The good life … not what you might expect

Posted by Gavin Box
Dressed to impress? The Year 12 class of 2023 celebrate the end of the school year in colourful style. Mr Tilinger is pictured at far right.

The following is an excerpt of a farewell speech from Biblical Life & Worldview Teacher JOHN TILINGER to the 2023 Year 12 class.

Here at Geraldton Christian College, loving and serving others is considered the core of what it means to live “the good life.”

But, Year 12, you’re not going to be here at Geraldton Christian College for much longer, are you?

You all know the culture here and are familiar with it. Yet, you will soon be moving into uncharted territory. There will be many opportunities; but there will also be great challenges as you encounter unfamiliar situations, form new relationships, adopt more of your own opinions, and make increasingly important decisions.

Following Jesus’ example of laying down your lives and loving others might seem appealing now; but when you’re worrying about paying the bills, feel the pressure to perform at work, crave acceptance in a new place, or notice others who seem to have something you’re lacking – well, Jesus’ example might not really seem that relevant or practical anymore.

The voices of the world will promise new ways that you can experience that “good life”. These competing messages can grow louder and louder and, without even realising, you can quickly become distracted from the main game.

You may find yourself living a life with an entirely different essence, or character, than what Jesus wants. The Apostle Paul called this “being conformed to the pattern of the world” and it by no means is a new problem. It has been happening to people for so long, in fact, that Jesus himself addressed it around 2000 years ago, when he addressed a great crowd of Jews during what we now call the ‘sermon on the mount’. This sermon is now recorded in the gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7.

In this sermon, Jesus revealed that the promises of world look like the road to a “good life” at first glance; but, as we all know, looks can be deceiving (I’m not actually a professional model, for example). People in those days had a lot of ideas that are very similar to what people think today. Some of ideas were not completely bad, but people had taken God out of the equation and made things into the main thing.

They thought it made sense to amass wealth because then they would be comfortable and carefree. They forgot, however, that a thief, disaster, or a few bad decisions can make all your money disappear in an instance. Wealth promises comfort, but being rich isn’t going to heal your broken heart, protect you from uncertainty or save you from death.

Wealth promises freedom yet it consumes all your time and energy, enslaving you. This is why Jesus said: Blessed are the poor in spirit. It is only when someone admits their brokenness and depends solely upon God that they know what it means to be truly rich – rich in love, faith, hope and eternal relationship with God.

Just like today, people in Jesus’ time distracted themselves from real issues and chased happiness at all costs. Even though they knew they were deeply flawed and had rebelled against God, many of them would suppress the hard truth about their condition. They refused to acknowledge their wretched situation and the brokenness of the world. It was far easier for them to distract themselves.

The world promised that “ignorance is bliss” and that if you just ignore your problems and go try some new experiences, everything will be OK. But, as you probably remember from watching Into the Wild, there are some problems that simply can’t be escaped, at least in this life.

Interestingly, Jesus said: Blessed are the those who mourn. Jesus isn’t saying we should sit around crying all the time. He is saying that those lament their own brokenness will be healed from their fallen spiritual state and made whole again. Those who weep at the heartache in the world will be comforted; they will live to see troubles fade away and the tears of the world dry up forever.

If you have suffered deeply, perhaps you get a sense of how much joy there will be on the day that Jesus wipes away every tear and announces that death is no more. “Blessed are those who mourn” says Jesus, “for they will be comforted”.

Will money, comfort, distraction, or status really cut it for you? Will marching to the beat of the world and being conformed to its pattern provide you with the fulfilment and purpose you’re looking for?

Some of the blokes listening to Jesus as he spoke might have made good alpha male podcasters today. The ancient world was a dog-eat-dog world, where only the biggest dog survived. Some people still act like this today. They are ruthless in the workplace and will happily use people to get ahead.

They’ll throw their authority around and try to control the people around them, just so they can feel a bit better about themselves. They assume that they are the centre of the world and believe the promise that if they become important in the eyes of others, they’ll stay important forever!

But these people forget that time will creep up on them and steal away their strength and status. In contrast, Jesus says blessed are the meek. Being meek is not the same as being weak. It refers to someone who sees all people in God’s image and considers other people more important than themselves. If you follow Jesus’, you won’t need to throw around your strength to try and get more; you will find eternal fulfilment, purpose, and contentment in God; and the way your life glorified God will be remembered for eternity.

