Enrolment growth drives building projects

Posted by Gavin Box

Principal Gavin Hirschhausen cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Art Building.

A new Art Building and alfresco area at the College was officially opened on Thursday 31 August.

Art Teachers Mrs Helen Ferguson and Mrs Annalise Edwards are excited to have a brand new classroom space adjacent to the original art classroom, and a covered area that will also be useful for students in all-weather conditions.

Principal Mr Gavin Hirschhausen and Board Chair Dr Khim Harris officially opened the facility in front of students and their families.

The building replaces what was the oldest building on the campus, a transportable which had been used for more than a decade.

Mr Hirschhausen said the next building project was to replace temporary transportable buildings near the Hangar. 

“We wait in anticipation for favour from the Federal Government to approve our application,” he said.

“The College is undergoing significant upgrades and transformation of buildings in line with the rapid growth that has transpired. 

“We thank God for rewarding our efforts to make Geraldton Christian College the school of choice for Christian and non-Christian families who support the same faith and values at school that are taught at home.

“Our growth is echoed across the country as families choose the private sector, specifically faith-based schools, in response to an ever-radicalised culture change agenda.

“We haven’t changed, as God doesn’t change.  Learning God’s Way is bringing families that enable us to resource supporting excellence in education in all learning domains.

“The new art building is a testimony to faithfully maintaining our presence and patiently waiting as good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with.” 

After the formalities, patrons enjoyed a supper prepared by Food Technology Teacher Mrs Sonja Lochner and Secondary students (see more about her work further down in this Blog).

Year 11 student Noah A provided musical entertainment on the evening, while student art was also on display.

Parent praise for priority on student welfare

As a school, we love receiving positive feedback from parents/guardians.

Here’s one such example that came to our admin team admin@gcc.wa.edu.au  this week, thanking the College for prioritising student welfare.

Hello, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the school’s tough stance on mobile phones and some other policies. A friend of mine was recounting how her high schooler (from a private school in WA) just attended a camp. On that camp, one of the students brought two phones so when the box came around to put phones in at the start of camp the student put just the one in and then used the other throughout the camp, without teachers suspecting anything. And at that school, students use their phones in the middle of class and rarely get caught.

 Another thing from that camp was that students were acting inappropriately on the bus to and from camp. I applaud the College’s policy of not letting boys and girls sit next to each other on bus trips. I know this won’t prevent all students from being inappropriate but it’s effective for most of them.

Thanks again for the things you do that make the school safer for the students.

Thank you!

Event celebrates key role of ‘grandfriends’

The College recently celebrated its annual Grandfriends Day for Primary students from Kindy to Year 6 on Thursday 24 August.

The Sing Out Choir and the Year 5/6 class did lovely performances in the Hall and Dr Lindsay Graieg spoke about how important grandfriends are in children’s lives.

Grandfriends then visited classrooms before being spoilt with a special morning tea of scones, beautifully cooked and presented by Secondary Food Technology students and their teacher Mrs Sonja Lochner.

Mathew Adams, far right, with some of the players selected to represent Geraldton at Country Week soccer.

Strong representation in Geraldton Country Week squad

By Mathew Adams
PE Assistant & Soccer Coordinator

As the soccer season heads to a close, most participants will be looking to finish up, but not those selected to represent the Geraldton Junior Soccer Association at 2023 Country Week.

This yearly competition will take place in Perth during the first week of the September holidays. It is an opportunity for committed players to continue their development against other top competitors.

This year the selection process was very intense across the board.

We are very proud of the 41 College students and Strath Lions players who were ultimately selected.

Throughout this competition, there are opportunities for these players to be selected for involvement in Football West moving forward.

Best of luck to all involved. Remember, you may win or you may lose, but may you never be defeated.

Selected players (from College and Strath Lions): Asher L, Ryan L, Amy T, Ben T, Paige C, Max W, Diara I, Ray K, Alex T, Levi L, Larishia L, Manex N, Jean M, Leo B, Josh W, Zac H, Tom B, Archer D, Nathan A, Josh S, Leon S, James S, Arno M, Ridge K, Charli L, JJ W-S, Sam DK, Nate R, Cassie R, Caleb R, Braydon F, Hamish E-S, Noah S, Archie R, Reuben B, Soren W, Ollie J, Brax R, Bradley d B. Some names withheld for privacy reasons.

Joshua S with Chantal Vanderwal, Jason Seppala and Principal Gavin Hirschhausen.

Joshua takes big prize at Mountain Bike Festival

Year 6 student Joshua S walked away from the College’s annual Mountain Bike Festival with a new $750 bicycle last Saturday.

All 80-plus participants in student time-trial races went into the draw for the bicycle, which was donated by event sponsor WA Country Builders.

After the races and award presentations, students their families enjoyed an evening meal around a bonfire, with live music provided by local band Revenant.

As night fell, students enjoyed riding under lights around the mountain bike track.

Jason Seppala and Chantal Vanderwal from WA Country Builders, along with Principal Gavin Hirschhausen, presented the awards.

Primary Junior Girls. 1 Thea P. 2 Abi R. Primary Junior Boys. 1 Name withheld for privacy reasons. 2 Isaac V. 3 Will S. Primary Senior Girls. 1 Addison P. 2 Tiffany M. Primary Senior Girls. 1 Nathan A. 2 Ollie J. 3 Brax R. Secondary Junior Girls. 1 Emmy A. Secondary Junior Boys. 1 Ryan L. 2 Kian S. 3 Reuben B. Secondary Senior Boys. 1 Seth B. 2 Kristian S.

Local band Revenant perform while a bonfire provides a spectacular backdrop.

Expedition provides real-life lesson in facing adversity

By Andre Steenekamp 
Director of Sport & Outdoor Education

The Year 11 and 12 General Outdoor Ed students have completed a successful, yet challenging expedition in the heart of the Karri forest, near Margaret River. The focus of the expedition is for students to demonstrate their intensive planning and preparation from the past semester, with many opportunities to apply a variety of skills in an outdoor environment.

During the expedition, students completed the challenging Forest Adventures ropes course, hiked the ‘Heartbrake Trail’ on the Bibbulmun track, mountain biked the famous Mundabiddi trails around Pemberton and demonstrated their camping skills, while living out of their 55L back packs and one-man tents in challenging weather conditions.

The students displayed excellent team work and leadership skills. There were more than enough opportunities to apply what they had planned and trained for.

The expedition was concluded on the last night by activating the emergency plan in their manuals when I had an unfortunate mountain bike accident, resulting in a lower leg fracture and air evacuation to hospital.

It was a privilege to see the students remain calm, pray and follow the plan set in place, while taking care of each other.

A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Boonzaier who stepped up to make sure students made it home safely, with the help and assistance of the College, who provided support and assistance as per risk management.

The lesson we have learned from the 2023 expedition is that God allows us adversity so we can lean on His strength and become stronger through His Spirit.

Rogainers return with junior champions title

By Keith Roffman
Sport and Recreation Teacher

Year 9 teams competed against each other and about 400 other competitors in the WA Rogaine Association’s Spring 24-Hour event near Brookton recently, with Lysander F, Alex T and Nathan K taking the Junior Men’s Champions title on 570 points.

The association website describes rogaining as “the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in 24 hours.”

It was a great and eventful camp.  A highlight was night rogaine, where a voluntary team of eight students and two staff hit the trails and returned at 12.30am after gaining three controls.

Big thanks to Kelly Harrington and Ben Daniels for their fantastic assistance as staff, mechanics and hikers.

Can’t wait for next year.

Catapult challenge a springboard for Science interest

By Keith Roffman and Sindy Boonzaier
Science Teachers

Secondary and Primary School students designed, constructed and launched miniature catapults as part of an Alpha and Omega Interhouse competition for Science Week.

High school students produced some innovative designs. The best working catapult, constructed by Matthew S and Kheil C (Year 8 Omega), threw a distance of 6.1m.

The final tally for the high school champion team was Omega 14.4m and Alpha 10.0m.   

The following week, Year 4 to Year 6 students took to the challenge with enthusiasm and teamwork, giving up their lunch times to build and test their catapults.

Competition day was amazing, with so much support and chanting to get participants going!

We were very surprised at the high standard of catapults produced. Watching them participate with such great team spirit makes us even more excited about future Science Week events.

It was a tight competition, but Omega 29m emerged winners to Alpha’s 21m. Go Omega!

Thank you to everyone involved who helped to made this event a success.

Great work, students, we are proud of you!

Will and Chanelle triumph in chess knockout

By Kiera Foster
Mathematics Teacher

The Secondary Chess Championship kicked off in Week 4 of this term, with 16 students from Years 7 to 12 tackling each other head-to-head in a random knockout tournament. 

Each participant displayed great bravery in registering to play against an unknown opponent.

