Compass No 702 - October 2023

From the Principal

Listening for and Building on Strengths

Each member within any team or group brings different strengths. We are energised and grow when we use our strengths. As strengths are utilised, they are often enhanced. Most importantly when we draw on and incorporate other people’s strengths, we typically create something far better than would have been achieved by an individual. Within families, community groups, schools and workplaces young people bring great strengths. These can include energy, wonder, different ways of seeing the world and thinking, skills, problem solving and the capacity to connect and care for people and the environment. At Pacific, our young people contribute an enormous amount to the shaping of culture, enhancement of community, the care for people and the environment, the provision of opportunities and providing different perspectives. Young people’s joy, energy, curiosity, sense of fun, excitement, insights and satisfaction of growing through challenge is inspirational and transformational.

Growing with young people involves trust, listening, providing space for them to contribute their strengths and to learn through doing together. Through the sharing of mutual responsibility, we all grow capacity. Just as God walks with us, we are encouraged to walk with and learn together.

Principal's Log

The capacity for young people to use their strengths to make a difference was clearly evident at the National finals of the Future Problem Solving Competition held in Brisbane over the weekend. Three of our Year 7 teams enjoyed sharing their projects that provided practical actions to support those affected by domestic violence, support students to enhance their connections and confidence within the school setting and provide connection between youth and older members of the community. We also had individual students participating in the problem solving and presentation sections. The competition provides an opportunity for students to develop important solution finding skills and attitudes, connect with like minded students from across the country and to benefit from mentoring of adult leaders in areas such as authorship, project management and problem solving.

All teams and students performed well, representing themselves and the College very well. We thank Mrs Linda Sydes, Mrs Jo Belchamber and Mr Rob Belchamber for their preparation, support and leadership over the weekend. We particularly acknowledge Mrs Linda Sydes who has put considerable effort into supporting the students to develop projects that are likely to have ongoing benefits to the Pacific and broader community. We also thank Ms Adele Byerlee who has played a key role in the leadership of these teams and support of individuals. It was great to see so many families, including staff members there on Saturday to support the students.  Well done to everyone involved for engaging in such a powerful learning experience.

This week we welcomed students new to the Middle College at our Middle College Orientation Day. Pacific students played a key role in providing a wonderful welcome to students new to the College.  It was great to hear of the strong student engagement with the activities that ran throughout the day. We thank our teachers who planned and delivered engaging learning activities. A special thank you to Chappie Mark Hauser and the Heads of House who led a range of activities and then connected with parents at the Middle College Information evening. We thank Mr Mark Hauser, Mr Brett Kersnovske, Mrs Jo Belchamber, Mr Paul Cusick, Mr Cameron West-McInnes and Friends Of Pacific Chair, Mrs Carly Lovell who gave informative and professional presentations that highlighted the richness of growth available through a Pacific education at the parent information evening. Thank you to Mrs Jo Belchamber, Mr Brett Kersnovske, Mrs Leanne Bevis, Mr Steve Rattey, the hospitality team and ground staff for their organisation and leadership. Thanks to our staff and continuing and new students, and parents for creating such a wonderful day of connection and learning. 

There was the hum of deep thought as our Middle and Senior College students and staff competed in the finals of the Interhouse Chess competition earlier this week. Playing in 7 minute games there was mix of triumphant moves and ahh…wish I had seen that as pieces were removed from the board. Well done to all of the students and staff who were involved and congratulations to the winners. Thank you to the Academic Action Group leaders Beyond Mathew and Daniel Whittingham, and Mrs Jasmin Steven and Ms Trish Barone for staging a very enjoyable and entertaining event.

Our Intermediate Team acquitted themselves well at the Junior Secondary Championship School’s Basketball Tournament at the end of last week and over the weekend. As their first time in this level of competition the boys gained a great deal from the experience. We thank coach Mr Brad Burdon for his development of the boys over the year and he and Mr Cameron West-McInnes for their leadership of this great opportunity.

Our Year 9 students are enjoying and have grown through their 12 day Outdoor Education experience. We look forward to their return Friday afternoon and all of the stories they will be keen to share. We thank Head of Outdoor Education, Mr Paul Brace for his organisation and Mr Dave Druery, Ms Rebekah Horsey, Mr Liam Jacka, Ms Georgie Snelling, Mrs Sigrid Davis, Mr Duncan McNee, Ms Taylor Edwards, Mr Brendan Macaulay, Mr Josh Danzey, Mrs Leah Croke, Mrs Emma Lendrum, Mr Graham Kanowski, Mr Josh Cummins, Mr Brett Kersnovske and Ms Megan Bancks for their leadership and making this experience possible.

May God enable us to see and build on the strengths that people of all ages bring into families and comunity.

Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal

From the Director of Students

Year 12 Prepare for External Examinations

Over the past fortnight, Year 12 students have had the opportunity to study from home and access their Year 12 teachers through face-to-face tutorials in preparation for their External Examinations, commencing Monday 23rd October, Week 4. 

It is an exciting time for our Year 12 cohort as they find themselves on the brink of another significant milestone of their journey as a Pacific student.  This crucial period in their academic journey demands not only strategic preparation but also a keen focus on prioritising their mental health and overall wellbeing through maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Pacific is excited to partner with School TV, a resource for parents and our students to access support for academic, emotional and societal challenges that young people face.  Parents and students can access practical resources, including videos by leading psychologists such as Dr. Michael Carr-Greg, who is renowned for offering realistic advice for teenagers, supporting and enhancing their mental health, wellbeing, and in this case, invaluable insights on assisting Year 12 students in their exam preparation.  His advice includes academic strategies as well as mental and emotional resilience during this challenging period.  I encourage our Year 12 and all students and families to access School TV and in particular this week’s focus on preparing for external examinations through accessing the following link

We are looking forward to see our Year 12 students back on campus next week and I wish each student the very best in their preparations and completion of their exams.

Take care and God bless.

Ms Leigh Finter, Head of Senior College Students

From the Head of Staff and Students P-5

Resilience and Vulnerability

This week’s P-2 assembly was enlivened by the appearance of a Bluey clip that energised our students with its humour-infused message.  Recently, I read figures that related Bluey’s reach into 60 different countries, and numerous languages and it was streamed for more than 20 billion hours in the USA alone, phenomenal figures any production company would aspire to achieve.

But what is it that makes this particular show so loved? Yes, it is engaging for children, but I also would argue that it is a wonderful parental resource for families and their guidance of young people. The episode shown on assembly, “Bike” centres on Bluey learning to ride her bike. When frustrated enough to give up, she observes several of her friends dealing with their own set of challenges in and around the playground.

What struck me is the approach taken by Bandit, Bluey's dad.  Bluey's first response is to leave her own challenge and help her friends, but Bandit asks her to sit and observe. Slowly, each of her friends finds a way, through tenacity and persistence, to solve their problem, and all the while Dad has remained in his seat. This observation is enough for Bluey to give her bike riding another try.

Our children are our most prized possession. It is natural to hurt when we see them struggle in any situation. However, too often our eagerness to solve problems denies children a powerful learning moment, and often one that becomes hardwired for future situations. By saving children from the struggle, we are passively signaling that we don’t think they are capable, and it is hard to know how this affects individuals and their mindsets. Struggles don’t need to be huge or unattainable. Caring for your belongings, carrying your own bag, and making your own bed are small achievable wins that silently say, “I believe in you.” As parents, allowing them space and opportunity to achieve these wins assists in growing the capacity and self-worth of our children.

Every day I am witness to this process undertaken by adults and students in our learning spaces. During our assembly, the students were shown the “Learning Pit”. This visual clearly shows that learning and growth is not a linear process. It is full of challenges and self-talk. If it is easy, are we really learning new content, concepts or skills? But the rewards are almost always more than worth the effort. Regularly, I am excitedly approached by students who have created something new or accomplished a new skill. Their sense of agency is clear, regardless of their age.  We even relish this feeling as adults, particularly when working outside of our comfort zone or in areas that we are unfamiliar with.

Raising children can be challenging, but it can also be unbelievably rewarding. A wonderful resource to support parenting and to explore this concept further is the “Resilience” resources within School TV. This resource includes many quick and easy-to-digest videos that speak to the importance of resilience, the connection between vulnerability and resilience, and what role forgiveness has in the development of resilience.

Prep Information Evening

On the 1st of November, we invite all new families of students commencing in 2024 to attend the Prep Information Evening. This year we commence with light refreshments from 4.30pm before the evening begins at 5.00pm. An invitation was sent directly to families this week with details.

