Million-dollar upgrades for College

Posted by Gavin Box
Geraldton Christian College
Staff and students outside the new classrooms which adjoin the Design and Technology building. Pictured from left are: Principal Gavin Hirschhausen, Year 5 Teacher Helen Ferguson, Projects Officer Harri Harrington, Business Manager Tracey du-Pont and Acting Principal Sophia de Lange.

The College will invest $1 million over three years to improve learning spaces for students.
Principal Gavin Hirschhausen said he was pleased to announce the major capital works spending program, which began last year.
Mr Hirschhausen outlines the investment below and what it will mean for the College community.


Mountain Bike Track
Making great use of the College’s natural bushland environment adjoining the Chapman River and at the foothills of the Moresby Ranges, the mountain bike track challenges riders of all skills and abilities.

The track is used by students throughout the year and is showcased to the College community through an annual Mountain Bike Festival – a Saturday afternoon of racing, followed by an evening with live music and food around a bonfire. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 25 June, from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

Upgrade of the Early Learning Years classrooms and Primary playgrounds.
Pre-Primary – verandah with outdoor blinds for all-year round use.
Kindy – installation of bi-fold glass doors to create an indoor/outdoor learning area, maximising use of the facility.
Nature playground – to encourage student outdoor play in a natural environment.

Geraldton Christian College

Upgrade of the Design and Technology building
In addition to the DT space, this building now incorporates an additional learning space, with the use of a dividing wall which can be opened or closed, according to College needs, for one large classroom or two separate classrooms, currently used by Year 5.

Geraldton Christian College

Construction of a new bus shed
This will accommodate school buses, trailers and PE equipment. It will eventually replace two smaller sheds which will be decommissioned as they are no longer fit for purpose, due to the school’s growing extension programs.

Renovation of rooms adjoining Hall
Installation of bi-fold doors in the classroom, currently used by Year 6, has created more flexible spaces, both for learning and for College events.

Upgrade of Student Welfare facilities

See “Wellbeing Corner” in this Blog for further details.


Geraldton Christian College
The existing art building, pictured, will be doubled in size and incorporate an undercover courtyard.

Art building expansion
There are big plans to expand the art building, with removal of an existing donga to make way for a second building connected to the existing building by an undercover courtyard.
This will more than double the learning space indoors and outdoors.

Music and drama upgrade
On the subject of arts, performing arts will receive a focus with construction of a verandah outside the music and drama building for outdoor music and drama performances.
This will complement the already-completed installation of large bi-fold windows in the music room (pictured below), to create an indoor/outdoor learning space. Bi-folds have also been installed in the College gym (previously the drama classroom) to create another indoor/outdoor learning space.

Home economics expansion
Revitalisation and expansion of the Home Economics room is also in the planning stages, with an outdoor cooking (BBQ) cafeteria-style area adjacent to the amphitheatre, to maximise student engagement with catering and serving others via a café-type experience for students.

Wholistic Land Management learning space
In addition, a large shed and learning space is also planned for Wholistic Land Management.
This will provide an ideal location for students to gain hands-on experience in and appreciation for food production systems and stewardship of the environment God has given us.

Geraldton Christian College

God calls us to learn as teams

By Carmen Blay
Year 3 Teacher

In a recent Design and Technology project, each student was assigned with a partner they don’t usually work with and given the task of building the highest possible tower with only two pieces of newspaper.

It was a fun activity and much chatter and planning and ideas were exchanged.

We soon realised the real challenge in this task was to listen to our partner’s ideas, to accept what didn’t work and to communicate new ideas.

Engineering skills were futile if we could not put into practice what we know works best: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Those who showed patience and listened to the ideas of others, who showed love in the way they responded and interacted, remained joyful with the task at hand, working peacefully and faithfully to give their best.

Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College

We also realised how planning was crucial to save time, to avoid having to start over and over again. And how this lesson is just as important with our everyday actions – to succeed, we need to think before we act and to ask God what He wants us to do.

In building towers, we also recognised that without a solid foundation nothing is safe. Likewise, if we connect with God every day, keeping our feet on His path, we will be able to stand firm and offer others solid ground to stand on.

