The Comet - Winter 2022

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Comet The

An FCAC Magazine

Farewell, Mrs Robinson Issue 2, 2022



Contents 4

What is excellence?

6

International is back!

8

Be prepared to make the step.

10

Unique dust.

12

The comfort zone.

14

Winning at all costs?

16

Capella runs in the family.

18

What is happening in Science?

19

News.

20

Farewell, Mrs Robinson.

22

Something new in Sport.

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Where are they now?


What is excellence? By Joe Wright Principal

Any school can claim to produce excellent outcomes for their students. We see these kinds of claims in marketing campaigns all the time. Such claims are given greater weight and credibility when they are confirmed by objective, independent agencies. FCAC’s consistently outstanding academic outcomes have been reported widely by a range of local, state and national media throughout the history of our College. Our results are more than empty words from an advertising campaign, they are a matter of public record. Our recent success in the Australian Education Awards where we were bestowed with a National Excellence Award and shortlisted as one of eight schools as a finalist for Australian Regional School of the Year, is another example of external recognition of the standard of education at our College. In order to receive a National Excellence Award, we first had to demonstrate outstanding academic results. NAPLAN and ATAR results are the best way to do this as all Australian schools are held to the same standard. FCAC’s results are competitive with high performing regional and metropolitan schools from across the country, to which many of our new families can attest. Other areas that are assessed include: • • • •

Student programs Innovation in teaching and learning Staff professional development programs Financial management

Regional schools face unique challenges that those living in metropolitan areas can’t always appreciate. It’s how we meet those challenges that differentiates FCAC from the crowd. I pay tribute to our dedicated staff, students and parents for their contribution to our community. This success is recognition of our community’s commitment to You can hear Mr Wright talk about excellence. FCAC’s recent nomination as Regional School of the Year by scanning the QR Code.

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International is back It has been a long two and a half years, but last month, FCAC welcomed back our first international students since the pandemic began. Along with airlines, tourist operators, and many other industries, the pandemic severely impacted education. In a very short period of time, enrolments and visa applications dropped by 80-90% as parents and students evaluated travel as an unnecessary risk. Education was Australia’s fourth-largest export and resulted in $30 billion in income for Universities and Schools. At FCAC in January 2020, we had six international students enrolled. By June, only one was left. Fast forward to June 2022, FCAC has two students from France, with another three arriving in Term 3. Neis and Foucauld are on a short-term exchange at the College until late July. Their program includes joining our Year 11 cohort and experiencing Australian life. Our next cohort includes three students from Germany, Switzerland France. Two of these students will be at FCAC for a year. In addition, our study tour program is starting to activate again, and we hope to welcome our first group in early 2023. So, in short, international is back! The next step in our journey back to a thriving international program is homestay. Many FCAC families have experienced the benefits of being a homestay family. Beyond the benefits to incoming students, families can learn and experience other cultures and be a guide and support to new students experiencing FCAC (and Australia) for the first time. The FCAC homestay program provides a stipend to meet food and accommodation expenses. We have heard many wonderful stories about longterm connections between students and their homestay families. These connections have resulted in life-long friendships and reciprocal hosting when the aussie family are travelling. If you are interested in becoming a homestay family, please reach out to our International Department by emailing international@fcac.qld.edu.au Page 6

Article by Ross Strong, Director of Communications and International Business

You can hear Ross speak to ABC Wide Bay about the return of international students and what it means for FCAC and the wide community. Scan the QR code to hear the interview.


