accessible for all, tutoring younger students and offering help and support with online learning and taking part in real cutting-edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities and more through Zooniverse. Students are also using their exercise time to collect and remove plastic waste from their local area, helping charitable organisations with updating websites and creating promotional materials and organising online fundraising events and competitions. Cranbrook School continues to have many of its students working on a number of different Australia-wide and international online projects as part of the IB Diploma and Duke of Edinburgh programmes. With home lockdown, fortunately students were able to continue these community service activities online. This also meant students were able to stay connected, continued to work on their Duke of Edinburgh awards and gave back to the community during those difficult times. There have certainly been challenges during the months of lockdown, and the boys have greatly missed the personal connections and time spent building relationships and giving their time to the many incredible community organisations we work with. With restriction easing they are now looking forward to once again using their skills and effort to help others in person.
Meal challenge success Peter Moyes Anglican Community School, WA
Year 11 Students at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School (PMACS) collected, sorted and packed 102 large bags full of donations for the Salvation Army last term. Encouraging not only students, but the entire School and local community, to donate to this worthy cause resulted in an overwhelming number of donations made as part of a Health & Physical Education class programme. Developed by Secondary School Health & Physical Education teacher and former PMACS student, Kristina Oxley, this unique programme involves collecting donations of second-hand, good quality clothing from the School and wider community. For each bag donated, the students earned $5 from the Salvation Army. In total, 102 large bags were collected for donation, resulting in $510 being raised by the students. The money will then be used to purchase ingredients to cook meals for needy families. Miss Oxley said she was thankful to the PMACS community for their generous donations to the Salvation Army Meal Challenge. “The representative collecting the donations on behalf of the Salvos had to make multiple trips in her van to collect all the bags! It was a very pleasant surprise for them to see just how many bags we had managed to collect and donate,” she said. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
“Each dollar raised will be spent carefully on ingredients to make meals for the needy. This process teaches students not only to think of others and help those less fortunate, but to give them some life skills in budgeting, grocery shopping and cooking frugal, healthy meals.” The programme is just one of several Service Learning initiatives at PMACS, encouraging students to develop awareness of the needs of their community and to play their part as active citizens. School Principal Benjamin Lomas said Service Learning was developing as an area of focus for the School. “We recognise the huge benefits of Service Learning both for the students and the beneficiaries,” Mr Lomas said. “When students are tasked with recognising the needs of the community and have the opportunity within the curriculum to assist them, their learning becomes intentional and very meaningful.” 17
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Religious Studies in Anglican Schools Penelope Russell, Director of Teaching and Learning | Anglican Schools Commission, WA
Not long ago, I worked as a teacher in a large independent girls’ school. Whenever I met someone and the topic of our work came up, I never suspected the person was questioning the very legitimacy of my work. Now that I work as someone whose role is to build and develop religious studies in our schools, I am well aware that many people, religious or otherwise, believe that religious studies should be confined to the church, mosque or temple, and has no place in the classroom. Yet, as Christian philosopher, James K.A. Smith has pointed out, education is not primarily about the giving of information but about the formation of people. And surely some of the most valuable questions a young person can consider in this formation process are questions of meaning, purpose, truth, God and faith. As Socrates famously said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Religious Studies forms people to explore the questions of life that lead to human flourishing. The Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) in Western Australia provides a readily accessible curriculum for students which can be accessed by ASA member schools and is even available for Episcopal schools in the USA. The curriculum uses a spiral curriculum embed with seven strands. The Strands include the Bible and Christian Belief, Story of the Church, Philosophy of Religion, Christian Ethics and Ethical Theory, World Religions, Meditation, Prayer and Worship and Faith in Action, Actions Leading to Faith. The curriculum is broken into four stages. For each sample unit a program, student resources and videos are provided. The student resources have been developed with the help of a graphic designer and include illustrations from Yarra Valley Grammar Chaplain, The Reverend Paul Joy. 20
The ASC, alongside Western Australian Anglican Schools Association, also trains and supports Religious Studies teachers here in Perth, and due to the rise in digital meetings, our reach in this area is extending well beyond our city’s borders. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, several of these professional learning days have been successfully held over the past 12 months. We have explored together topics such as Faith & Science, How to answer Big Questions, Biblical Literacy, Assessment & Reporting and will soon explore Aboriginal Spirituality. The learning provided on these days gives way to the chance for teachers to network, share ideas, support each other and develop their own skills. But what is the most exciting in the area of Religious Studies is hearing stories of how students as young as five, and as old as eighteen are being formed into people for whom the deep questions of life truly matter. ‘Who made God?’ ‘How do we live well in suffering?’ ‘What is true happiness?’ Like a stone in a shoe, these questions do not easily go away until they find their satisfaction and goal in the God who is love, and as the great theologian Karl Barth said, is not merely the answer to all our questions, but the question to all our answers. The Religious Studies curriculum can be accessed via the ASC website www.ascschools.edu.au ASA NEWS
Chaplaincy training St Peter’s College, SA
One of the challenges facing Anglican Schools in Australia is to find suitable School Chaplains. St Peter’s College, Adelaide, has decided to get on the front foot and begin ‘growing’ its own School Chaplains with the establishment of a funded Chaplaincy Training Program. The Lay Assistant Chaplain (in-training) Program provides a suitable person with a scholarship to study at St Barnabas College, Adelaide, with a housing allowance and small stipend. In addition to studying, the person is mentored by the existing School Chaplains and invited to ‘test’ their vocation, namely by exploring whether fulltime school chaplaincy might be suitable for them. The focus of the three-year position includes: • Being an example of a life lived according to the values of truth, respect and service. • Modelling the Christian qualities of love and kindness, integrity and respect, forgiveness and acceptance. • Being trained in chaplaincy ministry in schools. • Studying Theology through St Barnabas College. • Raising the profile of being a Christian in the School. • Encouraging students to think and to be challenged to express what they believe. • Engaging students with the Good News of Jesus Christ in the context of an Anglican School. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Two successful candidates have already started the program at St Peter’s College, under the leadership of School Chaplain, The Reverend Dr Theo McCall and Associate Chaplain, The Reverend Ben Bleby, with the encouragement and support of Headmaster Tim Browning. It is hoped that more schools will seek to be involved in the program, perhaps by providing placements for the emerging Chaplains and then beginning their own scholarship programmes. 21
“In many ways I think it mirrored their normal school experiences which was comforting for them.” The feedback from students has been positive, with many saying it has improved their connection to others and allowed them to escape the uncertainty the pandemic has brought. Year 12 student, Elise said: “The ‘Walk n Talk’ Program has been a great way to connect and communicate with my classmates and teacher during remote learning and has allowed me to keep physically active instead of just sitting at my desk all day. “I have found myself more motivated, productive and feeling awake throughout the day, allowing me to get more work done in order to catch up on tasks and dedicate more time to myself and things I enjoy.”
Walking into routine
Fellow Year 12 student, Angelina said the program worked to replicate benefits that arise as part of a regular school routine.
Hume Anglican Grammar has taken a unique approach to ensuring social connections and routine remain strong during its most recent period of remote learning.
“(It) allows me to focus on things that don’t relate to school or the impacts of the pandemic and provides a sense of normality that is currently missing in our lives. It also allows me to get back into a familiar and strict routine that ultimately makes me more productive throughout the day as I feel more awake, motivated and aware, improving my work ethic,” she said.
With the experience of senior students unlike any other, having studied the majority of their VCE studies during a global pandemic, staff were encouraged to be creative when delivering engaging student learning and wellbeing programs.
“As a result, I have found that my motivation levels have increased greatly to the point where I feel like I am not falling behind anymore, hence reducing my stress and anxiety levels and improving my overall mental health.”
Hume Anglican Grammar, VIC
With students showing a decrease in motivation and an increase in stress, the School introduced ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’, an initiative designed to re-establish routine, decrease stress and anxiety while increasing concentration and focus for the day ahead. Students were invited and encouraged to join the program’s creator, Teacher, Mitchell Lee for scheduled daily 7.15am walks, independently but connected remotely to one another through Microsoft Teams. While exercising, the group would chat together discussing a range of topics include their current learning tasks, study habits, life in lockdown and everything in between. Mr Lee said the student response had far exceeded his expectations. “When I started the first call, I was nervous that I wouldn’t have any students join as it was ‘too early’ or ‘too cold’ but to their credit each of them joined the call and day by day it became part of their regular routine,” he said.
SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Principal Bill Sweeney said the School’s position was to maintain normality as much as possible in these unusual times. “For many students, remote learning poses obstacles beyond a removal from their regular learning environment,” Mr Sweeney said. “Our school acknowledges the challenges another period of remote learning presents for our students and continues to make every effort to ensure we consistently support their emotional wellbeing along with their ongoing academic learning. The success of this initiative is a great example of our teachers’ commitment to support the students’ needs in every regard,” he said. “Throughout this period, our students have shown remarkable resilience, adaptability, tolerance and versatility, so every opportunity to maintain routines and a healthy life-style will work to strengthen these habits. I am confident we will look back on these achievements with great pride.”
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“But since we were torn away from you, brothers and sisters, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavoured the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face.” 1 Thessalonians 2:17 (ESV) Amen! If ever a verse leapt off the page to capture the longing of the zeitgeist, surely, it’s 1 Thessalonians 2:17. For us at CEP, probably the most challenging aspect of the last 2 years has been missing seeing you at the numerous conferences held across the country and visiting you in your schools, one on one. To sit and hear about your RE programs, to share the challenges and joys of your work, to see how pedagogy is evolving from those who practise it day in and day out, is indeed a rich pleasure and one we will never again take for granted when, God-willing, we return to see each other face to face. 2022 is CEP’s 100th year. No small milestone for an Aussie publisher. Our mission remains the same: to provide you with contemporary, engaging and thought-provoking material that will commend Jesus and the Christian life for the most eternally signiﬁcant lesson of the week—your RE class. This catalogue, and the curriculum programs within, aim to help you in this task. This year, we have revised one of our most successful secondary units, The Good, the Bad and the Ethical. You’ll ﬁnd it on page 25 and samples and the scope and sequence online. We have taken on board the feedback on this unit that we have gathered over the years so, if you’re teaching ethics, rest assured that you’ll ﬁnd it a dynamic discussion-starter for Stages 5 and 6. We are thankful to God for 100 years of publishing in a country that he has truly blessed in so many ways. And we are thankful to you, for daily commending Jesus to the future leaders, economists, politicians, warehouse managers, curriculum writers, bus drivers and teachers of our nation, in the best way you can, with his spirit to enable you. After all, we are driven by the belief that life with Jesus makes sense. Life with Jesus is better. And life with Jesus gives eternal hope. Have a great 2022! God bless, The team at CEP
1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Primary—Stages 1, 2 and 3 Curriculum overview Hello God! Beginning with God Connect cepconnect.com.au Big Questions Additional visual resources
8 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Secondary—Stages 4, 5 and 6 Curriculum overview Digital secondary resources cepteacherslounge.com Finding Your Way Mistaken Identity? Another Dimension The Psalms War of the Spirit World Your Sneaking Suspicions? The Jesus Foundation series (Stage 4) Think Faith (Stage 4) You: An Introduction If I Were God, I’d End All the Pain The Jesus Foundation series (Stage 5) Think Faith (Stage 5) No Turning Back The Good, the Bad and the Ethical Life in the Past Lane The Resurrection A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions A Spectator’s Guide to World Views Hope for a Shattered World The Cross The Spirit 10:10
100 years 2022 Catalogue Download now!
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Character development camp Mr Ken Kingston, Head of Middle School | The Hutchins School, TAS
It is 5pm, the sun is getting low behind kunanyi and the bush is glistening from a recent spring shower. The tranquil setting is disturbed by purposeful chatter as a group of young men and their elders hurry to secure their shelter for the night before the next shower The air is filled with smoke as several fires burn brightly and welcome the campers in, providing warmth and comfort. They gather in a circle to welcome young and old alike, to our annual Character Development Camp. Despite our camps being a relatively new addition to Hutchins, traditional people have been gathering for millennia in groups of elders and young people to help the next generation on their journey to adulthood. These traditions forge bonds between generations, build community and reinforce social norms and values. Over an evening and morning at The Lea, our group focused on sharing stories, engaging fathers, mothers, and adult mentors to build strong inter-generational relationships around our small circles and fires. We were fortunate to have our pastoral care staff, as well as the able assistance of Year 11 Character Development facilitators. It was great to see individuals of all ages joining forces to help create the positive environment for sharing. The bush setting and open fires provided a great stage for us to think deeply, listen intently and connect. The Camp is an opportunity for the significant adults and boys to connect, get away from distractions and be immersed in meaningful conversations, challenges and even have some fun. I know that many of the conversations SEMESTER 2 | 2021
started during these camps will continue well into the future for all involved. Boys had an opportunity to listen, share and reflect on growing up and the challenges they face. Adults shared stories, listened, got to know others, as well as interacting with their son and his peers. At an age where it can be challenging discovering your strengths, connecting with others, and maintaining strong family relationships, our boys took up the challenge and showed a commitment to be their best. The adults also took a step outside their comfort zones, shared their own experiences and made a commitment to being there for their son, their friends and other parents/carers. In this way they started to create a supportive community for a generation of young men who will journey through adolescence knowing they will be supported. I was inspired by the commitment and courage of our community of young and old who participated in our Year 7 Character Development Camp. These camps have already become an important part of the ‘character conversation’ as boys transition through the School on their pathway to adulthood. We are pleased to announce that the Year 7 Character Development Camp has been nominated as the Outdoor Education Tasmanian Program of the Year in 2021. 25
The Chapel of St Mary
Community character inspires The Reverend Richard Pengelley, Chaplain | St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, WA
Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr, once wrote, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”. In our Anglican schools, we love to celebrate achievements, success and the multitude of blessings that come our way. This is understandable and admirable; however, as Mrs King suggested, the real test of our Christian communities is measured by how we respond to difficult situations. As many within the Anglican Schools Australia community may know, four of our Year 12 students and two parents were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in August. Everyone has made a full physical recovery except for our Head Girl, who remains in hospital and faces a long journey of healing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, particularly members of the Perth ASA community, for their prayers, calls, flowers and offers of help. It has meant a great deal to our School community and is a sign of the care and collegiality of our organisation. Within 24 hours of the accident, we invited our Year 12s, their families and our staff to attend a service at our Chapel of St Mary. As the accident happened at the start of a boarders’ long weekend, I offered a service for staff
before school commenced and held a special gathering in the chapel for our Year 12s on the morning of their return to school. Our Head Girl’s family attended all of these gatherings. At the request of the family, regular Eucharists were held thereafter, all of which were very well attended by family, friends, students and staff. While many tears were shed at these services, it was evident that our community took great comfort in coming together in prayer to uphold our much-loved Head Girl at this most difficult time. I have been inspired by the character that our community, particularly our Year 12s, has displayed during these past two months. Everyone has drawn strength from their faith, one another, and the resilience that our much-loved Head Girl’s wonderful family has demonstrated during this most challenging period of their lives. Forever grateful for the care and compassion in our community, we continue to uplift our Head Girl and her family in prayer and look to the future with hope.
New Principal Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School, NSW Mrs Deborah Clancy has taken up her new post as Principal at Lakes Grammar, NSW. Mrs Clancy became the second principal of the School when foundation Principal Michael Hannah retired after 17 years at the helm. Mrs Clancy started the same day that the NSW Greater Sydney covid lockdown came into effect. While starting a new principalship can be challenging, starting at a new school where you are greeted by empty classrooms and staffrooms can certainly be an added challenge.
A century of discovery St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, WA One hundred years ago, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School began its life in a humble parish hall on Colin Street, West Perth. Our formative years were guided by founding Principal Bishop C.L. Riley CBE and Australia’s first female parliamentarian and social reformer, Edith Cowan OBE, who was a member of our Board of Governors. Since then, thousands of young women have passed through the gates of St Mary’s. They have made lifelong friendships, pursued careers across the globe and made a difference in their communities. We celebrate them along with the families and staff who supported them. To this day, we continue to honour the legacy of our founders by championing the academic and personal growth of our students in a caring and inclusive community. As we reflect on 100 years of girls discovering their best at St Mary’s, we do so with gratitude knowing that our rich history will inspire an exciting future.
SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Mrs Clancy chose to focus on the positives of a lockdown and took time to carefully review the school’s policies, procedures and structures; while also managing to work with a new executive team in leading the transition back to online learning. Mrs Clancy comes to Lakes with a strong focus on wellbeing and character development. In her short time at the school there has been a review of the wellbeing program to embed elements of positive psychology and the learning powered approach. A new daily structure for the senior school in 2022 will allow a dedicated time each day for students to come together and engage with activities to build their resilience, their problem solving skills, to wrestle with ethical problems, and to explore service opportunities. The wellbeing program will mesh with the school’s chapel programs, to create an opportunity to not only develop and focus on a student’s character but to identify areas where there is a synergy between focus areas, for example – service, relationships, kindness and forgiveness. These programs are designed to give students the skills to flourish in an unpredictable world, not only while they are at school, but well beyond the school gates, taking the message of Christ with them. Mrs Clancy joined Lakes Grammar from St Catherine’s Girls School in Sydney where she held the role of Head of Academic Care and Boarding (deputy headmistress). 27
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The coming of the light All Souls St Gabriels School, QLD
This year, the All Souls St Gabriels School community celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Coming of the Light to the Torres Strait Islands. The event celebrates the London Missionary Society, along with Melanesian leaders, landing on the shores of Darnley Island and the introduction of the Bible to the people who lived there. This event is an integral part of cultural identity to Torres Strait Islander peoples and is marked by a public holiday within the region. The school has a long association with the Torres Strait and student representatives from the area, along with the Bishop of North Queensland, The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, led the school in a moving and joyous chapel service to mark this special occasion. The Lord’s Prayer was read in both English and Language, with some of the service also delivered in Language. Each year we welcome students from the Torres Strait into our schooling family and they add much to the diversity of our school. It is always gratifying to see that many of our current Torres Strait students are children of past students from that area. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
A weekend to remember Whitsunday Anglican School, QLD
Charlie Webb and Imogen Bennett, Year 11 students at Whitsunday Anglican School in Mackay, reflect on their experiences volunteering at the recent Mackay Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp. Life is so busy. With this being said, we have come to realise the difficulty of finding time to stop, reflect, and be grateful for the privileges in our lives.
couple of visionaries in 1998 saw the chance to allow these parents time to rest; thus, the Mackay Children’s Holiday Camp was born.
Fortunately, an opportunity arose for us to seek to understand the precious nature of life and the different challenges that everyone can face, even just doing dayto-day ‘normal’ tasks.
The Mackay Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp is an event where children with disabilities experience a range of engaging activities over three days, whilst also giving their parents the opportunity to have a welldeserved rest. This free time allows the parents to enjoy aspects of their lives that they may not be able to under normal circumstances. The campers enjoyed various activities, including swimming, gymnastics and bowling, and much anticipated visits from the CQ Rescue helicopter and the Queensland Fire Emergency Service.
