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12 Contents INTRO

Head of College 02 Letter from the Editor 03 Ministry 04 SPOSA President 05 A ROUND THE SCHOOL

Cover Hannah Ryan (Year 9) takes time out from her daily jobs at Ironbark. Image courtesy of F45 Photography. Plus Ultra July 2017 incorporating SPOSA Bulletin Published by St Peters Lutheran College Editors/Writers: Gollisa Thomson and Kathleen Barker Layout&Design: Kathleen Barker *Photography: F45 Photography Advertising Enquiries Publications Office Telephone: 07 3377 6262 St Peters Lutheran College CRICOS Provider: 00516E 66 Harts Road, Indooroopilly Qld 4068 Telephone: 07 3377 6222 © 2017 St Peters Lutheran College SPOSA Office 66 Harts Road, Indooroopilly Qld 4068 Telephone: 07 3377 6592

Prestigious Pathways 06 Indooroopilly Open Day 09 Meet Rebecca Woolnough 10 Rain, Hail or Shine 12 Slow Fashion 16 Year 6 Electrical Experiments 23 The Cross-Generational Sport 26 Duke of Edinburgh 28 Ministry at St Peters 30 Kaleidoscope 32 Pre-Prep Music 36 Founder to Leader 42 Music Tale Returns 44 Soundscape 45 Social Media SOS 51 Keeping the Faith 52


Damian Sommerlad


1962 First XV Rugby Premiers Reunite


Amber Rankin: Animal Angel


Thomas Barker: Seeing Red


Heather Patrick (McBride) FOUNDATION


Meet Sarah Johnson Meet Rachael Turnbull Meet Douglas Giles Meet Sandy Johnson Staff News


18 24 38 43 48

Rural Leadership Scholarship 15 SPOSA

Reunions 57 Births, Deaths, Marriages 60

Plus Ultra / Intro

St Peters: A World of Opportunities BY TIM KOTZUR, HEA D OF COLLEGE

Throughout Semester 1, I have enjoyed lunches with Year 12 students in small groups. These lunches have helped me to get to know our senior students and find out about their hopes and dreams. It has also helped me to understand our College from the perspective of our students. Student voice is important. After all, who could know St Peters better than our children and young people? I frequently ask students what they like about St Peters. Common responses have included: • the sense of community and belonging; • the purposeful, focused learning environment; • the care and support they receive from staff and peers; • the friendly, welcoming environment; 2

• good teachers; • the diversity of students and the opportunities this provides; • that co-educational environment – boys and girls learning together; • the Ironbark experience; • the multiple learning pathways on offer that enable students to pursue post-school aspirations; • our beautiful campuses and quality facilities; and • the extensive range of opportunities available. In reflecting upon the last point, I have been particularly struck by the wide range of curricular and

co-curricular opportunities available to our students. In the words of one Year 12 student: “You can come to St Peters and find something that you’re interested in and pursue it. There is something for everyone.” Our students have the choice between: various senior study pathways; a wide range of subjects; many second language options; Service Learning opportunities from local to international initiatives; a variety of sports from participation through to the elite level; domestic and international tours; an incredible Music Program that spans voice, strings and bands; enriching Visual Arts programs; an emerging Robotics program; academic competitions; the iconic Ironbark experience; various Focus

Plus Ultra / Intro

from the Editor At a recent educational forum, I was challenged to think about what makes St Peters stand out from other schools. Research indicates that parents often measure the value of their child’s education according to how well a school lives out its mission. Plus Ultra is a wonderful showcase of how our students, staff, parents and Old Scholars are living out the College’s mission – excellence in Christian Co-education – on a daily basis. This edition is no exception.

Weeks, such as Social Justice and Multicultural Weeks – the list goes on. St Peters really is a world of opportunities. The breadth and depth of the St Peters experience results in the holistic development of our young people. It means that the social, emotional, physical and spiritual domains are developed alongside the academic domain. It results in diversity and richness amongst the student body, the opportunity to discover passions and talents, and to be the best possible version of yourself. It contributes to character formation and values development. It encourages innovation and creativity, and the capacity to problem solve. It promotes otherscenteredness, connectedness to others, and a sense of community.

It builds resilience. A St Peters Education, with its world of opportunities, really is a true education; an education for our time, and for every time.

A ST PETERS EDUCATION, WITH ITS WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES, REALLY IS A TRUE EDUCATION; AN EDUCATION FOR OUR TIME, AND FOR EVERY TIME. As you read this edition of Plus Ultra, I hope you gain a glimpse into the world of opportunities available at our wonderful College.

On page 10, we feature Digital innovator, Rebecca Woolnough, whose ‘learn it, do it, teach it’ approach is empowering digital learning at St Peters Springfield. On page 12, our Year 9 Ironbark students get to work; and we go behind the scenes of Kaleidoscope (on page 32). On page 30, our Ministry team encourages us to be the hands, feet and face of Christ and we catch up with Old Scholar, Amber Rankin, (page 46), who is working with researchers to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. We are truly blessed by the depth and breadth of our vibrant community living out its mission in and beyond the classroom. That is our value differential - our Plus Ultra spirit - that will always set us apart. Gollisa Thomson, on behalf of the

Plus Ultra / Intro


If you are related to or closely associated with a child in the Primary Years at St Peters, you have most likely been invited to join us in worship celebrations. Whether it’s been celebrating what Jesus did for us in his death and resurrection at Easter time, celebrating the gift of parents and grandparents in our lives, or simply celebrating the love that God continues to bestow on us each and every day, we enjoy the opportunity to gather together as a community in our time of worship. Worship: it seems a simple word. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘worship’? What does it look like, feel like and sound like? The word ‘worship’ brings to mind numerous associations, images and activities. For some in our school community, the times that we gather together in the Chapel are their only experience of worship. Others have been involved in Sunday services and children’s church for many years before coming to St Peters. While the concept of worship may seem straightforward, it’s probably one of the more mysterious activities we can take part in. The Lutheran understanding of worship is that of a ‘divine mystery in time and space, by which the living God is present and active among us’. In worship, God is present with us to bless us so that we can be a blessing in the world. We are invited to respond to God’s 4

IN WORSHIP, GOD IS PRESENT WITH US TO BLESS US SO THAT WE CAN BE A BLESSING IN THE WORLD. presence through prayer, praise and thanksgiving. This means that worship is not primarily what we do - worship occurs when the risen Lord Jesus comes to us. So, what does this mean for us? During our worship times, those present are invited to meet Jesus; to grow in their relationship with him; to question what they believe; and to consider how values such as forgiveness, service and love align with their own values. They experience a God who is active in the world and in their lives. They

are invited to respond to the love God shows them with praise, fun and meaningful songs and in thought-provoking activities. They are invited to join in and to share their own understanding of how God is working in their lives. And as they come to know a personal God who is with them and listens to them, they have time to talk to him in prayer. This is an opportunity we want to give to all children and to all members of our community. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” A Lower Primary student once told me; “You know God is around because you get a nice feeling in your heart.” This is where we start to experience the mystery of God coming to us, in worship.

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*Pictured: Jan Hogarth, SPOSA President, at the 2016 SPOSA Reunion Weekend. Read about plans for the 2017 SPOSA Reunion Weekend on page 57.

What is SPOSA? Why the name? As President of St Peters Old Scholars Association, I’m relieved not to have to explain what ‘SPOBOGA’ is, or to think of ‘St Peters Old Boys and Old Girls’ skipping, hand in hand, down memory lane. Or ‘SPAA’: St Peters Alumni Association. The 1945 founders, who were hard-working German Lutheran outsiders determined, against the odds, to ensure their sons and daughters enjoyed a first-class education. They wouldn’t approve of their beneficiaries having a long bath. It sounds too decadent. So SPOSA it is. This season, SPOSA will help year coordinators to round up their mates in preparation for reunions later in the year.


So, if you’re catching up with the old gang this year, don’t fritter away the precious time with small talk. Instead, go for ‘big talk’ to connect deeply in a short time. Google it. Ask the big questions: What does success look like to you? What do you know now that you wish you did then? What are you working towards that you could use help with? Then listen. It’s a blessing.

For SPOSA members, it’s interesting to step into a room where ‘everybody knows your name; and they’re always glad you came’. Those who are the same age and stage and tackling similar life challenges: getting though university; finding meaningful work; juggling kids, relationships, work and ageing parents; and managing retirement. In the depth of laughter and chat, you step outside time. 5

Plus Ultra / Around the School

Year 11’s Pursue Prestigious Pathways

A group of 26 Year 11 students are embracing the chance to graduate with real-world business skills as they undertake a new vocational training option at school. The introduction of a Diploma of Business at St Peters Indooroopilly gives Year 11 students interested in pursuing a business pathway, the opportunity to undertake the Diploma as one of their six subjects.

Students undertake two lessons a week over 18 months and must complete eight Units of Competency. According to Amanda, one of the real strengths of the Diploma program is the focus on essential management and business functions through simulations and project work that will ultimately increase students’ employability, skills and knowledge.

“IF YOU WANT TO GO TO UNIVERSITY AND STUDY A BUSINESS COURSE, THIS IS A GREAT HEAD START.” – Amanda Huxham, Course Coordinator In terms of the course workload, Amanda said that students quickly realise this is not an easy option.

Year 11 student, Jared Robinson, who has aspirations to study business “The students say it’s a lot of work but Course Coordinator, Amanda management and to start his own it’s manageable,” Amanda explained. Huxham, said the nationally fashion store in London, said the “It’s definitely something they have recognised Diploma operated by focus on these business skills is to commit to and it is a Diploma level, Prestige Service Training at St Peters, proving very valuable. so the work requirements are high.” has been a very popular addition to the timetable due to a number “I chose the Diploma because I want Jared agreed and offered his own of tangible benefits for students, to have a future in business. I feel it thoughts: “It’s all quite manageable including eight points towards the will help me to get on the right track,” and you get a good amount of time to Queensland Certificate of Education. he explained. work on it. Our Diploma Teacher is Beyond school, Amanda said Jared, who started an online business really helpful and caring and puts a lot of effort into helping us.” the Diploma is a great option for last year buying and selling clothes students seeking an alternative with limited runs, said he is really Amanda said the popularity of pathway to university. enjoying the course and the content. the course, which is at capacity,

“If you want to go to university and study a business course, this is a great head start,” Amanda explained. “The Diploma may lead to university credits and contributes toward your rank.” “Another benefit is that students learn real world skills. You can graduate school with a Diploma of Business and go straight into a business environment with a recognised qualification.” 6

“I’m learning things that will help me with my business,” Jared said. Amanda said Jared’s experience is consistent with feedback she is receiving from students and parents about the Diploma. “It’s going tremendously well,” Amanda said positively. “All the feedback from the students is that they love the teacher and they find it interesting.”

may lead to additional future options. However, she stressed that no decisions have been made at this stage. For more information about the Diploma of Business, email Amanda Huxham, Course Coordinator: a.huxham@stpeters. The cost to enrol in the 18 month Business Diploma is currently $1,990.