Above Neis and Foucauld from France. Below Sarina (Switzerland), Julia (Germany) and Ambre (France)

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Be prepared to make the step This term in the Primary School, we are looking at the College value of ‘Courage’. Courage can come in many forms and differs depending on a child’s experiences and age. No matter what, a child needs to be courageous at some stage. The great Nelson Mandela explains, “courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it”. As a College, it is our responsibility to teach and empower students how to be courageous by giving them a range of experiences and strategies to step out of their ‘comfort zone’. I have been explaining to the students at the Primary School Assemblies what the comfort zone is and the characteristics of each stage. Many students, like adults, are happy to be in their comfort zone. However, at FCAC, we encourage students to step out of this zone into their fear zone to progress into their learning and growth zones. Essentially, learning and growth are one of any primary school student’s main goals. The ‘fear zone’ is a place where students lack confidence, find excuses and can be affected by others’ opinions. Stepping through this zone allows individuals to achieve new dreams and goals and find their purpose.

One of the purposes of the Outdoor Education program in the Primary is to gradually build the challenging experiences throughout the years. When students need to do this, and the opportunities experienced at school and home will enable them to thrive when faced with this situation. In Year One, students spend a night at school, whilst in Years 5 and 6, students spend numerous nights away and participate in activities such as surfing, giant swings and camping. The progression of these experiences enables students to step out of their comfort zone with the support of their teachers and peers. Over the next two terms, all year levels will participate in school camp to grow as individuals. There will be times throughout these experiences where courage will be needed. I encourage you to discuss with your son or daughter about their time at FCAC and being willing to step out of their comfort zone. There will come a time when students need to do this, and the opportunities experienced at school and home will enable them to thrive when faced with this situation.

To take the journey of stepping out of their comfort zone, FCAC provides meaningful experiences and opportunities for this. At FCAC, we teach and nurture these experiences regularly. We do not just want it to refer to a physical experience but academic and cultural experiences. Teachers will be by their student’s sides to show them how taking risks can lead to excellent personal rewards. Encouraging children to do this more often will promote growth in any area they choose to pursue later in life. These opportunities are clearly evident in the College Outdoor Education experience. Article by Mr David Brown, Deputy Head of the Primary School Page 8


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Unique Dust It is with some curiosity that I see the state of our world today. The past two years have been dominated by a pandemic that has exposed much of humanities heart. There never seems to be a day when the word “controversy” has not been at the forefront of any news! It is with these thoughts in mind, that certain questions occur. Asking who and what we are? Maybe, “Why we are here.” This past year has been a difficult one for many around the globe. There has been a clear widening of the gap of “who has” and “who hasn’t, and sadly “who one is”. As an Anglican School central to our core beliefs is, “every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God and we must avoid, at all costs, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem. Our hope is that all our Anglican schools will be communities where everyone is a person known and loved by God, supported to know their intrinsic value.

I argued that as in life there was a uniqueness in the contents of each box. Why? Each of us has within a certain entity that is our humanity. It is a conscience, a soul or sacred voice that speaks to us. This uniqueness is other than our bodily elements (hydrogen, carbon, calcium, etc.) which have a source in God’s creation dating back to the birth of our universe more than 13 billion years ago. The unique spiritual within that body has another journey to make. A journey that is one of faith. Yet that is not the end of the earthly essence of being. Each of these boxes contained a unique essence, the result of that person’s environment and lifestyle their eating and drinking habits. Hence there could be lead, silver, potassium, selenium, lithium, vanadium and even things like arsenic! Consequently, no two boxes would be the same. We are spiritually and chemically unique. In a unique way creation serves us with a present. Each one of us is unique, special, important and above all to be honoured.

I find the Ash Wednesday Service a reminder of just what we all are and whet we are made of. It would be sad if we were just dust. It would be sad that we became nothing at are death. As a Chaplain in the Royal Australian Navy, I was accustomed, when at sea, to having several boxes stored in my cabin. On the outside they were identical. On the inside unique. Each contained the remains of an earthly life once lived. A life that began in the womb and ended in death. Often, I would share a cabin with a doctor. Once the stack of white boxes became a topic of discussion. We each accepted that our bodies are made up of various elements such as Oxygen 65%, carbon 18.5%, hydrogen 9.5%, nitrogen 3.2%,Calcium 1.5%, phosphorus 1%, potassium 0.4%, sulphur 0.3%, sodium 0.2%, chlorine 0.2% and magnesium 0.1%, that because in the live human body hydroxyapatite (Ca5(PO4)3(OH)), makes up 50-70% of each person bones it must follow that such elements as calcium, phosphorus, oxygen and hydrogen would be predominant in the ashes as only bone remains after cremation. Page 10