Over the middle weekend of the Term 3 holidays, we were a part of a group of thirty Year 11 students from Whitsunday Anglican School who volunteered their time to become companions on the Mackay Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp. Many children are confronted with difficulties that can make seemingly easy tasks challenging and require fulltime care, commonly from their parents. These parents are on alert 24/7, 365 days a year, with little to no respite. Some of the parents we talked to at the Camp said they had not had an empty household for over ten years! A 30
At this year’s Camp, we had 15 campers with disabilities ranging from Autism to Down Syndrome to ADHD. Each child had a unique personality; some campers had high energy and could run for days, while others were quieter and reserved. It was so pleasing to see every camper find their place amongst the group, making the weekend the best it could be. ASA NEWS
One companion described the experience as inspirational: “Being able to see how to engage and interact with different people pushed us to put the needs of others first and be our best selves. It truly encompassed how every individual is capable of being selfless whilst showing tolerance, respect, and above all else, compassion.” It was a once-in-a-lifetime event for many of the campers; most of them will not develop the independence that many of us take for granted however throughout the camp, the children grew to form new relationships and learnt skills to use in their everyday lives. Making sure that the campers had the best possible time were 30 companions (two per camper) and countless more volunteers setting up quiet spaces, sensory rooms and enough arts and crafts to make even Da Vinci jealous. The companions became a permanent attachment to the campers for the three days, assisting them in tasks and ensuring that they had the best time possible, whether tucking them into bed at night or making sure that they got up in time for breakfast, a companion found that the Mackay Sony Camp was “a character building and fulfilling experience that changes your perspective on the world.” The bond formed between the campers and their companions is something quite special. We watched our campers come out of their shells and develop into beaming young adults. Sony Camp provided the campers with a fun weekend and provided an eye-opening experience for us Year 11 students. We now have a new appreciation for the life that God has bestowed upon us. As students of an Anglican school, we learnt that through servant leadership, we could make a difference in our campers’ lives and that of their carers. This camp provided such a fulfilling experience for us. No matter how tired we were, it provided a new lens to perceive the world through and gave us the energy to keep going. It truly was a weekend to remember. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Creating Canopies Penrith Anglican College, NSW Penrith Anglican College has partnered with Landcare NSW to plant up to 4,000 native trees and shrubs as part of a Government Initiative, ‘Creating Canopies’. The aim is to increase tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney. As Greater Sydney grows, more and more of it is affected by urban heat. This impacts communities’ access to the outdoors and connection to nature. Landcare NSW is targeting heat-affected areas to help create canopies that cool the city. Tree canopies help create habitat for wildlife, tree diversity and a cooler city creating spaces that invite people back to nature. Penrith Anglican College, located in Western Sydney at the foot of the Blue Mountains, is surrounded by critically endangered ecological communities. It is a crucial habitat for many endangered fauna species. Lisa Harrold, a school parent and Landcare representative, facilitated the College’s involvement in the initiative, keen to get the students involved in the project and learning about climate change and biodiversity. College Principal Felicity Grima said: “The project provides a great opportunity to talk to the students about God’s creation and our role in caring for it. We will definitely keep it going and encourage the students to take ownership of it.” Stage 1 of the project took place earlier in 2021. Stage 2 is underway with 3 more stages planned from 2022. The future plans include creating bee hotels, identifying endangered frog species and establishing a marsupial lawn. 31
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opened the flood gates for the monumental memories to stream out. I was influenced by many individuals I held dear and admired to great extents throughout much of my childhood. The people you would expect have left a lasting impact; my mother, father, Nanna and Poppa, aunts and uncles; though, there are individuals who work behind the scenes that have paved my inspirations and aspirations.
Small acts of service Whitsunday Anglican School, QLD
On the last Friday of Term 3, when many Whitsunday Anglican School students were looking forward to a relaxed holiday break, Emmett Withers travelled to Parliament House in Brisbane as one of twelve Year 12 students from across Queensland who were awarded the prestigious 2021 Secondary Schools Citizenship Award from The Order of Australia Association, Queensland Branch. His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC CVO, Governor of Queensland, presented the award, to recognise Emmett’s service to Whitsunday Anglican School and its community. The awardees were required to address the gathering, and Emmett acknowledged his family and team and then challenged those in attendance to change the world through small acts of service to others. Emmett tells his story below. “We are only as strong as the team that is behind us. Isn’t this truer now than ever? Our societies are finding more and more the positive benefits in a friend; a companion to march along with in the darkest days of our generation. With the age-old statement first postulated by the great Albus Dumbledore, ‘happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’. This quote, of course, lit up my childhood and SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The day I turned five, I had a great idea. It was revolutionary, and I thought it would change the world for the lost and abandoned animals of Mackay. I, along with my team, ended up founding Emmett4Animals, a not-for-profit charity with the sole goal of supplying local animal foster carers with necessities such as animal food, bedding and medicine. Throughout the years, my team and I have developed and nurtured this idea which I held so dear and translated it into a charity that can donate upwards of two tonnes of animal essentials annually. When I turned 7, I made my first television appearance, when I turned 8, I raised my first tonne of animal food and my first two tonnes when I was 10. When I was 11, Emmett4Animals was founded, and my father, our resident accountant, was by my side signing the important paperwork. When I was 12, we merchandised, investing in lovely attire. My mother and Nanna chose colours and picked styles. The year I turned 13 our charity raised over two tonnes of animal food and partnered with regional businesses to broaden our support. Emmett4Animals was now a welloiled machine ready to churn out a bumper crop, so to speak, to donate to local animal carers. When I turned 14, we entered cyberspace and identified a hidden talent in my Pop, he is a fantastic model. In 2021, I have matured, grown and reflected on my seventeen years of living. And through that reflection, I have gained so much appreciation for the little things in life. At the beginning of the September holidays I was presented with the 2021 Secondary Schools Citizenship Award from The Order of Australia Association, Queensland Branch. Personally, this recognition is never expected, but receiving it highlighted that the work of Emmett4Animals is not going unnoticed. Being able to mix with people outside of my social sphere, I am never afraid to share with them these stories about my team. I enjoy sharing this narrative because I stand metaphorically before you all as a single person, I stand before you with my united team behind me; and I challenge you to do the same. Change the world as we know it. Change it by doing our bit. Change it by doing small things, and together we can be the semicolon in history rather than the full stop. 33
Christian community inside and beyond The Reverend Garry Lee-Lindsay, School Chaplain | SCEGGS Darlinghurst, NSW
SCEGGS Darlinghurst is an Anglican School close to the centre of the Sydney CBD but also neighbouring the famous (or infamous) Kings Cross district. This area has had a history of being home to some of the richest and poorest in our city, some living in incredibly expensive real estate while others sleep rough on a regular basis. Because of our location, it is too difficult to ignore the needs of the underprivileged and marginalised and not have some response. I think this has been integral to our understanding of what our Christian tradition and culture should be and not only what we believe about Biblical faith but how we live it as a community. Our response to our immediate neighbours has also encouraged us to consider those beyond the street people of East Sydney. It has helped us to discuss further what it means for our school to be a Christian community globally, within our own walls and amongst the other communities that we inhabit. There are many welfare organisations and agencies that SCEGGS has had connections with over the years, too many to name here and it might be considered a pointless exercise to provide a list to use as a measure of our service. The framework from which we work is not so much about how much you do as service for others but the consideration of why you do it. It comes back to the model of Jesus and what He wanted others to know about God’s unconditional love for all people. The notion of unconditional love is something that we all seek but has to be examined in its parts to 34
be truly understood. By providing service opportunities at SCEGGS for both students and staff, we want to reinforce those messages that are given through chapel and religious education about how God responds to us and how we can respond to others. This practice is deeply embedded in Jesus greatest commandment ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39. Our school motto is “Luceat Lux Vestra” (let your light shine; Matthew 5:16) which is part of the Sermon on the Mount. We remind our students that letting your light shine in our context is not about self-promotion or achievement but about letting their lights shine for others so that they may find hope, comfort and guidance. An attitude of being able to see all people made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) encourages us to be inclusive, empathic and intentional in our acts of service. I started working at SCEGGS in 2002 as the first fulltime School Chaplain. Prior to this I had worked for a number of years in the Kings Cross area running a café/drop-in centre for the marginalised and underprivileged of the area. One of the things that I wanted to explore when I first started at the school was how I could strengthen the ties between the community within the walls of SCEGGS with the community outside of it. It was difficult to avoid ASA NEWS
the need that was seen in the surrounding streets and rather than try to ignore it I wanted to think how we could strategically connect with it. One of the activities that has continued during most of the time that I have been employed at SCEGGS is the taking of food out to those who live locally on the street and in public housing. Our students are asked to prepare appropriate food that can be handed out for those that we might meet living on the street. We go out in small groups, offering the food to people and trying to engage in conversation. Those that receive the food are always appreciative of the effort and the kindness that comes with it. Even those that don’t want anything are often willing to chat and enjoy the company. We frame this activity around the importance of noticing others, seeing all people through God’s eyes as worthy creations and challenging our judgements of others. It has been a common reflection where students who have on their initial outing, returned to be surprised as to how fulfilling this simple yet powerful activity has been. There are a whole lot of themes that run deep through such an activity (caring for the poor, understanding our own prejudices, accepting differences) and it continues to have a huge impact on our students as they come through the school. Many of our staff deliver food that is left over from our cafeteria to other local welfare agencies a couple of times a week. It is important that our whole community takes part in order to maintain and build the culture of generosity. In 2006 I received a message from a family friend that was living in Uganda, Africa. He had started a small orphanage for school students. He had been given some land in a rural area outside of the capital, Kampala, and asked if I and SCEGGS could help support his vision of building a secondary school with a particular focus on creating educational opportunities for girls. We were able to do this for a number of years and our involvement with this project had a big impact on the culture of our school. We raised money to build most of the building on the school property, create a viable sponsorship program to help children go to school and pay teachers wages and take groups of senior students to Uganda to work on the projects and, for some, meet the families and children that they were sponsoring. The focus of our involvement was extended to a global scale and the consideration of what it might be like to not only live in another culture but to examine the privilege of our own. One of the qualities that we try and encourage at SCEGGS is that sense of connectedness. We work hard to make it a safe place for people to share their lives with one another, knowing that they will be welcomed and listened too. Pastoral care is extremely important in everything that we do and covers all the of the variety of relationships that we encounter, whether it be with students, staff, parents, alumni and as I have already mentioned, those outside of our gates. Even though not all of our staff or students would profess the Christian faith, everyone is encouraged to support it in the sense that the Christian faith is the foundation of creating fruitful and healthy community. I believe that we can all be part of a Christian Community, regardless of belief. And in the living of it with one another, it can have a powerful impact on individuals and those that they encounter. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Inspiring Alumnae Camberwell Girls Grammar School, VIC As part of its centenary celebrations, in 2020 Camberwell Girls Grammar School launched a new initiative to honour and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women affiliated with the school since its inception. The honourees will serve as a reminder of the inspiring women connected to the school. One of the inaugural honourees is The Reverend Canon Doctor Raewynne Whitely from the Class of 1984. Raewynne was among the first generation of women to be ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. She has served parishes in Sydney and Newcastle in Australia, New Jersey and Long Island in the United States, before moving to the United Kingdom to join the staff of the Diocese of Southwark, where she continues to be involved in parish ministry and preaching throughout the diocese. Raewynne also supported the Australian Consulate in New York in the wake of 9/11. A passion for study led Raewynne to degrees in Psychology, Women’s Studies and Theology, culminating in a PhD in Practical Theology in Homiletics (preaching). She served as Convenor of the History Working Group of The North American Academy of Homiletics for over 10 years, before handing over that role to a team of young scholars. Raewynne has served as Canon Theologian and Examining Chaplain of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and has been selected for a number of leadership development programs and fellowships within the church. She has published two books, Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog and Steeped in the Holy: Preaching as a Spiritual Practice, together with numerous articles, academic papers and sermons. A love of teaching led Raewynne to teach Homiletics, Theology and Religion at Princeton Theological Seminary, Bay Path College and George Mercer Jr. Memorial School of Theology alongside her parish ministry. Throughout her ministry, Raewynne has focussed on fostering faith and leadership. This is expressed in ministry with children, involvement in university chaplaincy and her work in fostering vocations to ordained and lay ministry in Southwark, where she was recently asked to lead the strategic redevelopment of authorised lay ministry across the diocese.
