We shared the joy of our Year 12 students as they celebrated their pastoral care and house farewells, graduation, final chapel and formals at the end of last week. There was a great sense of energy and hopefulness as they shared their appreciation for all they had experienced at the College and looked forward to the next chapter of their lives. The final three days provided a wonderful, warm and dignified finish for our Year 12 students. We thank all of the teachers, support staff and parents who have been part of their 13 years of formal education. We can all be proud of the young men and women they have become. We particularly thank our senior teachers, pastoral care group teachers, Heads of Department, Heads of House and Head of Learning, Senior College, Mrs Anne Marie Gerlach for the significant work they have done in supporting the growth of our graduates through their senior years. We also particularly thank the Director of Students, Mrs Leigh Finter for her leadership and support of our graduates including the oversight and planning of their alternate day program and final events. We thank Mrs Leanne Bevis and Chaplain Mr Mark Hauser for the significant role they played in these celebrations and to all staff and students who made the celebrations such a great experience. We congratulate and thank our graduates of 2023 for all they have been within our community and wish them every blessing into the future.
A group of our Year 7 students have been selected to represent Australia in the World’s Longest Lesson Youth Panel. Involvement in this group provides the opportunity for students from around the world to connect across 16 different countries and learn about the ways in which youth can enhance the United Nations Sustainability Goals. The students had their first Zoom meeting on Tuesday night and engaged with students from Kenya, Canada, Wales, South Korea and South Africa. We congratulate the students and thank Mrs Linda Sydes for her leadership and look forward to learning more about this unique learning experience over the next 6 months.
We congratulate our kayakers who came second in a storm interrupted Queensland Schools Kayaking Sprint Championship on the Gold Coast, adding to their Marathon event win earlier in the year. It has been a very successful season where students have shown significant improvement. Our kayakers have enjoyed access to new equipment and benefitted from the coaching of Mr Mark Rantel. We congratulate and thank Head of Kayaking, Mr Gary Graves for his years of capable leadership, and Mrs Leah Croke, Mr Sam Irwin, parents and alumni for their generous support.
Year 7 Christian Studies students attended the St Marks congregation service on Sunday and spoke about their exploration of Silent Heroes within the Bible and in modern times. They shared the importance of completing acts of service within families, the College and the broader community and then presented the members of the congregation with handwritten letters the class had created. We thank Mrs Linda Sydes for her leadership of this important intergenerational connection which will bring benefits to the young and the more mature as communication continues.
Our Year 8 and 9 Robotics teams who won the Robot Performance Award, the Robot Design Award and the Engineering Excellence award at the State level competition of the First Lego League competition will compete at the National titles this weekend in Gladstone. We wish our students participating on this national stage well in their final preparations and in competition.
We thank our Friends of Pacific team for their leadership this year. It has been a year where new members have played an important role alongside long term members as they have supported connection and activities across the College. We farewelled long term member Mrs Tracey Hindmarsh who joined the College in 2008 and has provided years of service to this community as a Chair and member of the Friends of Pacific. We also thanked outgoing Chair, Mrs Carly Lovell who has brought a tremendous amount of positive energy into our community as she has very capably led the Friends of Pacific this year.
At the end of this year, we farewell Head of Visual Art, Mrs Denise McMahon, and Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurialism, Mr Wes Warner and thank Head of Digital Technology Mrs Janine Stone as she steps down from her Head of Department role and continues as a teacher at Pacific. All three staff members have made a very significant contribution to the College. Mrs McMahon’s capable and passionate leadership of the Visual Arts since 2005, has enabled students to demonstrate tremendous talent as they have been challenged to explore new ways of thinking and communicating. Since Mr Wes Warner joined us in 2016, he has inspired both staff and students through his leadership of the Business Department, STEM and different iterations of the Innovation and Technology Committee. Mrs Janine Stone has been very generous of her time as she has inspired many students to engage in the learning of digital technology and engage very successfully with our Robotics Club. Mrs Stone has capably led the implementation of digital technology into the College since she began in 2001. We thank Mrs McMahon, Mr Warner and Mrs Stone for their innovative and capable leadership that has nurtured rich student and staff learning as they have grown their highly respected departments. We also farewell and thank contract teacher Mr Chris Landman who has supported Middle and Senior College students in their learning of Physical Education, English and HASS. We wish all of these staff every blessing for the future.
We wish the following staff all the best as they take long service leave from the start of next year, Head of Physical Education, Mr Gary Graves (2024), Year 2 teacher, Mrs Tanya Graves (Sem 1 , 2024), Head of Industrial Technology, Mr Ian Learoyd (Term 1, 2024), Head of Sport, Mr Cameron West-McInnes (Term 1 2024) and Year 5 Teacher, Mr Scott Massie (2024).
We look forward to welcoming Ms Elise Black (Head of Visual Art, from Chisholm Catholic College), Mr Brian Thomas (Middle and Senior College Science and Maths Teacher, from Chancellor State College and International Schools), Ms Kim McFadden (Middle and Senior College Business and Humanities, from Moama Anglican Grammar School), Mr Tim Barrett (Year 6 teacher, from Sunshine Coast Grammar School), Ms Alice Boyd (P-12 PE, from West Moreton Anglican College), Mr Noel Bajada (Middle and Senior College, Industrial Tech and STEM, from Northpine Christine College) and Mrs Hayley Turner (Year 2 teacher, from Landsborough State School). We look forward to welcoming back Ms Alisha Marxen (Midde and Senior College English and Humanities Teacher), Mr Paul Brace (Head of Outdoor Education) and Mrs Colleen Beattie (Head of Hospitality). We thank Mrs Emma Lendrum for her very capable and generous leadership as Acting Head of Hospitality throughout Sem 2, 2023.
We congratulate the following teachers on their appointments, Ms Kristy Brock (Head of Business), Ms Nicole Schrippa (Head of Innovation and Emerging Technologies and Digital Technology), Mrs Marnie Whittaker (Acting Head of Industrial Technology, Term 1 2024) and Mrs Colleen Beattie (Acting Head of VET, Term 1 2024), Mr Brad Burdon (Acting Head of Physical Education, 2024) and Mr Liam Jacka (Acting Head of Sport, Term 1 2024). We have also created a new position of Senior Executive Assistant to provide executive support to the Principal, Business Manager, College Council, the Administration and Leadership Executive and act as Office Manager. We congratulate Mrs Leanne Bevis on her appointment to this role.
As the year draws to a close, we celebrate the tremendous growth that has occurred. We thank all staff, students and parents for their generous support of the College that has enabled young people to experience a rich array of opportunities and experiences. It has been a year of strong purpose, engagement and co-agency. We thank God for all the blessings He has given. We pray that all members of our community have a blessed Christmas where God’s love brings deep inner peace, joy and hope.
Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal