Resilience and rest in God: Teacher’s life lesson

Posted by Gavin Box
Geraldton Christian College
Year 2 Teacher Michelle Barber and her predecessor, Primary Specialist Teacher Sindy Boonzaier. “I’m giving my Year 2 class over to Michelle with a happy heart knowing they are in good hands,” Sindy said. “She knows what she is doing and I am very relieved she is the one taking on my role.” Picture: Gavin Box

We catch up with Primary Teacher MICHELLE HILTON-BARBER, who has returned to the College after a number of years in the NSW Riverina.

Michelle, you were here for four years up until about 2015. What have you been doing since then?
I’ve been in the Riverina, in Griffith, a lovely citrus town, working at a government school in Early Childhood Education and Primary areas. I also did Aboriginal support, learning support, Key Learning Areas for Kindergarten, Personal Development Health and Physical Education, Human Society and Its Environment (History and Geography). Science (Chemical, Biological, Earth and Space Sciences and Physical Sciences). Plus casual/relief teaching.

What brought you back to Geraldton?
My husband Myles and I had been trying to come back for a while. Our oldest son Guy, who is a College graduate, is getting married in September. His fiancee has Geraldton-based family and so we wanted to reconnect for family reasons. We also have a new grandchild in Perth who I only saw two weeks ago. So we are very happy to be back in Geraldton. 

We came back to Geraldton with a few cats and small dog. I can tell you it is character building, making the five-day trip to Geraldton by road with cats in the car! But we were blessed with cool weather on the trip. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
I’m a very keen gardener and I do a lot of mosaic work. I love art and craft. I’m also an animal nut.

What is the key lesson like to impart to children about their relationship with God?
We are all given a purpose. We are here for God’s purpose. We need to be resilient and yet we also need to know God is with us, in good times and in difficult times – that God will help us through. I very much believe life is a testing ground.

Anything you would like to add?
I’m very excited to be working with the Year 2 children and getting to know their families. I’m very honoured to be back at the school and will do my best to contribute as much as I possibly can to help students with their learning. I’d also like to thank everyone for making me so welcome.

I’m delighted to be back and I think the College name change is wonderful, because it encompasses the whole of Geraldton, not just Strathalbyn. I’m very happy to see old and new faces and the way College has developed since I’ve been away. It’s wonderful.


Enrolments for 2023

Enrolments are open for 2023. Do you have a child who will be Kindy age next year? Please complete an Expression of Interest Form so we have your child’s details and can follow up to have enrolment paperwork completed.

If you know families who may be interested in enrolling their children at the College, please tell them to give Fiona Davidson a call in the Office on 9938 9100. We are always happy to do tours for interested families. Some of our year levels are quite full, so we would suggest that people get in early to avoid disappointment!

Geraldton Christian College

Life is about helping others

By Nateeka White
Kindy Teacher

Kindy friends have started the term with some exciting adventures. Last week after the rain we put on our gumboots and went for a walk in search of some puddles. We found the muddiest puddles! This week we had a special visit from the police and some nurses. This term we will be focusing on being part of a community and being a helper. We are learning about community helpers, how Jesus helped people, how we can help each other in Kindy, and how we can help the wider community through service and missions.

Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College


Open 3.00pm to 3.30pm only

With the weather cooling down, students may purchase tracksuit pants and jackets, and jumpers are also available for Kindy & Pre-Primary students only.

A reminder that the Uniform Shop is open in the afternoons only (3.00-3.30pm) as our front office staff are busy in the mornings and unable to attend to uniform requests.
Our preference is always for uniform orders to be done online through QuickCliq and we can fit children for items during the school day – just write a note on your order. Please check our website for Uniform information which includes the Uniform Guide and Price List.


Geraldton Christian College

We have had strong sales already this week for the new Sports Polo shirts for Year 1-12 students. We are so happy with the new designs and colours for ALPHA (purple) and OMEGA (teal). Shirts are $40 for child sizes 3-12 and $42 for adult sizes S-5XL.
From Mr Andre Steenekamp, Director of Sport: It is expected that if students are representing their House in any competition or carnival, that they will wear their House shirt. This is an important part of Team cohesiveness. Year 11 and 12 students may also wear their House shirts all day on a Friday at school, as a senior privilege.


Geraldton Christian College

Keep yourself dry at those weekend sport events and promote the College at the same time with a College-branded umbrella. Available for $25, purchase online through QuickCliq.

Queries about uniform can be emailed to


Families taking steps for better health

By Marianne Brits
Primary Student Representative Council Coordinator

National Walk to School Day is coming up soon (Friday 20 May 2022).

This annual campaign encourages all primary school children, their parents and carers to walk safely and regularly to school.

The event seeks to promote road safety, health, public transport and the environment.

What will that look like for Geraldton Christian College?

• On Friday 20 May, parents and carers are encouraged to walk with their children all or part of the way to school.
• Encourage children to practice vital road crossing skills and ensure children up to the age of 10 years hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road.
• Student Council Representatives will visit each class from PP-Y6 and tally how many students walked to school on that day.

If you have any questions about Walk to School Day, please email


Primary Assembly date change

The Primary Assembly previously earmarked for Wednesday 11 May has been rescheduled. It will now take place on Wednesday 18 May, from 2.06pm to 3.00pm in the College Hall.

The Year 4/5 class will present an item at the assembly and students from Primary classes will receive Merit Certificates.

Parents/guardians are welcome to attend, subject to COVID-19 protocols. Teachers will notify parents/guardians of Merit Certificate recipients.


Milo Mondays are back!

By the Student Wellbeing Team

We are very excited to announce that our Primary ‘Milo Mondays’ will be starting again this term!

‘Milo Mondays’ have been very popular over the years. They are a great way for us to foster community and create a happy environment for Monday mornings. These mornings have, in the past, also allowed us to have beginning-of-the-week conversations with students, ‘encouraging them and building them up’ for the week ahead (1 Thess 5:11).

The details for our Milo Mondays are as follows:

When will it start: Monday morning, Week 4, Term 2 (16 May)

Time to come find us: approx. 8.20am-8.35am

Where to find us: the Primary lunch tables

Who can attend: any Primary student

What can you expect: a nice warm Milo and some conversation

The Wellbeing Team is pumped to get this program going again, and we hope to see students there.

Our Wellbeing Team is here to assist students on their wellbeing journey. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of assistance.

Geraldton Christian College

Small acts of love make a big difference

It’s amazing what one small act of thoughtfulness can do.

Sales of honey, jam, eggs, lemons and coffee mugs through the College staffroom have raised more than $120 for Shane and Jemimah Paxa, missionaries serving with Operation Mobilisation in war-torn Ukraine.

The Paxas have been serving in Ukraine for many years and Shane is a former teacher from the College.

The honey came from the backyard beehive of College Cleaning & Recycling Coordinator Caraline Harrold.

She had given honey to family and friends and was wondering what to do the with excess supply when the thought came … raise funds for the Paxas.

Other staff, including Education Assistant Claire Little, quickly joined the cause, donating other produce and items.

If you would like to make a direct donation to the Paxas (non tax-deductible), go to

Tax deductible donations to OM’s Ukraine appeal can be made here:


Another example of generosity is the College’s Container for Change program.

The program generated $150 in Term 1 this year, as the community jumped on board and recycled 10c drink containers.

Money raised will go to the College’s Primary School Nature Playground project, part of the school’s vision of providing quality and engaging outdoor learning places for our students.

College Cleaning & Recycling Coordinator Caraline Harrold thanked the community for dropping off containers into the school’s recycle bins.

Under the Containers for Change program, most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150ml and 3L, with a 10c mark on them, can be cashed in.

If you are depositing containers at the Containers for Change depot, you may wish to enter the College’s Containers for Change number so that funds go directly to the College (supporting initiatives for students).  Our number is C10321585.

For more information about eligible containers, visit the Containers for change website:

Geraldton Christian College


Year 5 student finishes top three at Kalamunda event

By Johan Boonzaier
Head of Primary Physical Education

Keen mountain biker Nathan (Year 5) placed in the top three in round four of the Auscycling Cross Country State Series at Kalamunda on Sunday 1 May.

Ten-year-old Nathan competed in the Under 13s Boys category, which involved completing as many laps as possible of an cross country mountain bike course in 30 minutes.

Nathan finished third after completing three laps of the course, despite being one of the youngest entrants in a field of 23 entrants. Each lap is about four kilometres.

His father Daniel said it was an exciting result as it was Nathan’s first race.

“We can highly recommend these events to others who are interested,” Daniel said.

“All you need is a bike with two working brakes, a helmet and an Auscycling membership.

“The events are very well run and have a family friendly atmosphere.

“The Under 9s circuits are around 1km in length and parents can ride with their child if required.”

Geraldton Christian College


While on the subject of mountain bikes, the College Mountain Bike Festival will be held on Saturday 25 June, from 3.00pm to 9.00pm, near the College Mountain Bike Track.

This is a great opportunity come together as a College community and enjoy a festive atmosphere, with coal fire BBQs, band, bonfire and night time riding.

This year the event will be held separate from the Bikeathon, to allow everyone the opportunity to attend.


The College is planning on having students participate in the WA School Mountain Bike Championships in Perth during Term 3 (15 to 18 September).

The championships are open to students from Years 5 to 12  in Perth.

For enquiries about the Mountain Bike Festival or the WA School Mountain Bike Championships, please email or


Students from Years 3 to 12 are invited to ride on the College Mountain Bike Track during lunch times when teacher supervision is available (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), once parents/guardians give permission through Operoo.

Students must have a roadworthy mountain bike/BMX bike and helmet.

To obtain a permission form to use the track, please email Gavin Box, Communications Officer, at

Geraldton Christian College

Wonder and reflection in stunning Coral Bay

By Andre Steenekamp
Director of Sport

As a College and Sports department we always endeavour to extend the learning opportunities of our students.

We were blessed this year with beautiful weather on our second Year 11 & 12 Outdoor Education expedition to Coral Bay, held from 30 April to 3 May.

The camp and the preparation in particular focused on exploring and recording the abundance of world famous marine activity on the Ningaloo Reef, which coincides with some of the best conservation practices.

Students had opportunity to ponder God’s breathtaking creation in this beautiful WA world heritage site, during the many dives and fishing sessions.

The joy of diving, fishing and camping together was also met with priceless reflection time on how to put love in action (Romans 12), as well as discussing a teaching by Pastor Louie Giglio on how to not give the ‘enemy’ (sin and worldly distractions) a seat at the peaceful and intimate table that God prepares for you with Him daily.

Well done, Coral Bay expeditioners. It was another memorable expedition and you have practised “Love in action” (Romans 12).


Student leaders pay their respects

Geraldton Christian College
Head Girl Maddison Bunter and Head Boy Dylan Mbano at the ANZAC Day service.

Student leaders Dylan Mbano and Maddison Bunter paid their respects at the ANZAC Day main service in Geraldton on Monday 25 April.
The College’s Head Boy and Head Girl took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the service, which was held before a large crowd at Birdwood House.


Colourful coincidence with ‘Mrs Colourful’

Geraldton Christian College
Laboratory Technician Andrea Lonsdale and Education Assistant Kerry Horobin.

Education Assistant Kerry Horobin earned the affectionate nickname Mrs Colourful from students for her colourful wardrobe choices.

We’re now wondering if Laboratory Technician Andrea Lonsdale is vying for the title in the Science Department.

Recently the two ladies arrived at work sporting the same wardrobe selections.

Mrs Lonsdale’s explanation?

“Coincidence? We work together, we dress the same, we are sisters in the Lord – that’s how connected we are at Geraldton Christian College.”


May  10

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  11

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

May  12

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*

3:15pm – 4pm. Hockey training – after school

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  13

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

May  16

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

May  17

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

1:15pm – 3pm. Secondary Interhouse Cross Country – Yr 7 to 12

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  18

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

Yr 7 immunisations in College Hall

2:06pm – 3pm. Primary Assembly – Yr 4/5 presentation

May  19

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*

3:15pm – 4pm. Hockey training – after school

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  20

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

09am – 2:20pm. Basketball Slam Series – Yr 5 to 6

May  23

09am – 12:30pm. Primary Cross Country – Years 1 to 6

May  24

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  25

May  26

3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*

3:15pm – 4pm. Hockey training – after school

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

May  27

09am – 10:30am. Yr 12 PE Studies ATAR Prac Exam

May  30

Year 12 Exams

May  31

Year 12 Exams

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

June  1

Year 12 Exams

2:05pm – 3pm. Primary Assembly – Yr 4 presentation

June  2

Year 12 Exams

3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*

3:15pm – 4pm. Hockey training – after school

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3-12 only)*

June  3

Year 12 Exams

* Parents/guardians must complete an Operoo eForm giving permission for their child to attend Homework Club or Maths Support. Please email