Take care and God Bless.

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

From the Head of Career Development

Careers News

University Scholarships for 2024

Scholarships generally fit into two categories – one based on your personal achievements, and one that helps people who may have been disadvantaged.  There are also scholarships for special interest groups, such as for the children of veterans, or agricultural industry scholarships.

Crafting a personal statement for scholarship and university applications

If you’ve been looking for scholarships or preparing university applications, you might have been asked for something called a personal statement. But what exactly is it, and how can you make yours stand out? In this blog, we’re going to break it down step by step, giving you tips on crafting a personal statement that showcases your unique qualities and aspirations.

If you’re ready to apply, you should go to the university website to search their scholarship database: UniSC, QUT, GU, UQ, JCU, UniSQ, CQU, Bond.

Understanding the personal statement

Think of a personal statement as your chance to introduce yourself beyond numbers and grades – almost like your personal highlight reel, where you get to shine a light on who you are, what you’re passionate about, and why you’re a perfect fit for that scholarship or university program.

Top tips for crafting a great personal statement

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of crafting a standout personal statement. These five tips will guide you through the process and hopefully leave you feel more confident about your applications.

1.   Be authentic

Your personal statement should be, well, personal! Don’t try to be someone you’re not or just write what you think people want to hear. Be true to yourself. Share your experiences, interests, and dreams in your own voice – this is your chance to let your personality shine through.

2.   Tell your story

Your personal statement should be a mini-story about you. Start with a compelling opening that grabs the reader’s attention and take them on a journey through your experiences, challenges, and achievements. Show them how these moments have shaped you and led you to where you are    now.

3.   Highlight your achievements and goals

This is your time to brag a bit (but in a humble way, of course!). Talk about your accomplishments, both inside and outside the classroom. Whether it’s winning a debate competition, leading a community service project, or overcoming a difficult situation, let your achievements speak for themselves. Don’t forget to share your future goals and how this scholarship or program could help you achieve them.

4.   Be specific and concise

Avoid being too vague or generic. Provide concrete examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points. Paint a vivid picture of who you are and why you’re a great fit. On the other hand, remember to keep it concise. Admissions officers can have a lot of statements to read and sometimes there are strict word limits, so you need to make every word count.

5.    Edit, edit, edit

Once you’ve poured your heart onto the page, it’s time to polish it up. Check for spelling and grammar errors (and don’t just rely on Word to point them out for you). Read it aloud to make sure it flows smoothly. Have someone you trust, like a teacher or parent, read it and give feedback. A well-edited statement shows that you care about the details and are serious about your application.

Final thoughts and next steps

Crafting a standout personal statement might seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you’re well on your way. Take every opportunity, whether successful or not, as a chance to learn and grow. Even if you apply but aren’t accepted, you might receive some feedback that can make your next application even better.

Mrs Veronica Sanmarco, Head of Career Development

Friends of Pacific

Connecting College and Community

Term 4 Events

If you have completed your volunteer induction and have a couple of hours to spare for our Term 4 BBQ events, we’d love to have you! Save the dates now and keep eye on your email for more details soon. If you’re available, we’d love to hear from you - please email – we promise you’ll have fun!

· Term 4 SCISSA Gala Day at Meridan Fields - set up from 8.00am – Thursday 2nd November (Week 5)

· K-5 Christmas Carols at PLC - set up from 3.30pm – Friday 24th November (Week 8)

 Pacific Together

Pacific Together is a care-based service offered by Friends of Pacific to College families in times of need. If you, or someone you know within our College community, needs extra support during the year, the Pacific Together care group may be able to help in some small way or offer a care package. Please contact PLC Chaplain Mr Mark Hauser -

We were never meant to do life alone. We need the love and care of others, especially in times of need. If you would like to support the continuation of this care-based service through a financial contribution, we invite you to contact Pacific Together via email: Your contributions ensure that we can provide a care package for those in our community when the need arises.

Our next FoP meeting is on Tuesday 24th October at 6.30pm in the College Library. You can RSVP by emailing Come along, meet some new people and find out how you can help connect our community.

Click here to follow our Friends of Pacific Facebook page.

Mrs Carly Lovell, Friends of Pacific Chairperson

College News

ICAS Mathematics Competition

Recently, keen mathematicians at PLC took part in the 2023 ICAS mathematics competition.