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Service at St Hilda’s The Reverend Patrick Duckworth, School Chaplain; Petra Dalle Cort, Banksia House Captain; and Abbey Porter, Banksia Sports Captain | St Hilda’s School, QLD
It is that time of year for many schools across Australia where student leadership changes as the Year 12s prepare to leave and the Year 11s step up. St Hilda’s new School Captain in her reflection on being inducted as such said, “The sentiment behind our school motto, Non Nobis Solum, Not for Ourselves Alone, is ingrained in every facet of life [here at St Hilda’s] and is exemplified in the theme of servant leadership.” This might be because our patron saint, St Hilda, exemplified this in the way she lived her life and, primarily, because we are an Anglican school, where Anglicanism is typified by practical Christianity through service. Therefore, it is not just a coincidence that our local parish church, St Peter’s, with whom we have had a long association with, shares its space with an Anglicare Respite Centre. The very name, Anglicare, rather identifies that service is part of Anglicanism as, of course, it is in the wider Christian community; one can hear the words of the letter of James quite clearly. Being an Anglican school means that school life should have the marks of service. It is an aspect of Christianity that should be seen in how students and staff interact with each other daily, rather than limited simply to charity or working out of privilege. Service should be reciprocal. We cherish our relationship with our local Anglican parish, and over the last two years, we have developed relationships with individual priests, including Reverend Richard Browning, Director of Mission in the Anglican Schools Commission of the Diocese of Brisbane, and The Reverend Mary-Anne Rulfs, assistant priest of Robina Parish. Over the last two years Richard and Mary-Anne, who are both former school chaplains, have both been regular visitors, assisting when there are simultaneous Eucharists. While being interviewed by our House Captains, Richard declared that it was this dual nature of giving and receiving that should be the real mark of service-learning in Anglican schools. He maintained that just helping someone in need because they are in need is about unequal power. The power lies with those who are able to give, and those who receive are thus made powerless. He also maintained that this powerlessness lies underneath poverty, for example. It is not just the absence of food, clothing, shelter, or education that causes poverty but the inability to gain or provide these things for oneself and one’s family. Thus, service should be about the transformation of the individual and community. Richard also pointed out that true service brings out the human dignity of both the giver and receiver. This view of service should be taught as a lifelong practice as to how learning is now looked upon. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
In her interview, Mary-Anne said, “I grew up participating in the life of the Church, with a strong sense of wanting to serve others as a response to Jesus’ invitation to follow him. When I was deciding what I wanted to do when I left school, I told a vocational guidance officer “I want to help others.” He suggested physiotherapy, and that’s what I did for 20 years. While I was certainly able to help a lot of people, I lost the passion for bringing healing and restoration to people’s physical function.” Mary-Anne rediscovered her passion for school ministry at Coomera Anglican College. There she found that: “service in a school context looks like ‘being with’ and listening to others as much as ‘doing it’ for others.” “It’s the journeying together and learning from those you seek to serve that make it so special. The Year 9 students recently visited the communities of Mitchell and Charleville and discovered that they gained so much from learning about life in rural and remote places, while also serving those communities by assisting in schools, aged care facilities, and other local organisations. Approaching service in this way breaks down the idea that those who do the serving have all the answers and resources.” Thus, two priests coming from different perspectives and backgrounds arrive at a similar conclusion. This is not altogether surprising when we think of the wider Church and what its mission actually is, as seen in this litany prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear when we pray in the name of your Son. Therefore, in confidence and trust we pray for the Church. Father, enliven the Church for its mission that we may be salt of the earth and light to the world. Breathe fresh life into your people. Give us power to reveal Christ in word and action. Creator of all, lead us and every people into ways of justice and peace. That we may respect one another in freedom and truth. Awaken in us a sense of wonder for the earth and all that is in it. Teach us to care creatively for its resources. God of truth, inspire with your wisdom those whose decisions affect the lives of others that all may act with integrity and courage. Give grace to all whose lives are linked with ours. May we serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us. 37
Empowered to make a difference St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, QLD
Since 2015, the St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School community has raised almost half a million dollars for Queenslanders affected by cancer, through an entirely student-led initiative – the Ponytail Project. The Ponytail Project is the legacy of a group of students who in 2015 were empowered to make a difference to the lives of others after news that a parent among the school community had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, the following year, St Margaret’s students had even more reason to support the cause after the loss to cancer of one of their beloved teachers, who was also a past student. So significant had this philanthropic endeavour become, it was soon embraced as an annual fundraising campaign with students encouraged to reflect on the impacts of cancer and other medical conditions and, where hair loss is involved, how they could help boost someone’s confidence. In 2019, Cancer Council Queensland adopted the campaign encouraging schools across the state to involve their students in the cause. In August this year, 137 ponytails were donated to Real Fringe Hairbands to make a difference in the lives of those who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment 38
or Alopecia. In addition, a record $118,000 was raised for Cancer Council Queensland and the Minotti Trust. One hundred and twenty nine students and eight teachers participated in the school’s annual Ponytail Project. Principal Ros Curtis said the project empowered the girls to experience how their actions can make a positive difference in the lives of others. “Each year, we see the girls motivated to give back and inspired to actively contribute in this most significant way,” Ms Curtis said. “It is very empowering for them to experience how their contribution can make a real difference. The act of cutting their own hair is tangible and enhances the girls’ gratitude. “The Ponytail Project helps to develop students’ philanthropic mindset and inspires the girls to continue to give back to the communities in which they live and will one day work.”
Light Up for Vanuatu St Columba Anglican School, NSW Year 5 students at St Columba Anglican School (SCAS) Port Macquarie have showcased their spirit of generosity, participating in a Service Project ‘Light Up Vanuatu’.
Year 12 student Zara Campbell participated for the fourth year. The School Captain says philanthropic opportunities like the Ponytail Project are ingrained in St Margaret’s philosophy and throughout its history. “Since St Margaret’s began, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent have always highlighted the importance of service to the community through their educational and social endeavours,” she said. “Indeed, these values still strongly underpin the St Margaret’s community to this day, and, through acts of service like the Ponytail Project, students are able to realise that we can not only have a massive impact on society, but we are also continuing the Sisters’ legacy.” Olivia Donoghue, also School Captain, said: “I believe that this opportunity equips us to continue philanthropic endeavours after school so we can continue to positively impact the lives of others”. While students in Years 7 to 12 could elect to have their ponytails cut, St Margaret’s primary students wore crazy hair in support of the Ponytail Project. Participating in the event is an important learning opportunity for the primary students too who witness firsthand an individual or a collective community can make a real difference in the lives of others. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The goal of the campaign is to reduce extreme energy poverty in Vanuatu, our Pacific Island neighbours. Funds raised throughout the campaign will purchase SolarBuddy solar lights, which our students will have the opportunity to assemble and send to children in Vanuatu. Year 5 students at SCAS have had the service-learning project integrated with their Science Energy Unit and Sustainability studies. Students learn about the effects of energy poverty on student learning and the broader impacts on the environment, health, and family economics in Vanuatu. SCAS students have responded with great excitement to the initiative and came up with many unique ideas to fundraise. These contributions included collecting cans from the School’s annual celebration carnival, ‘Columba Day’ for Return and Earn funds to donate. Individual students mobilised additional fundraising efforts, including jewellery making, refereeing local sport, taking on extra chores, gardening, and baking. To further inspire students, Year 5 and Sustainability teachers arranged for a lesson to be conducted in the dark to emulate the conditions of their peers in Vanuatu using only wind-up torches to illuminate their work. Students noted the challenges that this lesson presented, including noise, difficulties concentrating, and messy handwriting, which inhibited producing quality work. While the lesson was a novelty for our students, they were only able to manage an hour. Many students remarked that they could not imagine what the 47,000 children living in energy poverty in Vanuatu endure daily, and the least they could do is fundraise for solar lights. Around 235,000 lives experience the positive impact of the Light Up Vanuatu Campaign, with over 102,900,000 study hours generated for students. “Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help, and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you” Matthew 5:42.
