Compass No. 571 May 2020

From the Principal

Navigating Change

We have all been navigating substantial change in our lives. How we navigate change can be a little like sailing a boat. There are times where we have read the winds and the currents correctly, set our sails well and can be racing along. Sails filled with wind can suddenly flap with changes in wind speed or direction and we can be stalled or winds can strengthen and we find ourselves overpowered and out of control.  Waves too can come unpredictably. Equipment can unexpectedly break and need creative solutions. Sailing requires us to prepare, take strong notice of forecasts, grow our skills, learn to read the signs and is easier with a good crew. It requires a firm, skilful, responsive hand at the helm that can adjust and learn through good and poor decisions. As we stand at the helm of our own lives, we can navigate change in the same way. We can take careful note of the conditions and changes around us, learn new skills, seek and heed advice from experienced sailors, be prepared to try out new things, know that we won’t always get it right, and be responsive and adaptive. Being part of a good crew who move lightly through change helps us to relax and make the most of the journey.

The good news for us as Christians is that God stands right alongside us as we do our best. He is there as a constant guide and strong member of our crew who never sleeps! We can be confident in His love and grace for us, enabling us to steer with light hands, confident that there is a safe and welcoming harbor ahead.

Principal's Log

It has been enjoyable to be able to walk and talk to staff and students on campus, to connect with students online and to also engage with families through Zoom interviews as we have conducted Prep interviews in an online environment. In all contexts, the high value that we all naturally place on having connection with other people has come through strongly. As our Year 2 to 10 students return, it will be the face to face connections that people will be looking forward to most.

The return of Year 2 to 10 students next Monday will necessitate changes for everyone in the community. It is important that we all understand and follow the practices and expectations that are being put into place to protect the health and safety of our community. Families should ensure that they have read the communication sent on Wednesday afternoon and also read the material specifically for Prep to Year 5 and Year 6-12 families that will be sent tomorrow.

Finally, a huge thank you to all of our parents, staff and students for the way you have navigated, learnt and grown together.  We are a great crew!

Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal

From the College Pastor

Falling your Giants

(David said to Goliath); You come to me with sword, spear and javelin,

I come to you in the name of the Lord. – 1 Samuel 17:45

The biblical story of David slaying the giant Goliath is one of those stories that capture the imagination no matter how old or young you are. It is the classic plot of the small guy battling something bigger and more powerful. Giant slaying stories abound through literature and film; ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ from fairytales, Roald Dahl's ‘Big Friendly Giant’, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ from Jonathan Swift, including one of my favourites, the Jack Black 2010 movie version. The plot of falling the giant is popular because who of us at times do not have fears that tower over us like giants? Who of us has not given up on something that we think is too big and overpowering for us to handle?

The crux of the David and Goliath story is that the small insignificant shepherd boy is not terrified by what he sees. David is so immersed in God that he does not cower before the giant. David had not lost his awareness of God. He saw what no one else did that he could defeat the powerful giant with five smooth stones. He ran and with one stone from his sling killed Goliath, in the middle of his head and down he fell. David dealt with the giant Goliath by trusting in the Lord. He believed that the Lord would deliver him as he had in the past. What a way to deal with your giants!

The message we can take from this archetypal story for our world today is this. While we continue to face social distancing, health concerns, changes to the way we learn, work and live, we can still have faith in a God who is present for us and bigger than our giants. We live in the shadow of giants, yes. But when we view the shadows from the perspective of the light, we get them in the right perspective. We live in the shadow of gigantic problems, which are only giants when we see them apart from the source of light. The light that is for us, Christ. 

Prayer: Lord, give us such a shining imagination and faith that we trust in you to deal with our giants. 

Pastor Tim Jarick, College Pastor

From the Director of Students

Stronger Together

We welcome back all students next week as we continue our academic journey together at Pacific. I have never been more confident to say that we are all incredibly excited to see the College grounds filled with young people eager to connect once again with each other face to face (albeit 1.5m apart) and engaging in dynamic learning activities. It would be remiss of me not to thank the Year 11 and 12 students for their adherence to social distancing requirements and for the energy they have brought with them back onto campus.