Article by Father Jeff Jarvis, College Chaplain


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The Comfort Zone

The Outdoor Education program is a highly valued component of our curriculum that contributes to the holistic approach to the student experience at Fraser Coast Anglican College. In the Secondary School, a whole week is dedicated to camp, ensuring our students have the richest opportunity to build upon relationships with peers and teachers and develop important lifelong skills. The benefits of outdoor education for secondary students are invaluable. A plethora of research suggests benefits such as greater self-confidence, independence and resilience from high-quality outdoor education programs. Thanks to our partners, Total Adventures, who provide the engaging programs for Years 7 to 11, our students walk away from camp equipped with improved social competencies, leadership skills and experience in extending beyond their comfort zones (Bowers, et al., 2019). It is this space beyond their comfort zones where they push through fear, develop new skills, learn to overcome obstacles, build resilience, grow and achieve great success.

At the core of these competencies is the concept of courage. In Term Two, the College value of ‘Courage’ was the focus of the pastoral program, and camp provided the ideal gateway for students to demonstrate this key value. It takes courage to attend outdoor education camps, abseil, sleep outdoors, overcome fears, explore the unknown, and step well beyond your comfort zone. The structure of the outdoor education camps in the secondary school allows for students to develop the essential skills and build on these sequentially each year. Similarly, the camps are also designed to be accessed by new students who may not have had much camping experience, therefore providing an accessible experience for all students. In Year 7, camp aims to orient students to outdoor education and provide them with basic skills they can use in future expeditions. They spend one night camping out in tents which helps prepare them for the following year. In Year 8, students participate in the Wilderness Camp designed to extend their skills and engage in outdoor educational activities such as mountain biking, canoeing, abseiling, navigating the bush and rock climbing. Page 12


In Year 9, the students challenge themselves with the skills developed in previous years by participating in the Survival Camp. This camp develops students’ ability to survive in the outdoors by learning about building shelters, fire lighting and maintenance, water trapping and filtration, food and cooking, crossing rivers and conducting rescues; all whilst hiking to each location. Unfortunately, due to the weather this year, this camp was moved to another location and provider at short notice. Although some aspects of the survival camp were minimised as a result, students were still able to participate in a range of activities to replicate the survival skills and activities they would have experienced in the original camp. In Year 10, these skills are further strengthened in the Eco Challenge Camp where students’ hike, canoe or mountain bike to and from each of the camp locations. During the week, they also abseil, develop teamwork skills and demonstrate an array of survival skills. The focus in Year 11 is on leadership and students participate in a range of activities to test and develop their leadership skills, communication skills, relationship attributes and resilience, in preparation for their final year of schooling. Finally in Year 12, the students experience navigating Southeast Queensland by visiting various tertiary education providers on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane preparing them for what the future holds. The students travel around in groups using various public transport to demonstrate initiative, leadership and independence under the guidance of teachers. All of our camps are designed to challenge students, to encourage personal growth and build relationships. Ultimately though, it’s the memories, stories and experiences shared on camp, that will be remembered by our students, well beyond their schooling years.

Article by Mr Remy Melia Director of Senior Years


Winning at all costs? I have been enjoying a little bit of eSports in my spare time. In a recent game of F1 (Formula One racing game), I overtook another online racer. Unfortunately, on the next corner, I was taken out by this player, and both of our cars were damaged, so I was turned into a spectator for the rest of the race. I was a little disappointed by this, and it made me start thinking about my ethics in sport and how they differ from other participants. Trevor Chappell famously rolled a Cricket ball on the final ball of a limited-overs international game. New Zealand needed 6 runs off the last ball. Was this bad sportsmanship? The rules at the time allowed it, so is it just exploiting an opportunity? I wonder, over time, if he has questioned his own standards. Vinoo Mankad is known for pausing his bowling action to take the bails off the non-striker’s end if the batter was out of his crease. But, again, this didn’t break the game’s laws. Still, the Australian media reported it as unsporting and not in the spirit of the game. So do we question his ethos?