A hand up to those in need Wendy Keene, Head of Service Learning | Hale School, WA
Lord Tennyson so eloquently wrote that “I am a part of all that I have met.” At Hale School, we strive for our young men to become part of something bigger than themselves through their experiences in the Service Learning programme. From making links between each of the sub- schools to working with people living with disability in the community, Hale students are realising that no one thing can simply change by itself and that we are all connected. Whilst these connections are beneficial for all involved, they are often what define us as individuals. Our relationship with Nulsen Group continues to strengthen through education, advocacy and service. Each year, a group of Year 11 boys are involved in the Nulsen Youth Patron programme. Likewise, our unique relationship with Muscular Dystrophy WA has allowed the Hale Mates programme to flourish. These programmes raise awareness of people living with disability through interactions at homes, school visits, fundraising events and leadership courses. We hope to foster a new generation of leaders who are emotionally intelligent, empathetic and who go on to make change for the better so everyone can live their best lives. We truly believe our duty to connect with others beyond the school community allows the boys to have both a direct and indirect impact on the lives of others. Hale School continues to forge relationships by striving to adopt a holistic approach to Service Learning. Whilst raising funds is very important to help agencies on the ground, we feel this must be in conjunction with an educative and advocacy approach. Understanding the root causes of issues, learning the needs of communities, and turning good intentions into effective results are fundamental if we want to ‘Do good well’! We hope that as advocates for agencies such as Anglicare WA, St Bart’s and The Salvation Army, we can be a voice in the community and spread a well-informed message that can smash stereotypes of those who are marginalised, disadvantaged or outside the mainstream. Adopting a ‘hand up rather than a handout’ approach is important to us as a School community. Therefore, we align ourselves with agencies with the same mindset. We partner with On My Feet, an organisation that provides pathways to improved employability through skills development and work experience opportunities for those dealing with or at risk of homelessness. On My Feet
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organises running and exercise groups to offer the chance for improved mental and physical health whilst cultivating positive social connections within a supportive running community. They strongly believe that running is a great metaphor for life – you get out of it what you put in. We are not looking to create champion runners but to create independence, self-worth and a positive contribution to our communities. The founder of this charity, Old Haleian Keegan Crage, was particularly keen to partner with Hale School and we enjoyed seeing our boys wear the distinctive orange On My Feet socks during a PSA round this winter. Advocating for others is our duty to the community. We are very excited to begin a new partnership with The Smith Family. Their Student2student programme matches disadvantaged children with their Hale School peer buddies who will help them with their oral reading. The Hale buddies are trained by the charity to help their students develop reading confidence and skills, using the ‘Pause, Prompt, Praise’ reading support method. Through such a commitment, our students can see that they can play a part as an agent of change. COVID-19 has put a hold on our Service trips to Cambodia. However, we still maintain our strong relationships with Ride Aid and RAW Impact who also pride themselves on a ‘hand up’ approach. Whilst we cannot travel to Cambodia, we are more than aware that issues such as the effects of slum relocation and education disadvantage will be heightened during the pandemic. From afar, we will offer our support to the communities that our partners assist through fundraising at our annual Year 7 and 8 Lapathon. Reaching out to the wider school community to become involved is another link we are striving to foster. The Parents’ and Friends’ Association has begun by working alongside the boys to cook meals for the Salvation Army to distribute to the most vulnerable in our community. The ‘boarding family’ unite to host a magnificent Farmers’ Market every other year, which raises funds for worthwhile organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The threads that tie us together as a school community also allow us to have a profound effect beyond the halls of Hale School.
Students lead sustainability Bishop Druitt College, NSW
Be the change you wish to see in the world. A famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, and a guiding principle for students at Bishop Druitt College, as they drive positive change in environmental sustainability, on campus and in the community. On campus, initiatives include plastic and waste free events, recycling and composting programs, landcare management and regeneration at the neighbouring Newports Creek, the habitat of the endangered Giant Barred Frog. BDC also encourages action and advocacy in the local community, and students participate annually in Clean Up Australia Day, and tree maintenance programs at Bongil Bongil National Park.
“We aim to incorporate these values and initiatives into the way the college operates,” he said.
“We need to support organisations doing great things in our community and the Seabin project is one of them. Not only is the Seabin a fantastic positive change for our ocean environment but our BDC students will benefit from this project many years into the future as a part of their learning programs,” Mr Johnstone said.
“Today’s generation of students have demonstrated that they are concerned with making a difference in the world. And our emerging leaders have prioritised making a positive impact on climate change and the environment.”
Another commitment to sustainability was the ‘Global day of action - Humanity’s ‘eleventh hour to act on climate’ under the Sacred People Sacred Earth movement. Students and staff stood in solidarity in our peaceful Assisi
Principal Nick Johnstone said the College encouraged students to speak up about what was important to them.
Recently, BDC partnered with Prosper Coffs Environmental Trust on the Seabin Project, which captures marine litter in the Coffs Harbour Marina. Coffs Harbour Marina now has the first Seabin on the Coffs Coast, marking an important development in reducing marine litter for the region. Bishop Druitt College partnered with Prosper Coffs Environmental Trust on the Seabin Project, with the students taking the lead in advocating for the Seabin and fundraising $5,200 from the community to help fund the project.
Garden ringing church bells and burning incense. These religious rituals were to show they care about the Sacred People, Sacred Earth global multi-faith action. School Chaplain, The Reverend Canon Naomi Cooke said the world’s religions were called to care for the earth as given to us by God to safeguard. “As a Chaplain, I am really proud to stand amidst the next generation who care about our leaders making wise decisions for our world,” she said. In May 2021, a selection of students attended the Climate Change Rally in Coffs Harbour, with a key message to ‘fund our future, not gas’. Year 6 student, James Quodling, addressed the rally. “I’m passionate about speaking up about climate change as I am aware of the consequences that will unfold if no action is taken,” he said. BDC has also implemented a number of key initiatives in their business operations to strive for ‘Zero Co2’ by reducing power, paper and carbon emissions, and the installation of solar panel technology. Environmental management is part of the learning curriculum - students manage a kitchen garden which provides produce for the campus community, and the college offers purpose-designed programs in bush regeneration and Indigenous land management. “Sustainability is important for our students, and Bishop Druitt College has a long-standing commitment to environmental service and education locally,” Mr Johnstone said. “All of these initiatives are important for shaping how we do business, and our student leadership programs continue to give our students the opportunity to be a part of these decisions.”
STUDENT QUOTES “We all came together so that we can understand the significance of climate change.” Oliver Caesar “I am passionate about advocating for our climate and this was a great way to do that.” Matilda Watson “If this is a part I can play in helping my environment, then I am going to do it.” Tayla Mackay
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Character and Service: it’s all about relationships Kathryn McDonald, Director of Pastoral Care K-12 | Arden Anglican School, NSW
I recently read an article about a teacher helping her students during our lockdown in Sydney. The teacher of refugee and migrant teenagers, Camilla Portela, recounted how her students struggled with understanding the NSW Health information about COVID-19. Portela states, “One of my student’s family was very sick. Students would call me from the ambulance or from hospital and say: ‘What’s going on teacher, why am I here?’” “I could get a message at 5 o’clock in the morning or late in the evening; it didn’t matter. We were just there to help them.” Our work as teachers is a vocation, and as Anglican educators, we are called to serve others: students, each other, our parents, and communities. This story about Camilla Portela and her love for her students reminds us of the way that teachers of character are teachers who serve. In Luke 10:27, Jesus explains how we can live the lives that God called us to live, and to be the people he wants us to be. He says that we are to ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ If we are able to love God with everything we have – with our hearts, soul, strength and mind, then how easy will it be for us to love each other, and if love each other, then serve each other. 44
But it is hard to love God in this way and it is hard to love each other and look out for other’s interests more than our own. When challenged, Jesus explained who a ‘neighbour’ is through the story of the Good Samaritan. This Samaritan was a man of compassion who used his actions and his money and his time for another. We learn in Romans 12: 5 that ‘In Christ we, though many, form one body.’ We are all connected to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and as Jesus demonstrates, we are called to serve anybody and everybody. Timothy Keller, in his book ‘Generous Justice’ writes that we ‘instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves’, but that Jesus teaches us that ‘not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbour, and you must love your neighbour’. It is this love for others that leads us to perform acts of service. But what does it mean to serve others? Emily Gurney, an early 20th century educator at Arden Anglican School, identified that the ‘head, heart and hands must form a trinity’ when we serve others. This trinity of cognitive understanding, compassion and empathy, and the application of practical action in partnership with those we serve is a strong model to follow as we consider how we can best serve others in our communities, and how we can best lead students to understand the value of service. ASA NEWS
The joys and benefits of community service are rich and plentiful. How much more enriching then is the integration of service learning, where we lead students to reflect on their experiences. Arden Anglican School’s Year 11 students’ recent immersion to Indigenous communities with the organisation Red Earth highlights in practice this model of ‘head, heart and hands’. These students travelled to two Central Australian indigenous communities in 2021 just before the Greater Sydney lockdown. They learned about life in remote communities and through ongoing and organic conversations heard an alternative perspective about our country and its future, including learning about the needs of these communities. Their hearts were engaged. Although acts of service were completed while there – laying a concrete floor for a shed, clearing the ever-present buffel grass from a waterhole – it is the informed and much needed acts of service in the future that will grow out of this experience, in partnership with Indigenous communities, that is most exciting. The students have returned with a greater understanding of Indigenous concerns and developed characters – their hearts are full of compassion, empathy, and respect. One student, Alex, reflected his experience highlighted the importance of working in partnership with those we serve. He said that reconciliation is ‘being willing to put aside our fear of difference and build relationships with the Indigenous people of our country’. I am hopeful that our students will work towards a future that is reconciled with our indigenous brothers and sisters through relationships. As Anglican educators, we follow the example of Jesus. When he washed his disciples’ feet, he was using his hands to serve them practically. But he also used his head and his heart. He knew them, he loved them, and he served them. As the Arden students sat around the fire on that clear, cold night on Rodna Homeland and one of the Indigenous boys, Junior, nestled into Alex’s arms, we can have hope for the future. Like Camilla Portela’s students who, as a result of her practical love and service, were able to then serve others, and ‘help people who were very frightened’, our students in Anglican schools will continue to grow in their character and develop hearts of service as we model Jesus’ love to them and give them experiences like this one to Central Australia. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Classics in the Cathedral St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, QLD On a Friday evening in June, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School hosted its annual Classics in the Cathedral – an opportunity for the wider school community to come together. Head of Performance Brad King said Classics in the Cathedral was an opportunity to broaden students’ performance experiences. “The event gives students the opportunity to learn and perform classical repertoire, including classical music by contemporary composers, and perform within the spectacular setting of St John’s Cathedral,” he said. Music Captain Akari Komoto took part in her sixth and final performance in the Cathedral and said performing in front of an audience helps develop confidence and individual performance style. “The highlight of the evening for me was performing a solo piece in such an amazing venue.” Music Extension students Akari Komoto, Ashleigh Witenden and Meleia Richardson gave highly engaging performances as part of the program. The evening’s finale brought all the student performers together for a combined ensemble performance of Tintinnabulum by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. The evening’s special guest performer – St Margaret’s Notable Old Girl and mezzo soprano Xenia Puskarz-Thomas – gave a magical performance of Morgen! by Richard Strauss, accompanied by Jonny Ng on piano with music extension student Ashleigh Witenden on violin. Xenia is pursuing her dream to become a professional opera singer, a passion first ignited while at St Margaret’s where she was Arts Captain in 2013. Xenia is now studying remotely with mentors at the Metropolitan Opera, Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music while also a Young Artist with Opera Queensland. The pursuit of artistic endeavours is encouraged as part of the St Margaret’s experience. Creativity, teamwork and critical thinking are just some of the essential life skills students develop when they participate in the school’s music program. Skills that, uniquely, are documented as part of St Margaret’s Plus, a program developed to recognise the development of students’ skills outside the classroom through participation in extracurricular and philanthropic activities. 45
Make a difference Lana Priebbenow and Ross Strong | Fraser Coast Anglican College, QLD
As part of the Religious and Values Education program at Fraser Coast Anglican College (FCAC), Year 10 students were challenged to plan and implement a project that aims to 'make a difference in the lives of others in the community in need of support. The project reinforces the College's philosophy of developing leadership and character skills such as compassion and generosity. Religion and Values Coordinator Lana Priebbenow, said the College was very proud of the Year 10 cohort for engaging with the Make a Difference Project. “There are many examples of meaningful contributions to our community by our students resulting from Religious and Values Education being a part of our college curriculum,” Mrs Priebbenow said. “Other projects undertaken by our students included making and donating Trauma Teddies to the local hospital and the collection of excess food from local cafes, donated to the local Good Hope Men's Homeless Shelter. “A common theme in the students' work was restoring dignity to people while making a difference through their actions to help others in need."