Plus Ultra / Around the School



Plus Ultra / Around the School

Open Day On Saturday 3 June, the St Peters Indooroopilly community welcomed more than 1,500 visitors at its annual Open Day. Attractions included: sports matches, music performances, student-led tours, interactive displays, information sessions, face painting and a petting zoo! Thank you to staff, students, parents and Old Scholars for your efforts to make Open Day memorable for our visitors. For future group tours at St Peters Indooroopilly, check The next Open Day for St Peters Springfield is on Saturday 26 August at 9.00am and 10.30am. Register at


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Pictured: Rebecca Woolnough, Year 2 Teacher at St Peters Springfield. Photograph courtesy of Gollisa Thomson.

Rebecca Woolnough: Digital Innovator St Peters Springfield Year 2 Teacher, Rebecca Woolnough, is on a mission to empower student learning through an innovative integration of curriculum and digital technology. The passion and vision that she brings to her classroom each day ensures that writing an essay, learning about history, or plotting a map, has never been so engaging for her students. “Everything we do is embedded with the digital curriculum because it’s all about how students think, how they problem solve and question their world, and understand the way the world works,” Rebecca explained. “It’s not just using the technology that’s important. It’s understanding how the technology works, what’s


involved in it, and how they can apply it in certain situations.” Rebecca said the key to successful learning outcomes is not just understanding today’s technology. More importantly, she advocates the importance of ‘soft skills’ such as collaboration and communication skills, problem solving and computational thinking. “The technology we use today is going to be tomorrow’s dinosaurs, so we need to teach those soft skills in order for students to persist and be resilient, work out how to use the new technology, and how to create it themselves,” Rebecca said adamantly. “That’s what I’m trying to empower them to do.” Rebecca takes a hands-on approach to learning.

“We’ve pulled apart computers and found the CPU, GPU, the RAM, ROM and the hard drive, and then we acted out how the inner pieces of the computer worked with tennis balls,” she said with great enthusiasm. “This helps to explain when the RAM is full, the computer slows down because it only has so much memory. By removing the shroud of mystery away from digital technology, our students morph from digital technology users to digital technology creators.” Rebecca’s Year 2 class are not the only students who benefit from her innovative approach. “Our process is learn it, do it, teach it!” Rebecca said. “We collaborate a lot up and down,” she explained. “Once the Year 2’s have a really good handle on one of

Plus Ultra / Around the School

Pictured: Year 11 students share their technology projects with Year 2 students (right) Dominic Shilton and Christopher Wise and (below) Nicole SpencerScarr and Hannah Smith. Hands on collaboration up and down the Year levels is an added advantage of an integrated digital approach to curriculum. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.

the aspects we’re learning, they try to teach it to Prep and Year 1. They’ve had a lot of fun with that!” Rebecca also finds ways to integrate Year 2 learning that coincides with the curriculum for Senior students. “The Year 12’s are writing a program based on our drama of ‘How the Computer Works’,” Rebecca explained. “They are building a game that my Year 2’s can play and have characters like RAM and ROM, CPU and GPU. It will ask them questions so it’s an educational learning tool for my Year 2’s to use and they can take it to Prep and teach them how to use it.” The Year 2’s are also collaborating with a Year 10 class in History and Science.

“As part of the History curriculum about how technology has changed over time, specifically toys, the Year 2’s have to design a spinning top or another toy they have discovered into the future,” Rebecca said. “Then Year 10 students will come down and help us CAD it and 3D print a very small version of each toy.” In Term 4, Year 2 students will also learn about circuits, which will coincide with a shared learning opportunity with Year 10 students who will learn about raspberry pi, a single-board computer used to teach basic computer science. “We talk about how it works with the circuits and raspberry pi and how we have to code. The kids love it!” Rebecca said.

Rebecca also sees an invaluable opportunity to foster parent involvement in their child’s learning journey. For a recent English writing task, students were able to collaborate with their peers and parents by providing comments through the Google Docs platform. Rebecca is adamant that parents, as well as teachers, need to be careful not to put a barrier between kids and technology. “What I like to do is to try to break that down, to teach students that they can tinker with things, make them better and create technology themselves,” she said. “That’s where the magic is.”


Plus Ultra / Around the School


On a wet Sunday morning at Ironbark, St Peters Outdoor Education Centre, Year 9 students pull on their gumboots. Some set off down the muddy track towards the chook pen and vegetable garden to feed hungry layer hens, tend to crops and chop firewood. Others set out for livestock pens and paddocks to milk dairy cows, herd sheep, clean pig pens, and prepare horses for riding. Finally, some head to the kitchen to prepare meals or to the dormitories to tidy up. Rain, hail or shine, there is always work to be done. The Ironbark Jobs program operates on a twice-daily roster at 7.15am and 3.30pm and gives students a taste of life on the land. “The Jobs program allows students to work directly with the livestock and experience the realities of farm life firsthand,” explained Matt Sullivan, Director of Ironbark. “It enables students to learn about animal 12

husbandry, animal handling and livestock management practices.” While milking dairy cows, chopping wood and undertaking land management exercises, such as clearing lantana (affectionately known as ‘lantana bashing’), are popular with students, Matt says the program also challenges them to push beyond their limits.


Plus Ultra / Around the School

*Pictured (this page): Students herd sheep on foot between paddocks of sweet oats and grass; students visit Warren, the bull. Warren mixes with dairy cows while Ironbark’s second bull, Rodney, breeds with beef cattle; and students harvest pumpkins from Ironbark’s garden. This year, the pumpkin patch has yielded more than 40 pumpkins!


Plus Ultra / Around the School

*Pictured: Students lead dairy cows, including Daisy and her newborn calf, back to the Dairy for the afternoon milking session. “Any job that has newborn stock is very popular,” said Matt Sullivan, Director of Ironbark; and students show the Plus Ultra team their newfound skills with the stock-whip.

“We have mixed comments about the pigs,” Matt admitted. “Most students do not enjoy the smell but find the little pigs very cute. We also have a number of students who have a fear of chickens when they first arrive but we try to overcome that during the five weeks [of the program].” While students benefit from exposure to all jobs, the roster also allows them to explore new friendships with their peers. “The Jobs program groups students together outside of their friendship circles to promote working with different people to achieve set goals.” 14

Matt says the five-week rotation instils students with a sense of contribution and pride. “It reinforces the concept of commitment to task,” Matt said. “Students realise that Ironbark needs them to contribute to keep it running in a productive way and jobs need to be completed to a suitable standard: a valuable life lesson.” For more information about Ironbark, visit


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Rural Leadership Scholarship

American physician and politician, Ernie Fletcher, wrote: “Education is our greatest opportunity to give an irrevocable gift to the next generation.” With this in mind, Head of College, Mr Tim Kotzur, was thrilled to announce the Richards Foundation will fund a second Rural Leadership Scholarship for a student to attend St Peters Lutheran College in Years 10-12 commencing in 2018. The inaugural Rural Leadership Scholarship awarded in 2017 to Amelia Kenny has been a tremendous success. “Amelia has embraced the opportunities offered at St Peters and she is a wonderful ambassador for the scholarship,” Mr Kotzur said.

The scholarship, worth $35,000 *Pictured: Year 10 student, Amelia Kenny, is per year over three years, will go the recipient of the 2017 Rural Leadership to a student from a rural area who Scholarship. The Richards Foundation demonstrates exceptional leadership, has announced it will fund a second Rural Leadership Scholarship for a student in 2018. a willingness to participate in a wide variety of activities, a commitment to hard work, and honesty and integrity. THE COLLEGE IS “Through this partnership with the Richards Foundation, the College is able to offer the successful applicant opportunities they may not have in their home community,” he said. As part of the scholarship, the recipient will work with a mentor from the business world – another aspect of the scholarship which will enable recipients to positively contribute to their communities. The College is grateful to the Richards Foundation for their continued and ongoing generosity.


Applications for the 2018 Rural Leadership Scholarship close on 15 August, 2017. For guidelines and an application form or email for more information.


Plus Ultra / Around the School

Slow Fashion

It’s a busy Friday morning for students in Ingrid Rucinski’s Year 9 Fashion class at St Peters Indooroopilly. Ribbon, lace, buttons and badges are strewn across desks as students in the ‘Slow Fashion’ unit add final embellishments to their creations: re-purposed garments from home and thrift stores.

Pictured: Ingrid Rucinski, with Year 9 student Bella Whytcross, says students in the Slow Fashion unit have embraced handcraft to give old clothing new life. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.

In recent years, the Slow Fashion movement, with its emphasis on responsible consumption, has made its way into the Queensland curriculum. St Peters students have embraced assessment tasks, including re-purposing a denim garment from their wardrobe and customising a $5 thrift store purchase (coined the ‘Ugly to Glam’ challenge), with enthusiasm.


Ingrid says students have been inspired by the transformation of existing garments by guest speakers, such as St Peters past parent, Jane


Milburn, founder of Textile Beat, a social enterprise promoting slow fashion. Through Textile Beat, Jane encourages consumers to reduce their fashion footprint by upcycling clothing they already have. Ingrid says, while the Slow Fashion unit highlights the negative impacts of ‘Fast Fashion’, it also reignites students’ passion for handcraft. Many embellishments, such as distressing denim and attaching badges, buttons, ribbon and lace, have reunited students with hand tools, such as seam rippers and basic needle and thread.

Plus Ultra / Around the School

Pictured (this page, left): Year 9 student, Claire Groome, re-purposes a denim garment from home; and (middle right): Year 9 student Hannah McPhee’s upcycled denim vest was awarded third place in the ‘Recyclable’ category of the Children’s Craft Exhibition at the Brookfield Show in May. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.

In an effort to promote Slow Fashion values of creativity, sustainability and handcraft to the wider community, some Year 9 students exhibited their pieces in the ‘Recyclable’ category of the Children’s Craft Exhibition at the Brookfield Show in May. Hannah McPhee’s denim vest, adorned in assorted badges, was awarded third place; Sophie Terry’s upcycled t-shirt with denim patchwork was awarded second place; and Eloise Mildenhall’s customised denim shorts, embellished with buttons

and badges, was awarded Show Champion for the best themed item. Ingrid hopes learning about Slow Fashion at school will help her students be conscious consumers in the future. “I want them to think more carefully about their wardrobe and consider the ethical impacts of their consumption,” Ingrid explained. “With people only wearing clothing for a season, we are producing so much textile waste. That needs to slow down.”



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Plus Ultra / Staff


There’s a wise school of thought - if you want something done, ask a busy person. That’s certainly true for Sarah Johnson, St Peters Springfield Secondary Teacher, Careers Advisor and Guidance Counsellor. Sarah has moved from Year 5 Teacher to the Senior School this year, teaching English, Geography, Christian Studies and Drama for Years 7 – 10 students. She also provides Careers Advice for Senior School students, which includes Year 10 Career Interviews, Year 12 Future Planning meetings and coordinating on-the-fly work experience opportunities. “The careers stuff is a real passion of mine,” Sarah explained.

after the wellbeing of Prep to Year 12 students and parents. Sarah, who taught in London and at St Peters Indooroopilly before commencing at St Peters Springfield in 2010, has a Master of Guidance Counselling. “My master’s degree is a great basis for understanding the needs of the students and their wellbeing,” Sarah said. “That training started me on a very passionate journey into creating a positive culture of wellness within a school and that’s behind all I do in my role here at Springfield.” Sarah is generous in her praise for the staff and students she works with and she enjoys sharing in their personal journeys.