He also identified the importance of character when he pointed out that players should be more concerned with character than their reputation as “character is what you really are, while reputation is merely what others think you are”. This reminds us of the power of sport for young people, but it also reminds us that we are coaching the whole person, not just the result. So what can we, as coaches, supporters and administrators do? We can encourage an understanding and a commitment to fair play. We can insist on ethical behaviour on (and off) the field. We can reframe negative behaviour towards officials and the opposition. We can do all of this, even if those who play at an elite level don’t. At FCAC our core values include excellence. In sport we have an opportunity to display excellence in terms of our results but also in terms of our attitude. We are at the grassroots of sport and engaged in the development of young people. Who knows, maybe one of our players will remember the guidance from a coach or support person, and it could be an impactful moment for that individual.

In touch football, the opposition player can call the referee saying they have touched you when they haven’t. The fact that there is even a term for when you didn’t get touched, but the opponent called it a “phantom touch”, makes me think that this act happens reasonably often. Is the game so important that honesty is compromised? This, therefore, begs the question. What example does this set for our children? So many FCAC students are involved in sports. As coaches and support roles, we need to ensure our conversations are not only about the result, but about playing the game in the spirit it is intended. Sport is an excellent medium for teaching students about teamwork, character and trying your hardest. John Wooden, arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time, said, “Success comes from knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming”.

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Article by Mr Adrian Elmes Acting Director of Sport


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Capella runs in the family The Roberts Sisters

In late 2021, Amelia Roberts (Grade 6) decided to put her name forward to be the Primary Captain of Capella House. This was followed by the naming of her older sister, Aliza, as the Middle Years Captain. Finally, in early 2022 came the news that made Capella and FCAC history; older sister Emma (Grade 12) was named Captain of Capella of House. Never before in FCAC history has three siblings that hold the three captain roles simultaneously. The Comet caught up with Roberts sisters at the Primary and Secondary Athletics Carnival. “We own a lot of green things,” said Emma. The sisters agreed that prior to any “house event”, a lot of strategising goes on. This is followed by a lot of encouragement and yelling, which has resulted in some lost voices, all in the name of house spirit. “It is about including people and making it fun,” continued Emma. The sisters are clearly enthusiastic leaders. Their approach is working with Capella winning the 2022 War Cry Week with a record-breaking 120-decibel rendition of their war cry. They also came in second place at the Primary and Secondary Athletics Carnival. The role of the houses has taken on new significance with the introduction of the vertical tutor program at FCAC. “It has really brought the houses together. We really get to know everyone” explained Emma. The College has also introduced a new Inter-House Championship in which Houses recieve points for competing in a greater range of events reflective of motto of “Enriching Body, Mind and Spirit”. The bond between the sisters is obvious. Emma, who finishes at FCAC later this year, intends to stay local while she embarks on her studies in Child Psychology. “I don’t want to miss being around my sisters. Seeing them grow up, and staying connected to FCAC”.