Ultimately, Year 12, you need to ask yourself which promises you’re going to listen to. What vision of the “good life” appeals to you? Will money, comfort, distraction, or status really cut it for you? Will marching to the beat of the world and being conformed to its pattern provide you with the fulfilment and purpose you’re looking for?

Or perhaps Jesus’ radical way of living appeals to you. Perhaps you have a bit of a sense that depending on yourself doesn’t work out that well and is just way too much pressure. Maybe you long for the day when the world be restored. You might want to be free from the hamster wheel that you need to run on if you want to make a name for yourselves.

The thing is, living life Jesus’ way is something that can’t be done on your own strength. The Bible teaches that to be set free from and resist the pattern of the world, our hearts and minds must be renewed; and this renewal only happens when someone fixes their eyes upon Jesus Christ and what he has done.

  • Although being God, he became poor, lowering himself to death on a cross for you and me, so that we might become rich.
  •  Although he the source of all joy, he wept when he saw the lost so that we may be found again.
  • Although he has infinite power, he allowed himself to be arrested and executed so that we could be free to live for him.

Of course, how you choose to live yourself is up to you. I know that your qualities will bless others, just as I’ve been blessed as I’ve taught you. However, marching to the beat of the world doesn’t create things that last and fulfil. But living for Jesus is of eternal significance and gives you a deep hope and joy that can never be taken from you.

So, if you’re someone who wants to follow Jesus and live life his way; I encourage you to never take your eyes off him. Delve into his word, reflect on what he has done, talk to him in prayer – for this is the antidote for conformity and the path to finding the truly “good life” with him.

Terri, Joy and Jean, pictured with Mr Hirschhausen at their induction. Ewan (inset) was absent.

2024 College Heads and Deputies revealed

Jean M and Joy E are Head Boy and Head Girl for 2024, with Ewan J and Terri T supporting them as their Deputies.

Their appointments were announced at the 2023 Year 12 Final Assembly this week.

The four students, chosen for their embodiment of Christian leadership, will represent the College at school and public events.

Other members of the 2024 Secondary Student Representative Council were also announced this week.

They are:

Year 7
Joshua S
Addison P

Year 8
Rhy O
Sienna M

Year 9
Matthew S
Emmy A

Year 10
Micah B
Delilah S

Year 11
Jack C
Sariah S

We wish them all every blessing as they step into their roles.

Countdown begins to Schools Showcase

By Shelley Cox
Drama Teacher (Years 3 to 10)

Students are busily rehearsing for the annual Midwest Schools Performing Arts Festival Showcase, which will be held at the Queens Park Theatre next week.

About 30 students from our school will participate in the following categories: musical theatre, acrobatics, fan dances/ribbon dancing, clowning.

Some of the students are pictured rehearsing above.

Pre-Kindy Program 2024

By Fiona Davidson
Enrolments Officer & Executive Assistant to Principal

We are excited to confirm that the College is introducing a Pre-Kindy Program (for 3 Year Olds) in 2024.  Pre-Kindy will be held on Fridays from 8.40am to 3.00pm during school terms. Children must be 3 years of age to attend and be fully immunised (or have exemption eligibility). If you are interested in enrolling your child, please complete an Expression of Interest Form on the College website and we will contact you to provide further details.  Please tell any friends who might be interested to do the same.

The fee for Pre-Kindy will be $2,000 for the year, or $55.00 per session (pro-rata fees will be charged from when the child turns 3 years of age – so if your child turns 3 in May, we work out the number of weeks until the end of the year and charge you per session for those).

Enrolments 2024

By Fiona Davidson
Enrolments Officer & Executive Assistant to Principal

Enrolment enquiries continue to be strong for College places with a number of our year levels for 2024 full, and only limited places available in other year levels.

It is our hope that your child/ren will be continuing enrolment at the College in 2024.

But if that is not the case, please remember to complete and submit a Student Withdrawal Form at least 5 weeks prior to the end of term (by Wednesday 2 November 2023).  Student withdrawal without the required period of notice will incur a $500.00 fee in lieu of notice.

If you have any queries about enrolment or withdrawal, please email me at

Art accolades for Madi and Anthony

The work of two College students was recognised at the Genesis 2023 Secondary Student Art Exhibition awards night at Geraldton Regional Art Gallery on 13 October.

Madi M (Year 8) won the overall award for Year 8 artworks, while Anthony W (Year 11) was Highly Commended.

Their works were part of the gallery’s Genesis exhibit, which opened on 30 September and concludes on 11 November.

Both students are also in the running for the People’s Choice Award.

Visitors to the gallery can lodge a vote for this award before the exhibit closes on 11 November.

Best of Country Week – award winners revealed

By Janelle Phillips
Country Week Coordinator

During the last week of Term 2, 56 students from Years 8-12 and 9 staff travelled to Perth to be a part of the Senior High School’s Country Week.

The College had representative teams in Dance, Netball, Boys and Girls Volleyball, Mixed Hockey, Speech and Debating and Basketball.

The awards listed below recognise the efforts of all of our students and in particular those who performed to a high standard both in the lead up and over the course of the week.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our Country Week captains – Harry D, Paige C, Rania S and Jasmine P for serving so selflessly this year.

I would also like to acknowledge all the hard work of our coaches: Basketball – Mr Daniels; Netball – Mrs Edwards; Dance – Miss Cox and joined during the week by Mrs Pomery; Debating – Mr Goforth; Hockey – Mrs Labuschagne; Boys Volleyball – Mr Boonzaier, who also helped out with the Girl’s volleyball; and a big thank you also to Mr Steenekamp for steering the ship as always.


Girls Volleyball

Most Valuable Player (MVP) – Chanelle W

Players Player (PP) – Paige C

Boys Volleyball

MVP – Luke H

PP – Manex N


MVP – Chloe M

PP – Amelia H


MVP – Lalani M

PP – Sariah S


MVP – Kristian S

PP- Nathan K


MVP – Denbi H

PP – Nigel H


MVP – Sharcaner J

PP – Joy E

Lunchbox snacks and World Cup inspiration

By Sonja Lochner
Food Science Technology Teacher

The Year 7 students made delicious healthy oat bars this week – a great choice for their lunchboxes.

The Year 8 group, inspired by the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, made French onion soup.

They were surprised with the rich taste and presented it with a loaf of bread that was roasted in the griller with tasty cheese on top.

Experimenting with top chef Jamie Oliver’s recipe, the Year 10 group prepared a spicy sausage broccoli bake – an alternative to everyday macaroni and cheese.

The week ended on a sweet note with the Year 9 class perfecting the ultimate chocolate cupcake.

They enjoyed decorating it after preparing delicious full cream icing.

The students are really improving their kitchen skills and surprised me with their creativity.

The importance of Christian education

By Liesl Theaart

Do you think I should send my child to the local public school? Is it safer to homeschool? Are private schools better? What about a Christian school?

These are questions that young parents often ask me as they’re thinking about enrolling their child into kindergarten. It’s a very personal decision for each family, dependent on factors like single parenting, financial obligations, disabilities, and so much more. We’re very blessed in Australia to have so many options to choose from.

I “survived” public school back in South Africa in the 80s and 90s, and my children went to our local public schools for a long time in Australia, and not in the leafy green suburbs either. I know many families who homeschool successfully, and families who consider schools for their special programs. There was a time when I told parents that it’s probably ok to send your little one to the local primary school, depending on your catchment area. I still think it can be ok, but I now see many benefits to sending your child to a good Christian school, as I’ve now experienced both for myself. And when I say good, I don’t just mean a Christian school by name only, but a school that incorporates a Christian worldview into each class and learning area.

It’s worth noting that I don’t think this is a core gospel issue. Whatever option you choose for your child and circumstances, rest assured, God is the one that protects and saves our children. But wherever you decide to send your child, parental involvement is key.

So, why do I send my child to a Christian school? Why would I want my grandchildren to go to a Christian school one day? 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”.

Paul warns us in this verse of the danger of partnering with those who aren’t of the same nature (unbelievers). Such a partnership can’t be done to the glory of God since the two parties can’t seek God’s will together. This verse does not mean that believers should end all associations with unbelievers. We live in this world, but at the same time we’re responsible for raising our children in God’s ways and protecting them. By having our children in a good Christian school, we place them in an environment where our beliefs align. We can partner with the school to help our children develop in every area of their lives, especially their faith and spiritual walk. I love Deuteronomy 6:7, which says, “You shall teach [God’s Word] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”.

A good Christian school is definitely not perfect, and it also does not guarantee that your child will love and follow Jesus, but it does ensure that more seeds are sown into your child’s life

Our children spend most of their waking days at school under other adults’ instruction and other children’s influence. Doesn’t it make sense to let them be taught by like-minded teachers who also believe in God and walk by His Spirit?

A good Christian school is definitely not perfect, and it also does not guarantee that your child will love and follow Jesus, but it does ensure that more seeds are sown into your child’s life. Your child is like fertile land. Every person sows seeds in your child’s life, and lots of those seeds are not in your control, but many of them are. We want to guard our children’s fertile land and protect it. We want to see the right seeds grow and flourish.

As I moved from the public sector to a Christian school, the very first thing that felt different was peace. Other things I saw were a partnership, purpose, and stability.

In a good Christian school, there should be a concern for the whole student, not just their academic progress. We want our children to be surrounded by many good mentors and role models who they can return to and trust; people who point our children to Jesus and His beautiful creation, who correct our children with grace and mercy, who remind our children to forgive as we have been forgiven, who pray, and who understand God’s design for us.

Perhaps your local Christian school doesn’t have a GATE program, or they don’t advertise their brilliant results as they value the progress of every single student. Maybe the question to ask is, what do you want for your child? A good and wise friend of mine once said that if her children love Jesus, serve others, and work hard, she would be very happy. Let us not be tempted to think only about our children’s temporary, earthly success, but about what matters eternally. I hope my children can one day hear these words from Matthew 25:21, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”.

LIESL THEAART was born in South Africa but moved to Perth, Australia in 2008. She has been married for 27 years and has three children. Liesl started her chaplaincy journey nine years ago in a public school setting, but moved to Rehoboth Christian College at the beginning of 2020. She loves singing, family, nature, art, and being involved in her local church. God saved Liesl at a young age and she has been in Christian ministry from her teenage years. She completed several mission trips into different African countries and still enjoys travelling and new experiences. She is passionate about God’s Word and helping others to apply the Word in their everyday life.

  • The article above was originally published in the September 2023 edition of Nurture magazine. It is reproduced here with kind permission of Christian Education National.

The College is currently advertising to fill the following positions:

Human Resources Officer (Full-Time – FTE 1.0) – Immediate Start

We are actively seeking a full-time Human Resources Officer. The Human Resources Officer supports the Principal in recruitment of both teaching and non-teaching staff, and in relation to compliance, employee relations and all aspects of staffing.

Primary and Secondary Classroom Teacher (Part-Time & Full-Time Positions Available) – Start Term 1 2024

  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS)
  • Primary – Middle/Upper Year levels

Please visit the employment page on our website for further information.  



By Fiona Davidson

Every year, Lighthouse Church do a fundraiser for Ruma Abedona Hospice in India – selling mangoes.

Sadly this year the mango crop has failed up north so there is no fruit available in 2023.

An avocado orchard in the south of WA has offered to provide their crop to be sold for Ruma Hospice instead.

Cost is $50 for 10kg (approx 50-60 per box).

Please let me know if you would like to order a box (if you only want half a box I’ll take orders, but will only fulfil if I have enough people ordering halves).

Avocados should be here late November.

Cash is payable on pick-up from Geraldton Christian College.

Feel free to share with friends, BUT ALL ORDERS NEED TO BE EMAILED TO with the contact details of purchaser.


Do you love to sing?  Lighthouse Church is holding a Hymn Fest this Saturday 21 October at 2.00pm at 42 Shenton Street.  All welcome to come along and join in the singing. Afternoon tea to follow.

Yr 11 and 12 ATAR exam preparation. Academic Task Force (not affiliated with the College) will hold exam preparation workshops in Perth, taught by a WACE exam marker.  Click here for more information or call 08 9314 9500.

Yr 7 to 10 tuition. Academic Task Force (not affiliated with the College) is also offering tuition in Perth for English, Maths and Science.  Click here for more information or call 08 9314 9500.