The towers weren’t very tall, and they were not overly solid, but we have learned big lessons. We know how to successfully listen, to build on ideas and to make life work.

Together we are stronger, smarter and more efficient.

The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own work. 1 Corinthians 3:8

Encourage each other and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Geraldton Christian College

Geraldton Christian College

Exploring our God-given identity

By Annalise Edwards
Visual Arts Teacher

Last week the Year 11 General Visual Art students put the finishing touches on their final artworks for Semester One.

Students began the year exploring the physical components and proportions of a face, creating sketches and drawings, and other media experiments, over the first few weeks of Term 1.

They were given the theme of “Identity” and asked the big questions of what contributes to who they are today – including where they have been born, the families they are a part of, their personal interests/hobbies, and their future hopes and goals.

Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College
Geraldton Christian College

They also explored who God says we are. Including aspects of their own uniqueness is what makes each of their artworks interesting pieces.

Here are some photos of the process of learning, adapting, and innovating – which is just as important as the final piece.

We spent time reflecting on what we enjoyed about creating the sculptural clay heads and what we might do differently next time (or with more time).

But now we are on to our next artistic adventure – to learn more about ourselves and our awesome creator God.

Geraldton Christian College

Game play tests maths skills

By Jared Grimsley
Year 6 Teacher

“Would you like to play a game?” Game play is huge these days – from video games, a resurgence in board games, group outings to escape rooms and breakout games.

But instead of playing the game, what if students designed their own escape room?

As part of Year 6 Extension Maths, students did exactly that.

What is an escape room? An escape room, which is also known as an escape game, is an immersive game where participants must solve riddles, clues, and solve problems in a contained area within a specific amount of time.

This hands-on Maths extension project turns students into game-makers!

Students designed and built a 3D Escape Room and developed a game simulation where players must solve maths problems to escape the room.

This project-based learning activity focused on design using multiple academic elements, problem solving skills, and collaboration in the classroom.

Geraldton Christian College

Geraldton Christian College

Physical and mental training

By Louanne Hardy
Student Support Counsellor

Physical Education teachers and the Student Support Team have partnered together to run the Push-Up Challenge.

This event will take place over 24 days in June, for students in Years 7 to 10.

The exercises will be incorporated into their health, physical education and Biblical Life and Worldview (BLW) classes.

The Push-Up Challenge is a unique way to engage schools in mental health, get physically fit and encourage social interaction and team support.

Students will also learn daily mental health tips and statistics as part of encouraging mental wellness.

We are encouraging students to register for the event so they can individually “bank” their push-ups on the app.

Alternatively, a student can use the paper-based form to bank (or tally) their daily push-ups.

There is a fundraising component, but the College will not be participating in this part of the challenge.

Parents will receive an email from the Push-Up challenge website explaining the event and seeking their consent.

For more information, go to


Leading by example

By Lizette Labuschagne
Year Group Administrator

There were a number of accolade recipients at the Secondary assembly on 28 May:

5 accolade awards
Yr 7.1 Leilani T
Yr 10.1 Ewan J
Yr 11 Jorja C
Yr 12 Loren E, Isaac H, Dylan M, Darwin W

10 accolade award
Yr 12 Jessica K

Geraldton Christian College
Janelle Phillips helps out with the dishwashing during a Food Science and Technology class

Janelle Phillips: ‘All-in with God’

What is your teaching position at Geraldton Christian College? Food Science and Technology (Year 11/12), Health and Physical Education (Year 7/8/9), Cricket Coordinator.
What are your qualifications (and when and from where did you obtain them)? Curtin University, Bachelor of Education, 2011. Coaching qualifications in cricket, AFL, soccer and volleyball.
When did you start at Geraldton Christian College? 2013
How would you describe yourself? First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus. I have been married to my high school best friend for 12 years and I have two incredible daughters. I enjoy working towards a goal. I love getting the best out of myself, especially in competitive situations. I try my best to love, listen to and encourage people. I don’t like sitting still for too long and my favourite place to be is on a beautiful grass oval or amongst tall trees.
What is your background and what did you do before you came to Geraldton Christian College? I have been hanging around the school, one way or another, since 1993, when I started Kindy. After graduating Year 12 here in 2006, I worked in child care for a year, then casually as a receptionist at Lighthouse Church while I studied teaching. In 2012 I became a Mum! My first teaching role was a term of long service leave cover at St Francis Primary School before I took a year off after having my second child.
Where were you born and where have you lived? I almost qualify as born and raised here in Geraldton. A quick emergency trip to Perth to be born prematurely, then I was back on home soil. I have lived in Perth for brief stints, but only temporarily for study purposes. Geraldton has been home forever.
In a nutshell, what has been your journey of faith? Have you always been a Christian? If not, how did this come about? I can be very grateful that my Mum raised me in a Christian home and I made a decision to follow Christ very early on. I have always loved the Lord and will try my best to take up my cross every day.
What would be the key life-shaping lesson you have learned about God/Christian discipleship, etc, that you would like to impart to young people? “If I could teach students one thing, it would be …”: That the gift of salvation takes an exchange. It is a two-way street. It frustrates me when Christianity is preached as being something we can accept like a lovely-dovey tick box and then carry on with our lives. God calls us to take up our cross daily and follow Him, to deny the desires of our flesh and live in the plans that He has for us. This is going to get rocky, He warns us of that, but the reward is beyond our wildest dreams. My prayer is that my students would truly seek the desires of the Lord, to see what is actually important in life, and to have an eternal perspective; to go all-in on the exchange that God requires from us.
Greatest joy of your life? Definitely my kids. Life would be far too quiet without them.
Toughest time of your life and how God helped you through it? I have been through a few tough times. The most recent was at the end of 2020 when I lost my Grandma. We were extremely close. It was rather unexpected and I wasn’t ready to do life without her. I didn’t get to say goodbye and it tore me apart. This, along with a few other significant challenges, almost broke me. I took some time off last year to seek help, to rest and to heal. During this time, God blessed me with the most beautiful dream I have ever had. He showed me an image of my Grandma, as a young woman, in what I can only assume was heaven. She was sitting on the rocks by the water at the beach, her hair blowing gently in the breeze as she looked out over the water. I know from her stories that she loved the water in her younger years. Her gentle smile showed that she was at total peace and completely content. I still get teary now when I think of it. This dream has been so important, knowing so deeply that she truly is with Jesus now and that she is happy. She deserves that.
Recreation/hobbies/interests? “When I am not teaching, the things I love most to do are…”: Sports! I love anything that involves a ball. I’ve had some awesome opportunities to travel the country playing cricket for the WA Country team. I enjoy softball, AFL (though my broken body doesn’t agree), mountain bike riding, and a daily dose of early morning CrossFit. I’ve played in a band and/or duo on and off for the past 15 years, playing the drums and singing.
A little known thing about you? “People may be surprised to discover that I…”: Hate going to new places and doing new and unfamiliar things, especially on my own. I often struggle with self-confidence and can be really hard on myself, but I refuse to let this get in my way, or stop me from saying ‘yes’ to an opportunity. The term ‘fake it until you make it’ can be useful, but of more lasting help is my favourite quote “my worth is not in skill or name, in win or lose, in pride or shame”. This is from a hymn that goes on to say “but in the blood of Christ at the cross”. Anything that I might be afraid of, is afraid of my God who lives in me.


Big upgrades to facilities

By the Student Wellbeing Team

This year our Wellbeing Team has been blessed to be able to create new spaces, in the admin building, dedicated to student wellbeing. We have been working on this idea for a number of years, so it has been incredible to see it come to fruition. These spaces are used for one-to-one and small group pastoral care and counselling, and also provide areas for students to regulate and take a breath.

We thought you’d like to see these upgrades, and we’d also like students to feel confident in being able to use these spaces, so here is a little tour.

Geraldton Christian College

Meeting room 1

Meeting Room 1 has some comfy chairs, some space on the floor for play, and a cupboard with things like fidgets, colouring-in books and reading materials, as well as other counselling resources. It is light and airy, and is fitted with a door that leads out to a small courtyard.

Geraldton Christian College


We have a small courtyard area that has a lovely bench where students who need some time-out can sit outside and complete school work, or just take a breather. We are hoping to install a giant fidget board on one of the courtyard walls to help regulate busy hands and minds. Our courtyard area is covered with a big shade sail.

Geraldton Christian College

Meeting room 2

Our second meeting room is slightly smaller and has some comfy chairs as well as a desk. The cube shelf houses some games, fidgets and colouring in/art supplies.

Geraldton Christian College

Waiting room

Our waiting room is set up with comfy chairs and lots of information and brochures promoting mental and social wellbeing. There is also information about how to access more support and resources in Geraldton.

Geraldton Christian College

Where to find our rooms

The door to our waiting rooms is located in the library entrance foyer. This door is used by students who have booked an appointment to see a Student Wellbeing Team member. Students press the buzzer and are ‘buzzed in’ by Student Services. There they can sit and wait in the waiting room until a staff member arrives to take them to a meeting room.

Students who do not yet have an appointment, or who need to be seen ASAP by someone in the Wellbeing Team during a school day, are required to present to Student Services. Mrs Monique de Beer then makes contact with the Student Wellbeing Team and the student will either be seen as soon as possible, or an appointment will be made.

Geraldton Christian College

Student Wellbeing Team office

You can find the Wellbeing Office in the school library. We have lots of resources and are always willing to book an appointment for students.

We are very grateful for our new space, and we are confident it will be an ongoing asset for the wellbeing of our students.

We would like to thank the College Senior Executive for allowing this project to happen. We would particularly like to thank Mr Hayden Scally for his vision and willingness to support us in setting these rooms up, Mr Harri Harrington for his construction work, and Mr Dave Boase for picture hanging, furniture assembly and everything else he did. This has been a team effort.

As always students, please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of assistance.


Jun 6
Jun 7
Year 10 and 11 Exams

3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 8
Year 10 and 11 Exams
Jun 9
Year 10 and 11 Exams
3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 10
Year 10 and 11 Exams
09am – 2:30pm. Secondary Netball Carnival (Yr 7 to 12)
Jun 13
Year 7 to 9 Exams
Jun 14
Year 7 to 9 Exams
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 15
Year 7 to 9 Exams
Jun 16
Year 7 to 9 Exams
3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 17
Yr 9 Rogaine Camp
09am – 2:30pm. AFL Carnival at GBSC Sports Park – Yr 5 and 6 PE
09:20am – 2:15pm. Primary Netball Carnival (Yr 5-6)
Jun 18
Yr 9 Rogaine Camp
Jun 19
Yr 9 Rogaine Camp
Jun 20
08:45am – 3pm. Hockey Clinic – Yr 2 to 6
Jun 21
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 22
2:05pm – 3pm. Primary Assembly – Yr 3 presentation
Jun 23
11:15am – 12:45pm. Yr 9 and Yr 10 TAFE Information Day
3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 24
9am – 2:20pm. Hockey Clinic – Yr 5 and 6
Jun 25
3pm – 9pm. Mountain Bike Festival
Jun 27
1pm – 3pm. Yr 9 Sport and Rec – navigation
Jun 28
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jun 29
6:30pm – 7:30pm. TBC: Yr 12 ATAR Information Night
Jun 30
9am – 3pm. Batavia Games – Yr 9 to 12
3pm – 4pm. Maths Support in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 10 to 12 only)*
3:30pm – 5pm. Homework Club in College Library (in-Term and Yrs 3 to 12 only)*
Jul 1
Last day of Term 2

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


Employment: Part-time cook, Turtle Cove Learning Centre

Turtle Cove Early Learning Centre Strathalbyn are seeking a passionate part-time cook to join our team. The successful applicant would be given the opportunity to learn under current service cooks who have a wealth of experience and knowledge in safe food handling in the child care Industry. Turtle Cove feel this is a great opportunity for an individual who is in need of school hours and flexibility surrounding shifts. Experience within food handling is preferred, although not essential to apply.   The applicant must be willing to obtain the following:

  • Working with Children’s Check
  • I’m Alert Food Safety Training Certificate
  • Certificate III Module of Promote and Provide Healthy Food and Drinks

If this is something that interests you, please contact Kelsey Norman (Nominated Supervisor, OHS Representative) at Turtle Cove Strathalbyn at . We look forward to hearing from you!