“I like to visit Senior School classrooms to give them information regarding pathways and run goal setting and personal development sessions, too.”

“Our staff are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, with so many skills and life stories. And the students here... are some of the best I’ve ever worked with,” Sarah said sincerely.

In addition to her Teaching and Careers Advisor roles, Sarah is a Guidance Counsellor and looks

“I am so lucky to be a part of their journeys and help them discover their best selves.”

“I AM SO LUCKY TO BE A PART OF THEIR [STUDENTS] JOURNEYS AND HELP THEM DISCOVER THEIR BEST SELVES.” – Sarah Johnson, Secondary Teacher, Careers Advisor and Guidance Counsellor at St Peters Springfield

When Sarah’s not at work, she says she loves to hang out with her one year old son, her family and friends. She is an avid reader and has aspirations to write and undertake further study. “I love reading and my goal in life is to have a library in my house, like Belle in Beauty and the Beast!” Sarah quipped. “I would also love to write a book about supporting teens and their mental health and study a degree in Positive Psychology.” Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.


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Damian Sommerlad

St Peters Old Scholar, Damian Sommerlad (1998), is an actor on the rise. Now based in Los Angeles, Damian took some time out to talk to Plus Ultra about his career and his memories of St Peters.


ou began your professional stage career at the age of 13, playing The Artful Dodger in Oliver. How did you get involved in acting and were you involved in The Arts while at St Peters?

my closest friends I met at St Peters and one of my best friends I met when I was five in Year 1. We’re still swapping secrets all these years later. St Peters was pretty much my world for 12 years.


Yes! I always loved drama, and film in particular at St Peters, and I managed to get Dux of Film in Year 11 and to make Drama Captain in Year 12. We always had a lot of flexibility to really explore whatever we wanted to within the outlines of various assignments. I remember my final assessment for Drama being a devised piece arising from leaked footage of patients being mistreated in care homes. I think that helped cement the connection for me between art and social commentary and how it could be used to highlight issues. That said, one of the finest efforts to come out of our film class was a hard hitting narrative short called Billy gets a Mullet about a buddy of mine (Billy) who get’s a haircut (a mullet)... so it’s fair to say it wasn’t all chin stroking!

fter graduating from St Peters, you went on to complete a Master’s in Dramatic Art from London’s East 15 Acting School and you have worked in theatre and film around the world. Can you tell us about some of your most recent roles?


Another was playing the title role in Ruben Guthrie in Los Angeles with the Australian Theatre Company. Theatre has always been something I return to and the play itself is a very personal story but its themes (although undoubtedly very Australian) are also universal.

hat do you remember most about your time at St Peters?

Probably friendships to be completely honest. I was lucky enough to make friendships there that have lasted decades. Most of


Recently, I played one of my first lead roles in a feature called Life of the Party playing Jason, who…decides to break the record for the world’s longest house party with the aid of his two best friends. We shot around Sydney, with the party house itself situated in Mosman. The film is a comedic, coming of age drama and is exciting in the sense that the cast is really diverse and it’s refreshingly domestic in its treatment of LGBT relationships.


hat is your career highlight to date?

One job, which really only struck me in retrospect, was a tour I did through the Czech Republic with a movement company formed from London’s Trinity Laban. We were doing workshops for disabled kids through several schools, which was a real eye opener. It was touching how excited and responsive the students were, but also very humbling how limited their facilities were. You take things like a swimming pool or a gymnasium for granted growing up somewhere like Brisbane. You really do get a great start in life attending a school like St Peters. It is what you make it though. It’s a privilege that will serve you best if you don’t take it for granted.


os Angeles is now your base. Why did you make the move to USA? This was largely steered by fate to some extent. A friend had entered the Green Card lottery so I did too really on a whim, then I forgot about it. I was looking to do some formal training so I auditioned for a couple of Drama Schools whilst visiting family in the UK. I was accepted into Bristol Old Vic and East 15 Acting School, opting for the latter as I was granted a Scholarship and loved the

Plus Ultra / SPOSA

prospect of being in London. I spent some years working in Theatre in and around the West End, before returning to Sydney for my first feature film, Forbidden Ground. Then by chance, I checked the Green Card Lottery results and I’d won…. six months later I was in LA.


hat are your future career aspirations?

I’m writing this in a café on Melrose Ave and there’s a cartoon painted on the wall which puts it nicely... ‘To support my family by doing what I love while making a positive impact on the world’. I think it’s that simple. I guess in concrete terms that means to keep working hard and to connect with others who are doing the same and to continue to make work that excites and inspires. I’d like to travel more with work as I love this aspect of the industry, and ideally work more in Australia too. It’s an unpredictable career though, so you can only really plan so far in advance. You really need to just focus on what’s in front of you and remain flexible and open to job prospects when they arise.


o you get back to Brisbane often?


More and more which is great - largely for work, but also for family. I’m back in July briefly for the premiere of Life of the Party, then possibly again in August for another project.


Plus Ultra / Around the School

Pictured (top right L–R): Year 6 students, Poppy Brennan and Matthew Harvie; and (bottom left L–R): Olivia Hughes , Luke Dyer and Ben Oxby use Makey Makey kits to play online musical instruments and games.

Year 6 Students Conduct Electrical Experiments BY A DR I A NA GA R R ETT, YEA R 6 TEACHER

As a part of their Term 2 Primary Years Program (PYP) unit, ‘How We Organise Ourselves’, Year 6 students have explored the central idea: ‘Human-made systems continually evolve to organise communities’.

aluminium foil and fruit into touchpads to play online musical instruments and games. “My favourite thing about this is that it’s an easy way to learn programming,” explained Year 6 student Ben Oxby.

Students have investigated “There are more advanced ways that how energy is transferred and you could get more detailed results transformed in electrical circuits. but with the Makey Makey it’s really With the aid of Makey Makey kits, fun, easy programming that is simple electronic invention tools that allow to set up.” users to connect everyday objects In addition to the Makey Makey to computer programs via a circuit board, alligator clips and a USB cable, kits, students have used electric circuit equipment to determine students have turned plasticine, if a material is a conductor or an

“WITH THE MAKEY MAKEY IT’S REALLY FUN, EASY PROGRAMMING THAT IS SIMPLE TO SET UP.” – Ben Oxby, Year 6 student insulator. Their newfound scientific skills using digital technologies have allowed them to tackle real world challenges such as designing a model that demonstrates how energy from renewable resources can be transferred and transformed to replace fossil fuels in Australia. 23

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Meet Rachael Turnbull HEA D OF 7-12 CUR R ICULUM – STUDENTS

This term, Rachael Turnbull undertakes the role of Head of 7-12 Curriculum – Students at St Peters Indooroopilly. The newly created role is part of a new structure that will help Junior High students transition into Senior School. “I am really looking forward to the new 7 – 12 focus and helping students enjoy a seamless transition from Junior High to Senior School,” Rachael said. “My role will provide students and families with information about academic pathways; help students reflect on past results and experiences to shape their goals for the future; and guide students through their academic journey at St Peters.” After completing a dual Bachelor of Behavioural Studies and Education at the University of Queensland,


Rachael came to St Peters in 2007 to teach Junior High English, Maths and Science. She says undertaking her final university practicum at St Peters, under the mentorship of Ranitta Prasad, Science Teacher, has had a big impact on her teaching journey. “Whilst at university, I had applied to do a practicum at St Peters. Growing up locally, I always held St Peters in high regard,” Rachael explained. “She [Ranitta] worked me hard! I am so thankful for her expertise and guidance along the way.”

“I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW 7 – 12 FOCUS AND HELPING STUDENTS ENJOY A SEAMLESS TRANSITION FROM JUNIOR HIGH TO SENIOR SCHOOL.” – Rachael Turnbull, Head of 7-12 Curriculum – Students Since then, Rachael has held positions across St Peters Junior High and Senior School as Year Level Coordinator for Years 9, 11 and 12 and Acting Head of Junior High. While she looks forward to the challenges of her

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new role, she admits she will miss working with Year 11 students as Year Level Coordinator. “It is bittersweet saying good-bye to them as their Year Level Coordinator. They are an amazing group of students. However, I look forward to working with them in a different capacity.” Outside of St Peters, Rachael enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, and running triathlons! “I was searching for a sport,” Rachael explained, “but I always thought I could never complete a triathlon - so that’s exactly what I set out to do! I found the shortest event possible and entered a race. I immediately fell in love with the sport.”

Since then, Rachael has undertaken triathlons of varied distances and has even completed two Ironmandistance triathlons. “Apart from the mental toughness and personal journey, the best part is the incredible people you meet along the way. From a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities, I always meet someone with a story of courage, grit and overcoming adversity.” We wish Rachael every blessing as she undertakes the challenges of her new role.

Pictured: This term, Rachael Turnbull undertakes the newly created role of Head of 7-12 Curriculum – Students. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.



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Chess: The Cross-Generational Sport Over the years, St Peters Chess has undergone a renaissance, attracting players from the fashionable ranks of Cricket and Rugby, and collecting several premiership titles in the Associated Independent Colleges (AIC) Competition along the way. Mr Gil Bygraves, Year 7 Coordinator at St Peters Indooroopilly, joined the Chess program as Coordinator six years ago. His sons, Joel (2014) and Riley (2016), who learned to play Chess in primary school and went on to become Chess Captain in their senior years, inspired Gil to get involved. “As a parent of boys in particular, I like the fact that Chess helps improve their concentration and focus (most games at a junior level are 40 minutes in total) and provides a completely different avenue to achieve success away from the physical sports they also enjoy,” Gil said. 26

“It seemed natural when there was an opportunity to become Coordinator to step up,” Gil explained. “Now I also drive the bus for away games!” He quickly set about installing Nicholai (Nik) Stawski, a World Chess Federation (FIDE) Master, as Head Coach. “When I became Coordinator, my first job was to source a coach who could teach the boys not only the fundamentals but also stretch the better players with more advanced strategies,” Gil explained. “It’s a pleasure watching Nik with the students – in particular when a finished game is re-wound to a

“AS A PARENT OF BOYS IN PARTICULAR, I LIKE THE FACT THAT CHESS HELPS IMPROVE THEIR CONCENTRATION AND FOCUS.” – Gil Bygraves, Boys’ Chess Coordinator previous position to show what could have been done.” Under Nik’s tutelage, St Peters Chess teams have gone on to secure premiership titles in the AIC Competition. This year, the Intermediate A team claimed the title for the second year running and the Junior A team tied for first place in the non-aggregate competition.

