By Gavin Box
From little things, big things grow. That’s how a TV advertisement encourages people to contribute to their super. But it’s also true in life.
We must remember to be thankful for those moments where we are privileged to witness growth in the lives of our children and those in our care.
There were a number of occasions of just that this week at the College. At the Randolph Stow Young Writer’s Awards, we had three students who were honoured for their writing efforts: Nesaea, Lysander and Mia-Louise.
Afterwards, one of their parents gave heartfelt thanks to College staff and said they deserved an award too.
“God puts gifts in our children’s lives and all of you have in some way helped to bring those gifts out,” she said.
“And the call on all of us is to encourage them to use those gifts for God’s glory.”
Turning from writing to sport. Primary Physical Education Teacher Johan Boonzaier was taken aback this week, for good reason, when a student took a stand for God on the athletics track, in an inspiring act of selflessness.
“One of the girls, Cassie, was coming second when she noticed the girl in front of her, Theresa, had made a wrong turn and was going off-course,” he said.
“Now Cassie could have ignored this, completed her race – and possibly won as a result of the other girl’s mistake (disqualification) – but she doubled back and told Theresa her mistake. They finished the race: Theresa won and Cassie finished second.”
Theresa’s mum Rene Duthie, speaking to The Blog, praised Cassie’s actions and described it as a wonderful act of sportsmanship. “That’s what we love about the school,” she said.
Cassie’s parents told The Blog they were proud of her for placing a higher priority on doing what was right rather than winning at any cost.
Small acts like that are important and make people sit up and take notice. In Melbourne, they erected a statue of athletes Ron Clarke and John Landy after a similar incident in the Australian mile championship at Olympic Park in 1956.
I was at our College Primary Cross Country Carnival and I didn’t see the incident Mr Boonzaier retells. What I did witness though was Primary students showing care and encouragement for each other.
Without prompting, students who had finished their race would sit and cheer others to the finish line – down to the last runner, with high-fives as they finished their race.
If a student was in physical distress after the race, others would come around and check if they were OK.
That kind of culture doesn’t happen by chance. It comes about as parents and teachers model, nurture and cultivate it in children’s lives.
Which brings me to the organiser of the carnival, Mr Boonzaier. Addressing each group of students pre-race, giving final reminders on course directions, he encouraged them: “Remember, do your best … and what do you do that for?”
And they respond together: “The glory of God!”
Closing the awards ceremony later, after the winners had all received their medals, he closed in prayer and reminded students: “Whether you finished first, or finished last, always remember you are racing against yourself and God just wants you to do your best.”
That’s all He asks of us too.
Young writers honoured at awards ceremony
Congratulations to Nesaea, Mia-Louise and Lysander, all honoured at this week’s Randolph Stow Young Writers Awards.
Lysander received a high commendation in Lower Secondary Prose, with The Crab and the Monster.
Nesaea won the Middle Secondary Poetry Perpetual Award, for her work Searching for Love.
Mia-Louise, meanwhile, was highly commended in Upper Secondary Poetry for her work, The Hope and Grief we Receive.
About 260 people attended the awards, which were hosted by Geraldton Christian College.
Congratulations to all students on their efforts and awards.
A special thanks to Teacher Sarah Jupp and students for set design and Hall decoration, Dr Lindsay Graieg for hosting and Harry for his work on sound and video.
We also thank Jenni Hargrave and team at Geraldton Regional Library for the privilege of hosting the event and for all of their hard work behind the scenes.
Staff profile: Louanne Hardy
What is your position at Geraldton Christian College? Student Support Counsellor
When did you start working at the College? 29 January 2021
For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself. How would you describe yourself? Married with two adult children who both attended GCC (formerly Strath) from K-12. Passionate about my faith, women’s wellness and holistic health and wellbeing!
What is your background and what did you do before you came to Geraldton Christian College? Part-time lecturer at Central Regional TAFE in community services, youth and counselling. Also work one day a week at Desert Blue Connect as the Women’s Health Counsellor.
Where were you born and where have you lived before coming to Geraldton (assuming you weren’t born and raised here)? Born in Perth and spent most of my time growing up in the Perth region. Moved to Geraldton in 1995 for a social work position at Geraldton Regional Hospital, with the view to gaining work experience and then returning to Perth. Instead met my husband, who is a local lad, and here I am still in Geraldton, 26 years later.
In a nutshell, what has been your journey of faith? Have you always been a Christian? If not, how did this come about? I became a Christian at 25 years old. I had been curious about faith and religion as a teenager but “religion” was not tolerated in my family. When I moved to Geraldton, I met this lovely elderly couple who took me under their wings. They asked me to attend Church one Sunday where I dedicated my life to the Lord. It was the last thing I was expecting to happen on that day.
What would be the key life-shaping lesson you have learned about God/Christian discipleship, etc? One of my favourite passages just after becoming a Christian is where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. It was Jesus’s display of humility and servanthood that really stood out for me. As a counsellor I believe it is a privilege to serve others in humility and love.
Greatest joy of your life? Loving God, my husband and two beautiful boys – not so little now, 18 years and 21 years. We also have a very cute and cheeky Corgi dog who thinks he’s a human.
Toughest time of your life and how God helped you through it? Two tough times: First was when my youngest son became very sick at the age of two years and we thought he was not going to live long. He is now 18 and full of joy and love. Second time was when mum passed away and then two weeks later my stepdad also passed away – they say he died from a broken heart. Both came to know the Lord on their death beds (literally). It was one of the most difficult and privileged times of my life.
Recreation/hobbies/interests? “When not in a counselling role, the things I love most to do are…”: To keep active: healthy for the body as well as my mind. Currently preparing to cycle the last section of the Munda Biddi mountain track in October. Also love caravanning with my husband, spending time with the boys and recently took up Zumba dancing (not very good at it – two left feet but get to laugh at myself a lot).
A little known thing about you? “People may be surprised to discover that I…”: In my teenage years I was into skydiving- now that I think about it was most probably one of those high risk “teenage” behaviours.
Anything else you would like to add? Very grateful to be in the role of Student Support Counsellor at GCC. Was not part of my career plan (at all) but thankfully God determines my steps and He has great plans for me ahead.
Mental health: ‘You are not alone’
A message of hope and encouragement from a 14-year-old College student:
I have been asked to share my Christian journey with you to perhaps help others in similar situations or give others new perspectives.
How I came to Christ
From a young age, my brother and I were told of God. Both my parents are Christian and three of my four grandparents are Christians.
For as long as I can remember, my family has done devotions every night: read a verse, talked about it, reflected and then prayed.
This also doubles as family time, as both of my parents work, and with homework and other things, family time can sometimes be forgotten.
I officially gave my life ot Christ when I was about eight years old, but looking back, I didn’t do it for the right reasons.
I was young and did not truly understand what it meant to give my life to Christ.
I gave my life to Christ with more understanding at a camp when I was 12. That time, I felt a lot more sincere.
Struggles I have
I truly believe I am a good example and a good Christian, but I am still human and struggle with things.
My biggest struggle is giving God my worries.
Like it says in Matthew 6:27 – “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour onto your life?”
I have anxiety and with that comes a lot of unnecessary worries and thoughts.
While others are doing homework and thinking about what they learned that day, I’m thinking about whether I was a good enough friend.
If one of my friends is ever sad, I convince myself I am the reason. There is a never-ending list of reasons they could be sad, but I can never seem to let go of the thought that I am the reason.
But I am extremely thankful for my mu. She is my best friend and we have a very close relationship.
She always knows what to say to help me let go.
I don’t tell my dad as much, but he suffers with more than I do, so he is very helpful with overthinking and anxiety advice and strategies.
Advice I give
I know that I am younger than many people who will read this, but all I would like to say is that if you have a mental illness like me, please talk to someone: whether that be a trusted friend, parent or professional, like College Student Support Counsellor Mrs Louanne Hardy, or someone at headspace.
You are not alone and there is someone out there who cares and who will listen.
Instrumental Music Program … Making a joyful noise
By Kate Wheat
Instrumental Music Coordinator
On Monday 9 August, students from the Instrumental Music Program (IMP) performed in a concert in the College hall. It was a great opportunity for students to share their hard work with their friends. Everyone played really well and had a great time!
Approximately 60 students are currently enrolled in the IMP, ranging from Year 1 to Year 12. Specialist tutors offer lessons in piano, woodwind and brass instruments, vocals, guitar and drums. If you are interested in learning an instrument through the College, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet time for Year 11 Food Tech class
Executive Assistant to the Principal
Mrs Kathy Boase, Mia-Louise and Stacia (Year 12 students) and I were asked to judge the Year 11 Food Tech class on Tuesday this week.
The students had a “bake-off” which was a blind taste-test for the judges – we didn’t know who had prepared the food!
Students had to select a theme, then prepare and present a dessert for judging. We had to mark on theme (could we tell what it was easily), presentation, then taste, texture and timeliness of food preparation.
There were some interesting themes, including a fantastic train and a beautiful floral tribute which had the most amazing presentation.
In fact, Isaac Harrington scored top marks of 20/20 for the task, receiving perfect marks for theme, presentation and taste/texture.
They made a fruit crumble served with ice-cream which was out of this world delicious (so good – we all asked for the recipe)!
One group made a “gender reveal cake” – we were excited to cut into the chocolate cake to discover pink!
Well done to all of the students for their creative ideas and excellent cooking.
I may need to go on a diet after all that sugar!
Gospel loaves and fish inspire kitchen utensils
Materials Design and Technology Teacher
Year 7 Design and Technology students completed the Second trimester with their final project last week. Students designed and constructed a chopping board.
Research evolved into a theme based on the story which appears in Mark and Matthew’s gospels, known as the miracle of the seven loaves and fish. The gospel of Matthew refers to seven loaves and a few small fish used by Jesus to feed a multitude.
Repurposing scrap hardwood pieces, students completed the designs which they get to take home.
Meanwhile, Friday 20 August marked the Year 8 students’ last Design and Technology session for this trimester. Over the past term they have elected to design and construct a pen/pencil holder as a gift for someone.
Students were encouraged to use recycled timber and followed the design process to complete their projects which they get to take home.
Rain or shine, we’ve got you covered!
Quality, College-branded umbrellas have been added to our merchandise stock!
With vented, twin-panel showerproof and windproof 190T polyester canopy with 76cm ribs, a durable eight-rib fibreglass frame, super strong fibreglass shaft, contoured soft-touch hand grip, plastic tips and two Velcro ties, these umbrellas are the perfect accessory – rain or shine!
We currently have 100 umbrellas in stock, available for $25.00 each (cost price).
You can order through http://www.quickcliq.com.au if you are signed up for the Canteen already.
Alternatively, purchase from Reception by cash or EFT.
1 September: OLNA Writing Test; Yr 6/7 Midwest Camp Information Night in the College Hall (7.00pm to 8.00pm)
1 to 2 September: ACC Athletics Carnival, Perth
6 September: Secondary Assembly in the College Hall (2.06pm to 3.00pm)
7 September: Grandfriends Day in the College Hall (9.00am to 10.30am)
8 September: Yr 2 Assembly (9.00am to 9.45am)
For more College events, visit the parent page on the College website.