Issue 44, 29 May 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Just a short note to finish off what has been a hectic week for everyone. Early next week we will be able to bring staff up to date with the College’s position on JobKeeper. As a school within a system of schools, the checks and balances have been particularly onerous. I do pass on my thanks to Lindsay Bovill, Marg Medill, Mel Foreman, and the Business Department in general for the hours of painstaking work that has gone on behind the scenes. More about this next week and once the final details are in place.

Thank you to our boarding and residential staff for your patience and support in the last weeks. The various health authorities are nervous about boarding schools in general and we have had to meet stringent criteria to be in our current position. Staff have had to move residence, isolation areas established, and the list goes on. The irony cannot be lost at this time – it is National Boarding Schools Week. Given the work that is going on at all levels to open boarding across Australia, it is best that we save our celebrations to Semester 2 and to a time when the community can celebrate in an appropriate fashion.

It is also National Reconciliation Week - which again is a little strange given that many of our Indigenous students remain in community until (possibly) September. Again, we will celebrate the rich culture of our first nation peoples in Semester 2.

Health and hygiene

I will continue to remind our community of the importance of health and hygiene going forward. There can be no let up at this stage for reasons that are entirely evident with outbreaks in three Sydney schools and of course the current situation in Blackwater.

Staff may have noticed that we are misting outside furniture and playground equipment with disinfectant several times a week. Many thanks to Chris Medill for attending to this task. Staff are asked to continue cleaning play equipment (as per normal) in between the regular spraying that occurs early in the mornings across all three campuses.

Thanks for your vote of confidence in our new marketing video. It has been an overwhelming success, and since the launch at 9am on Monday morning it has reached 40,541 people, been viewed 25,300 times, and the top audience are women from 35-44 years of age (as of midday yesterday). A wonderful result and thanks must go to Bianca Coleborn, Chris Loan, the students, staff, and the Film Guys for mammoth effort under difficult lock-down conditions.

Every blessing to you all, and enjoy the day and a restful weekend.

Kindest regards,


Need to know!

It is 3 sleeps until winter! A reminder that the College staff corporate uniform includes jackets, vests and cardigans. Visit Hannas at 563-569 Ruthven Street Toowoomba QLD 4350 and identify yourself as a Concordia staff member to view the range.

Thank you!

No matter what our role is at Concordia, the last two months have been a journey for us all.

As we soldiered on through uncharted waters and are now finally getting back to some form of normality, we would like to take the time to express our sincere gratitude to our Junior College Support Staff. We have a phenomenal team of people in our Junior College who never cease to amaze and inspire us.

Thank you for going above and beyond your usual duties.

Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for your flexibility during our online learning.

Thank you for supporting our students of essential workers over the last five weeks.

As we enter into the last three weeks of Term 2, holidays are in sight. We hope you take the time to rest, relax and re-energise over the break and we look forward to continuing to move ahead in the Junior College in Term 3.   

Jackie Minnikin & Juanetta Priest, JC Directors 

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Thursday, 18 June Term 2 ends for all students
Friday, 19 June Pupil Free Day / Boarder Travel Day
Thursday, 25 June Staff First Aid training, including CPR Invited staff*
Friday, 26 June Staff CPR training Invited staff*

*If you haven’t received an invitation and believe your qualification is due for renewal, or you need to obtain a First Aid qualification, please contact Mel

Leading & Learning

Dear Change Agents and Learning Leaders 

Our College is participating in the ISQ Middle Leaders Program over the next 18 months, to grow leadership capacity, share learning and improve student outcomes in alignment with our College Strategic Plan. Congratulations to Karin McKenzie and James Bishop as they are now able to take their initial steps into thinking about an exciting growth journey ahead.

Throughout this program, we will partner in learning, individually and shared as a team. Whilst our intent is to invest in bolstering and growing our individual and collective leadership, I would encourage each of us to continually ground our learning and purpose in the moral imperative we carry as leaders of learning.  

Ask these 2 questions at the core of your thinking, learning and ongoing work.

  1. What is best for ‘our students’?
  2. What is my responsibility to help this happen for ‘our students’?

Karin and James will learn and reflect by ‘doing the work’, all in alignment with our new College Strategic Plan. Why? All of our collective efforts, direction, planning, resources and action must be explicitly connected to helping our learning community move closer to achieving our strategy. Have a look at the dot points in each area of the document. Does an area of passion or challenge resonate with you? How could you make a difference and add value for the learner experience through exploring your area of passion? What is one thing you could change, do tomorrow and make a difference to benefit our students? 

This is the challenge for our whole team as we serve together for the greater good of all learners in our community. Exciting times ahead! 

Professional Reading - Check out this great blog by George Couros. Subscribe if you like.

Blessings as we serve, lead and learn together.

Darren Pope, LE Coordinator 

Escape for a moment...

Our Kiwi cousins celebrated National Lamb Day on 24 May and Kiwi sheep farmer Garth Coleman and his daughter Lucy, armed with a camera, a quad bike, feed and of course some good ol’ Kiwi ingenuity, turned the mundane into the magical… 

Development Opportunities

ClickView have recently improved their Playlist feature. Playlists have always been a great way to share lists of video resources with students or colleagues and now, they’re even better. 


Corwin webinar by John Hattie on Maximising Impact: The Power of Implementation

Duration is 55 minutes. Consider copying this YouTube link to watch later:


Sonya Holden at SSC has shared that Positive Psychology are running a series of FREE webinars: 12 days of Positive Schools. This replaces a conference that had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. The videos of the webinars are available for free until the end of June. There are some great speakers and researchers presenting on topics relevant to teaching, parenting and life in the current climate. 

Committee Updates

The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee met on 21 May and you can access their meeting minutes here

A reminder that you can approach any Committee member to provide feedback or raise a concern in your work area.

Feedback through Staff Pulse

The Staff Pulse survey continues to be issued weekly through the TES Portal and an increasing number of staff are participating each week. Thank you!

Feedback from yesterday’s survey is being collated, however here is a summary of the results from the week prior, and specifically feedback on the additional questions that were included that week.

Who was I?

Who was born and raised in Rockhampton; commenced their schooling journey at Esk State School; lived in Canada for a year; has competed at National level in swimming; spends hours in the garden building things and mutters "I'm digging another hole"; regrets some of his recent online morning messages to students; and if he isn't at work, is at Bunnings?

 Andrew Tennent, HSC Teacher

Who am I? 

I was Toowoomba

I grew up...on a large wheat farm approximately 50 km west of Toowoomba

I attended...a small one teacher country school until it closed. 

My favourite sport to play was...netball, representing Darling Downs.

I studied...teaching at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, now known as USQ. 

I am...married and my husband is the face of Lost Trades, Australia and we have a daughter.

I have travelled...widely throughout Australia. A highlight was being part of a National Harley Rally and riding around Uluru with 2 500 Harleys.

I love...the beach, spending a lot of time at our beach house on the Sunshine Coast, and “collecting” shoes.

Sharing Learning

Gabe Robbie, HOD-HASS's final bulletin of hints and tips to support student online learning through MS Teams. SSC Week 4 Online Learning Bulletin


A personal reflection from Daniela Falecki, teacher, educator and coach on the past several weeks. Thought provoking for everyone, regardless of your role within the College.

Change... Resilience... Wellbeing These words seem to be everywhere at the moment, but what is real and what is not? 

As a leader and advocate of teacher wellbeing, I have spent my life working out ways to help people. First as an educator in schools, then a leader in educational organisations and now the director of a company dedicated to supporting teachers. 

I am on the roller coaster just like you. With the introduction of Covid-19, my work and life were turned upside down...."Just go online," they say, "just develop resources," they say, "just give us the answers they say", If only it were that simple.

We all process change differently and as a self-confessed control freak, I struggled. For me personally in this time of rapid change, I spent the first week having a meltdown thinking “OMG, what am I going to do?” The next week I started to relax and enjoy not going anywhere, then I thought, “OK, get it together and start forging a plan”. 

The point is, some moments in the day I think “I’ve got this” and I am excited about the possibilities, I am hopeful, I relish in the creativity and look forward to sharing and collaborating. Other days I think “I have no idea what I am doing”, I feel like I am going in circles with roadblocks, more uncertainty and shifting goal-posts.

I share this because I generally have a positive and solution-focussed mindset (from years of training), but in times of rapid change, it doesn’t always have to be about bouncing-back and celebrating strengths. Sometimes wellbeing begins with acknowledging the tough stuff and having the courage to identify and own our feelings. Sometimes circumstances are hard. Sometimes decisions don’t make sense and sometimes there isn’t a better solution. 

In this lies the truth about Positive Psychology. It’s not about thinking positive, being happy all the time, or having a gratitude journal. Positive Psychology is to help us UNDERSTAND, INQUIRE and NAVIGATE our experiences with acceptance and compassion. It’s about noticing and celebrating the good stuff when it happens and having the skills to manage the negative stuff as we ebb and flow through each day. 

I don't have all the answers and nobody does. You as an educator don't need to have all the answers either. It's not about 'getting it right', it's about being human, it's not about doing everything you used to do, it's about connecting to what is most important, and it's not about blaming, it's about working together to acknowledge the craziness, uncertainty and opportunity to do things differently. To all teachers at this time …. education is not ideal at the moment, your students may be struggling or thriving, your technology may be flawless or stuffed and your schools’ structures may be sensible or make no sense. 

Either way, know you are enough, know you are doing enough, and know feelings of frustration and uncertainty are justified. Resilience and wellbeing begin with acknowledging where you are and knowing all change is a journey. The question is, are you going to scream with terror or enjoy the ride?

Employee Benefits

To start your novated leasing journey, contact RemServ on 1300 73 14 29 or

Concordia in the News

Queensland’s Best Kept Secret video created by The Film Guys in Term 1 encompasses all that The Film Guys are known for – entertaining, memorable and humorous. Here are some statistics from the 4 days since launch.

Total views: 25,300
Shares: 300
Reactions/Likes: 2,366

Here's a bit more detail on some of the items mentioned in the video:

Our gardeners are pretty great, they keep our grass controlled. Our hedges, lawns and shrubberies are a sight to behold.

Our students really did think our Grounds Team deserved a shout out for their amazing work! These shots were filmed at our Stephen Street Campus for Middle College (Years 7 to 9) and Senior College (Years 10 to 12) students. We also have two Junior College campuses for Kindergarten to Year 6 students - Hume Street Campus and Warwick Street Campus, which are featured in some of the dancing scenes.

We could sing all about our fun, exciting academics.

In the Junior College, our specialist teachers strive to provide students with fun and engaging learning both inside and outside the classroom.

In secondary, our teaching staff continue to provide a dynamic learning environment for our students while still working hard to achieve the best possible outcomes. For more information about the broad range of subjects offered in Years 7 to 12, please see the Middle College Handbook and Senior College Handbook.

Or we could sing about how we perform in athletics.

We offer a range of sports and activities to our students including AFL, Basketball, Netball, Volleyball, Soccer/Futsal, Rugby Sevens and Water Polo. There is also dedicated training for Track & Field, Cross Country and Swimming. We have the heated, indoor Concordia Aquatic Centre for students to train in Swimming and Water Polo. 

If there's one thing we could be known for in these parts, It's that we've made putting on big musicals an art.

Concordia presents a musical every second year with the last two musicals in 2017 (The Wizard of Oz) and 2019 (Bugsy Malone) being held on the main stage of the Empire Theatre, featuring the singing, dancing and musical instrument talents of our students as well as dazzling sets and costumes.

The kids are really nice here, Dad says it's worth the price here.

You can view our 2020 fee schedules for Australian and international students by clicking here

In Year 9 you'll spend a month in the bush with no phones, The boys and girls are split in groups because, you know, teenage hormones.

Outdoor Education is an important element of Lutheran education with our program designed to foster personal, spiritual and social development in our students. Our Year 9 students spend four weeks at Googa Outdoor Education Centre where they learn new skills, go hiking and camping and perform jobs such as cooking and cleaning. They have no access to technology for four weeks and communicate with their family via letters, something very few young people experience these days. Here's a short video of what our students had to say about their Googa experience:

There's a very good chance that you will meet your best mates here, And when you're older, these are the friends with whom you'll share a beer.

