Compass No. 594 November 2020

From the Principal

Christmas A Time of Renewal

Christmas invites us to slow down and celebrate the hope that Jesus’ birth has brought into the world and into our lives. New life brings joy. It is this joy that God would have us celebrate as we come together with families and friends to celebrate Christmas. We have been reminded of the value of simple things this year. Jesus came into the world to bring hope, joy and peace to all. We pray that each of us can rest and be renewed through this extraordinary gift.

Principal's Log

The final celebrations for our 2020 graduates were uplifting. Warmth and appreciation permeated all three graduation events. Throughout the Graduation, Year 12 Chapel, Guard of Honour and the Formal there was strong positive energy as graduates, their families, staff and students celebrated their journey. We thank our community for the way they have again creatively adapted to changed conditions to celebrate with our graduates. We congratulate and wish our graduates all the best in the next phase of their journey. We thank everyone for the part they have played in the support of our 2020 graduates through their journey and their final celebrations. We particularly thank Mr Mark Hauser and Mrs Leanne Bevis for the coordination of the graduation activities.

Congratulations to Year 6 student Phoebe Shearer who has won the Year 5-6 investigation division of the UQ Science Competition with a project about making her own aquaponics eco-system. She has also won an Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology bursary to continue with her investigations. These bursaries were highly competitive with only four being awarded to Prep - Year 12 students across Queensland. As a winner of the state competition, Phoebe was then nominated to enter the primary division of the national BHP Science and Engineering Awards where she is now one of 24 finalists from across Australia. We congratulate Phoebe on this outstanding achievement and look forward to hearing the results of the competition, when they are announced in February 2021. Well done to all Year 6 students who were entered into the competition and thank you to Mrs Linda Sydes for her leadership and inspiration in supporting our Year 6 students to engage in rich science learning.

We also congratulate Amelia Nightingale who has been awarded both the Bronze Certificate and the Silver Certificate in the ASDAN International Academic Awards. ASDAN awards are international awards, following the same structure as Duke of Edinburgh awards, but are based on community involvement and academic endeavour to foster self-confidence, self-awareness and an understanding of how to be a successful learner. Amelia has focused on a number of areas, working on the challenges at home, in her recreational activities and at school. Thank you to Mrs Jo Belchamber, Ms Kate Vaney, Mrs Colleen Beattie, Mrs Ceilidh King, Ms Roslyn Grewar and Mrs Janine Delaney for their support of Amelia. She has also been awarded a QCE point for her endeavours.

This week, we celebrated the growth and talent of our music students through a range of concerts, held both live and virtually. On Monday evening, our Senior Ensembles Concert was held in the gym while links to our Junior / Middle Ensembles Concert, Year 3-4 Strings Concert and Year 5-6 Multi-Instrumental Concert were emailed to families. Well done to all students on their enthusiasm and growth this year. The senior ensembles concert was an excellent showcase of talent. In a year where performances in the Arts have been limited, it was a delight to be entertained by our musicians. Thank you to our students and staff for the considerable time they have given in continuing to enhance the quality of music at the College. In particular, we thank Mrs Aleisha Tuaine, Mrs Helen Williams, Mr David Simpfendorfer and the instrumental tutors for their leadership of music at the College.

At years end we will farewell Head of Mumba House, Mr Damien Evans. Mr Evans has played an important role in the initial incorporation of digital technology into learning and in supporting students through his role as Year 7 teacher and Head of Mumba House. We wish him all the best as he takes on the role of Director of Learning and Innovation at Trinity Lutheran College, Mildura. We will also farewell Visual Art teacher Dr Kym Rodgers who is going to devote her time to her career as an artist, on both a local and international platform. She contributed strongly to the shaping of the Visual Art curriculum at Pacific. Dr Rodgers (Tabulo) has provided a unique opportunity for students to engage in and explore art through her research of abstract comics. We celebrate that she will continue as the Department’s artist in residence for 2021, providing further opportunities for students creative-thinking.

We also farewell contract teachers, Dr Ashwita Venkatesh, Ms Emma Angel, Mrs Jess Baker and Mrs Gina McCarthy. Dr Venkatesh has formed strong bonds with her Middle and Senior College students who have valued her strong encouragement and care. Ms Angel has supported our Prep students to grow as she has nurtured them as learners across all dimensions of their lives. Mrs Baker worked effectively with our Junior and Middle College HPE students to grow their skills and also provided assistance to the Sport Department at various carnivals throughout the year. Mrs McCarthy provided strong support to Middle and Senior College Design students who greatly benefitted from her experience as an architect. We express our deep appreciation to Dr Venkatesh, Ms Angel, Mrs Baker and Mrs McCarthy for their strong contribution to our community and wish them every blessing for the future.

We thank Mrs Wendy Wescombe and Mr Alex O’Connor who have capably led the Middle and Senior College Mathematics Departments this year. They can both be proud of the growth they have supported and we look forward to their ongoing contribution to the College as leaders within our community.

In 2021 we look forward to welcoming Ms Patricia Hosking as Head of Mathematics who has previously been Head of Mathematics at St Aidan's Anglican Girls School and The Southport School and the Principal Stem Advisor (Teacher in Residence) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT); Mr Gregg Elliot as an Art teacher who has had extensive experience as the Head of Visual Art at Nudgee College, worked within the QCAA as a Senior Education Officer (Art) and is currently at Immanuel Lutheran College as the Year 12 Coordinator and an Art teacher; Mrs Abigail Blessing as a Mathematics and Science teacher who was previously a STEM advisor for QUT and has taught extensively in the United Kingdom and Australia; and Miss Kathryn Eccles as a Foundation College teacher who has 10 years experience teaching in the early years at a number of schools.

We wish Head of Learning Middle College Mrs Rae Hall, every blessing as she takes some very well earned long service leave in Term 1 of next year and congratulate Mrs Jo Belchamber who will have the dual role of Acting Head of Learning Middle College and Head of Learning Enrichment for Term 1 of next year. We also wish Junior College teacher Mrs Leonie Prout every blessing as she takes a year of leave in 2021. We also congratulate Mr Josh Danzey who has been appointed as the Head of Mumba House from the start of 2021 and look forward to welcoming Mrs Marnie Whittaker and Mrs Susie Naidu back from maternity leave.

We thank Mrs Allyson Sarvari for her strong service to our community through her role on the Friends of Pacific. Allyson has been a passionate supporter of the College and been very generous with her time for 16 years, hosting food and drink stalls at athletic and surf carnivals, carol evenings, Open Days and of course, the biannual OCEANfests. She has been a driving force behind our volunteer triathlon crews, the legendary Golf Days, as well as many other external community activities. We also thank Mrs Erin Carter for her support of the College through generous sponsorship and various roles on the Friends of Pacific Executive. We thank both these women and wish them every blessing for the future.

As the academic year comes to a close, we look forward to celebrating the Year 9 Rite Journey Homecoming, Year 3-5 Academic Awards Ceremony, K-5 Christmas Carols and Closing Services with families over the coming days. Parents are encouraged to continue monitoring their emails for details of these events.

2020 has been an extraordinary year that has provided tremendous opportunities for growth. We can be proud of the role that we have each played as staff, students and parents in enhancing a culture that supports young people to grow richly. Thank you for all you have given and been for each other. God has blessed us richly through the people of this community.

May God continue to bless us richly and keep us safe over the Christmas break. God Bless!

Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal 

Important Notices

Year 6-11 Closing Service

Date: Tuesday 1st December

Time: 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start (students to arrive and be seated by 6.10pm for roll marking)

Location: The Events Centre, Caloundra

All Year 6-11 students are expected to attend this important community event in their formal uniform. If parents have not already notified the College that their child is unable to attend, we ask that you please notify your child’s Head of House by 3.00pm this Friday.

Due to restricted capacity, only one (1) guest per award recipient will be able to attend the service. Parents of award recipients have been emailed a link this morning to register their attendance.

So that all families can enjoy the service, a livestream link will be emailed next week.  

Ms Marg Gunn, Director of Staff

From the College Pastor

An End of Year Prayer

As we conclude the school year with reports, Closing Services, Christmas carols and break up functions, we give thanks for all that has been achieved in this most unusual of years…

Christ, Teacher and Lord,
Bless all at our College
As we seek to end our year
With your grace.

We give thanks for the students
The teachers and staff, all parents and families,
To all who have contributed
To this year of nurturing and growth.

We affirm all the positive moments,
Of insight, of the excitement of learning,
Of accomplishment, of creativity,
Of laughter, of a sense of community.

We recognise the times of struggle,
Of difficult work, of misunderstanding.
Of restrictions, social isolation, the lack of face-to-face community
We give these wounds
To you for transformation.

As we leave for the summer holidays,
May we take with us
The knowledge that
You will keep us all
In your embrace so
We may rest and be restored
And so we can continue in
The ongoing discovery
of learning who you are, gracious, healing and forgiving.