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Above: The new Inter-House trophy Hear the Capella War Cry that won Spirit Week



What is happening in Science? Each academic department at FCAC provides a wide variety of opportunities to students. It is easy to forget how busy our departments are as they elevate the student experience. In this edition, Mrs Lisa Jamieson, the new Head of Science at FCAC, gives us an overview of what has been happening in the Science Department in Term 3. The Science department is running Edge+ for Year 7 and 8 students. In addition, Year 7 students are undertaking a Thinking Science program. This allows students to appreciate the phenomena of Science, gain a practical understanding of concrete concepts and improve cognitive ability. Year 8 students are undertaking CREST (Creativity in Research, Engineeringm Science and Technology), a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and are working towards a bronze award. On 29th March Year, 12 Biology students went on a field trip to explore marine, freshwater and island ecosystems on K’gari. They took part in snorkelling, kayaking and trekking. During the day, the group saw turtles, coral and some fresh dingo tracks (including puppies). On 26th April, Superstars of STEM visited our College to talk with Year 11 and 12 students interested in following a STEM career. The ambassadors included a statistician, marine ecologist, and geneticist, who shared their journeys in their careers and gave advice and inspiration to our students. On 9th May, students from Years 7-10 took part in The Big Science Competition. This online national test focuses on how students can use their scientific knowledge and critical thinking skills to solve problems. On 16th May, 20 Years 8 and 9 students formed eight teams to compete against other schools in the Wide Bay Science and Engineering Challenge. The students competed in various challenges like building bridges, bionic hands and model turbines. Our team placed third overall for the day. There is never a dull moment in our Science Department. Page 18


The News

This term our Year 11 RAVE students created a Ukraine Prayer Wall in the library.

The two Sienna’s spent some time in Brisbane honing their craft at the Conservatorium with the state’s top talent as part of the State Honours Ensemble Program.

FCAC’s Edge Program was highlighted on ABC Wide Bay. Mrs Leanne Macready explains what Edge is and how she developed a program to teach sign language.

Allan H from Year 10 won the Individual InterSchool Chess Tournament for Term 2 at a competition held earlier this term. Congratulations, Allan.

Our Year 1 students have been busy in the gardens of FCAC. As part of their integrated unit, the students have been exploring managed, developed, constructed and natural environments.

Our Netball team won their division at the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball competition. More details in the next edition.

Throughout Semester One, the Year 12 Aquatics students have been researching recreational fishing, local fish species, plotting a course on a marine chart and how to rig a fishing line. On the weekend before school finished, the students put all this into practise with a two night camp on Big Woody (Tooliewah) Island.

The winners of our Primary School ‘Young Archies Portrait Competition’ were announced. Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and People’s Choice in each category (Year 2, Years 3&4, Years 5&6). House points were also awarded with Capella taking out first place.

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Farewell, Mrs Robinson On Foundation Day 2022, FCAC bid farewell to Mrs Kaylene Robinson after 25 years of dedicated service. In 1997, FCAC was a School of 200 students, and the surrounding areas were farmland when Miss Kaylene Holswitch started as a Geography teacher at FCAC. At the time of her retirement, Mrs Robinson was Head of Humanities. Mr Wright said, “It is amazing to think that Mrs Robinson has known every staff member and most of the students throughout the College’s history”.

Honouring her commitment to the FCAC Community over 25 years, Mrs Robinson became only the fifth staff member in FCAC History to receive a War Cry send-off. She and Mr Gary Robinson have plans to travel before returning to Hervey Bay. The excellent news for FCAC is that Mrs Robinson will return to our community as a supply teacher. We wish Mrs Robinson all the best for her retirement.

During Foundation Day, Mrs Lucy Mudge, a former FCAC student of Mrs Robinson and now a Secondary Science Teacher at the College, shared her unique relationship as it has transitioned from teacher to colleague. “It started as Miss Holswitch and Lucy, and now it is Lucy and Kaylene,” she said. Mrs Mudge opened her remarks with a reflection on Mrs Robinson’s 25 years at FCAC, “that is a lot of students, lots of families and lots of stories”. Mrs Mudge described Mrs Robinson as “fair, friendly, funny, down to earth, an inspirational teacher and colleague”. During the assembly, current students spoke of Mrs Robinson’s kindness and commitment to making learning fun and engaging. Stephanie Wright (Year 12) spoke of fun memories from camp and how Mrs Robinson inspired in her a love of history, a subject she continued to study in Year 12. Chloe Krieger, Year 10, spoke of the impact Mrs Robinson had on her as a “camp nurse, netball coach, HaSS Teacher, a great storyteller and much more”. Mrs Elizabeth Baff, former Head of Middle School said that Mrs Robinson is “a total professional, she knows her subjects, and she certainly knows how to teach. But more importantly than that, she genuinely cares about students and staff ”. FCAC Principal Joe Wright paid tribute to Mrs Robinson. “You could always rely on her honest feedback, her loyalty and her ability to put in far more hours than could be reasonably expected. FCAC would be far less the school it is today without Mrs Robinson’s dedicated service and contribution”. Scan the QR code to see photos from Mrs Robinson’s history at FCAC Page 20