The ICAS maths exams challenge and extend high-achieving students while preparing them for the advanced level of mathematics involved in various STEM subjects. Students answer a variety of questions on topics such as arithmetic, patterns, geometry, data and pre-algebra in Years 4-6 and in Years 7-10, algebra, measurement, geometry, chance and data, which increase in complexity throughout the paper and encourage the use of higher-order thinking skills.

We achieved some strong results and congratulated Marshall Wilke, Jayden Murphy, and Scarlett Van Den Hurk on achieving Distinction awards.

In addition to these 3 Distinctions, our students also achieved 37 credits, and 20 merits, but importantly we celebrate all our students who participated in the competition for their willingness to extend themselves academically. Well done!

Parents are able to obtain their child’s detailed ICAS results by following the individual access details provided on the back of the certificates that students will receive shortly.

Mr Michael Knight, Head of Mathematics

Stark Raven Mad gets up on stage!

Last weekend, a group of Speech and Drama students went to see a live performance of Stark Raven Mad, a theatrical poetry show at the Old Ambulance Station in Nambour.

It was the first act by Catbird Theatre, Sunshine Coast’s newest professional theatre troupe. The show featured nearly 40 poems brought to life by three lively actors using costumes, puppetry, props, sound effects and plenty of audience interaction.

All the students attending jumped at the chance to perform on stage with the actors and become part of the entertainment. As we often perform poetry in Speech and Drama it was inspiring to see such imaginative staging and storytelling.

Catbird Theatre are currently touring this production to primary schools on the Sunshine Coast. Many of the Speech and Drama students are also looking forward to attending Catbird Theatre’s school holiday workshops to develop their performance skills.

Mrs Lisa McKibben, Speech and Drama Tutor

Uniform Shop

The PLC Uniform Shop is accepting Second Hand uniforms for sale.  Please see the below conditions for sale in the shop.

Current Uniform will be accepted, with the exception of; sports uniform (polo and shorts), socks, swimwear and shoes.

Clothes must be freshly laundered, in good condition and free of pet hair.

Unacceptable items: Too faded, fabric too thin, bad repairs, Stains-including underarm sweat stains, worn patches and fraying hems/sleeves, working zippers/buttons, rips or tears.

Blazers are accepted but only with a current dry-cleaning receipt attached.

Current Families please arrange to visit the Uniform Shop during Term 4 for uniforms for next year to avoid the rush.  Visits to the uniform shop are by appointment.  Appointments can be made with the Main Reception on 5436 7300.  Our Uniform Shop hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8.00am to 10.30am by appointment and Tuesday afternoon 2.00-4.00pm. 

We strongly advise all current families to please arrange uniforms for next year before the end of Term 4 2023.  All new uniforms can be returned for exchange in Term 1 2024 if still in original packaging and unwashed/named.  Transitioning students in Prep to Year 1 and Year 5 to Year 6 students will require Formal Uniforms for the start or 2024. 

New families will be given preference for Back to School appointments in January 2024 and appointments will be required.


Current Year 9 students will be required to arrange to purchase a Blazer for Home Coming on Thursday November 23rd.  Trousers will be required, and ties will be required for boys and senior tie for girls also.

Mrs Peta King, Uniform Convenor

General Notices

223 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets are recruiting NOW for 2024 Cadet intake

If you’re turning 13yrs to 16yrs in 2024, you’re invited to join us, to see if the Australian Air Force Cadets is for you.

If you’re interested in joining the Team, please register your “expression of interest” on the following link:

223 Squadron - Caloundra | Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC)

Air Force Cadets are a youth development organisation aimed at developing:

•          Teamwork

•          Leadership

•          Field knowledge

•          Aviation

•          Drill & Ceremonial

•          Plus so much more

223 Squadron operates from the aviation precinct in Caloundra with purpose-built facilities at 21 Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra.  Parade Nights are held every Monday (during school terms), from 6.00pm to 9.00pm.