Several weeks ago, I reminded staff and students in Middle and Senior College of the importance of being able to exhibit some control in supporting our own wellbeing. I expressed the fact that students should be able to identify support structures, people and activities that help them feel better, which, in turn, leads to sense of control and autonomy. Collectively, commencing with online PCG, students have been invited to take part in a range of activities which have been engaging, fun and out of the ordinary. I thank Mr Damien Evans, Ms Leigh Finter and Mr Brett Kersnovske and their teams of PCG teachers for the creativity they have brought to this aspect of your child’s school day. Likewise, one of the support structures put in place was our Wellbeing Check-In surveys, which students completed twice a week. Redacted data suggested that for the vast majority of our young people, they were waking up with a positive mindset which speaks volumes to how all stakeholders have played their part so far in this online learning journey. We will continue to survey students on their return and ensure that their wellbeing and safety is our number one priority.

The hymn ‘Blessed be the Tie that Binds’ is a gentle reminder of how we all have an important role to support each other and maintain connections. Crucially, it is the fact that we are stronger together that has ensured we are doing so well under current circumstances. I encourage families to continue checking in with their children as they navigate the return to classroom learning with open questions about how their days have been and what they are most looking forward to as they return to school. I encourage families to reach out to their child’s PCG teacher or Head of House in the first instance if further support is needed during this transition back to College.

Mr Ben Ryan, Director of Students

From the Head of Learning K-5

We’re Up To The Challenge!

As we return to the new normal here at Pacific, it’s easy to take for granted some of the challenges we have already overcome. In particular I think the work of teachers and parents should be acknowledged as the full gravity of their response to moving online is hard to comprehend. Within an incredibly short space of time we have moved children’s learning program online, into interfaces and learning management systems they had not used for this purpose previously. With dozens of students relying on teacher’s sense of calm, feedback and support, our teachers and parents rose to the challenge whilst dealing with the impact of Covid-19 on their own lives. There is no doubt that our young people are blessed to be part of the learning community with such strong partnerships between parents, teachers and students.

There are many challenges ahead, but we are well placed to face them with confidence. Empathy, compassion, community and grace are more important in our world than ever. The focus on developing these dispositions and values in students has been a focus for some time in our classrooms, but now takes on additional significance. Our teachers are up to the challenge. We are excited to welcome back the rest of our students next week. It’s been smiles all around these last two weeks from everyone on campus and wonderful to celebrate the learning that has taken place at home and in the classroom.

Mrs Sue Zweck, Head of Learning K-5

Library News

Jacaranda Writing Competition

Jacaranda Publishers are providing an opportunity for teachers and students in Years 7-12 to be published in a new book next year. There are five categories:

  • Short story – 4000 word limit (Fiction or Non-Fiction)
  • Essay – 2000 word limit (Theme: COVID-19 Pandemic)
  • Poetry – No word limit (Fiction or Non-Fiction)
  • Flash Fiction – 1000 word limit
  • Micro-Fiction – 300 word limit

Entries are due by 26th June. More details and submission guidelines can be found by clicking here.


Junior Readers

‘Funny Kid’ by Matt Stanton

Laugh out loud with the ‘Funny Kid’ series. Max loves making people laugh. He is the funny kid of his class, equally happy to tell the jokes as he is being the butt of the jokes. From class elections and camping trips gone wrong, to prank wars and talent quests, this book has everything to make it slide-splitting and lots of fun. This hilarious series is perfect for fans of Tom Gates or Big Nate. You can find the first three books in the series in the PLC library or as eBooks:


Middle Readers

‘Ingo’ by Helen Dunmore

Mermaids and magic abound in this beautiful series. Sapphire has always loved the stories her father shared with her about the Mer, the people who live beneath the waves in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. When Sapphire’s father disappears, Sapphire finds herself drawn to the sea. There is a magical world just waiting for her to discover it, but Sapphire may not be the only one the water is calling. Read the first three books in the series in eBook format:

Senior Readers

‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ by Brigid Kemmerer

Love fantasy? Love fairytale retellings? Love strong heroines and magic and romance? ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ is an incredible fantasy novel. Harper’s mother is sick and needs treatment they can’t afford and her brother is being forced to work as a debt collector. Workings as a lookout for her brother one night, Harper stumbles into an altercation and is magically transported to another world. Commander Grey has done everything he can to help Prince Rhen break the curse that binds them both. While Harper wasn’t his ideal choice as the last maiden to attempt to break the curse, she continues to surprise them all with her caring heart and determined and independent ways, especially when Rhen’s kingdom is threatened by external forces. Read the eBook:

Ms Madison Dearnaley, Teacher Librarian

St Mark’s Lutheran Church

Keep in Touch


Pastor Ray Morris

0429 856 532

Pastor Ray, St Mark's Lutheran Church