The Hot Shower Program – Arianna McNall In Hervey Bay, there are over 1500 people experiencing homelessness. Arianna's project engaged with the Donate to Give Dignity campaign and the Hot Shower Program run by the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre. Arianna said that she wanted to collect as many donations as possible to give to the Neighbourhood Centre, giving dignity and support to people in need. "I began conducting the collection in the last four weeks of Term 3 so that I could donate the items in the school holidays,” she said. “I sent out emails to the staff and students at FCAC, advertised the collection on the school notices, placed a donation bin in Student Services and even spread the news to Sandy Strait State School, where I picked up even more donations whilst doing work experience there." Arianna's project was so well supported that her room was soon overrun with toothbrushes, soaps, lotions and deodorants. So much so that it took multiple carloads to deliver to the Neighbourhood Centre.
Arianna highlighted a Year 7 student who created a separate 'giving' bank account, saved over $100 and decided to spend it on items for Hot Shower Program. Arianna described his donation as: "amazing and truly impactful on the lives of those in need".
Celebrating 25 years Coomera Anglican College, QLD
Reflecting on her experience, Arianna said that she was overwhelmed by the impact of her project.
Coomera Anglican College has celebrated Principal Mark Sly in style marking his 25 years of service to the college community.
"The Hot Shower Program has changed my life and my perspective on helping others as well as many others in need," she said.
Dr Sly, who was appointed as Foundation Principal at Coomera Anglican College on 29 July, 1996, is one of the longest serving principals in the region and has overseen the growth of the college since day one.
Breakfast for the homeless – James Tomlinson The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre's 2020 Youth Homelessness Survey revealed that two per cent of young people on the Fraser Coast are homeless on any given night. James Tomlinson was compelled to act when he realised many of the Fraser Coast's homeless were people his own age and younger. James decided to contact We Care2, part of the New Life Christian Church. The church provides a Community Connect Food Van, which serves hot breakfast to homeless people in Hervey Bay. To be part of this initiative, James underwent a morning of training with his father, Rick. Each morning James and Rick arrived at 6am and started making breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, toast and beans. Reflecting on his experience, James said: "I have learnt through this experience that I have a blessed life and one I should not take for granted. I am happy to live in a safe, nurturing home where my needs are met. Still, for some 15-year-olds in Hervey Bay, homelessness is what they experience for many reasons. It is safer for some of these people to be homeless than live at home." James encouraged his classmates and member of the community to think about volunteering. "People are sometimes only one unfortunate circumstance away from being homeless, and often this is out of their control," he said. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The College has grown from 60 students and a handful of staff in its first year, to now more than 1450 students and around 200 staff. College Council Chairman Stephen Knott said Dr Sly had led the College community throughout its journey with wisdom, vision, determination, and perseverance to build a thriving community of learning. “Mark has shown a remarkable ability to grow with the College as the College itself has grown,” Mr Knott said. “His ability to continuously add to his skills as the demands of his role have changed over time is a living , breathing example of his mantra of ‘life-long learning’. This has been an eloquent example to students past and present.” Dr Sly is always quick to acknowledge that the College’s greatest strength is its people. “It is our people, a wonderful College Council, a strong Senior Leadership Team and extraordinary staff who are willing to do whatever it takes to bring out the best in our students,” Dr Sly said. With special celebrations and messages from our Early Learning Centre, Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary Campuses; congratulations and thank you Dr Sly, for your guidance and leadership of our wonderful community! 47
Sleep Out for Street Connect St George’s Anglican Grammar School, WA
Students at St George’s Anglican Grammar School benefits from being located in the heart of the City of Perth, surrounded by a constant source of culture, learning, recreation, and excitement. Staff and students witness the highs and lows of city living and the hardship of living ‘without’ in a thriving city. Each day we share the environment with people are homeless and who live without security and certainty in their lives. When our eyes, ears and hearts are open, we are moved to ask: “How should I act?” The scriptures offer us an example to follow in the story of The Good Samaritan, who casts aside social and cultural boundaries to help a fellow human being in need. This is what we ask of St George’s students. St George’s students act by joining the annual Anglicare WA School Sleep Out to raise funds for at-risk young people living rough on the streets of Perth. Students are invited to swap their school bags for a sleeping bag and experience in one night, some of the challenges of living without the safety and security of home. Students have embraced the Sleep Out with great enthusiasm and generosity. In 2020 the School held a very successful ‘in-school Sleep Out’, due to COVID–19 restrictions. This year the School decided repeat the School event as well as take part in the Anglicare WA Schools Sleepout. Eight Anglican Ambassadors from St George’s participated in the Anglicare Schools Sleep Out at Optus Stadium in August. The in-school Sleep Out, organised by the Anglicare Ambassadors and Year 12 Student Guild the organised the in-school Sleep Out. This allowed more students to share the experience, hearing the noises of 48
sleeping outside in the city, albeit safely from the School’s rooftop surrounded by friends. Both events focused our thoughts, energy, and prayers on the needs of young people experiencing homelessness. Kelly Keall from Anglicare supported the school with a vast array of resources and technology to ensure the success of the event. Both events raised funds and awareness of the work of the Anglicare Street Connect Bus. This service supports young homeless people with food, resources, and counselling and can often be found parked opposite St George’s within the City of Perth supporting these people in the evening as our students head home to the safety of their homes. More than $160,000 was raised by Anglican students across the many Western Australian Schools involved in the Anglicare WA Schools Sleepout for 2021, with Team St George’s raising an outstanding $8340. Service is an important part of St George’s Anglican Grammar School ethos, values, and culture. As a citybased school, we take our responsibility to the greater community seriously and look forward to many more years of supporting Anglicare and their work in the supporting homeless youth to gain access to the services that they so desperately need through Street Connect. We undoubtedly serve God by serving others. ASA NEWS
A day in the life…
Tintern Grammar, VIC
In 2020 during the peak of remote learning and a continuous lockdown, our Student Leadership Team saw an opportunity to come together virtually by asking our Tintern community to share a moment in their day on Monday 17 August 2020. What started as a small idea, soon blossomed into a project that had contributions from a wide range of current families, staff, past staff and alumni from across the globe, including our delightful Tintern Old Girls, Noel Pink, 85 years old, and Joy Hill, 88 years old, who each shared footage. We saw those selflessly working on the front line of the pandemic, and most importantly, we had snapshots of our children, families and alumni still enjoying ‘something good’ on the day. Our wonderful 2020 School Captain Ashleigh Dowling also re-worded the lyrics to ‘Let it Be’ and then, accompanied by her father Craig on the drums, played a beautiful rendition on the piano. It was truly a gift to capture this moment in time and brought joy and a strong sense of connection during one the most disjointed periods of time in our recent history. Following on the success of ‘A day in the life of Tintern’ in 2020, we invited all Tintern Community members to participate again in 2021. We asked all current and past families, staff and special members of our community if they would send in a time stamped image or short video from their day on Tuesday 17 August 2021. We were amazed and grateful to receive more than 160 wonderful image and video contributions from not only those living in Melbourne, but from around Australia and around the world. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Our School Chaplain, The Reverend Alison Andrew references the bible, in which we hear about this need for each other, working together, where a community is compared to a body: In a letter Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. Where each part is important and different and works together with the other parts. 5 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. 16 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. 17 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? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, we are many parts, but one body. ‘A day in the life of Tintern’ continues to serve those around us with inspiration, joy and connection. This tradition enables the many parts of our Tintern Grammar community to join together despite the challenges that we continue to face during the pandemic, together we stand as a connected and caring school of strong character and Anglican faith. 49
A Service Learning Journey Peter Carnley Anglican Community School, WA
“Genuine happiness comes from an authentic contribution to other peoples’ lives”. This is a statement and belief which is embedded into the Service Learning experience at Peter Carnley Anglican Community School (PCACS). 2021 Service Captain Genevieve Rowlands has embraced and nurtured her role throughout her final year of Senior School. Working with the Service Learning Coordinator, Mrs Rebecca Weddikkara, Genevieve has been a champion for causes that students are passionate about, encouraging them to use their God given talents to impact the community directly. “I was honoured to be the 2021 Service Captain, a role I knew would give me a platform to actively support initiatives that benefit those in need but also actively encourage students to engage and participate in Service Learning activities,” Genevieve said. At PCACS, one of the main goals is to empower the students with the knowledge, confidence and skills to make an ongoing impact in the world. This is best achieved when the students themselves feel valued through the act of giving. YMAD (Youth Making a Difference) is a group of likeminded, service focussed students, this year led by Genevieve. In YMAD, these compassionate students gather weekly to organise service events, brainstorm ideas and dream big about how they can make a positive difference in the world. 50
“Events such as the Anglicare Schools Sleep Out, Operation Op Shop, Crazy Hair Day, World Greatest Shave and the annual PCACS Community Cook Up help raise funds to support communities in need, but I think more importantly, as a service group, our students are developing empathy, practicing generosity and gaining a true understanding of our Anglican identity,” Genevieve said. In 2021, eight PCACS Anglicare Ambassadors from Year 10 and 11 worked throughout the year to find opportunities to raise awareness and funds for Anglicare. The Ambassadors held Easter and Christmas hamper raffles, collected pantry items for Y-Shac Rockingham, encouraged participation in the Sleep Out, visited the Op Shop Warehouse, attended the Advocacy Workshop and Ambassador Launch, held a special Chapel service and donated goods and funds. Along with Genevieve, more and more PCACS students are finding joy through Christian Service, placing ‘Service to community’ central to their learning journey at PCACS. It is by giving to others that we receive. ASA NEWS