Our students develop authentic, respectful relationships with one another that often last a lifetime. The four people in the foreground of the adults scene are all Concordia Old Scholars.

But what do families really want? Do they want to know our test scores jumped?

Concordia Lutheran College was recognised in 2019 as being one of the schools in Australia to have a significant gain in NAPLAN results. You can read more about this here.

Or that our Rugby teams don't get thumped (anymore).

After a hiatus from Rugby, Concordia introduced Rugby Sevens to the sporting lineup in 2019 with boys and girls teams competing in the competition with great results. 

Do they want to know we're a boarding school for boys and girls?

We offer boarding for Years 7 to 12 at our Stephen Street Campus. Our Learning in Residence program provides after-hours academic support to our students with qualified teachers, tutors and pre-service teachers from the University of Southern Queensland working with students in the College Library to support their studies. 

Enrolling several students here from across the world.

We have approximately 15 international students from China, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea who attend Concordia Lutheran College. Read more about our international student program here.

Concordia...perhaps it's time you paid us a visit.

Education in the News

The New Normal of Learning: Bring Back Better, Prof John Hattie, Corwin

Student wellbeing: Understanding different COVID-19 experiences, Teacher Magazine 

Health and wellness

The “common cold” is making a comeback given the return of students and cooler weather. Please be aware that your Director of Campus or Supervisor will likely seek information from you in the event of a personal illness, including your symptoms and if you have been to your Doctor. 

Importantly, if you are tested for Covid, you are unable to attend the workplace until you receive a negative test result. As per normal, absences in excess of 2 days will require a medical certificate and we encourage all staff who display symptoms for more than 1 day to attend their Doctor for assessment.

Any questions, please speak to Mel in HR. 


AccessEAP have launched an information sheet on Managing your response in the transition to the new normal that you may find helpful.

‘Whatever’ Days

Today is Paperclip Day! Did you just roll your eyes at the idea of the bent little piece of metal known as the paper clip having its own day? Surprisingly, there is a lot to learn…

The first patent for a bent wire paper clip was awarded in the Samuel B. Fay in 1867 in the United States. Originally, the paper clip was designed for attaching tickets to fabric, although the patent recognised that it could be used to attach papers together. However, that model of a paper clip did not resemble the one we know today all that much. The paper clip as we know it was most likely designed by Norwegian inventor Johan Vaaler. 

Years later, during World War II, the paper clip was used as a symbol of the Norwegian resistance to Nazi German occupation. Meant to show solidarity with other Norwegians during those difficult times, paper clips were worn in coat lapels by many. The Nazis saw this show of solidarity as a threat, and they soon prohibited paper clips altogether, threatening people who dared wear them with severe punishment. In fact, an enormous paper clip over a meter wide and five meters tall was erected in Sandvika, Norway, to remind people about the role this tiny object played in the nation’s history. 

Everyone knows that paper clips can be used to hold papers together. But did you know how many other things can be done with them? Think an emergency zipper, hair tie, hanging ornaments, removing that piece of food stuck in your teeth, to unclog narrow holes, like a spray can nozzles, salt and pepper shakers, and glue bottle tips. Paper clips are one of the most versatile little bits of metal ever made, so let’s get celebrating Paper Clip Day!  

The Bunya Pine


As the weather gets cooler and we’re spending more time at home, it’s a great chance to get your apron on and Boost your Healthy in the kitchen. So, why not try a tasty delight from the QCWA Country Kitchens recipe website, or dust off one of your tried and true healthy favourites and let’s get cooking. 

Share a picture of your culinary masterpiece and go into a draw to WIN one of our weekly QCWA Country Kitchens prize packs of an apron, tea towel and cookbook. We’re giving one away each week. 

What’s more, all entries go into the draw to WIN our major prize of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a copy of the QCWA In My Country Kitchen Cookbook!  Now if that’s not enough to get you cooking up a storm, we don’t know what is.  

For Sale:

2 male guinea pigs, wormed, five weeks old. $20 each. Been handled by children since day 1 so are very placid and quiet. Contact Libby Scouller, Junior College.

Heads Up is a important avenue to engage with colleagues whilst face to face meetings are restricted. Please contribute by emailing