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Pictured: St Peters AIC Chess has undergone a renaissance, attracting boys of widely differing academic and sporting abilities to the competition. Photography courtesy of Simon Bowman.

Despite recent success, Gil is adamant that the benefits of Chess are greater than the scoreboard tally. “Chess provides an opportunity for boys to interact across generations with many parents and grandparents being able to take pleasure in sitting down with the students and playing against them – not only now,” Gil added, “but for many years to come.” With the support of the Parents & Friends (P&F) Association and Community Liaison Officer, Nicky Hughes, St Peters launched the ‘Rookies’ Chess Club in 2016. Open to St Peters and non-St Peters students and parents alike, Rookies provides an avenue for Chess enthusiasts of all abilities to access Nik’s expert coaching all year round and to create new friendships within the greater community.

“CHESS PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BOYS TO INTERACT ACROSS GENERATIONS WITH MANY PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS BEING ABLE TO TAKE PLEASURE IN SITTING DOWN WITH THE STUDENTS.” With the 2017 competitive season now behind him, Gil looks forward to attracting familiar and fresh faces for next season. He encourages any interested boy of any ability to get involved.

“During my time, I have seen a wide range of boys come through the Chess program with widely differing academic and sporting abilities all compete on the level playing board,” Gil said. For more information about Boys Chess, contact Shaun Nodwell, Director of Sport, in the first instance The Rookies Chess Club meets term-time on Thursday evenings from 6.00 – 8.00pm at the St Peters Indooroopilly P&F Centre. For more information, visit


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*Pictured: Benji Wilksch (right) says the opportunity to reunite with Ironbark staff on adventurous journeys inspired him to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Cyclone Debbie Cuts Short Duke of Edinburgh Canoeing Expedition

In April, a canoeing expedition undertaken by St Peters Duke of Edinburgh participants at Wyaralong Dam, Beaudesert was cut short by inclement weather. Plus Ultra caught up with St Peters Springfield participants, Benji Wilksch and Kaylee Neil (Year 10), to find out about their experience and their plans to complete the journey at Noosa in late June. BENJI


his year, the Duke of Edinburgh Award became available to St Peters Springfield students. What made you want to sign up to undertake the Award? When I heard the award would be available to Springfield students I was immediately intrigued. I was most excited about the fact that it would involve going back to Ironbark for the adventurous journey but then realised I could greatly benefit in the future in terms of employment and university applications.



ven though the Canoeing Adventurous Journey in April was partly rained out, what was your favourite part of the experience? My favourite part of the experience was trying something that I’ve never done before and being outdoors, even though it did rain for most of it.


hat are you most looking forward to about completing the Canoeing Adventurous Journey at Noosa in June? I am most looking forward to hopefully having better weather so

“MY FAVOURITE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE WAS TRYING SOMETHING THAT I’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE AND BEING OUTDOORS.” – Benji Wilksch, Year 10 student we can actually complete the trip. But I am also looking forward to having a fun few days away with my friends.

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*Pictured: Students from St Peters Indooroopilly and Springfield undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award enjoyed two days of canoeing at Wyaralong Dam, Beaudesert, in April before inclement weather forced them to abandon ship. (Below): Kaylee Neil says the experience has inspired friends to join the Award program. They look forward to completing the journey at Noosa in late June.



his year, the Duke of Edinburgh Award became available to St Peters Springfield students. What made you want to sign up to undertake the Award? I am constantly looking to challenge myself and knew that the Duke of Edinburgh Award would allow me to do just that. The components all appealed to my sense of fun, combined with dedication and hard work.


ven though the Canoeing Adventurous Journey in April was partly rained out, what was your favourite part of the experience? My favourite part of the experience was actually on the second day, when Queensland was set in a heavy rain

depression. Before we were forced to postpone the trip, we took a paddle in the pouring rain. Although it wasn’t glamorous, it was surprisingly fun - and it was a good story to tell everyone when we got home!


hat are you most looking forward to about completing the Canoeing Adventurous Journey at Noosa in June? After hearing our stories, a few of my other friends have now signed up to take part in the trip to Noosa. I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with them, as well as continuing to improve my paddling techniques!

“AFTER HEARING OUR STORIES, A FEW OF MY OTHER FRIENDS HAVE NOW SIGNED UP TO TAKE PART IN THE TRIP TO NOOSA. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO SHARING THIS EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.” – Kaylee Neil, Year 10 student Students from the age of 13 years and nine months are eligible to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. For more information, contact Mrs Rae Morgan, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator (St Peters Springfield) or Mrs Anne Tetley-Jones, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator (St Peters Indooroopilly).


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Ministry at St Peters

Ministry Outreach is one of the pillars of the College’s 2016-2020 Vision and lies at the heart of a St Peters education and ethos.

in a number of ways, providing spiritual leadership and a greater understanding of the Christian ethos.

“At St Peters we challenge our students to excel and fulfil their God-given potential but we also How that translates into the everyday want them to be aware of a bigger lives of students and staff is different picture – a spiritual reality with for each person. However, in living the Gospel of Christ at its heart,” the College’s mission, Excellence in Pastor Thomas explained. Christian Co-education, the St Peters community is encouraged to embrace As a College of the Lutheran Church the grace and love of Christ. of Australia, Queensland District, Pastor Thomas says continuing The St Peters Ministry team, led to foster an understanding of the by College Senior Pastor Thomas Lutheran tradition for staff and Böhmert, celebrates and shares students is an important objective of the Gospel with our community 30

the Ministry teams at Indooroopilly and Springfield. “We have four chaplains at St Peters Indooroopilly assigned to sub schools and one chaplain pastor at Springfield, who is also working to build up a new congregation,” Pastor Thomas said. On the Indooroopilly Ministry team are: Silke Moolman (Senior School and Boarding); Michael Mayer (Junior High and Ironbark); Kirstin Munchenberg (Primary Years) and Thomas, whose role is to support the Chaplaincy staff, develop Chaplaincy and Ministry

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Pictured (this page L–R): Michael Mayer, Kirstin Munchenberg, Matthias Prenzler, Thomas Bohmert, Silke Moolman and Matthew Wilksch; and *(Opposite page): Pastor Thomas Böhmert leads the St Peters Indooroopilly community in worship at Founders’ Day in February.

in the community, teach Christian Studies and assist Senior Leadership in strategic development in Ministry Outreach. St Peters Springfield is served by Pastor Matthew Wilksch. St Peters congregation pastor, Matthias Prenzler, also works closely with the team.

Pastor Thomas commented music and singing is important in the Chapels.

Pastor Thomas also relishes the opportunity to teach Christian Studies and supports a rigorous academic approach to the subject.

“We seek to have students understand what Christianity is about; the key messages of this faith, the history… “I suppose that was one of Luther’s but also to think deeper in terms of insights. The Reformation was a who they are, to be aware of other singing event. We do have a variety of religions, and the ethical dimensions music…and we include both modern of life which are often linked to and classical music in our worship,” religious and philosophical thought,” Pastor Thomas said. “We serve a community of Thomas said. thousands of people if you count Ministry at St Peters centres on students, parents, Old Scholars Pastor Thomas is adamant that God’s love actively lived out with and the St Peters Church and Arise relevant and spiritual pastoral care hope and confidence in service congregations….it’s a very large programs at St Peters are laying the to others. The Ministry team, in community,” Pastor Thomas said. foundations for our young people to conjunction with the Coordinator, become tomorrow’s leaders. is therefore involved in service The Ministry team at St Peters learning, which is formalised within “As a school, I believe…we can be works together to provide regular worship, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, the Year 9 curriculum. God’s hands and feet and face to one celebration of the sacraments, another in this world. As a leader, you Thomas cites some of the service devotions and pastoral care for the have a special role to play to model learning opportunities such as community. Each student attends that to the people whom you lead,” fundraising through Community Chapel at least once a week. Pastor Thomas said. Focus Days; the Indigenous “We want to connect our community immersion and Year 11 International Which brings Thomas back to the Baccalaureate trip to Cambodia with the message of Christ, help heart of the Christian ethos and the - experiences which he describes all to live in the assurance of being key message of ministry at St Peters. as “transformative”. held and with hope for the future,” “There is a God who enfolds us in love Thomas explained. “These experiences are helping and helps us through the challenges students to get a different view of life,” of life,” Pastor Thomas reflected. “We often have students leading Pastor Thomas explained. Chapels, which makes it more “We try to engage our community meaningful for their peers.” “God has gifted us immensely here in a positive way and help them and we want to use these gifts in to understand that the values service of His world. It’s a response to we espouse are built upon the God’s love for us.” Christian ethos.” 31

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Kaleidoscope: Behind the Scenes

This year marked the 10 th anniversary of the Year 8 Production, which first came to the stage in 2007. Now known as Kaleidoscope, the production offers Year 8 students the opportunity to develop their musical and dramatic skills under the guidance of arts professionals and be part of a stage work created especially for them. So how does Kaleidoscope come together? The answer lies in the generous contribution of time and talents from so many people: staff, art professionals, parents, volunteers, and of course, the students! Plus Ultra went behind the scenes to talk to some of the production’s key players.

CHRISTINE TAYLOR, PRODUCER Christine has been involved in the production from day one. In 2006, she and the then Director of Music, Graeme Morton, were asked by the Head of College, Stephen Rudolph, to create a concept for a stage event that would become a major event for Year 8 students.



Christine explained what being a producer involves: “I am responsible for coordinating all tasks involved in physically bringing Kaleidoscope into reality. This includes creating the rehearsal and performance schedule and venues; working with the Director to coordinate rehearsal details and staffing; organising the production

team – stage manager, lighting, sound, photography and getting performance rights for the script and music where necessary; advertising, tickets, performance night details and student welfare. Kaleidoscope is a team effort with many staff playing integral roles to ensure that the performance is on stage and as ready as it possibly can be. One of my favourite aspects of Kaleidoscope is watching the less confident students grow in selfconfidence and self-belief during the rehearsal process and leave the stage after the final performance changed.”

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Nicholas, who has degrees in Drama and Education, worked with one of Australia’s largest physical theatre and contemporary performance companies as a director, performer and instructor, prior to commencing at St Peters in 2014. In 2015, Nicholas took on the role of Director and wrote the script for Tribes. This year’s production, Mirrorball, marks his third year as director and writer. Nicholas shared his thoughts about his role as Kaleidoscope Director and scriptwriter: “I draw from a wide range of inspiration when I’m developing a new script. Initially, I look at some of the universal experiences and social issues relevant to young people and also those that are relevant to the Junior High cohort performing Kaleidoscope. I think

dealing with issues and experiences that are relatable or familiar is one of the important aspects in a show like Kaleidoscope. I also get a lot of inspiration from my wildly eclectic taste in music. I also draw upon a lot of pop-culture references, character archetypes and literary tropes of different genres. I love the opportunity that Kaleidoscope offers me to introduce young people to a diverse range of musical and literary styles – especially the ones that were so formative in my own coming of age. At its core this year, Kaleidoscope was a celebration and affirmation of diversity; it was about embracing your individuality, owning your unique talents and stepping into the light of your own power.”