Celebrating uniqueness Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, NSW
Mr Paul Russell, a Primary teacher from Bishop Tyrrell, is helping to broaden an understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity with his fifth children's book, The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp. His latest book draws from his teaching career in the primary school at Bishop Tyrrell, being a father, and his own professional development journey. Mr Russell’s first book about dementia, Grandma Forgets, has been published in fourteen different countries and nine languages; while My Storee (2018) is based on his own experience with dyslexia as a child; The Incurable Imagination (2019) explores the value of imagination and creativity within learning, and Courageous Lucy released earlier this year (2021) talks about feelings of anxiety. Mr Russell said the joy of being a teacher and writing for children was seeing a child come alive through literature. “Watching students find a story that speaks to them or a book that helps them navigate the world is an incredible feeling. We are all different, and finding the strengths in our differences is what life is all about,” he said. “When I’m writing books, my own experiences are also in retrospective from being a teacher, parent, and my own self-development. I am at this perfect junction in my life for writing these stories about children’s wellbeing. My stories are seeded in my own experiences but enriched by the children whose educational journal I am blessed to share as both a teacher and father.” Mr Russell has achieved numerous local, national, and international recognition for his work, including a prestigious CBCA Notable Picture Book, national SEMESTER 2 | 2021
television appearances on the Today breakfast show, articles in The Guardian and Telegraph UK, and invitations to speak on numerous panels at writers’ festivals, and as a guest author at schools and library workshops, and talks in both Australia and New Zealand. “Being a teacher, I get to see first-hand across all ages the enjoyment children get out of reading, and it is even more special if they are reading my books. Knowing the impact books have on children and their understanding of the world. I have always used stories to teach and couldn’t imagine ever leaving the classroom,” he said. “They say you learn something new every day, but I seem to learn more than that by recess. I am always learning, for my students, with my students, or from my students.” Head of Primary School Mark Durie said Bishop Tyrrell’s students and families were Mr Russell’s biggest fans. “We appreciate how these books are helping our learning community. Every child has the right to feel like they belong and enjoy an inclusive community. Our school always makes children feel welcome, and so do his books,” Mr Durie said. “We all have features and qualities that contribute to building a diverse and strong community. Once we learn how to utilise and celebrate these strengths, we become the most empowered.” 51
Space to reflect St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, QLD
As the world continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need, now more than ever, to provide our youth with opportunities to express and explore their concerns as hopes, reflections or prayers. One of the ways students at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School are supported to express their thoughts and feelings is through Prayer Spaces, which provide opportunities to think, reflect and pray about different aspects of their lives. St Margaret’s holds four week-long Prayer Spaces each year: two designed for primary students and two for secondary students. The most recent, held in July, was themed around the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12. The Beatitudes are powerful messages of being blessed that Jesus imparted during his Sermon on the Mount. These messages guide us to recognise we are blessed even in hard times and challenges us to think about how we bless others. St Margaret’s Chaplain, The Reverend Susan CrothersRobertson said students in Years 7 to 10 were invited to explore the Beatitudes through eight stations: Wisdom, Resilience, Peace, Justice, Joy, Humility, Hope and Forgiveness. 52
“Each station was designed to be interactive, inviting the students to pray, reflect and/or think about different areas of their life, the world, others, and if they chose, to think about their relationship with God,” she said. “For instance, at the station with the theme Humility, the students were encouraged to be aware of people who work behind the scenes to make a difference in their lives and to take the time to show their gratitude. “It was particularly special to watch the students engage and interact with the Hope station where the students were invited to create flowers as they reflected about what hope meant to them. In the quiet and stillness, you could hear only the gentle rustle of the tissue paper as the students worked on their creations which were then attached to netting to create a sea of flowers, representative of a sea of hope. “One staff member commented that the mindfulness shown by the students during this activity was transformative.”
The Hope station was a favourite of Year 7 students Beatrice Tritton and Sofia Gearing. Beatrice said: “Prayer spaces nurture my faith and spirituality as I have many opportunities to connect with God.” Sofia said she found the prayer spaces calming. “It gave me the chance to sit quietly and reflect on the impact that the sisters have had on St Margaret’s,” she said. Taking the time to slow down, sit quietly to think, reflect and pray and to be present is a key facet of the Prayer Space experience which Reverend Susan says is also the aspect students appreciate the most. “The students are aware that this quiet time in the Prayer Space is a precious gift amid the busyness of school life,” she said. “They look forward to the opportunity to explore, create, reflect and just be, so it was lovely to hear the ‘wow’ comments as the students entered the space.” Given the ongoing pandemic, it was no surprise to see this global issue still at the forefront of students’ minds. At the Peace station, where students were guided to consider circumstances of disagreement such as war, conflict or arguments, and to write messages of peace and reconciliation on brightly coloured paper hands.
Service on show at home Ms Jennifer Gordon, Head of Service Learning Camberwell Girls Grammar School, VIC The pandemic may have restricted our movement here in Melbourne, but it has not dampened the commitment of the students of Camberwell Girls Grammar School (CGGS) to the vulnerable in our wider community. Isabel Varughese, the 2021 Faith and Service Captain, explains her support for service organisations: “I think supporting community-based organisations is especially important and beneficial during COVID lockdowns, when accessing food and essentials can be harder than ever.”
At the Joy station, students shared prayers of gratitude and joy on flag bunting. One student shared all the things that brought her joy: movie nights, friends, laughter, chocolate, the beach, sunny days, rainy days, ice-cream, family and holidays. Another wrote: “just being alive and knowing I am so loved”.
Character and Service, resourcefulness and commitment: these qualities were all on display at this year’s Winter Sleepout at CGGS. This annual event is aligned with the work of the local branch of The Salvation Army. In 2021, our Service Learning Captains re-scheduled the sleepout three times due to restrictions, but in the end decided that holding the event remotely was the best option, in order to support the local community. So rather than sleeping in the school grounds, girls participating slept outside or on the floor inside at home, in order to replicate what it might be like to be homeless and sleeping rough.
The Beatitudes Prayer Spaces provided a unique opportunity for students to express and explore their thoughts and feelings and to consider the cherished social currency of kindness in a way that was visual, hands-on, practical and relevant.
On the night students heard from four guest speakers from both local and national branches of the Salvos: Grace Davidson, Norman Gale, Shane Austin and Major Warren Elliot. They spoke about how important it is to ‘walk alongside’ vulnerable people, to empathise and to be a voice, when you can.
It also highlighted to students that there are different ways to talk or pray with God: that God is there to share their day and to listen to their dreams, big and small, and to hear concerns for themselves and for others.
STUDENT PRAYERS “I pray for people affected by COVID-19 and people struggling to survive” “I pray for happiness” “World peace” “Treat people with kindness” “Everyone should love and respect each other no matter who they are” SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The Service Learning Captains, who organised the night, described being richly blessed by these speakers: “Our guests were so engaging and knowledgeable, and it was amazing to hear their passion as they spoke about local initiatives and impact in the Boroondara area, the history of the Salvos in Australia and how the pandemic has impacted homelessness in Victoria”. A Q & A session was also held. Students were interested in finding out about how they could respond to individuals and more broadly. Ms Jennifer Gordon said, “Students were particularly encouraged to hear that the Salvos make every effort to support people from a diverse range of circumstances.” The night also included some fun individual and group activities, including an online scavenger hunt and team Kahoot challenge. After a break for dinner, groups of girls called and zoomed each other to play games and bake some goodies, before having the option to return to watch a film all together. And then it was time to sleep – outside! 53
Big Group Hug Mrs Jenny Sonneman, Chaplain | Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School, VIC
Looking outward and having a heart to serve others has remained a constant at IGGS, even throughout these last two years of bouncing in and out of lockdown Our school values service, it is a part of our curriculum, our co-curricular activities and our students love to work towards their service awards and badges! It stems from loving God and loving our neighbour, it is expressed in the way each year level takes on projects and the way the Year 9 RE program is formed around community service.
pandemic, so many families have been struggling, and we are humbled to be able to serve through donations and through practically helping sort and pack goods, that really do make a difference to families in need. Our school community is continuing to learn creative and practical ways to love and serve both God and our neighbour.
One of our favourite community groups to support is Big Group Hug. This was founded by Angela Wood, a former teacher from IGGS. One day, in 2013, she saw a high chair abandoned on the nature strip, and thought that someone might really need that, right now. She started small, just contacting those in her local community, to see if they could donate items for families, good quality items like change tables, clothes and baby products. She was overwhelmed with support and set up in a Baptist church in Rosanna. Students in the year 9 RE program were invited to help sort and prepare goods to be donated to needy families. This began a terrific relationship between IGGS and the Big Group Hug.
Looking ahead, we are hoping that we can continue this valuable partnership with Big Group Hug. As 2022 approaches, we are making plans for many of the Senior students to continue to volunteer at the warehouse. We anticipate that every Thursday after school, one student will go in and help sort out the donated goods. Both students and teachers are keen to be rostered on during the term, and to go in small group to help out during the holidays.