Something new in sport FCAC has a new sports subject, Exercise and Sports Studies. The new subject is proving to be a popular choice among students. The new subject gives students the opportunity to engage in the business of sport from a variety of perspectives and provides further opportunities for students to engage with physical activity from different aspects including increasing a student’s awareness of performance and participation in sport and exercise. Exercise and Sports Studies covers topics such as: • Human anatomy and the function of each of the body systems and how they interact to perform movements. • The Mental Game - How do our thoughts and emotions affect our performance? • The effects psychology has on performance and the strategies to aid them in improving their own psychology in sport. • Strategies and key concepts about coaching others and the challenges of officiating sports and physical activities. • How to run a sports event e.g. sports marketing, journalism, events Exercise and Sport Studies also allows students to explore the role of technology in sport. As an elective, we have the opportunity to use technology more thoroughly to explore the different aspects of exercise and sport. The focus in Term 2 for Year 10 was how technology impacts sports participation and performance. Students explored the use of heart rate monitors to measure performance, video analysis to improve technique and the use of apps to increase participation. Mr James Lawrence, Head of HPE said that the new subject “extends beyond the scope of the National Curriculum. We are able to study areas of exercise and sport that aren’t covered in the national curriculum but are important for other areas; such as coaching, officiating and sports administration”.

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Where are they now? Kelly and Christian Hodges graduated from FCAC in 2008. Their journey since High School has taken them to University and overseas before settling on the Sunshine Coast. Christian teaches at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where he is involved in gaming and programming courses. “I always wanted to be a game developer. When I graduated in 2008, due to the global financial crisis, there were no jobs in gaming. I studied architecture for a few years before returning to gaming”. His current work outside of teaching includes consulting, developing prototypes and using gaming technology to create visualisations for real work applications. Kelly (nee Daley) is a dietician who runs her own business. Reflecting on her time at FCAC, nutrition and sports were common themes throughout her studies. At University, Kelly studied dietetics and personal training and has worked in that industry ever since. She is currently studying to become a Diabetes Educator. After finishing their University studies, Kelly and Christian worked for a few years before packing up and selling what they could before moving to Europe. The belated gap year was a chance for Christian to work on his first game while the couple travelled throughout the UK, France, Andorra and Spain in a camper van. Returning to Australia and settling on the Sunshine Coast, they soon established themselves in their community. Kelly was instrumental in establishing the first Park Run on the Sunshine Coast in 2012. At the time, it was only the eleventh Park Run in Australia. Christian became involved in Coded Dojo, teaching kids 7-17 how to do programming. Kelly and Christian were High School Sweethearts, so many of their fond memories were of this time early in their relationship. FCAC was a foundation for many reasons for them. Kelly’s family had recently moved to Australia from South Africa, and her parents, they needed to choose a school where they were taught good values. Other memorable moments they reminisced about included capture the flag and playing handball. “The queues to play were massive, but everyone was welcome”. When asked what they valued most about FCAC, they said, “Community, it was like a little village. You knew everyone, and everyone knew you. You didn’t get lost in the crowd as you do with a larger school. You truly belonged”. Scan the QR Code to watch our Alumni video on Kelly and Christian Hodges.

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