Kathy Frost has been weaving her magic as the Costume Designer for Kaleidoscope for the last six years.

to Easter. We hit the ground running. In Term 2, I was here every day so the kids could come and organise the costumes.

A self-confessed sewing enthusiast, Kathy has just undertaken a couple of months to organise the costumes for the Kaleidoscope cast – this year numbering over 120 performers, who sang and danced their way through Mirrorball. Once the script is finalised, Kathy and her core group of parent helpers hit the ground running. She said it’s very much a team effort:

I couldn’t do it without the parents. We set up in the dressing room with sewing machines. I say to parents they don’t have to know how to sew because I use a lot of doubled-sided tape. We always have one or two dance troupes so we do different sets of costumes for each. I also recycle some of the costumes when I can. I love doing the sewing and creating. It’s just a part of me.”

“This year, we were down a lot of hours due to the flooding prior


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Mirrorball Ref lects Teenage Issues On Stage Congratulations to all involved in Mirrorball, performed by a cast of Year 8 students for the annual Kaleidoscope production on 19-20 May. Mirrorball showcased the talents of 120 students – the largest cast in the history of the event. Written and directed by St Peters Drama Teacher, Nicholas Trethan, Mirrorball explored pastoral care issues such as relationships, societal stereotypes, conflict resolution, social anxiety, bullying and mental health. “I set Mirrorball as a school dance because it is a compressed microcosm for many of the quintessential teenage experiences: shifting allegiances, social anxiety, peer pressure, bullying, fear and isolation, bold choices, young love, blossoming identity and most of all, the friendships that make the journey so joyous,” Nicholas explained. Mirroball incorporated dance, drama and music such as: Unpretty, Creep, I Enjoy Being A Girl, Make a Man out of You, and the pop anthem: Stand in the Light and Be Who You Are. Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s production.


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Pre-Prep Music Hits All the Right Notes

Singing, skipping, hopping and spinning are some of the fun activities children aged 3-5 can enjoy each week at Pre-Prep Music classes held in St Peters Lower Primary School during term time. According to the program Coordinator, Jacqui Stewart, it’s a special time that’s hard to beat! “It’s a wonderful opportunity to offer early childhood music to the community – both within St Peters and the greater western suburbs,” Jacqui said. “There are not a lot of parent and child early childhood music programs available during school hours in our area, and the learning of rhymes and songs, through listening, speaking and singing are very important skills in preparing children for Prep and beyond,” Jacqui explained. Jacqui, who has been the Pre-Prep Music Coordinator for seven years, said she discovered the program and its many benefits when she and her son attended the classes for a year before coming on board as the Coordinator. “The program is quite unique. It’s something that St Peters offers that many other places do not,” she remarked. 36

“THE LEARNING OF RHYMES AND SONGS, THROUGH LISTENING, SPEAKING AND SINGING ARE VERY IMPORTANT SKILLS IN PREPARING CHILDREN FOR PREP AND BEYOND.” – Jacqui Stewart, Coordinator Jacqui, who is also the Prep and Year 1 Curriculum Music Teacher, believes the structured learning and social benefits of the program are invaluable for families. Jacqui explained the Kodály philosophy, which underpins the program, puts the focus on the development of beat, rhythm and pitch through singing, moving to music, playing games and listening to music. The classes are designed to assist children in the development of music skills, motor skills, memory, social skills and confidence.

“What I’m really doing in Pre-Prep is foundation skill building. And that carries on into the Prep and Year 1 curriculum,” Jacqui said. “We believe children who come to Pre-Prep music between the ages of 3-5 years are enhancing their learning through exposure to nursery rhymes and traditional songs and the variety of actions in the different songs and rhymes, be they finger play or large body movements, are helping to develop their fine and gross motor skills.” The classes, which are very relaxed, also offer families an opportunity to socialise. “It’s musical, but it’s also social,” Jacqui said. “Many families in Pre-Prep Music have enrolled their children the year before they come to Prep at St Peters. They make friends, they have play dates and the children know some of what I’m doing in the Prep classroom from their Pre-Prep Music experience.” Another benefit of the program is the opportunity for children and their parents to participate together. “Mums, Dads and Grandparents come to our music class so it’s a joyous time of sharing within the family,” Jacqui explained.

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Pictured (bottom): Pre-Prep Music engages children in the joy of music and offers opportunities for children and parents to socialise; (top right): The program is an opportunity for children and parents to participate together; and (top left): Improvised movement aids in the development of fine motor skills and awakens children’s creativity. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.

“Moving to music and participating with the parent is really special. For some of these children, it’s their favourite one-on-one time with Mummy or Daddy. Their older siblings are in school and for 30 minutes a week they too are in ‘school’ but safe in the hands/arms/ laps of Mum and Dad.” Pre-Prep Music is definitely a special time for Kingsley McClure, who attends classes with his Mum, Peta. She said her son has really taken

to the program and enjoys coming to class. “He’s really engaged with the teacher and the program,” Peta remarked. “I think it’s important especially at this age to introduce children fairly early on to music. It’s about setting those foundations at this point, and how to bring music into everyday life so they become interested in music.”

However, Jacqui said she welcomes inquiries from interested families. St Peters Pre-Prep Music classes are on Monday mornings from 8:30- 9.00am and Thursday afternoons from 2.00-2:30pm. The cost is $85 for eight weeks per term. Inquiries should be directed to Jacqui Stewart, Coordinator, at

With a maximum of ten families per class, the program is very popular. 37

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It’s 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon. You’re putting the final touches on a document when the unthinkable happens: your computer program unexpectedly quits and your file is corrupted. Any student, parent or staff member across St Peters Indooroopilly, Springfield and Ironbark campuses who have had this experience might be familiar with the St Peters Helpdesk service. Douglas Giles, Senior Helpdesk Officer, has worked for the St Peters Information Systems (IS) department, based at the Indooroopilly campus, for nine years. He says that, over time, the scope of the Helpdesk has dramatically evolved. While Helpdesk Officers continue to undertake traditional duties: maintaining devices, resurrecting lost data, and resolving password and WI-FI connections; their duties have evolved in parallel with the offerings of the modern classroom. From maintaining audio-visual equipment and installing specialist learning


Pictured: Doug says he was always destined to become a Helpdesk Officer. At age 5, he already had his telephone at the ready!

software, such as Mathletics; to assisting Network and Systems Administration Officers with network roll-outs and the set-up of parent-teacher interview bookings on the College portal; to helping out in the Indooroopilly campus Copy Centre; there is never an idle moment! After completing a Bachelor of Information Technology at Griffith University, Doug set his heart on a job in the education sector. “I was desperately hoping that I would get into the school system,” Doug said, admitting that his passion for Information Technology (IT) began when he was at school.

“A LOT OF WHAT I LEARNED THAT’S APPLICABLE FOR THIS JOB WASN’T NECESSARILY WHAT I LEARNED AT UNI BUT WHAT I TAUGHT MYSELF AS A KID.” “It was mainly a hobby,” Doug explained. “A lot of what I learned that’s applicable for this job wasn’t necessarily what I learned at uni but what I taught myself as a kid, like installing Windows. I kept learning more and more and it’s been helpful for this job.”

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“IF YOU DO IT AS A HOBBY YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY PURSUE IT. IT’S FULFILLING WORK.” – Doug Giles, St Peters Senior Helpdesk Officer Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson

Outside of St Peters, Doug is also a passionate gardener. Since becoming a homeowner and adopting a ‘blank canvas’ backyard, Doug has enjoyed undertaking DIY projects indoors and out, armed with advice from YouTube and his favourite websites. “Gardening Australia [website] is a good one. I learned how to make my own natural fertiliser using sunflower oil,” he chuckled. While he admits to having a green thumb, Doug says his first love is still IT. He says the broad nature of the industry accommodates an array of specialisations and advises students considering a career in the field to follow their passions.

“Do anything that interests you,” Doug urged. “There are a lot of kids who do projects with raspberry-pis these days, which weren’t around when I was in school, so there’s a lot of affordable technology now.” “IT is broad, so don’t hold back.” Staff, students and parents can contact Helpdesk on 07 3377 6253 or at


• Net Banking: “I’m always on that thing!” Doug laughs. • Solar Web: “I’m too practical. I’ve been checking what my solar is making… It shows you what I’ve pumped back to the grid. It’s so nerdy.” • Pandora: “It’s like internet radio”, Doug explained. “I like it because I don’t have to pick anything myself.”


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1962 First XV Rugby Premiers Reunite

The exploits of St Peters First XV Rugby Premiers of 1962 reads like a movie script. The two undefeated First XV teams of St Peters and St Laurence’s were vying for The Associated Schools (TAS) Rugby Premiership and they were playing for keeps. On a water-logged oval at St Laurence’s, there was nothing between them. The final hooter sounded and the teams were locked at 6-6.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WOULD GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE FINEST MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF ST PETERS RUGBY. What happened next would go down as one of the finest moments in the history of St Peters Rugby. Team Hooker, Theo Helbig, still remembers the tense final moments of the game: “It was 6-6, the full time hooter went and we were given a penalty,” Theo recalled. “We went to kick it but it didn’t go very far because the ball was so wet.”


*Pictured: Ten members of the 1962 First XV Rugby Premiers team and their coach, Carson Dron, gathered to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the premiership. Front Row: Juergen Raasch, Geoff Tudor, Carson Dron (Coach), Bart Philemon and Victor Tam Back Row: Theo Helbig, Bruce Harth, Reg Kleidon, Garth Dennis, Ian Dennis and Noel Stumer.

According to Theo, St Laurence’s had a chance to score a try to win the game. “They went to a ruck, we won the ruck, got the ball out to the wing, and we scored our third try to win the game 9-6.” Theo recalled the utter jubilation for the First XV Rugby team, winning the TAS Premiership for the very first time. “It was jubilation for us because we won the premiership and we

were undefeated for the season,” Theo explained. In a fitting tribute to mark the 55th anniversary of the premiership, ten team mates and their coach reunited on 13 May, to watch a game against traditional rivals, Marist College Ashgrove, at Mayer Oval, St Peters. “Today we are celebrating the 55th anniversary of that premiership,” Theo said.

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Pictured: St Peters First XV Rugby Premiers won the TAS Competition for the first time in 1962. Front Row: Victor Tam, Juergen Raasch, Geoff Tudor (Captain), David Frerichs (Vice-Captain), Noel Stumer and Yerr Komndi. Middle Row: Bill Lohe (Headmaster), Dennis Harwood, Bart Philemon, Theo Helbig, Gavera Agalu, Ken Peters and Carson Dron (Coach). Back Row: Ian Dennis, Peter Dennis, Garth Dennis, Reg Kleidon, Reini Baer and Bruce Harth.

“Ten members of the team and their coach have come together today to celebrate the occasion. Sadly, six members of the team have passed away. Only one member of the team of 17 (the 15 plus two reserves) could not be here today,” Theo explained.


Fullback Bart Philemon, who went on to play in the 1963 and 1964 Premiership teams, saved his best for last in the 1962 Premiership match.