This year, in breaks between lockdowns, the year 11 and 12 students from IGGS have been helping out at the new Big Group Hug warehouse in Bundoora. The organisation has grown so much and they now serve families all over Melbourne, working in partnership with many support organisations. In July, 23 students volunteered two days of their school holidays in service at the warehouse. They compiled packs of toiletries and nappies, cleaned donated toys, sorted donated children’s clothing into sizes and made packs of clothing and personal items for children in need. They learnt so much about the families that Big Group Hug supports, about families facing financial need and those fleeing from family violence. The Year 11 and 12 students also organised for winter coats to be donated by school families across our Junior and Secondary School. They were able to take them into the warehouse too, to be passed on, just in time, to those facing Melbourne’s cold winter. During this time of 54
Our school’s motto is ‘Our girls speak for themselves’ and we see this in action with the students brainstorming ways to serve and then making plans. Next year they want to involve the whole school again, and have a clothing drive. There seems to be a lot of baby clothes to give away to young families, but there is a lack of good quality used clothing for teenagers. Our students can certainly help meet this need. We look forward to raising awareness of the ways families are struggling, especially very young mothers who often lack the support of a wider family or community network. As our students serve, they are developing empathy and compassion. These life lessons are ones that last well beyond their 13 years of schooling. As they volunteer, they also learn about costly love, about sacrificing their time and energy to help another. We hope and pray that they will also reflect on our Compassionate God, who sees those who are struggling, and who delights in answering the call of the poor and needy. In Jesus, we have a Saviour who cares about our physical needs as well as our hearts and souls. What a privilege it is to be out in community, serving others, and serving the Lord. ASA NEWS
Character and determination drives students West Moreton Anglican College, QLD
Year 11 WestMAC student Madeleine Smit dreams of becoming a doctor like her grandfather and great grandfather because she wants to help people. The 16-year-old recently won The Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers’ Journal problem solving challenge, which attracted entries from around the State. “I was determined and enjoyed the challenge, so it was pretty cool to win. I went over all my class notes from the last couple of years and looked at the problem from a few different angles,’’ Madeleine said. “I’ve been at WestMAC since Prep and the teachers at WestMAC have helped me to explore what areas of learning I love the best; they have helped me to become who I am.’’ Madeline is not the only WestMAC student who has been kicking goals, with the work of three Year 10 students selected for presentation at the National Constitutional Conference in Canberra in March. The team of Alexandra Hurst, Raven Baker and Anna Ikin, all 15 years, were named State finalists at the Queensland Schools Constitutional Online Convention. In the State final the WestMAC team’s constitutional preamble, which the students were given only 20 minutes to write, was one of only two recognised for national honours. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
“Our Social Science teacher Mrs Googe is very enthusiastic about the subject, and we really enjoyed learning about our constitution through her passionate teaching,’’ Anna said. In addition, Alexandra has been peer-voted as one of only 23 State delegates to attend the National Conference in Canberra in March, after successfully presenting her speech on why and how the constitutional preamble should change. “I’m really excited about going to the convention in Canberra. Having written the speech and researched the topic after being inspired by our Social Science teacher (Leader of Learning Donna Googe) I feel more informed about how the Australian convention works and our whole political system,’’ Alexandra said. Mrs Googe was impressed with the dedication of the three students including Alex, because she wants to see today’s young people become “active, aware and engaged citizens’’. “Alex’s speech was very thoughtful, it focused on acknowledging Australia’s complex history and society and recognising how our nation continues to develop our identity over time,’’ Mrs Googe said. 55
Using Stillness The Reverend Peter Tong, Senior Chaplain | Barker College, NSW
In a world addicted to busyness, stillness is a strange thing. Extended periods of online learning have brought fresh challenges to school communities. We have all been tested as many of our regular foundations of security and hope have been shaken. Yet amidst the chaos, the enforced stillness of lockdown provided some opportunities for growth of character.
all sorts of questions about faith and passages such as Psalm 46 helped students grapple with the experience that humans are not in control while pointing them to the God who remains with them.
Psalm 46:10 encourages us to: Be still and know that I am God, yet we may well ask, how is stillness possible in a crisis?
Be Spiritual Week fitted into our broader approach to Wellbeing during lockdown where we sought to use the 100+ days of online learning to trade the regular weekly busyness for activities that fostered a rich inner life – to read, to think, to breath. We even had one day where we cancelled all classes and organised a selection of expert speakers to simply inspire curiosity and nurture learning for learning’s sake.
The Psalm begins by reminding us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The Psalmist then declares, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” It is encouraging to remember that although God does not promise to always rescue us from trouble, he does promise to be with us amid trouble.
This was one of the themes we encouraged students of Barker to consider as part of ‘Be Spiritual Week’ held near the end of Term 3.
Through the term we provided wellbeing activities that encouraged students to participate in homelife, develop new skills and also think beyond themselves by writing letters to front line workers that were delivered en masse to local hospitals.
During this week, we paused our Christian Studies curriculums and encouraged all students to disconnect from devices and use provided resources to read the Bible, reflect and pray. Some had never read the Bible on their own before. The worldwide pandemic has raised
No one was pretending that lockdown was a period of tranquil mediation but we sought to use the extra time in the day to develop slow routines and grow in mindfulness, character and faith in the God who is our strength and refuge. In short, to…Be still and know that I am God.
Lessons in life during a pandemic Hume Anglican Grammar, VIC Having experienced a conclusion to their Secondary education journey like no other, Hume Anglican Grammar in Melbourne’s north, asked its two School Captains to reflect on their experiences undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education during a global pandemic.
Empathy through hope John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School, WA Whether in the classroom or learning through experience; every lesson matters. John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School has always been a keen supporter of Anglicare WA, however, in recent times have dedicated more time for service learning; encouraging students to be educated in regard to local communities in need and working to make a positive global impact. Students continue to support the work of Anglicare through various opportunities such as Young Hearts Bags of Hope and Y-Shac eco-friendly cleaning packs. Young Hearts' goal is to provide a safe living environment for women and children experiencing an unsafe home life; especially in family and domestic violence situations, while Y-Shac assists young people aged 15 – 25 years old who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Both organisations offer crisis accommodation and transitional housing with 24hour onsite support from specialised youth workers. This year’s service learning initiative involved Year 7 Pastoral Care Groups curating over 40 cleaning and care packs for communities in need through Y-Shac and Young Hearts. Students participated in scenario driven learning; immersing themselves in communities which allowed them to identify specific items that would be beneficial in cleaning and care packs, then working to curate them. Some students went one step further and wrote cards of hope and compassion that were inserted into the care bags and cleaning packs. This self-driven extension exemplifies how students intrinsically grow in compassion through these activities. When students understand their cause, they are able to better empathise with the communities they are supporting. We often don’t understand how fortunate we are until we gain a true understanding of what it means to be in need or to go without. The development of all aspects of global citizenship is such an important part of a JSRACS education, where every lesson matters. The School supports the continued growth of service learning in the coming years and in generating future leaders and role models who lead through service. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
Jessica If there is one thing that this year’s lockdowns have taught us, it's that perfection is truly an illusion. At the start of this marathon some called Year 12, like any other student, I held my belief in the illusion of perfection, assuming that this one year would be the most perfect school year. Perfect SACS, abundant motivation, the ultimate peak of my high school journey. Boy was I wrong! This year has not been like the ideal Year 12 I had in mind; in fact, it is far from it, but I guess it has shaken us up as humans and taught us that plans do not always work, and life, unlike modern humans, is not controlled by stringent timetables and calendars we impose on it. Life in its natural state is unpredictable and uncontrollable and I guess that is what completing VCE in the middle of a global pandemic has taught me. Some days motivation does not come naturally and other days nothing seems more ideal than sitting in our warm rooms, sipping a cup of hot chocolate as we attend our VCE classes in our ‘oodies’. Year 12 this year has been crazy, but I guess we adapted to and normalised this abnormal way of life. I am sure in the end all our hard work and efforts will pay off. Georg COVID-19 has been a massive hurdle for our cohort. Since the beginning of our VCE years in 2020, the 2021 graduate class has been trialled by the meandering nature of lockdown rules and being on and off school grounds; a crisis within a crisis. Maintaining a bounded optimism in the face of stress of online learning has been difficult. Amongst the many challenges faced, the many feats of perseverance and ongoing battle of class-call connection issues, many of us have found solidarity within ourselves, whether it be spending more time with family, pets or engaging in your favourite hobbies. For me, the time spent in lockdown has allowed me to reconnect with myself, my interests and my goals as well as regain touch outside of social settings. The lockdown period has also allowed me to spend more meaningful, quality time with my family, a commodity that would have not been possible otherwise. This critical period has also acted as a lesson of appreciation, ultimately refining, and deepening my gratefulness for the many things I took for granted prior to lockdown. The social opportunities, the presence of certain people in my life, friends, family, supportive and caring teachers and the daily opportunities for growth that are provided. Mr Bill Sweeney, Principal “If we understand resilience as the ability to not only cope, but thrive, in the face of adversity, then our school’s senior students, and indeed all those across the nation, have drawn on and demonstrated this strength across the last 24 months. The adaptability and flexibility demonstrated by these inspiring young adults is one of the key successes for which we can be immensely proud.” 57
40 years to celebrate Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, NSW
What started as a vision by Canon Ron Dyson 40 years ago is now a community of nearly 2000 current staff, students and friends. And, this year, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School celebrates four decades of learning together. In the Christian faith, 40 is an important number that often signifies a length of time used for testing and hardships for one to become more spiritually aware — Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, Noah’s flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights, and the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. In 2021, as Lindisfarne recognises 40 years since its foundation, it was a good opportunity for the school community to celebrate where we’d come from but also remember the testing and hardships it took to get to this point. To recognise the importance of this year, celebrations were held across both campuses as well as a special Sunday service at St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church in Tweed Heads during Term 2. At the Senior School, three alumni — Nick Wright (2009), Chloe Ryan (2002) and current Lindisfarne teacher Sam Dick (2013) — reflected on their time at the School, and encouraged current students to be bold in life. SEMESTER 2 | 2021
The events were followed with the planting of a mandarin tree — signifying the fruits of the spirit — the now-iconic Smithy Sprint time-trial race from the bottom oval to the top car park. Then, on Wednesday 28 April, exactly 40 years since the Junior School was founded, the main Foundation Day service was held at the Sunshine Avenue campus — where our community started. School Principal Stuart Marquardt said he was “delighted” to be able to welcome The Bishop of Grafton, Dr Murray Harvey, The Reverend Dway Goon Chew of St Cuthbert’s Church, and a swathe of past and present staff, friends and community groups who had made a significant contribution to the Lindisfarne community. “Their legacy of showing compassion, sharing their wisdom and their respect has served us well to lead us to the point where we are today,” Mr Marquardt said. 59
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