Connecti ns Volume 2 • October 2016
Lead from Where You Are
Focus on Distributive Leadership
Philosopher in Residence Exploring Life’s Big Questions
Lead From Where You Are A note from the Principal Schools are important communities for their students, staff and parents. A great community has to be essentially inclusive rather than exclusive. We know from research and our own experience, the majority of people want to lead positive lives and relish the opportunity to show leadership, particularly if they can do this in a way that plays to their strengths. Whether we have a formal leadership role or not, every day we lead by example. We lead by giving our time and energy, and through sharing our talents with each other; we lead by learning more about each other, and striving to make a positive difference in our world. In short, everyone can lead from where they are. In this issue of Connections, we explore the model of ‘distributive’ leadership within our diverse community and its benefits. - Geoff Newton, Principal.
The 2016 SRC Executive with Queensland Minister for Education. From L-R Back: Angus McAuliffe, Will Carseldine, Alex Holland, Lachlan Clarke & James Kennelly. Front: Georgia Hill, Meg Wilcox, the Hon. Kate Jones MP, Emma Irvine-Collins & Laura Purcell.
Cover art by Year 11 student Luca Parfitt. “The autobiographical nature of my 3D artwork, “Circle Of Life” extends from the juxtaposition of the mosaic tiles and the felted figurine, through to the combination and mix of timber materials, the variety of tiles utilised and the techniques of wet and dry felting. This piece is a reflection and expression of my personal story and school life.”
Lachlan Clarke – Hillbrook’s SRC Executive Team Member (Yr 12) My time as a member of the SRC Executive has been rewarding and memorable. This year we had the opportunity to not only continue events the SRC Executive has traditionally run, but to also organise a talent competition to raise funds for Eleanor Rogers, a Hillbrook student who travelled with the UN to East Timor. Students from all grades enjoyed this event, filling the Performing Arts Centre, despite the SRC Executive’s highly improvised running man performance. Other notable events the SRC has been involved in, or attended, include Valentine’s Day fundraising for the
peers and motivate people to create change. As a part of this role, I also took on a leadership position in Green Justice. As a group, we meet weekly to discuss social, environmental and human rights issues, and explore ways in which we, as young people, can make a difference on both a local and global level. Green Justice’s most memorable event in 2016 was “Green Day” on 22 July. The day was intended to raise money and awareness for our term project in assisting our student UN Youth Delegate with her efforts in East Timor. It has been a privilege to work with such a passionate group of people this year and I thank them for all their hard work and support. Continued over
Heart Foundation, the ANZAC marches at the Gaythorne RSL and a National Sorry Day commemoration at Teralba Park. In our final term, I enjoyed organising the school dance and our chapel presentation in week 7. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as part of this SRC Executive as my senior responsibility, Lulu O’Brien – Hillbrook’s Human Rights Ambassador (Yr 12) This year, in my final year at school, I have taken on a leadership role as Human Rights Ambassador. After having the honour of meeting Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Gillian Triggs, last year, I was inspired to create the role to educate my 3
Lead from where you are Continued
The Green Justice Team
Jottie Nagle - Green Justice Co-ordinator (Teacher) When the very enthusiastic Green Justice students came up with the idea of having a “Green Day”, to raise funds for East Timor education, my heart sank. I honestly thought it would mean I would be the major encourager, supplier, driver and that it would surely become a teacher-led fete. How wrong I was! After asking the students to commit to a planning day in the June holidays, the whole focus of the organisation for the day changed. The students were finally able to find time to sit, brainstorm and plan over 4 hours. It was not our usual rushed lunchtime with the added stress of many other commitments to be met simultaneously; it was dedicated time to work on one big, ambitious idea. Being given the opportunity to reflect, plan and execute ideas, and delegate duties, was key to promoting an effective leadership opportunity. The planning committee then asked other students to take the lead with
activities for the day. Jobs were assigned and the committee truly believed the responsibility of promoting and running the day’s games and activities was, effectively, done. Another key to allowing people to lead; trust they will do the right thing and no micro-managing! Lulu O’Brien, our Human Rights champion, adopted the role of main organiser and the others all deferred to her for final decisions. On “Green Day”, there were over 40 cakes donated for the great Hillbrook bake-off, a huge line-up for the henna hand painting, and the games were well supported. Encouraged by the leaders of the day, extra helpers pitched in and the event was a great success, raising over $1800 for our charity. Most importantly, the clearing up and follow up activities, such as the writing of thank you letters, were led by all the organisers. As for me, I sampled the superb cakes, floated around the games and looked at the great photos. It was a joyful day with radiant results. 4
Hannah Cox and Rebekah Gentner – Duke of Edinburgh Award (Yr 11) At Hillbrook we are presented with many opportunities to give back and help our community. As Year 11 students we have experienced this through the Community Action Program (CAP) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award we are both completing. By participating in these activities, we have had the opportunity to volunteer in our local community. By completing both leadership programs, we have learnt many skills; from leading from where we are, to how to assist and help people, and understanding where and when assistance is needed. Both CAP and the Duke of Edinburgh Award have been amazing learning journeys and we feel inspired to continue helping our community after we finish school.
Hi, my name is Hannah. In May this year I volunteered at the 40th Paniyiri Greek Festival as a part of my Community Action Program. I participated in a range of activities to help the festival run smoothly, such as helping in the kitchens, supervising children, collecting tickets, escorting
guests, and running Greek competitions and other traditional activities. Working in a big team of volunteers and event managers really gave me a sense of creating something bigger than ourselves. Working in this environment showed me that everyone has something unique to offer the team and can come up with ideas and lead in different ways. The volunteers didn’t have to be in a leadership position to show initiative and find their own solutions to the challenges presented. This ability to problem solve added so much to my experience, as it allowed me to lead others and learn from others. Hi, my name is Bek. I volunteered to help teach Junior Tap Dance for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh and my Community Service Program. In doing this, I feel like I am giving back to the dance community where I learnt to dance. I have had the amazing opportunity to lead young children to further their dance abilities. I find it very fulfilling to be able to pass on my dance skills to younger students, and have actually learnt a lot about dance and leadership by teaching them. Volunteering to help teach dance has allowed me to develop unique skills, such as how to guide and help children who sometimes did not want to learn from me. It has taught me so much about the value of being patient and calm in a leadership position.
Lesley Irvine - Chair, EAC (Parent) About 18 years ago, I heard about a high school that was not far from our home. As we had a toddler at the time, I mentioned it to my husband and said we should look into it further. So we did and the more we found out about Hillbrook, the more we thought it would be a good fit for our family. And it has been. Our eldest daughter finished in 2013 and our youngest is currently in Year 12. In recent years, I have been involved in the Education Advisory Committee (EAC). For me, it has been a great opportunity to find out more about the school as well as to work with other parents. I have truly valued this team. Everyone is willing to discuss ideas and there is a real sense of purpose in organising parent nights that meet a particular need. For the last year and a half, I have had the pleasure of chairing this group. This has not been an onerous responsibility as we share a common goal and tasks are readily shared. My time on the EAC only confirms the reason we were so keen on Hillbrook in the first place. There is a real sense of community. Claire Hayward, Claire Litwinowicz & Alistair Hill
Claire Hayward – Hillbrook’s Music for Chapel and School Events Co-ordinator (Yr 12) The Senior Responsibility Program has allowed two friends (Alistair Hill and Claire Litwinowicz) and I, to provide more performance opportunities for the Hillbrook community. We have organised many chapel performances each week, allowing students to practise their performance skills in a comfortable, yet rewarding setting, and have been able to organise performances at the Tuckshop stage in front of a wider audience. We believe opportunities such as these are important for the growth of music students, as it allows each student to spread their branches and acquire new skills. It has been a very rewarding experience, and has allowed us to ‘lead from where we are’, as the organisation of these events is completely left to us. Not only have we thoroughly enjoyed this experience, we’ve been told the wider community has too!
Leadership From A Different Vantage Point - Geoff Newton
The rock climbing wall at Gordonstoun
A leader is often thought to be someone who inspires and guides others. However, leadership is more complex than this. A leader also continues on their own learning journey and is, in turn, inspired by those around them. I recently had the privilege of visiting schools in America, Scotland, Ireland and Singapore, taking part in discussions with lecturers, and Principals from around the world. My study leave was targeted at researching curriculum models and differentiation, with an eye to improving student learning through classroom practices and curriculum structures. I was also interested in investigating the Outdoor Education programs and opportunities for student voice in schools. The common theme amongst the US schools was their “Capstone” programs. These programs engaged students in Years 10 - 12 in personal investigations and projects that were individually devised. For the most part, these projects culminated with some form of public performance or exhibition. This concept also filtered down into Year 8 in one school, as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) course requirements. The coming changes in Queensland, to the Senior Curriculum, as a result of new tertiary entry procedures means, in all likelihood, a shift towards a narrower Senior Curriculum. This trend echoes what is currently occurring in America, England, Ireland and, to some extent, Scotland. At Hillbrook, we are exploring the possible implications of these changes to our concept of balance in student learning. It is conceivable that, in the future, we could respond in one of two ways to these changes. We may follow the well-worn international and national path and lengthen the time spent on a smaller number of tertiary entry subjects. Or, in contrast, we could broaden the curriculum by introducing a community and service program, together with a “Capstone” influenced, individual interest-driven research program. There will be much community discussion on these matters in 2017 in preparation for the new Senior Curriculum in 2018.
In terms of Outdoor Education, Gordonstoun was particularly interesting as it is seen as the home of Outdoor Education in the world. It is our belief that Outdoor Education should be an integral part of student leadership training and development. However, they too are facing the challenge of fitting an increasingly competitive academic program with the time needed for quality outdoor experiences. The common challenges we face are students missing class time, teachers being absent from classes while on camp and, as the qualification requirements increase, the difficulty in hiring teachers who can support our trained Outdoor Education teachers.
Any quality program has to involve the whole teaching and learning community, otherwise, according to Simon Beames, Lecturer in Outdoor Education at Edinburgh University, it’s only window dressing and has no lasting effect on student learning. I feel fortunate to say that it is a predicament we seem to be handling quite well and with the requisite balance. We can see the program is having a profound effect on student development. Most schools I visited had an extensive co-curricular offering. A cocurricular program is a significant part of school life. It is something we continue to expand as we widen Project Active options and scope. By far the biggest benefit of the
school visits was what I learnt about the way each school dealt with personalised learning. While not all of the schools I visited had formal programs for differentiated learning in classrooms, there were many examples of programs, both voluntary and compulsory, for students to extend their learning. Much of what I saw reinforces our focus at Hillbrook on the importance of student voice. By consulting students in regards to their learning, we encourage critical thinking, meaningful contribution and a community perspective. At the same time, it develops leadership skills in all our students so they can lead from where they are.
Below are the 9 schools I visited on my tour
Riverdale Country School
The Emma Willard School ("Emma")
A co-educational independent college day school located in New York City.
An independent for profit, (with four campuses around the world) college school located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
An independent day and boarding school for young women, located in Troy, New York, offering grades 9 –12.
Belvedere College SJ
George Heriot’s School
A Jesuit secondary school for boys located in Dublin, Ireland. This school has numerous alumni in the arts, politics, sports, science, and business.
A Scottish independent primary and secondary school in Old Town of Edinburgh, with over 1600 pupils.
A co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils in Moray, Scotland. The 150 acre campus was founded by Kurt Hahn.
The Glasgow Academy
Australian International School (AIS)
A co-educational independent day school for pupils aged 4–18 in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1845, it is Glasgow’s oldest independent school.
A co-educational international school in Singapore. AIS is made up of two subschools; an elementary school and a Secondary School.
The United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA)
A member of the United World College (UWC) movement and an independent, international school in Singapore.
Kathryn Eckersley (Grad 2003) Kathryn graduated from Hillbrook in 2003. She enrolled to study part-time at QUT and graduated in 2012 with a B.App.Sc (Medical Science). This degree has taken her to regional and remote areas working as a Medical Scientist in pathology labs as far away as Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Most recently she has been working for QML in Rockhampton. This, and her 5 year involvement with the AIMS QLD Branch Committee as a Student Representative, and later a Committee Member, led to her being announced as the inaugural AIMS QLD Young Medical Scientist of the Year. She recommends medical science as a career for students with an eye for detail and interest in biology, chemistry and how the body works.
Chris Heard (Grad 2009) “While we have not been in touch for a while, we have been following the adventures of the school and the past student body through Connections magazine. We thought you might be interested in Christopher’s achievements since graduating Hillbrook. As obviously proud parents we put
Past students Kelly Bang (Grad 2014) and Jaime O’Donoghue (Grad 2014), both played a part in this year’s production of Hairspray at Harvest Rain. Kelly was part of the ensemble and Jaime (who is studying at Harvest Rain’s Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre) was a Dance Captain and Ensemble Performer. Jaime’s role as Dance Captain was to prepare the younger dancers for their part in the production. She is currently continuing this role in Newcastle where the production will next be staged. Jaime will continue to work in this capacity in South Australia later in the year and also possibly in Western Australia.
Ciaran Murphy (Grad 2010) Einstein once claimed the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. Ciaran Murphy thinks a better description would be driving from one corner of India to another (3,500km!) in a Hawaiian themed glorified lawnmower with no mechanical skills whatsoever. In August this year, Ciaran, along with friends Jackson and Ben (otherwise known as the Hawaii 3 – Oh), decided it was worth doing anyway. They raised funds for Cool Earth, a charity working with indigenous villages to help halt deforestation. View their trek blog here: http://www.theadventurists.com/ rickshaw-run
together a summary of some of the milestones he has passed along the way, which we thought may be of interest to students looking to their academic futures.” - Mike and Caroline Heard (Parents)
Chris has received a great number of academic awards and was most recently awarded a UQ medal at his Graduation Ceremony in recognition of outstanding academic results. He attributes his success to hard work “and plenty of it”. “It also helps to be genuinely interested in what you are studying and to surround yourself with fellow students striving for excellent results,” he said. Chris is currently working in a graduate position at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in Melbourne. He is also a nominee for the Alumni Friends of the University of Queensland 2015 Graduate of the Year, which will be announced this month
After attending Hillbrook, Chris attended UQ from 2010 – 2015 and achieved: • BEcon(Hons) Class: First; BEcon GPA: 7.0/7.0; BSc GPA: 6.9/7.0 • Bachelor of Economics (Honours) in Econometrics • Bachelor of Science - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology • BEcon(Hons) Thesis: Infrastructure Access Pricing with Long-Term Take-or-Pay Contracts, Capacity Expansions and Demand Uncertainty. 8
A Philosopher’s Home In June this year we welcomed our inaugural Philosopher-in-Residence, Dr Vanya Kovach from Auckland University. Dr Kovach visited Hillbrook from 6 – 10 June, undertaking targeted professional development, facilitating sessions with teachers and exploring topics with students including perception vs reality, social media and friendship. She also hosted a community of inquiry for Hillbrook parents to discuss life’s big questions. In addition to the academic side of things, in true Hillbrook style, there were other less formal activities, such as our “Philosophy for No Reason Lunchbreak” where thinking cookies were handed out, wandering philosophers engaged students in lively discussion and our musicians played thoughtful songs.
Here is an excerpt from Dr Vanya’s reflection on the week: “When I was first invited to be Hillbrook's Philosopher-in-Residence for a week, I had no idea just how much could be packed into 5 days of working with students and teachers. It turned out to be A LOT! Doing philosophy with Year 7 and 8 was a joy. It was obvious their teachers had done a great job introducing them to the process of philosophical inquiry (thanks to the tireless work of Lynne Hinton) and they demonstrated a wonderful combination of attentive listening, eagerness to voice their thoughts, and building on and questioning each other’s views. The Year 12 session on the use of animals for dissection was great, and left me wishing we could spend a whole day on this challenging topic. The Year 9 and 10 groups I worked with were less familiar with doing philosophy in a community of inquiry, but most were equally keen to engage, sometimes boisterously! Nothing wrong with getting excited about ideas, I say. I very much enjoyed my sessions with teachers at Hillbrook. I had the pleasure of observing and giving feedback to some, and saw very good skills that could 9
easily be built upon, as they continue to refine their practice. One particularly exciting session was with the Global Studies Department where we all collaborated at high speed in creating an activity to help students explore the important and contestable concept of “progress”. (Parents, why not ask to participate in this activity yourself some evening? It really cuts to the heart of so many issues that confront us today). The parent evening was a special pleasure. I was awed (yet again) by the way that engaging in philosophical discussion in a community of inquiry brings people together and connects them, and produces deep thinking of a kind we seldom have time for in our busy lives. To be honest, my week at Hillbrook was one of the most exhausting of my life, but it was very stimulating and great fun (a special thanks to Year 7 for the mass “Think” dance at Assembly!). It was also extremely satisfying to be part of this wonderful journey on which Hillbrook has embarked.”
y r t n u o C s s o r C & s c i Athlet
Parents Outdoor Program
I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a few of the POP activities since my children started at Hillbrook. Some of my favourite POP memories are: gazing at the amazing starry sky on solo night at Yuraygir; the adrenalin rush from abseiling over the Kangaroo Point Cliffs; gliding smoothly along the river in a kayak on a dusky calm evening; breathing in the fresh scent of the bush after rain; enjoyable conversations with other Hillbrook parents and staff while bike riding; and not least, the immense satisfaction of completing the high ropes course when every muscle in my arms ached and I had doubted my ability to continue. What an amazing opportunity to experience what our students do in their Outdoor Education program - giving things a go, facing my fears, receiving encouragement from program staff and fellow participants, learning about myself and what I am capable of doing, and of course ending up with great memories that will last for a long time. - Heidi Sturk
The Leading Edge
Year 9 Camp Girraween National Park
Who's up for an Argument?
During Semester Two, 12 eager Year 7 students put their hand up to participate in the Queensland Debating Union’s Junior Secondary competition. Some of the topics the teams prepared for and argued included; ‘That the super hero movie trend has gone too far’, ‘That we should have a proactive shark culling policy’, and ‘Science is better than Studies of Society and the Environment’.
The students demonstrated dedication, commitment, and organisation in the preparation of their debates. Competing against Year 7 students from other schools in the area, the Hillbrook team performed very well. Congratulations to Year 7 students: Oscar Bojcic Ashley Calvert Sophia Calluthers Ky Eltis Konrad Freestun Harper Graf Olly Hawkins Dylan Love Letissia Nair Gabe Statham Charlotte Stevenson Harry Van Der Ark
Winter Music Festival
Quick Thinkers In the Queensland Theatresports Inter-school Competition, Hillbrook entered four teams: Hillbrook Hazards, Hillbrook High Rollers, Thou Shall Not Waffle and the Hillbrook Hunks. All four teams competed well with one team, the High Rollers, progressing through the heats, quarter-finals and into the semi-finals. 10
Date Claimers & Important Dates! 22 October
23 January 11
Check the School Calendar for year level starting dates.
Staff Connections It is with great pleasure we announce the appointment of Craig Merritt as Principal of St Luke’s Anglican School commencing January 2017. St Luke’s is a co-educational P-12 school in Bundaberg. It was founded in 1994 and currently has 820 students. Craig is thoroughly deserving of this honour, recognition and responsibility. Craig has served with distinction as a Deputy Principal at Hillbrook since 2010, having worked with us from 1991 until he took the position as Head of Senior School at Whitsunday Anglican School in 2007. While we are sad that Craig is leaving Hillbrook, please join with us in offering our sincere congratulations and best wishes as he begins his role as Principal of St Luke’s. We will miss his calm, compassionate and inspiring contributions, and know that St Luke’s will welcome him and be greatly blessed by his vision, strength of character and authentic leadership.
Best wishes to Ann Bannan. The P&F would like to recognise and thank Ann for her tireless work and support of the Uniform and Stationery Shops over the past 29 years. Ann has decided to retire, but it would be remiss of us not to mention that Ann was an inaugural Hillbrook parent and from the beginning has always been part of the school community. Ann began as a volunteer until accepting the position of Uniform and Stationery Shop Convenor in October 1999, a job she has passionately put her heart and soul into ever since. During Term 2, Fiona Lynch was inducted by Ann into the role of Uniform and Stationery Shop Convenor. Thank you and best wishes Ann, and welcome Fiona.
Congratulations to Year 7 Teacher, Stephen Driver, wife Rosie and sister Alice on the birth of Charlie - midday 6 June 2016.
Hillbrook Music Teacher, Nicole Moulds, and husband Lee, welcomed baby Harley on 6 July 2016. Harley is a content baby and big brother, Cooper, is settling into his new role very nicely. Congratulations!
We farewelled Sally Barnes at the end of Term 2. She has moved to Gladstone, as her partner took up a rural posting with the Queensland Police Service. We wish Sally every success in her sea change and take the opportunity to celebrate the contribution she made in leading the Duke of Edinburgh Program at Hillbrook, her tireless work for the Outdoor Education program and contribution to our community. Louise Titchfield joined us in Term 3, to fill Sal's hiking boots, bringing with her extensive experience in Outdoor Education. Louise, originally from the UK, adventured through Europe and Asia before settling in Queensland.
Some Snaps from the 10 Year Reunion
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Published on Oct 25, 2016
In this issue of Connections, we explore the model of ‘distributive’ leadership within our diverse community and its benefits.