From the Principal
At the end of last term, all College staff participated in the Annual Staff Retreat. This year the Retreat focused upon identity, as we considered Who God is, Who we are and who our students are? The Retreat is a time of reflection, worship, fellowship and celebration of significant years of service for our peers. The three days included sharing fellowship, thinking, singing, talking and praying together. This year we were privileged to have performance poet and author Joel McKerrow share with us. His provocations provided wonderful encouragement for us to think deeply about our identity.
The Retreat is a vitally important time for the College staff and it plays a significant part in our spiritual, professional and personal lives. Taking time to reflect on serving together and our individual relationships with God is so very important.
The New Term
Students at the different campuses have returned to school to see work well underway or completed as a part of our capital works, maintenance and landscaping program. This has included classroom renovations, the relocation and upgrade of some facilities, new furnishings and updated technologies. I am extremely grateful to the maintenance and grounds staff for their tireless work over the break.
Commencement services at the start of each term have become an important contributor to the tone and culture of the College. They also provide a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate student achievement, feature specific aspects of the program, witness musical performances and nurture a sense of community.
I have been extremely pleased to see the continued development of these occasions and the particularly positive participation by the students.
A feature of these gatherings has been the involvement of the College School Captains.
I have included a copy of the address that was shared at the Senior School Commencement Assembly this week by Jude Cudmore:
Evidence of the ‘Learning that Matters’ and our call to do ‘God’s Good Work’
I would like to discuss today, the idea of good work and in turn what we learn from completing this good work. One of the Christian College mottos is The Learning That Matters. You see it associated with all of the Christian College branding, websites, publications and advertisements. To be honest I’ve never really given it too much contemplation, other than to think it is a catchy little sentiment. Superficially I could say that all learning matters and that we attend school to be instructed in various academic subjects to attain a level of proficiency that enables us to pursue a career or further education once we have completed our secondary schooling. Yet as we continue through the year and as I have taken advantage of all that our school offers to us as students, I have come to appreciate that these words, The Learning That Matters, have a deeper meaning for all of us, that some may yet to realise.
My time at Christian College has revealed that learning is not confined to the time we spend in the classroom or the texts we study or the exams we sit. We have the opportunity to learn in any number of circumstances. The prefect’s recent time in East Timor was just one example of this. At every turn we had the opportunity to learn. To learn what sleeping on an airport floor feels like, to learn how we take our smooth bitumen roads in Australia for granted after spending 8 hours on pot holed filled, bumpy rocky, decrepit roads. To learn how friendly and engaging the people on the side of the road were as they watched this motley crew from Geelong navigate the terrain and elements.
Our time in Viqueque was where for me, some really life changing learning happened. Yes we learnt about the history of East Timor and all the political upheaval that they have endured. I learnt about the living conditions and how extremely basic they are. I learnt about the food and food prep in an environment free of reliable refrigeration and snazzy appliances.
The most significant thing that I learnt however was the power of fostering friendships and relationships with the local community. The children were just so full of love and happiness and sheer delight in spending time with us. What I truly learnt in a way that is not the least bit academic, but felt from deep within, is the absolute joy you feel yourself when you believe you have done something that has made someone else feel happier, or better, or worthy. The joy that comes when you give of yourself is really what I learnt. It is one thing to do the right thing because you feel you should, it is quite another to do it because you know the joy it brings to someone else. As Hebrews 6:10 states - “God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”.
- Jude Cudmore, Year 12 student and College Captain
It is very affirming to hear a student share and articulate such mature reflections on the education they and their peers are receiving at Christian College Geelong.
This was definitely a fine example of ‘The Learning That Matters.’
Best wishes for the term ahead.