(Adapted from a prayer from:

Pastor Tim Jarick, College Pastor

From the Director of Students

Thank You For The Memories

I am often in awe thinking about how vivid some of my earliest memories are; visiting my grandparents’ in the Snowy Monaro region of NSW as a young boy, or a family road trip to Adelaide from Broken Hill when I was 10. More recently, spending nearly 10 years working in the United Kingdom and travelling to parts of Europe. Indeed, I would struggle to ever lose the memory of leaving a freezing winter in the UK in late December and arriving 19 hours later to the furnace-like heat of Perth to spend Christmas with family. Certainly, there will be no erasing the memory of my wedding day or the birth of my twins nearly four years ago. One of the common themes to my memories involves spending time with family. I wonder when we all look back at 2020 in the years to come, whether our memories will be focused on the negative aspects of COVID or the positive outcomes that could only come out of such a pandemic.

It is my hope for all families that the memories that stay with you are those that involve the connections made this year. Whether they be renewed connections with friends or loved ones over Zoom, or new connections or friendships made at school, I hope that these continue to grow and flourish into the new year. I thank you for all the memories you have helped create and the support you have provided this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our young people demonstrate their strength of character across a range of domains. I have delighted in their creative flair, their academic buoyancy and their capacity to be resolute in the face of uncertainty. We are very proud of all their individual and collective achievements. Finally, I wish everyone a safe, happy and holy Christmas. I look forward to creating more lasting memories in 2021 as we continue to journey together.

Mr Ben Ryan, Director of Students

From the Head of Senior Students

From the Head of Senior Students

Over the past week, the College came together to celebrate the journey of the Year 12 cohort as they graduated from Pacific. Although we celebrated the completion of their academic studies, it was also sad to see them go as their energy, vibrancy and humour will be missed by all. We thank the graduating class of 2020 for their contribution to the College and wish them all the very best for their life beyond the walls of our community. Even though we have bid farewell to them, as Pacific alumni they will always be a part of the College and we hope to remain connected with all students. A particular thank you to the College Captains Nicholas Sarvari and Brooklyn Graves and Vice Captains Patrick Swindles, Ryan Price, Anna Kraschnefski and Louella Hindmarsh for their ongoing service and leadership throughout the year. They led the College admirably and I will always be grateful for their enthusiasm, reliability and hard work. We also thank the Pacific Action Group Captains and the House Captains for their contributions during their time in leadership this year. Congratulations to all the outgoing Year 12 students and God bless.

Year 11 Transition to Year 12

With the graduation of the Year 12 cohort, the Year 11 students now begin their final senior studies as they transition to Year 12 work under the new curriculum. After undertaking a demanding exam-block schedule at the start of the term, it was great to hear stories of successes and deep learnings from the experience. I pray that all current Year 11 students finish the rest of the year strongly and look forward to working closely with them in 2021.

Senior College 3-on-3 Basketball Competition

Last Tuesday evening, the Year 11 and 12 cohorts participated in the first (and only) 3-on-3 Basketball Competition for the year. It was a great way for the seniors to connect before the Year 12 students graduated. There were 14 teams who played on the night and it was impressive to witness students’ enthusiasm, creative uniforms and team names. Well done to all who participated!

Yr 10 Leadership Day

On Wednesday, Year 10 students engaged in their final Leadership Day before they enter Year 11, run by the Lutheran Youth of Queensland (LYQ). The focus of the day was centred on them coming together and thinking about the impact they can have as leaders, both individually and as a cohort among our broader College community. The group engaged well throughout the day, participating in small group discussions and activities. These are important experiences for students, particularly as they begin to prepare to step into leadership positions late in 2021. I look forward to seeing the group continue to connect and grow next year.

I wish all students the very best over the last few days of the school year and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2021.

Mr Mark Hauser, Head of Senior Students

From the Heads of Primary School

Gratefulness and End of Year

It’s hard to believe that the 2020 academic year is coming to an end. But with less than a week of the school year left, we have much to reflect on and be grateful for. We are continually grateful for our students and their enthusiasm to learn and grow. We are also grateful for our families who encourage each of our students in their endeavours and also for our staff who toil tirelessly to ensure students are happy, safe and learning to be their personal best.

Over the coming week, there will be many celebrations of student learning. We look forward to connecting with families, albeit in different manners, as we celebrate all that has been achieved this year.

We hope you enjoy the Virtual K-5 Christmas Carols, which will be released on Friday afternoon. Please follow the link that will be emailed to watch our wonderful students sing and tell the Christmas story.

As we move toward this Christmas season, sometimes the busyness can overshadow the joyous birth of our Saviour. Our prayer is that you will also find time to ponder and reflect on the wonderful gift Jesus is to our lives and community, even through the busyness. We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Blessings and peace.

