Compass No. 593 November 2020

From the Principal

Thank You and Farewell

In a year that has been vastly different to what any of us expected, the leadership, adaptability and positivity of our Year 12 cohort has been an important component in the maintenance and enhancement of experiences for our community. As well as navigating the new senior certification processes, our seniors have supported students across P-12 to maintain community connection and a sense of belonging as we moved through different modes of learning delivery and practices this year. I particularly want to thank our College Captains, Pacific Action Group Captains and House Captains for the important role they have played as they have adapted and creatively found ways for students and staff to connect, care for others and have fun.

Each of our Year 12 students have developed different capabilities and strengths and are well prepared to take their next step into life beyond school. We congratulate each of you for what you have achieved and who you have become. We thank you for what you have given and wish you every blessing as you step forward into your next adventure. As you go, step forward with hands that build and continue to shine the light of hope and possibility. Know that God walks gently beside you. God Bless!

Principal's Log

As our Year 12 students graduate this week, we will also be farewelling a number of parents, some of whom have been with us since the commencement of the College. Through their support and contribution, they have been instrumental in shaping the College to who we are today. We thank all of those families who have been part of our community for your contribution and entrusting us with the privilege to grow with you and your family. You remain an important part of our community and we are deeply appreciative of all you have given and been.

It has been great to feel the energy and excitement of our Year 12 students as they have completed exams and now prepare to engage in the final rites of passage of school life. The 3-on-3 basketball competition held on Tuesday night between Year 11 and 12 students may become a new tradition, with all players having a lot of fun. We look forward to the graduation, final chapel and formal over the next two days. 

We have been very fortunate to have been able to play as much sport as we have this year. As we celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams at our Sports Awards this week, we also express our appreciation to teachers, parents and coaches who have navigated changing contexts to continue to provide opportunities for our students. We particularly thank Acting Head of Sport Mr Darren Hooper and Sports Aide Mrs Natalie Campbell who have provided tremendous support to our community through their attention to detail, high levels of professionalism, creativity and ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions. We appreciate Mr Hooper’s generosity of spirit in his willingness to take on the very large role Head of Sport P-12 this year to maintain the continuity of sporting opportunities and culture for our students.

The new senior certification process has brought a different rhythm of learning particularly for Year 10 and 11 students who need to maintain intensity as they learn important new material right up until the end of this term. Next week provides important opportunity for all Middle College and Year 10 students to learn through the feedback they receive from their assessments. It is important that students learn to build from their strengths and to identify next steps forward rather than have an emotional response to the result. Family conversations should support young people to reflect on what have they learnt well and then identify one or two things that they can do to improve. Owning learning and learning to set small achievable goals that will make a difference is an important life lesson.

This week, families were emailed information regarding the Year 6-11 Closing Service on Tuesday 1st December. Parents are reminded to notify the College by this Friday 20th November if their child will not be attending this event using the following link: students not attending. Your assistance in early notification is important to enable us to effectively plan this event to meet COVID-19 requirements and provide optimum opportunity for parents to attend.

We say a prayer of thanks for the gifts that our Year 12 students and their families have given to this community and pray that God would hold them all in his care.

Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal 

From the College Pastor

Slowing Down to Walk

This week we farewell our Year 12 cohort. One of the activities I am blessed to do with the Year 12 students in their last week of school is to lead a labyrinth walk for them. It’s a great activity for the students to do when their time at school is quickly finishing to do the counter-intuitive thing of slowing down. We gather around the outside labyrinth at the College, which is across the ovals near the edge of the rainforest. We stop and take time to put one foot in front of the other and walk the path that leads to the centre of the labyrinth. When we walk the labyrinth for the first time our mind naturally wants to look to see where the path goes. But this is where the problem lies. When we take our eyes off the path directly in front of our feet, we lose our way and cross over onto the wrong path that gets us lost and confused. Walking the labyrinth is a metaphor for so much of our journey through life. This simple practice is an apt activity for graduating seniors as they contemplate the end of their formal schooling and the start of the rest of their journey through life. Here is a prayer by the Australian cartoonist and poet Michael Leunig about these things, the pilgrim who walks the path of life:

Dear God, we pray for another way of being: another way of knowing. Across the difficult terrain of our existence we have attempted to build a highway and in so doing have lost our footpath. God lead us to our footpath: Lead us there where in simplicity we may move at the speed of natural creatures and feel the earth's love beneath our feet. Lead us there where step-by-step we may feel the movement of creation in our hearts. And lead us there where side-by-side we may feel the embrace of the common soul. Nothing can be loved at speed. God lead us to the slow path; to the joyous insights of the pilgrim; another way of knowing: another way of being. Amen.

Pastor Tim Jarick, College Pastor

From the Director of Students

Pastoral Care

Referred to as the negative bias, humankind is hardwired to experience the negative more strongly than the positive. I am sure that if you cast your mind back, this may well be true of your own life’s experiences. Whilst this is considered a normal human disposition, it is crucial that we train our brain to hold on to the good stuff that occurs and this can be achieved through demonstrating gratitude, committing random acts of kindness or savouring God’s creation.

While this year presented restrictions, it also provided opportunities to do things differently. As we were required to limit the mixing of age groups as best we could, the Middle and Senior College had to pivot to a horizontal structure for pastoral care, hence the need for Pastoral House Groups (PHGs).