“The quality was always there but we needed a coach. A lot of our success was due to Carson,” Bart said.

“1962 was my first year in the First XV and I scored my first try in the final game!” Bart recalled with pride. He credited Coach, Carson Dron, for training the team to a high standard. He recalled a time at training camp, when he had to run up and down the sand dunes.

Team Captain, Geoff Tudor, also has fond memories of the game and recalled his delight in being able to play the second half, in spite of spending a lot of the season on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury. “In the last match, I went on in the second half so I at least felt I played a part in the win,” Geoff said humbly.

PLAYERS W HO ATTENDED THE 55 TH A NNIV ERSA RY TR IBUTE: Geoff Tudor (Captain), Five Eighth; Bart Philemon, Full Back; Juergen Raasch, Wing; Victor Tam, Half Back; Garth Dennis, Lock; Noel Stumer, Second Row; Bruce Harth, Break Away; Reg Kleidon, Front Row; Ian Dennis, Front Row; Theo Helbig, Hooker; and Carson Dron, Coach. PLAYERS W HO H AV E PASSED AWAY A ND THE POSITIONS THEY PLAYED W ER E: David Frerichs (Vice Captain), Second Row; Ken Peters, Break Away; Gavera Agalu, Inside Centre; Peter Dennis, Outside Centre; Yerr Komndi, Reserve; Dennis Harwood, Reserve.

“I think I passed the ball to Reini Baer and he scored the winning try. There was great jubilation!” 41

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Marcelo Arriagada-Malone: Founder to Leader

Almost ten years ago, Plus Ultra reporter, Gollisa Thomson, was present when Marcelo Arriagada-Malone (2017) and his brothers, Alexis (2015) and Themys (2021), were the first family to enrol at St Peters Springfield. Gollisa caught up with Marcelo, now in Year 12, who shares his memories of what it has been like to grow up in one of the school’s founding families.

At his own admission, Marcelo Arriagada-Malone always wanted to be ‘famous’ at school. But it’s not just his status of being the second founding student, which he sees as a badge of honour, that has brought him to everyone’s attention. Marcelo, who is School Vice-Captain, Sports Captain and Cunningham House Captain, is a natural leader and talented sportsman. He is softly-spoken and humble, and has gained much respect for his ability to inspire his peers and lead by example. He was very excited and honoured to be selected for three leadership positions this year, which he began dreaming about when he was in Year 5. “I was shocked at first! But I am happy to do it!” Marcelo, who started as a Year 3 student in 2008, said with pride. “I’ve grown up here with people who have supported me. I feel I have matured. I’m actually pretty proud of 42

“I’M ACTUALLY PRETTY PROUD OF THIS SCHOOL AND I WANT TO DO WHATEVER I CAN TO HELP.” – Marcelo Arriagada-Malone (Year 12), founding student at St Peters Springfield this school and I want to do whatever I can to help.” Marcelo said as he has matured, so have his hopes and aspirations for others. “One of the reasons I do sport is I want to inspire other students to try their best so they can achieve what they want to. I’ve had all these experiences so I can use these to help others,” he explained.

House points system incorporating various sporting and potentially, academic achievements, resulting in the award of a Cup to the winning House at the end of the year. “We’ve spent this year evolving the concept so every student can potentially contribute. A lot of the students are really competitive so they’re all pushing each other to do their best,” Marcelo explained. “I want the students to push past their limits and to see them grow.” As he looks to the future, Marcelo has designs on a career in the creative industries and has his sights set on university. But for now, he wants to savour his time at the school he holds so dear to his heart. “I can tell I will probably end up crying on the day of graduation,” Marcelo chuckled. “It’s going to be really hard for me because I’ve come so far with this school.”

Marcelo is particularly proud of an initiative he and his fellow school captains have been working on this year. With his peers, School Captains, “I’m glad I got to play my part in helping it grow.” Ethan Story and Juana Di Bella, and School Vice-Captain, Georgia Parkinson, he has put together a

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Springfield Tuckshop on a Roll

In a constantly-changing world, it’s nice to know that some things never change - like the smile on a child’s face when they line up to buy their favourite food at tuckshop. And it’s not only the students who love tuckshop. Parents and staff also rely on the service and the dedicated helpers who make it happen each week. At St Peters Springfield, increased student enrolments have brought subsequent growing demand for tuckshop and the need for more staff – paid and volunteer – to operate the tuckshop three days a week on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Springfield parent, Sandy Johnson, was delighted to heed the call and has come on board as a Tuckshop

Assistant after volunteering for a number of years. “I started volunteering when my son first came to school here in Year 8,” Sandy explained, her son now in Year 10. “That was just something that I wanted to do to participate in the school.” “I got the biggest surprise when I was told there was a paid position opening here. I jumped at the chance,” she said busily prepping orders that often number in the hundreds on Fridays. Sandy, who assists the new Tuckshop Coordinator, Jocelyn Potter, on Thursday and Friday, said they are very thankful for the small but committed group of volunteers, particularly their Monday volunteer, Caroline Yu, and Thursday helper, Kim Gisler.

Sandy said she and Jocelyn are enjoying their work and they are grateful to the students for their patience as they settle in. “With both of us being new to this role, we are learning as we go,” Sandy said honestly. “The little ones especially are really good with their manners and the older ones are so patient. That’s what I love!” Presently, Sandy and Jocelyn require more helpers, particularly on Friday, which is the busiest day of the tuckshop week at Springfield. “Even if there is just one parent that could come in for a couple of hours; whatever they can spare would be appreciated,” Sandy said. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.


Plus Ultra / Around the School

Music Tale Returns On Friday 2 June, ten St Peters string ensembles presented Music Tale Returns at St Peters Performing Arts Centre. Joined by Dr Who, played by special guest, Jason BarrySmith, and Evie, played by Alexis Evans (Year 11), the strings set out to unravel the mystery surrounding a cursed amulet through story and music. Using the iconic TARDIS, Dr Who and Evie travelled through time and space, encountering: Camelot, a pirate ship, the Australian outback, planet Gallifrey, an intergalactic space bar and Egypt. The audience enjoyed: invasions by Dalek mutants and Cybermen humanoids, Superstrings’ musical codepuzzle, special performances by Year 12 students Wilsen Conn and Evie Sines, and an encore performance of Phantom of the Opera by Neon Pulse.


Plus Ultra / Around the School

Soundscape On Saturday 3 June, students from St Peters Visual Art and Music departments combined to present Soundscape. Year 12 Visual Art students, Ashleigh Balmer and Savannah Edwards, created a painting live on stage in response to musical performances by St Peters String Chamber Soloists, Chorale and Symphonic Winds ensembles. The painting was sold at silent auction for $300, which will be directed to the Symphonic Winds International Tour to Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco from November - December. Guests also enjoyed an artwork display in the Performing Arts Centre foyer and projected onto the Auditorium big screen throughout the performance, created throughout Term 2 by Visual Art students in response to recordings by the three ensembles.


Plus Ultra / SPOSA

Amber Rankin: Animal Angel

Everything we do and think is produced by the human brain. Yet, exactly how the brain functions is still largely a mystery to researchers. The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) is a world class neuroscience research facility at the University of Queensland, dedicated to uncovering how the brain works in health and disease. It’s also where you will find St Peters Springfield Old Scholar, Amber Rankin (2013), who is embracing her role at QBI as an Animal Technical Officer. The 2013 Springfield School Captain is relishing the chance to work with animals, specifically mice, used in studies to help researchers better understand the neural circuits in the brain, how their function 46

results in behavioural outcomes, and how dysfunction of these circuits leads to disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. “Working with animals has always been a passion of mine,” Amber explained. “I wanted to get my foot in the door so I chose to do a Bachelor of Applied Science with an extended major in Veterinary Technology.” However, it was a work placement at UQ Herston Medical Research Centre last year that opened Amber’s eyes to the prospect of working as an Animal Technical Officer.

Pictured: Animal Technical Officer, Amber Rankin, is working with researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute.


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“I was only there for one week but we did a whole range of things and I really enjoyed it. I saw myself doing this as a career.” Animal Technical Officers play a vital role in QBI’s research, which is governed by the Australian Animal Ethics Committee. Amber said her primary role is to make sure that the mice are always healthy and happy. “All research projects involving animals must be deemed ethical and humane by the Animal Ethics Committee before they are able to commence and it is important to stress that the animals at QBI - used for the purpose of vital medical research - are extremely well looked after,” Amber explained. Five months into her role at QBI, Amber is settling into a daily routine that starts with a shower before entering the barrier. “My part of the facility is behind ‘the barrier.’ We cannot go in there without having a shower because we need to be clean and free of any disease-causing bacteria,” Amber explained.

“Then we get into a fresh pair of scrubs and we head into our rooms to begin the process of cage checks.” The first part of the process involves cage changes, up to 100 a day. Amber checks the health of the animals before going onto hard checking the water bottles and food levels and reporting any health issues to researchers. “While we are doing that we are also checking the health of the mice and recording if they are sick. We have to let the researchers know and get onto it straight away so they are not suffering,” Amber explained. “Environmental enrichment is important so they don’t get stressed. We bring in things they would naturally have in the wild like little houses they can make a nest in.” During the hard checks, Amber is also required to check for new mice litters and record this for the researchers. “That’s one of my favourite parts… finding the new babies!” Amber said with a huge smile. “We assist the researchers with breeding and I wean the pups that are old enough to be taken away from their mothers.”

Amber has cared for mice involved in a recent research project linking Vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy to autism. Through their research projects, QBI researchers aim to develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat disorders of neural function and apply their understanding of brain function to improve learning in classrooms and in the workplace. Working directly with researchers is a career pathway Amber is eager to pursue and she will continue her training to become a Senior Animal Technician. “They are in charge of all the breeding and colony management and work directly with the researchers,” Amber said.

“COMING OUT OF THE BARRIER AND WORKING HANDSON WITH THE RESEARCHERS… I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT ONE DAY!” “Coming out of the barrier and working hands-on with the researchers… I would love to do that one day!”


Plus Ultra / Staff

Staff News

SIMON CANFIELD In April, Mr Simon Canfield, Technology Teacher and Robotics Coordinator at St Peters Indooroopilly, was awarded a Pride of Workmanship Award by the Rotary Club of Kenmore. Dr Jo Potts, President of St Peters Indooroopilly Parents and Friends (P&F) Committee, nominated Simon for his work with gifted students, including those participating in academic programs such as the Future Problem Solving program and the da Vinci Decathlon competition, and the development of Robotics at St Peters Indooroopilly. “I was humbled to receive the award,” Simon said. “It is great being recognised for working with these talented students and being able to offer them opportunities that challenge them. I really enjoy working on these activities and hope that I can continue to be involved in the future.” The Pride of Workmanship program was established in 1975 by the Rotary Club of Pennant Hills (Australia, District 9680) and enables managers to publicly acknowledge the achievements of employees. TREVOR COLLIE Trevor Collie, 7 - 12 Curriculum Leader - Christian Studies at St Peters Indooroopilly, has completed his Doctorate in Education (EdD). Since 2008, Trevor has persevered to complete 48

his thesis entitled, ‘Exploring ecumenical charism of an Anglican and Uniting Church College through members’ understandings of its ethos, culture, climate and leadership.’