Mrs Sue Zweck, Head of Learning K-5 and Mr Damian Davis, Head of Staff and Students P-5

Friends of Pacific

Connecting College and Community

We warmly wish all Pacific families joy and happiness over the Christmas break. We hope families find time and space to reconnect with loved ones and enjoy the true blessings of the season.

Mrs Jenny Lee, Friends of Pacific Chairperson

College News

Year 6 - UQ Science Competition Success

Congratulations to Year 6 student Phoebe Shearer who has won the Year 5-6 investigation division of the UQ Science Competition with a project about making her own aquaponics eco-system. She has also won an Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology bursary to continue with her investigations.

The competition required students to develop an inquiry question, carry out an investigation and then write a report on the results. In Year 6 Biology during Term 3, students led individual inquiry experiments, which fit the criteria for the UQ competition. Many of the students’ projects were of such a high standard, the Year 6 teachers entered them into the UQ competition. We also acknowledge Isabella Lee, Jemma Simpson, Oliver Friend, Samuel Roberts, Orly Sillar and Thomas Ackhurst who did very well to meet the criteria for this state-wide competition.

As a winner of the state competition, Phoebe was nominated to enter the primary division of the national BHP Science and Engineering Awards. She is one of 24 finalists in this competition and will participate in a virtual awards celebration over the weekend. We congratulate Phoebe on this outstanding achievement and look forward to hearing the results of the competition, when they are announced in February 2021.

Mrs Linda Sydes, Year 6 Teacher

First Lego League

On Saturday 14th November, a team of Year 7 students participated in the First Lego League competition, which included 26 teams from other schools across the region.

The competition, held at Grace Lutheran College, had various categories including an innovation project, robot design, robot games and core values. Our innovation project was a device designed for children to use during lockdown in a pandemic. It featured a basketball hoop to encourage the user to be active as well as a hydration station to ensure that they had enough fluids. Students pitched their idea to a group of judges and it was very well received. Our students were commended for the simplicity in their well-engineered device they used to complete missions.

Our students were very gracious in their core values of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun. Also impressive was our 12th place finish out of 26 teams in the robot games category. This was the first time this particular group of students participated in the First Lego League Competition. Well done to Dylan, Vinnie, Angus and Lucas on their achievements and for being excellent representatives of the College.

Mr Wes Warner, Head of Innovation, Entrepreneurialism and Business

Japanese Speech Competition

At the end of Term 3, Pacific students had the opportunity to compete in the annual MLTAQ Japanese Speech Competition. This year, the competition took place online via Education Perfect, an online learning platform.

We congratulate the following students for their participation and achievement.

Year 4

  • Natahlia Bailey – Silver
  • Asha Rudes – Bronze
  • Faolan Searer – Silver

Year 5

  • Tilly Bignell – Gold
  • Amy Richards – Credit

Year 6

  • Phoebe Shearer – Gold
  • Orly Sillar – Bronze
  • Max Zorgdrager – Bronze

Year 7

  • Luela Holland – Bronze
  • Noah Lyon – Bronze
  • Evie Sillar – Gold

Year 8

  • Kyla Chirgwin – Silver
  • Tom Zorgdrager – Gold

Year 10

  • Eliza Bryan – Silver
  • Sierra Laurtizen – Silver
  • Catalina Stylianou – Bronze

Japanese Department

Cultural News

Speech and Drama

Well done to all students who have received their marks back from their practical Speech and Drama exams with the Australian College of Music. In what felt like our toughest year of exams yet, all students received either Merit or Honours rankings. It was especially encouraging to see that those students who took some risks with their performance choices really impressed the examiner with initiative and creativity. Even though there wasn’t a lot of opportunities to perform in front of an audience this year, we look forward to making up for it in 2021!

As many Speech and Drama students prefer to have their lessons in pairs (or groups of three), I encourage anyone who is interested for 2021 to contact us as soon as possible so that we can start planning. I can be contacted via email on:

Mrs Lisa McKibben and Imogen Joppich, Speech and Drama Tutors

Club Sport

Pacific FC

We're getting ready for 2021!

SCCSA's online registration portal for the 2021 season will be open soon and current members will be emailed the registration link. New players looking to join next year are also encouraged to register for notifications. We have a number of great initiatives planned for 2021 and hope to have as many players back next season as possible!

Season’s Greetings!

We wish all Pacific FC families a joyous and safe Christmas break filled with fun and lots of soccer!

Mrs Rita Williams, Pacific FC President

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