If you have any queries, reach out via email on

Sport News

Year 7-12 Sport

Junior Secondary Champion Schools’ Basketball

On Thursday, a group of Year 9 and 10 students travelled to the Gold Coast to participate in the Junior Secondary Championship Schools’ Basketball Tournament. This was the first tournament for most of our students and it was great to see our players lock in from the start, recording a narrow one-point win over the eventual top of the pool team. Our boys were competitive throughout the pool stages but were challenged at times to maintain consistency in their game play. The team lifted when they needed to and recorded a win in the critical match to ensure they avoided relegation and maintained their place in the competition. Their final game on the last day was one of their best with their tough defense and improved attack leading them to take a redemption win back on a team that defeated them in the pool rounds. Thank you to Mr Brad Burdon for the considerable amount of time and energy he invested into preparing the students for this tournament and guiding them through all their games across a big 4 days of game play.


Well done to our Team 1 players on winning their away game on Wednesday afternoon. They were strong in both the doubles and singles fixtures within their game. Team 2 played against a very strong team in their home game and while they did not walk away with a victory, they have gained valuable experience from this round to take into next week.

SCISSA Rubgy 7s

Well done to our U14s Boys and Girls teams for their strong performances across their first round of SCISSA Rugby 7’s fixtures. Each team picked up 2 wins and 1 draw across the evening which has meant a remarkable undefeated start to their campaign. Our players stepped up and played with great determination in each game, despite the challenging weather conditions. One of the highlights was the U14 Girls playing a redemption match against last year’s grand final opposition and fighting out a tough draw. Special mention goes to our boys’ teams for playing under strength and still coming out on top for most of their games. We wish our players and coaches all the best for next week.

SCSS Water Polo

Congratulations to both of our Water Polo teams for recording wins in their fixtures on Monday. The Junior Boys recorded a commanding win in their fixture and the Intermediate Girls led by 3 before the game was called off due to stormy conditions. At this stage in the season the Intermediate Girls sit in 1st place and the Junior Boys sit in 2nd. This is a fantastic effort from our players and coaches, and we wish them all the best for their remaining fixtures.

Mr Cameron West-McInnes, Head of Sport

Junior Sport

10 – 12 Years State Athletics Championships

Recently a number of our students represented the Sunshine Coast Region at the annual 10 -12 years Queensland Schools State Athletics Championships held in Brisbane.

Simply getting to this level of competition is an outstanding achievement, with our PLC students competing against many of the top athletes from around Queensland.

Congratulations to the following students on their results:

Emma Duddridge – 10 Girls Discus (15th place)

Bailee Kiernan – 11 Girls Shot Put (17th place)

Ashlan Hill – 11 Girls Discus (13th place)

Zara Koebsch – 12 Girls High Jump (20th place)

Hudson Smith – 10 Boys Shot Put (24th place)

Student Success

Over weekend, Jessica and Jayden Murphy, competed at the Australian National Taekwondo Championships held in Perth.

Congratulations to Jayden who won the NATIONAL CHAMPION in his age group, a remarkable achievement that showcases his dedication to his sport.

Jessica's performance was equally impressive, securing 6th place in Australia among 24 participants.

Congratulations to both students on their success.

Mr Darren Hooper, Head of Junior Sport P-6

Club Sport

Club Sport

Pacific Lutheran College has several sports development programs outside of school hours. These programs encourage participation, giving students the opportunity to be part of a team, and learn basic skills of the game.

The parent-led Pacific FC Soccer and PLC Netball Clubs compete on Saturdays in community competitions throughout the Sunshine Coast.

PLC Netball Club

For all enquiries, please use the contact details below.

Facebook: PLC Netball Club
Instagram: PLC Netball Club

Mrs Donna Townsend, PLC Netball Club President

Pacific FC

For all enquiries, please use the contact details below.

Contact: The Registrar
Facebook: Pacific Soccer FC 

Mrs Rita Williams, Pacific FC President

St Mark’s Lutheran Church

Worship @ St Mark’s

Sharing a common mission and ministry with Pacific Lutheran College

“Growing in faith and sharing God’s love with others”

Weekly worship services are held at 14 Bombala Terrace Caloundra at 9.00am. We are thankful that we can meet together each week for worship. As we do this, there are still physical distancing, and hygiene requirements we need to follow to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community.

Our worship services are intergenerational with a blend of traditional and contemporary.

You’re welcome to follow us on Facebook and visit our Church webpage.

All are welcome at any of our services.

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

Upcoming Dates


20       Pacific Pulse Surf Contest

20       Year 9 Camp Returns

23       Year 12 External Assessment Commences

24       Friends of Pacific (6.30pm)

27       Day for Daniel