They were courageous and steadfast in their games, doing their best to the end. Well done to all 16 of them: Emmy A, Mackinnley O, Finn E-S, Luke H, Will H, Jarrah H, Micah B, Jack G, Chanelle W, Alex L, Khiel C, Diara I, Ryan L, Archie R, Tobias B and Zachary M. 

Congratulations to Will H, who was the winner of the Grand Final which took place last Friday, and Chanelle W, runner-up.

Generosity on show as Shoe Box Appeal gifts poured in

By Tamicah Pettigrew

Thank you to everyone who has given donations to our Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Appeal.

We have received lots of great gifts. Now the fun part begins – packing them into the shoe boxes that will be sent off to make Christmas special for children across the world.

Our Primary Student Representative Council will begin packing next week.

We look forward to updating you next term on how many boxes we put together.

Don’t worry, if you have a donation that you still need to bring, we can accept last-minute gifts until the morning of Wednesday 20 September.

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17

Variety is the spice of life for Sonja

Food Technology Teacher Sonja Lochner’s love for creating a variety of culinary delights (see post below) is almost matched by her love of variety in cooking aprons.

She certainly brings a new flavor and creativity to this subject!

Watch this space…

A taste of Secondary Food Technology creations

By Sonja Lochner
Food Technology Teacher

The photos above show just some of the exciting dishes and projects that Secondary Food Technology students have been working on.

They include:

Year 7: Creative Burger Building 

Year 8: Healthy Wraps

Year 11: Cupcake Bake-off Challenge

Year 12: Food Drying Techniques

I am proud of every student and optimistic about their enthusiasm.

Food for thought from Wholistic Land Management

By Kelly Harrington
Wholistic Land Management Coordinator

A round-up of news from Wholistic Land Management:

Pic 1: A lemonade stand will be operating in the top carpark next Wednesday (20 September). Please support the Year 4/5 class for all of their hard work by purchasing a bottle (or two). Cost: $2/bottle.

Pic 2: Walter A, (name withheld for privacy reasons), Ruby P and Hunter J learn about commerce, assembling vegie bags for customers.

Pic 3: This is one of the reasons we have goats and ducks. It reduces our waste from the garden and they turn it into manure for our vegies. All a part of closing the loop.


Saturday Sep 16

6:30pm – 8:15pm. The Prince and The Pauper – final performance

Monday Sep 18

Book Week

Tuesday Sep 19

Book Week

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-Term only and NOT on public holidays)*

6pm – 8pm. Secondary Student Council Social Night in Hall

Wednesday Sep 20

Book Week

09am – 11am. Book Week Assembly and Morning Tea

09:30am – 2:30pm. Yamatji On Country – Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Aboriginal Corporation

3:20pm – 4pm. Maths Support – Years 7 to 12 (in-term only)*

Thursday Sep 21

Book Week

09:30am – 2:30pm. Yamatji On Country – Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Aboriginal Corporation

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-term only and not on public holidays)*

5:30pm – 7pm. Games Night Year 1 and Year 2

Friday Sep 22 LAST DAY OF TERM 3

Book Week

Monday Oct 9 FIRST DAY OF TERM 4

Year 12 Mock Exams

Tuesday Oct 10

Year 12 Mock Exams

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-term only and NOT on public holidays)*

Wednesday Oct 11

Year 12 Mock Exams

2:06pm – 3pm. Primary Assembly PP to Y6 in Hall

3:20pm – 4pm. Maths Support – Years 7 to 12 (in-term only)*

Thursday Oct 12

Year 12 Mock Exams

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-term only and not on public holidays)*

Friday Oct 13

Year 12 Mock Exams

Sunday Oct 15

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

Monday Oct 16

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

Tuesday Oct 17

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-term only and NOT on public holidays)*

Wednesday Oct 18

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

3:20pm – 4pm. Maths Support – Years 7 to 12 (in-term only)*

Thursday Oct 19

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

Year 12 Final Assembly

3:10pm – 5pm. Homework Club (in-term only and not on public holidays)*

Friday Oct 20

Yr 6 Canberra Curriculum Camp

Yr 12 Retreat

Last day of school for Year 12

Saturday Oct 21

5pm – 6:30pm. Year 12 Graduation Dinner in College Hall

7:15pm – 9:30pm. Yr 12 Valedictory Dinner in College Hall

*Participation in after school Homework Club Maths Support requires completion of a parent/guardian consent form. To obtain a form, please email gavin.box@gcc.wa.edu.au