Motor Programs for Prep and Early Education Years for supporting the National Curriculum’s “all inclusive” policy’, was published in the Early Childhood Teachers Association (ECTA) journal in May.

“My greatest obstacle was that my particular area of study has not been researched before,” Trevor explained, “which made the thesis challenging because of its uniqueness.”

Over the next three years, Sally and her team will partner with the Physiotherapy department at the University of Queensland to track the balance and gross motor development of Prep students at St Peters Indooroopilly.

Keeping his studies in perspective has helped Trevor persevere throughout his nine-year journey. “It helped knowing that completing the doctorate did not define who I am,” Trevor said. “I knew God was bigger than the challenges I faced and I was reassured that He loved me if I succeeded or not.” Nevertheless, Trevor is relieved to have reached the end. “I cried, feeling the heavy weight of waiting for the Examiners’ responses lifting from my body,” he said. “I really did and do feel lighter.” SALLY HANNAH Sally Hannah, HPE Teacher – Primary Years at St Peters Indooroopilly, has been awarded a scholarship to undertake a PHD at the University of Queensland. Sally will complete her thesis, which will focus on ‘The impact of Digital Technology on Gross Motor and Social Development with Prep and Early School Education’, by publication. Her first paper, ‘The Essential Nature of

SALLY GRENNAN Sally Grennan, Music Teacher at St Peters Springfield, was awarded the Margaret Humphreys Award for the Most Proficient Accompanist at the 124th Queensland Eisteddfod at Gympie in April. “I have always admired Margaret Humphreys for her years of dedication to Ipswich Orpheus Chorale and the quiet and gentle manner she always demonstrated when supporting the choir and her singers,” Sally explained. “Margaret was the Chorale’s first accompanist and I am the current accompanist, so that connection makes winning this award special. She has been a great supporter of mine over the years, so winning the inaugural award given in her name has a special significance.” This article continues on page 50…

Plus Ultra / Staff

Pictured (top left): Simon Canfield, Technology Teacher and Robotics Coordinator at St Peters Indooroopilly; (top right): Sally Grennan, Music Teacher at St Peters Springfield; (bottom left): Trevor Collie, 7 - 12 Curriculum Leader - Christian Studies at St Peters Indooroopilly; and (bottom right): Sally Hannah, HPE Teacher – Primary Years at St Peters Indooroopilly. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.


Plus Ultra / Staff

HEAD OF COLLEGE AWARDS Congratulations to St Peters staff who have been presented with Head of College Awards this Semester: • Alison Arnold, Junior High Receptionist at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Sylvia Austin, Academic Operations Administrator at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Nick Brayne, Year 3 Teacher at St Peters Springfield; • Mike Cujes, Mathematics Teacher at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Jodi Dew, Exceptional Learners Teacher at St Peters Indooroopilly; • David Hope, Program Assistant at St Peters Ironbark;

• Jeremy Lohe, HPE Teacher and Sport Coordinator at St Peters Springfield; • Tania Pienaar, Purchasing Officer at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Renata Rankin, Exceptional Learners Teacher at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Didi Sabri, Trades Assistant at St Peters Indooroopilly; • Nicholas Trethan, Drama Teacher at St Peters Indooroopilly; and • Matthew Wilksch, Pastor at St Peters Springfield.

The Head of College Awards was established in March by Head of College, Mr Tim Kotzur, to recognise staff who make outstanding contributions to College life.


“Already in my time at St Peters, I can see there are many wonderful things happening as a result of the efforts of staff,” Tim explained. “We acknowledge staff who go over and above; staff who innovate and try new things; staff who epitomise the College motto ‘Pus Ultra’ as they go about their daily work; and staff whose actions help to make St Peters a great place to learn and work.”

Each term, the peer-nominated Awards recognise at least one staff member from Junior Years, Junior High, Senior School and Whole of College. “The Head of College Awards is a small way of building a community in which people are valued,” Tim said. “I hope it will strengthen the supportive and collegial culture that exists at St Peters by focusing on the strengths of others, and enabling staff to encourage and empower their colleagues.”


30 YEARS PLUS SERVICE TO LUTHERAN SCHOOLS Five teachers from St Peters Indooroopilly have been recognised by Lutheran Education Australia for 30 years or more of service to Lutheran Education.

FIVE TEACHERS FROM ST PETERS INDOOROOPILLY HAVE BEEN RECOGNISED BY LUTHERAN EDUCATION AUSTRALIA FOR 30 YEARS OR MORE OF SERVICE Marie Kirby, 7-12 Mathematics Teacher (31 years); Russel Haug, 7-12 HPE Teacher (32 years), Julie Sediel, 7-12 Curriculum Leader – The Arts (33 years), Chris Male, 7-12 Maths Teacher (33 years) and Chris Chapman, 7-12 SOSE Teacher (35 years) will be acknowledged on the Lutheran Education Honour Roll on display at the 2017 Australian Conference on Lutheran Education (ACLE 5) at Adelaide in July.

Plus Ultra / Around the School

Rebecca Sparrow: Social Media SOS

St Peters Old Scholar and acclaimed author, columnist and speaker, Rebecca Sparrow (1989), returned to St Peters on 10 May to present a social media SOS for parents and students, Before You Hit Send, as part of St Peters Symposium series.

Rebecca teamed up with her friends, radio and online personalities, Lise Carlaw and Sarah Wills, of Those Two Girls, for an evening of practical advice about navigating social media for teens and parents. Rebecca, who has been educating students since 2003 on the topics of resilience, seeking positive friendships, the importance of giving back and challenging students to think about their school legacy, explained how the concept for Before You Hit Send came about:

“The idea behind Before You Hit Send is kind of a social media SOS for parents and teenagers to talk them through a big picture of what I think they need to know to have a positive online experience,” Rebecca said. While being online can have its downsides, Rebecca was adamant that participating in social media and being online doesn’t have to be off limits. ”There are certain tips and strategies that I think you need to know so being online is a more positive experience,” Rebecca said.

Pictured: “I love this school,” Rebecca said sincerely. “It’s a joy for me to come back.”

“WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR HEADSPACE BY FOLLOWING PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE AND ENGAGE US.” – Rebecca Sparrow, Old Scholar, author, columnist and speaker of maintaining the same rules for real-world and online friendships.

“One of the big messages that I give to teens is the importance of curating “I genuinely had an amazing time at St Peters,” Rebecca remarked. “I think the internet, social media their social media feeds,” Rebecca “I found my tribe. I had brilliant and smart phones have changed said as she urged students to follow friends and I think that makes all everything,” Rebecca said positive role models. the difference.” frankly, adding: “A lot of parents… particularly my generation of parents, “We need to protect our headspace “If you want to be online that’s fine, by following people who inspire feel completely out of their depth but go in with your eyes open!” about how to help their kids navigate and engage us; who make us see the world in a different way; or feel these changes.” More information is available excited by what we can achieve.” at Rebecca’s website: During her presentation, Rebecca also imparted the importance


Plus Ultra / Around the School

Sarah and Joshua: Keeping the Faith

Boarding Faith Captains have an important part to play within their boarding families. Sarah Mahoney and Joshua Koyama are the 2017 Boarding Faith Captains. They chatted to Plus Ultra about their roles and the challenges of keeping the faith in Girls and Boys Boarding Houses.



hat qualities do you think make you a good Faith Captain? I believe I’m very good at communicating with everyone in the Girls Boarding house…and caring and helping to make everyone enjoy boarding that little bit extra by having a laugh. I’m there for all the girls if they need someone to talk to.


hat are your responsibilities?

Every fortnight, we have a Boarding Chapel on Sunday night that Joshua (Koyama) and I organise.


We organise Chapels and help the other Boarding Captains with activities they run.


hat have you learned from being a Faith Captain, and how do you think it impacts/helps your fellow boarding family? Organising Chapels and communicating with everyone to let them know what’s going on. I believe just being there for everyone has impacted Girls Boarding. I feel the girls now have a better understanding of the role.

“I’M THERE FOR ALL THE GIRLS IF THEY NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO.” – Sarah Mahoney, Girls Boarding Faith Captain

Plus Ultra / Around the School



hat qualities do you think make you a good Faith Captain? Care about the faith and how it is brought across; being open towards others; determination to do my best; and a genuine passion for the role.


hat are your responsibilities?

I plan several Chapel services and lead those services, and I do a lot of the weekend prayer meetings. I can talk to the boys about things that they may need help with and just try to give good advice.


hat have you learned from being a Faith Captain, and how do you think it impacts/helps your fellow boarding family? I have learned that planning things out carefully is the best way to make

“I HAVE LEARNED THAT PLANNING THINGS OUT CAREFULLY IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE SURE THINGS TURN OUT. CHAPELS HAVE TO BE PLANNED WELL TO KEEP EVERYONE INTERESTED AND HAVING FUN.” – Joshua Koyama, Boys Boarding Faith Captain sure things turn out. Chapels have to be planned well to keep everyone interested and having fun. I have gained confidence in speaking to big groups and I have learned that not all of them share my views, but I still have to work with all people.

decisions for themselves regarding Christianity and the faith. Boarding is a family so I hope my fellow boarders can learn to come together and to build a stronger and healthier community within boarding. Photography courtesy of Sean Wilson.

I have presented Chapel services based upon the values of a good community so I hope that the boarders can take from this the values of trust, respect, teamwork and challenges boarders to make


Plus Ultra / Community


On Friday 21 and Monday 24 April, St Peters Springfield and Indooroopilly campuses commemorated ANZAC Day. We thank our service men and women who have endured suffering and loss and laid down their lives for our freedom.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends – John 15:12-13

// St Peters Celebrates ANZAC Day

// Brynlea Admitted to Oxbridge Program

Brynlea Gibson, Year 11 student “I find it very exciting that I will be in an entirely new at St Peters Indooroopilly, setting such as a university in has been accepted into the another country with people Oxbridge Academic program my age from all over the world,” for Years 9-12 students at the Brynlea said. “I am thrilled University of St Andrews in to be able to network with Fife, Scotland. Brynlea will other enthusiastic students undertake a major in Medicine and a minor in Creative Writing who are coming to study their passions and possible future at the prestigious university career pathways.” from 20 June – 17 July.

On Tuesday 23 May, St Peters Indooroopilly hosted the Brisbane Schoolgirls’ Rowing Association (BSRA) Indoor Rowing Championships.

// St Peters Hosts BRSA Indoor Rowing Championships


The Performing Arts Centre Auditorium resounded with the cheering of supporters from more than ten competing schools.

Congratulations to St Peters Year 12 team, who won their event by a convincing margin.

Plus Ultra / Community

In May, the Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ ) ‘Catalyst’ Journal published an article about an Action Research Project undertaken by St Peters Indooroopilly Prep Coordinator, Kelly McBurnie, and Prep Teachers, Deborah Wilson and Adele Amorsen.