It is testament to our exceptionally caring staff at the College, that this change was relatively smooth. In a positive sense, it provided greater opportunities for staff to learn more about other students and for students to learn more about their peers. Underlying this structure was a constancy in the provision of authentic care for all students. The Latin term ‘cura personalis’ (care for the whole person) most associated with Jesuit education, has definitely been exhibited by the staff who have had an important role in not only getting to know the individual, but also, in helping them to navigate the year. This is witnessed within PHGs, our learning spaces and in the many co-curricular offerings.

We are pleased to announce, subject to any COVID restrictions, we will be reverting back to Pastoral Care Groups (PCGs) in 2021. Understandably there may be some questions as to what this means for your young person. To this end, please reach out to your child’s Head of House, Mr Mark Hauser (Head of Senior College Students), or myself, if you have any aspects you would like clarified. In brief, your child will be assigned the same PCG that they had at the commencement of 2020.

Finishing Well

Over the coming weeks there is a tremendous amount of end of year activities occurring both in and out of school hours. Regardless of the event, or your child’s involvement, it is expected that each student engages positively and purposefully. We encourage all students to finish well and to take pride in their schooling over the coming weeks.


A reminder that all students are required to wear a helmet whilst cycling to and from school. It is important that this habit becomes second nature. Students should be aware that it is law to do so and, in keeping with community expectations, those who are seen without a helmet will be followed up with by their Head of House.

Mr Ben Ryan, Director of Students

From the Head of Staff and Students P-5


At assembly this week, the junior school examined the final piece of the PERMA framework. The ‘A’ in PERMA stands for achievement or accomplishment. It is fitting that as we near the end of a year filled with change, we reflect on what it means to accomplish or achieve something we have set out to do.

Some years back, I read with interest that the overwhelming cue humans use when they have achieved or succeeded is to stand legs apart and fists high over the head. These studies showed that even people who were vision impaired react the same way, suggesting that this response is hard wired into our DNA.

When reflecting on this message of achievement, every single one of our staff and students have made immense progress in achieving what we had set out to do this year. If we cast our minds back to the beginning of the year and consider how far we have come, we can all pinpoint times when we overcame limitations for us to flourish and grow as individuals. Whether it be in the academics, on the sporting field or in our relationships, the vision of our community with arms aloft is fitting for the journey and progress we have made and will continue to make now and into the future.

As this is my last Compass article for the year, I would like to make special mention of Mrs Sarah Atkinson who has worked hard to provide meaningful and relevant information about our You Can Do It program this year. By sharing the messages at assemblies with our students and more broadly with parents, Mrs Atkinson has ensured that our Pastoral Care values are continued to be reinforced at home, as well as at school. 

Ceremonies and Celebrations

Next week we will begin to formally acknowledge the achievements of our students, staff and families with an Academic Awards Ceremony on Friday 27th November and the Prep – Year 5 Closing Service on Monday 30th November. An email with specific details of these events was sent home this week. With our COVID safe plan still in place, all events will be ticketed and only open to the community in a reduced capacity.

End of Year Functions

As has been the case for the majority of the year, sharing of food on campus is not permissible and will not be allowed for the end of the year class parties and events. These guidelines extend to bringing food items, such as candy canes and lollies, into classes for distribution amongst peers. We ask you to follow the direction communicated by your child’s teacher regarding end of year functions.

As the end of the year is nearly upon us, I would like to thank the wider Pacific community for the way you have supported our staff and students in circumstances that were new to all of us. We truly appreciate your flexibility in adapting to the guidelines that have needed to be implemented. I hope you all have a safe and restful Christmas and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.

Take care and God bless.

Mr Damian Davis, Head of Staff and Students P-5

Food for Thought

Cyber Bullying

Some examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Hurtful or abusive messages;
  • Creating fake accounts in someone’s name to trick or humiliate people;
  • Spreading nasty rumours or lies about someone; and/or
  • Sharing photos of someone to make fun of them or humiliate them.

For more information on what to do about cyberbullying, visit:

Mrs Annie Williams, College Counsellor

Cultural News

'Centre Stage' Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the following place winners for this year’s ‘Centre Stage’ online talent competition, which was run by the Cultural Pacific Action Group (PAG).

More than 50 entrants were judged by Industry Professional, Clint Bolster from Homunculus Theatre Company.

We thank him for the hours of time and effort spent on this arduous task!

  • 1st Place – Jasmin Groves –Original Song, Vocal and Piano
  • 2nd Place – tied between Madison Randl, Dance and Stella Geelhoed, Animation
  • 3rd Place – Alexander Jose, Piano

Well done to everyone who entered the competition and thank you to the Cultural PAG for their leadership.

Mrs Helen Williams, Head of Instrumental Music 

St Mark’s Lutheran Church

Holy Communion Worship

We are pleased to announce that we hold fortnightly public worship services at 14 Bombala Terrace on the first and third Sunday of each month. Our care is for the vulnerable and wider community with the resources we have at one location.

Bookings are now available by clicking here or follow us on Facebook and visit our Church webpage. Please contact Janelle on 0488 556 150 for booking assistance.

Weekly online worship for St Mark’s is also available at our Church webpage or Facebook page.

All are welcome.

Pastor Ray Morris, St Mark’s Lutheran Church (0429 856 532 or

General Notices

Entertainment Books

Pacific Lutheran College is fundraising with Entertainment™ again this year. Order your Entertainment™ Books and Entertainment™ Digital Memberships today and 20% of the proceeds will go towards Pacific Lutheran Early Learning Centre. For a limited time, when you purchase an Entertainment™ Book, an additional $10 or $20 will also be donated to our Early Learning Centre.

To order your book or digital membership, visit: