From the Head of Senior School

Going Upstream – An Approach to Decreasing Anxiety

A man was walking along a river and someone ran up to him yelling, "a person is drowning in the water", drifting downstream. The man jumped in and saved the person. As he was walking away after ensuring all was well, the same person yelled out that another person was drowning in the river, drifting downstream. The man again jumped in and saved this person. Once being comfortable that this person was fine, the man walked away and there was a yell of another person drowning in the river, drifting downstream.

Instead of jumping in, this time the man walked away. The people gathered, becoming confused, and one asked him why he was walking away. The man replied: “I am going upstream to see why people are falling in”.

The essence of this story is often that we work downstream, in a reactive way - waiting for things to go wrong and then try to remedy them.

The aim should also be to go upstream, and be proactive in discovering the “why”.

This is what we are trying to do with our approach to anxiety.



This week the staff have focussed on Anxiety with their House groups and we held a staff forum to discuss this issue.

The biggest concern we face at school is Anxiety. Students present with anxiety often, and we have structures in place to deal with it, but we know we need to do more. The staff forum was ably led by Ms Kim Doherty and Mr Brendan Vanderkley. Our Chaplain, Ms Lena Johnstone, led the summary and way forward. We looked at what anxiety is and what are the triggers. We then discussed possible strategies to overcome anxiety.

From our findings, we are to meet again and develop a way forward. That will involve but not be exclusive to, professional speakers and greater development of our staff, workshops and programs designed to tackle anxiety.

The anxiety centred on examinations was the most common, along with relationships and expectations. Resilience is a key.

We welcome your thoughts on this at any stage.


The Debutante Balls

The College had their two Debutante Balls last weekend, and they were both marvellous events. There were 21 couples on both evenings, and all the ladies were stunning in their gowns and the gentlemen splendid in their suits.

On the Friday evening, Megan Heathcote and Zachary Schwarz spoke on behalf of their cohort. They both spoke brilliantly, conveying their personal journey at Christian College. It was extremely moving.

On the Saturday evening, Holly Peacock and Lachlan Brough both presented their speeches. The manner in which each led us through their feelings for the College was most notable.

All the dances were extremely well executed and the weeks of practising all paid off. The mothers or special friends dancing with the sons, as well as the daughters with their fathers or special friends, was a highlight. There must have been a special rehearsal or two at home, as all looked like they were auditioning for “Dancing with the Stars”.

A huge thank you to Ms Di Martin for all of her work in front of and behind the scenes. Her experience is much valued. Mrs Julie Weaver, who has only just left us, was responsible for so much of what is the Deb at Christian College. She kindly delayed her departure to Brisbane so that she may see the Debutante Balls through, like she has for so many years. We shall truly miss Julie. Ms Georgia Barber gave up her Sunday afternoons so that the students were able to rehearse. Her dedication to this and so many other tasks is much appreciated by all. We also thank Ms Mandy Calderwood and Mr Jason O’Loughlin for their roles.

We are always fortunate to have our CEO Mr Daryl Riddle OAM, his wife Ms Debbie Riddle along with our College Principal, Mr Glen McKeeman and wife, Ms Pam McKeeman, available to receive our Debutante couples.

All students and their families went home happy for what were two special events on our calendar.


Mr Graeme Dent

Head of Senior School 



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