// St Peters Prep Teachers Published in Catalyst

The article entitled, ‘Talk to Me: Improving Oral Language

During National Lutheran Schools Week from 6-12 May, St Peters Springfield students participated in a lunchtime Awareness Walk. Students walked laps of the school oval in tribute to children in developing countries who walk great

in Prep’, details Kelly, Deborah and Adele’s year-long Action Research Project to discover best practice for optimal oral language development in young children. Read the article in the ‘Catalyst’ Winter 2017 issue at independentschoolsqueensland

distances to access food, water, education, work, medical services and safety. Together, students walked 302.6 kilometres in twenty minutes!

// National Lutheran Schools Week Walk

In March, Professor Wendy Mayer (1976), Associate Dean for Research at Australian Lutheran College (ALC), was appointed a Professor of the University of Divinity by its council.

// Wendy Mayer Named ALC’s First Professor

Professor Mayer, who is the first professor from ALC and only the third woman to be

appointed to the role at the University of Divinity, was fittingly awarded the title on International Women’s Day. Professor Mayer is also the new Director of the Australian Lutheran Institute of Theology and Ethics (ALITE).


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Thomas Barker: Seeing Red and Loving It!

St Peters Old Scholar, Thomas Barker (2004), wasn’t quite sure what career path he would take after school. However, a gap year in the UK set him on a path in Sports Management and he is currently the Queensland Reds Team Manager. Plus Ultra caught up with Thomas when he returned with the Reds for a training session at the College.


hat activities were you involved in at school?

I was mostly involved with cricket and rugby all the way through high school and AFL, briefly. In my early years at St Peters, I was involved in other extra-curricular activities but I loved playing cricket and rugby for St Peters more than any other activities.


hat are some of your favourite memories of St Peters?

I have very fond memories of Herbstfest in my early years of high school. I still remember the donut stall - they were the best! Of course, I have fond memories of watching Rugby on Mayer Oval from U13s to 1st XV. Years 11 and 12 were pretty enjoyable as well. Our cohort had a good rapport with all of our teachers so it was an enjoyable finish to my time at St Peters.


hat study/career path did you take after graduation?

After graduation, I took a gap year in the UK to pursue cricket opportunities there. This was a really good decision since I was 56

unsure at the time of what career path I wanted to go down. Upon returning to Australia, I worked for a few years for a finance company and then eventually decided to study Sport Science at university. From there I expanded to a dual degree in business and eventually landed my first job in the industry at the Brisbane Lions AFC.


hat’s your most satisfying and memorable career moment to date? I’m yet to be a part of a championship winning team at the top level (QLD Reds/Brisbane Lions). But managing the Brisbane Lions reserves side in the state league and winning the premierships in 2012 and 2013 were quite satisfying, given the hard work that goes into teams behind the scenes. I do also take great satisfaction with tours that run smoothly. Whilst results on-field haven’t won us any titles recently, as the team manager of a Super Rugby team responsible for all logistics of getting the team and staff around Australia, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and other pacific nations, it is great when all the hard work that goes into running a

Pictured: St Peters Old Scholar, Thomas Barker (2004) with QLD Reds player, Moses Sorovi (2013), also a St Peters Old Scholar, returned to the College for a QLD Reds training session.

tour pays off. Visiting some of these places (Buenos Aires, Samoa) have been fun too.


s Reds Team Manager, what advice would you give to our aspiring Rugby players? For anyone wanting to play professional rugby (men’s or women’s), remember that it is a long journey to get there and each stage of development is really important. For boys, there is a really clear pathway in Queensland, and schoolboy rugby is a firm part of that pathway. Playing first XV rugby and potentially AIC rugby certainly helps. After school, the Colts system in premier rugby and Queensland U20s team is a good goal. The best advice is to always be striving to improve. Even professional players well into their careers are continually looking to become better. So, always proactively seeking improvement is a great way to go!

Plus Ultra / SPOSA

2017 Reunion Program 15 – 17 September 2017


Saturday 16 September 10.00am

Morning tea (Ross Roy) Cost: $10


Songs of Praise (Chapel)


Diamond and Golden Graduates Luncheon (Café 45) Cost: $45


Tour of the College (departing from Café 45)


Canapés with the Head of College (P&F Centre)

Sunday 17 September 9.00am

Sunday Service (Chapel)


Annual photo of Old Scholars (Chapel)


Congregation morning tea (Chapel forecourt)


Annual General Meeting (P&F Centre – top level)

For information about other reunions and coordinators visit


Plus Ultra / SPOSA

Heather Patrick (McBride 1948)

Dr Heather Dell Patrick (nee McBride) was one of 56 founding scholars to commence secondary schooling at St Peters in 1945. She was part of the Girls’ Sport Committee; Girls’ Captain of Yellow House (changed to Leichhardt House in 1946); Captain of the A Basketball (Netball) team; a member of ‘The Review’ (yearbook) Committee; and Girls’ Head Prefect from 1947-48. While at St Peters, Heather’s exploits included: climbing the large Bunya tree in front of Ross Roy House to gather nuts; climbing a ladder onto the roof of Ross Roy to take in the view of Brisbane River; ‘borrowing’ a row boat to take a friend for a jaunt on the river; and leaping through the verandah window of Ross Roy to land in the middle of Mr Lohe’s history class. Heather attended the University of Queensland (UQ ), completing degrees in Arts and Medicine. A talented swimmer, she received a UQ Blues Award, awarded to men and women in recognition of outstanding sporting achievements and was made Captain of the Australian University Sport (AUS) swimming team. After university, Heather completed residencies at the Princess Alexandra and Nambour hospitals. Throughout her career, she enjoyed HEATHER positions at Queensland HAD A Health’s Department PASSION FOR of Maternal and Child Welfare; Concorde SURFING, TRAVELLING Repatriation Hospital in Sydney; and the Prince AND Charles Hospital in PAINTING. Brisbane, interspersed with stints as a surgeon aboard a ship bound for the United Kingdom and as a locum in Queensland. In 1973, she married fellow doctor, Ross Patrick. Heather had a passion for surfing, travelling and painting. She enjoyed sojourns to India, Ireland, Europe, America and China and trekked in the Himalayas and United Kingdom. In their retirement, she assisted Ross in researching and writing medical history books. For the cover of her


Pictured (L–R): Heather (McBride) and classmates, Dina Moorhouse (Ludcke) and Colin Schmidt, graduated from St Peters in 1948.

favourite title, ‘Exiles Undaunted: The Irish Rebels, Kevin and Eva O’Doherty’, she painted a portrait of Kevin and Eva. Heather passed away on Saturday 25 March, 2017. A posthumous exhibition of Heather’s paintings will be held on Friday 21 July from 7.00pm at St Peters Performing Arts Centre. Sales from Heather’s paintings will be directed to St Peters Helping Hands. St Peters thanks Heather’s nephew, Russel Ditchburn, for his generosity.

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Ross Roy in Brisbane Open House Festival

This year, Ross Roy House at St Peters Indooroopilly will be a part of Brisbane Open House, a free public festival that celebrates Brisbane’s architecture and offers access to 100 buildings across the city. In 2017, Ross Roy House will also celebrate its 120 th birthday. Ross Roy was designed by Claude W Chambers as a residence for Daniel

Collings, a tea merchant. Built in 1897, Ross Roy was originally named ‘Indoocombe’ after the Collings property in Tasmania. Around 1910, the family of Ross Munro took possession of the house and it was renamed ‘Ross Roy’ after Ross and his son, Roy Munro.

Ross Roy will be open to Brisbane Open House festival-goers on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October from 10.00am – 3.00pm. Tours will be conducted on the hour. For more information about Brisbane Open House Festival visit

In 1945, Ross Roy was sold to the United Evangelical Lutheran Church and repurposed as a secondary Lutheran school: St Peters Lutheran College.

SPOSA presents An exhibition of the paintings of

SPOSA Wine Fundraiser

Heather Patrick (McBride) In preparation for St Peters 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2020, St Peters Old Scholars Association (SPOSA) is fundraising for a Memorial Wall and I Remember photo spot.

Friday 21 July, 7.00pm, St Peters Performing Arts Centre (upper level) Champagne & Canapés provided RSVP to

In support of these projects, SPOSA offers a selection of wines branded with a commemorative label for purchase. Sourced from boutique vineyards in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, the wines embody the characteristics of: quality, authenticity, regionality, varietal integrity, interesting terroir, and value. To browse the full wine list, visit au/view-fundraiser.php?fid=310 For a paper order form, contact SPOSA on 07 3377 6592.


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Births, Deaths, Marriages

G Adam James Gray (1996) 19 April 1979 - 19 May 2017 Adam started in Year 7 in 1991 and completed Year 12 in 1996. Adam was a keen rugby player and was part of the TAS Rugby 1st XV team who won the Premiership against Padua (41-5). Adam passed away suddenly on 19 May on the eve of launching his own Jiu Jitsu academy in Brisbane.

H Valarie Hall (Berghofer 1948) 10 Dec 1930 - 14 Dec 2016 Valarie was one of 56 founding scholars who started at St Peters in 1945. Valarie was a student in Sub-Junior and enjoyed learning the piano. After graduation, she returned to her home town, Toowoomba, and worked as an office worker for Larges Foundry until she married Alec Hall in 1951. Mark Holmans (1979) 6 Nov 1962 - 7 April 2017 Mark became a student of St Peters in Year 7 and completed Year 12 in 1979. Mark was a keen music student and played violin and guitar. He was also a part of the Concert Choir in 1979.


W Some years later, Mark married Cathy Merrin (1982). Mark passed away on 7 April 2017. Aileen Huth (1947) 6 April 1934 - 28 Oct 2016 Aileen attended St Peters for her sub scholarship year in 1947, along with her sisters Juanita and Barbara (1950). On leaving the College, she returned to the family farm in Woongoolba and dedicated her life to farming. Aileen married Malcolm Huth, a farmer, in 1953.


Vickie White (McCombe 1962) 23 March 1945 - 20 April 2017 Vickie attended St Peters from 1959 – 60, completing her Junior year before becoming a cadet nurse in 1961 and undertaking four years of training at the Maryborough Hospital. Vickie nursed in general nursing, theatre nursing, midwifery and aged care. She married Clive White in 1966. They had two children. Her sister, Dianne (1965) also attended St Peters. She also has a brother, John.


Matthias Lechner (1954) 13 April 1936 - 20 April 2016 Matthias had many fond memories of his time at St Peters. He was a Year 6 student in 1950 but only spent a short time at St Peters. In later years, Matthias married his one true love, Emmy. They enjoyed 56 wonderful years together, living in Papua New Guinea for 15 years, before settling in Leutershausen, Germany. Congratulations to Genevieve Kanowski (2007) and Thom Hughes on their engagement. Genevieve and Thom are in Germany and will return to Brisbane to marry.

Plus Ultra July 2017  

Plus Ultra is the official magazine of St Peters Lutheran College, incorporating Old Scholars' news.

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