Issue 47, 5 August 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

The future is something to behold! I am currently reading a new publication by futurist Michael McQueen entitled 'Teaching for Tomorrow', and it struck me that there was no better time than now to think about and plan a new and more engaging future. Interestingly, ISQ has just turned out a commentary entitled ‘A Catalyst for Change’ (ISQ Catalyst for Change) which highlights the fact that there is a stronger than normal interest in this space.

Whether it is as an individual, a family, a business or a school – a time of uncertainty provides the ideal environment where you can ‘sort out things’ by ditching those blockers that are of no importance. In essence, these walls have stopped us all from reaching goals or achieving dreams. As Christians, we have a decided advantage in knowing that we are encouraged to ‘turn the tables over in the temple’ with the certainty of realising that Christ gives us the strength to break through into the new world – now there is a real challenge!

Marketing

It was recently pointed out to me that ‘we are all marketers of our school’. This is so true, and in particular, at this point of the College’s development. Together - it is so important that we continue to ‘shout out’ about the education that is being provided for all students across the College. Something is working and the interest in Concordia from the wider community has been a measurable turnaround from what was a lack of mid-year activity in past years. Thank you one and all as we promote Concordia Lutheran College across the Toowoomba region and beyond.

EBA update

As we are all aware, the proposed Lutheran Education Queensland Enterprise Bargaining Agreement was voted down last week. Some colleagues have asked where this leaves the process going forward? I do not have an answer, and nothing has been forthcoming about this matter. I will provide staff with an update when it becomes available.

As a final reflection, it is wonderful to see that the usual ‘suspects’ are reappearing on our school calendar. Tutorials, sport, chess, gardening, music lessons and concerts and country promotional tours are all examples of our slow and cautious reopening. Of course we remain vigilant and considered as we look at any proposed activity and we will continue to remind you as staff members, and all members of the school community, that a return to ‘normal’ is entirely dependant upon us as individuals. The key messages are being circulated through the Directors of Campus – please take note for the benefit of your colleagues and the community.

Kindest regards and many blessings,

Adrian

It's okay to be sick - it's not okay to be sick at work

The hand sanitiser dispensers, disinfectant spray bottles, paper towel and posters that were so prominent when they were first introduced have now become normal on our noticeboards, tables and desks. Whilst Queensland cases are limited, it is easy to become complacent with these critical measures that protect ourselves and our students.

Please do not come to work if you are experiencing any cold or flu like symptoms, and if you are COVID tested, you must remain off campus until you receive a negative test result. 

Please continue to be vigilant with the health of our students and send any unwell students to Reception or the Health Centre at SSC.

Need to know!

A reminder that child protection is everyone’s responsibility and in particular, staff have mandatory reporting obligations. All staff are asked to please read and familiarise themselves with the College’s Child Protection Policy and the specific reporting obligations.

The Queensland Department of Child Safety has an online tool to support staff in their decision making if you have concerns about a child.  This tool utilises the legislated decision trees and mandatory reporting requirements. If you are ever in doubt about child protection matters, please contact Adrian.

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The College embraces the philosophy of restorative practices as a key process to build harmonious relationships and resolve issues of concern or conflict, openly and respectfully. Restorative principles are used with students, staff and parents and encourage a culture of listening, personal awareness and responsibility.

In the busyness of work and life, it is easy to forget how simple and effective these practices can be, so here is a quick reminder.


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The following College procedures have been updated. Please read and familiarise yourself with the requirements.

Emergency Response and Risk Management Plan COVID-19

Paywise Campus Visits

Glen Thurbon, Paywise Manager QLD will be available on Tuesday, 11 August and Wednesday, 12 August to deliver information sessions and conduct individual appointments. Please contact Glen on email  glen.thurbon@paywise.com.au or phone 0456097481 to book.

A reminder that through Paywise, you can salary package day-to-day Living Expenses (e.g. Mortgage, Rent, Credit Card account, etc. >$70,000 income – can save between $42 to $190 per month).

Following are the current car salary packaging specials: Car specials

There are many misunderstandings about car salary packaging, Paywise reviews common myths in this article: Car myth busters

Superannuation salary packaging can be a great way to boost retirement savings so Paywise can discuss broadly how this works. 

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Tuesday, 11 August Paywise at HSC 9.00am – 11.30am
Paywise at WSC 12 noon – 3.00pm
Paywise at SSC 3.30pm onwards
SSC Info Session 3.30pm - 3.45pm
Wednesday, 12 August Booked appointments

Escape for a moment...

In 1974, an ABC reporter asked people in the street how would they know what the weather was going to be if meteorologists went on strike. We could ponder that same question if the BOM or Weatherzone apps stopped working. The answers are surprising...


Development Opportunities

AITSL continues to release an extensive range of resources through their Teacher Resource Hub. Professor John Hattie extends an invitation to all teachers to use this hub and join the AITSL Facebook group.

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All Queensland Safe Work Month events will be virtual and free to attend this year. They have a full program of digital events planned with live-streamed expert speakers and panels covering topics including:

  • ongoing health and safety implications of COVID-19
  • wellbeing programs
  • safety culture and leadership
  • rehabilitation and return to work
  • mental health.


A reminder that you can approach any member of the College’s Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee with questions or concerns. 

Technology

TASS continues to proactively engage with their customer base and enhance their suite of features. A further significant update is planned for the September school holidays and some of the possible additions include:

The Business Office is actively testing submission of leave applications through the Payroll/HR menu in Teacher Kiosk. It is anticipated that this new online form will be ready for launch shortly, replacing the existing form in Links. 

Concordia Virtual - Our Online Open Day

You probably already know that the Virtual Open Day is a big thing in the educational landscape right now. With COVID-19, most schools and universities have “pivoted” and created an online space in lieu of an Open Day this year.

We are also in the process of developing a virtual platform to direct prospective families to learn more about the College, and we need your help to make it a success. Various staff members will be asked to prepare a short (1-2 minute) video about a particular topic next week. These videos will be filmed by the Marketing department team.

While it is important that this platform is informative and professional, we also want it to be engaging, entertaining and enjoyable for users. We set the benchmark earlier in the year with our Best Kept Secret video showcasing Concordia’s personality and this needs to align with the virtual Open Day space.

If you have any interesting, exciting and visually engaging activities or classes planned for Week 5 or 6, please get in touch with your Director of Campus to discuss. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Bianca Coleborn, Director of Marketing & Enrolments

Feedback

The Staff Pulse survey through TES for Schools will continue periodically as an additional avenue and tool for you to provide feedback. The administration of this survey through an external portal provides full confidentiality, however this feature does limit the capacity at times to make meaningful change for individual people. 

Approaching a member of leadership or Mel in HR, will continue to be the main support for you to provide feedback and ask questions, either for yourself or a team. 

Who was I?

Who has built a mini home from a shipping container and lived in it for two years; been awarded a full academic scholarship to university in the USA; has enjoyed sharing a meal with Broncos coach Wayne Bennett; aspires to be a chartered accountant; last read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris; and who reminisces on her last overseas experience of watching a Golden State Warriors game in San Francisco?

Fiona Kandiu, Boarding Residential Tutor

For those staff who don't work directly with our boarding team, Fiona was born in the highlands of Papua New Guinea; attended a private Lutheran school up until middle school and then moved to Miami Florida for High school at a military boarding school. She has played soccer, volleyball and softball in representative teams, and is currently pursing further studies with a Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Professional Accounting at USQ. 

Who am I? 

Born…in Toowoomba

Have travelled to…UK/France/Italy and Switzerland

Can't stand…coriander

Blessed…to married 30 years this year

Have stood face to face with…Michael Caine

Want to live…in UK or Switzerland for a year

Serve…as chairman and vice chairman of my church and parish

Ran…my own business and employed 5 staff for 7 years

Went to…Concordia Memorial College 

Employee Benefits

The Lutheran Education Queensland Enteprise Agreement enables staff to access an increased employer superannuation contribution beyond the government mandated 9.5%. If we make a co-payment as per the schedule below, the College will increase their contribution, which in turn, can deliver a substantial benefit to superannuation savings.

Employee Contribution             Employer Contribution

1%                                            9.75%

2%                                            10.75%

4%                                            11.75%

5%                                            12.75%

The value of this benefit can be significant and isn't provided by all school sectors. Please email Payroll if you wish to initiate or increase your personal contribution to super. 

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As a staff member of Concordia, you can access the Medibank corporate range of products and exclusive benefits. Our local relationship manager is Megan Kamler and you can contact her directly to book a 30 minute phone consultation. Megan is also able to provide a special offer to all switching and new members who join a hospital and extras policy. Please contact Megan direct on 4692 6605. 

Concordia in the News


Thank you to John Trappett, Karin McKenzie and Adrian, along with current parent Eakraj Adhikari, who shared their experiences, challenges, unexpected surprises and learnings from the period of online learning in a recent webinar hosted by ISQ, the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network and Griffith University. Here is a written summary.

The College was 1 of only 2 independent schools profiled in Queensland and ABC Southern Queensland Radio interviewed Adrian yesterday regarding the College’s approach and the learnings from students, staff and parents. You can listen to this at the 02:09 mark and hear his praise and acknowledgement of the support and innovation by all staff to transition to this new learning model.  

Education in the News

AITSL has released a survey, via the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) to understand the workforce trends that impact teaching and schools nationally.

The survey takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete and is voluntary. The work experiences of every teacher and principal in Queensland are an important part of the picture of our workforce and AITSL appreciates your input into this important initiative. 

Health and wellness

Professor Caroline Mansfield from the University of Notre Dame Australia is interviewed in this 6 minute video reflecting on personal wellbeing and resilience. An insight with practical strategies for all staff members, given the ongoing uncertainty of the external environment.

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And, for those who value activity when it comes to health and wellness, speed skating legend, Steve Bradbury, and Boost your Healthy Queensland challenges you to hold a speed skater squat for 30 seconds! Steve brings his normal humour to the exercise. 

https://gleam.io/sg/NTWjG/11ds...

‘Whatever’ Days

On this day….

In 1100, Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey

In 1772, Russia, Prussia and Austria signed a treaty creating the First Partition of Poland, depriving that country of approximately half of its population and almost one-third of its land

In 1966, the Beatles released their single “Eleanor Rigby” from “Yellow Submarine” 

The Bunya Pine

Recommendations:

Healthy multicultural recipes from the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland 


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