Issue 49, 2 September 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Calling of a Pastor to Concordia

The replacement of Pastor Mark Blackwell as College Pastor has been a very disrupted process. However, we are now moving forward with three possible candidates on the list. Discussions with each of the candidates will occur in the next few weeks and our prayer is that we will soon be able to make an announcement about this critical role across the College and wider school community.

At Emmanuel Lutheran Fellowship’s Congregational meeting on Sunday, Pastor Chris Janetzki’s resignation from the congregation was tabled and received. The College of Bishops of the Lutheran Church of Australia resolved to grant Pastor Chris ‘Leave of Absence’ effective on 30 August 2020. This means that Pastor Chris is a Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia, but he is not engaged in any duties of the pastoral office. This means also that the Emmanuel Lutheran Fellowship is now a “vacancy” in the Queensland District and will proceed with its formal call process through the Bishop’s office. Our prayers are with Pastor Chris, the Janetzki family and the ELF congregation.

A time for reflection

As we wind our way towards the end of a school term, it is apparent that exhaustion is starting to set in across our community, and indeed across the nation. The harmonious, thoughtful, and unilateral approach, central to resolving the constant challenges arising from the pandemic, seems to be slipping into the past. Only a few months ago the focus was on supporting humanity, the beauty of a clean environment, and an understanding that stretched beyond our own ‘bubble’.

The questions of ‘why’ and ‘when’ (will this be over) are front and centre in many conversations throughout each day. A reflection from Max Lucado, Walking with the Saviour’ (1996):

Perhaps the reason that God doesn’t always give us the answer to the ‘whys’ of our existence is that he knows we haven’t got the capacity to understand the answer. In learning to depend on God, we must accept that we may not know all the answers, but we know ‘who’ knows the answers.


Psalm 139:2-3

You know when I sit down and when I get up

You know my thoughts before I think them.

You know where I go and where I lie down.

You know thoroughly everything I do.

Kindest regards and many blessings, 


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

There are several locations in Toowoomba to have COVID-19 testing, however Nurse Libby, along with several staff have found that the drive in Baillie Henderson Testing Centre (entrance from Mort Street) has the quickest turnaround time for results (currently 6 to 12 hours).

The centre is open 7 days a week from 9am – 4pm, however queues can be long so bring water, food, and phone charger. Once in the queue, call 4616 4393 to register your attendance. View this video to become familiar with the process.

Remember, following testing you must self isolate until you have received a negative test result, and please do not return to work until you have both the result, and are symptom free. 

Staff Updates

Congratulations to Elisabeth Smit who will be Acting HOD, Science from Monday as Dennis Wolbers transitions to part-time employment and his new role at St Ursula’s.

As already announced, Marg Battle, SSC Teacher will be finishing her contract with the College earlier than anticipated. Melanie Beckman (Mrs Downs) will be engaged for Term 4 in this part-time teaching role.

The position of added responsibility, Head of Department, The Arts, will have reached its second appointment tenure at the end of the year, and consistent with the provisions of the Enterprise Agreement, the College is seeking internal expressions of interest. Please email Mel by this Friday close of business.

Applications have closed for both HOD, Science and HOD, English and the Leadership Team is currently interviewing for both roles.

Congratulations again to Jess Balnaves, SSC Teacher on the arrival of Lucas and Max. Jess has provided these photos - Lucas in the grey suit and Max in the green. 

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Friday, 4 September Pupil Free Day
Thursday, 10 September R U Ok? Day

NOTE: RSVPs are due today

Escape for a moment...

Consider benchmarking your own skills with this guide on “How to Correctly Use A Computer”. 

Latest Data Shows Spike In Enrolments

The College has experienced a significant increase in enrolment enquiries and applications since May. When comparing May to August data from the same period the year prior, there has been more than double the number of enquiries received and more than 2.5 times the number of enrolment applications.

This spike has been attributed to two things – the Queensland’s Best Kept Secret video was released on 25 May and the outstanding performance of the College in the online learning space.

November is typically our busiest month of the year for enrolments so we are looking forward to continuing this trend in preparation for 2021. 

Bianca Coleborn, Director of Marketing & Enrolments

Development Opportunities

Linkedin is a professional online community with development opportunities at your fingertips every day. Be mentored by following key influencers in your own profession; stay up to date with information direct from companies, industry groups and associations; and choose topics to learn about.

The College will be increasing its engagement with Linkedin in the coming months and we encourage you to sign up if you don’t already have a profile and ‘follow’ the College.   

TASS Updates

The feedback on the new integrated Leave Application process through Teacher Kiosk has been overwhelmingly positive – thank you for your support.

By using this feature, we now have access to a ‘Staff Calendar’ which provides a day / week / month view of staff leave that may assist in your planning. You can find this in Payroll/HR>My Payroll/HR and then click on the Staff Calendar button in the top right-hand corner.

Whilst you are in your Payroll/HR record, please review all your personal details and either update them as allowed or email

Committee Updates

The Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee met last week and you can read their meeting minutes here.

Of significant note - the College is engaging The Hendry Group, to conduct a comprehensive review and update of the College’s Emergency Plans, including evacuation procedures. The new (and improved) plans and processes will be implemented in January 2021 with training provided in the staff PD days.

The Committee has asked for our assistance with 2 matters:

  1. Provide as much detail as you can in SysAid requests so it is clear what work needs to be undertaken.
  2. Our Incident Report form is also for Near Misses and capturing ‘almost’ incidents is an important tool in identifying hazards and managing risks.  

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the Staff Pulse Survey last week. There were a number of written comments which are appreciated, as they provide a greater insight into what we are doing well and what can be done better. There were also some specific comments around a feeling of uncertainty – both in the external environment, and how this impacts on the College.

It’s ok not to be ok. It’s also ok to recognise that things are difficult. There are many pieces to the puzzle of staffing and resourcing each year and your feedback through the staff intentions survey has been integral in the initial discussions and planning. Please contact Mel directly if you have any further feedback for consideration. 


The message for this year’s R U OK? day is an important one: There’s more to say after R U OK?’. Their website can support you 24/7 on how to ask and how to respond, including immediate support services that you can offer. 

Teacher Feedback

AITSL is working with ESA and ACARA on the Online Formative Assessment Initiative. This initiative aims to provide Australian teachers with innovative assessment solutions that integrate digital resources, data collection and analytical tools into one ‘ecosystem’ that is easily accessible, interactive and scalable to meet future needs.

As part of this, rubrics have been developed to support teachers to reflect on formative assessment practice. The survey will help AITSL understand if these rubrics are fit for purpose and will take 15-20 minutes to complete.

Who was I?

We have a colleague who as a teenager, aspired to become a vet; last read "The Midnight Line" by Lee Childs; studied Justice Administration at Griffith Uni; loves the beach, mountain biking, camping and caravanning and exploring areas we have not been before; went to school at Guardian Angels Primary School and then Wynnum State High School; has worked as Records Management and Cabinet Officer in Dept of Premier and Cabinet (a long time ago), Creche Leader, Finance and Ordering Officer in a Water Treatment Company and a Beauty Therapist; enjoyed seeing TISM and Suzi Quattro live; has lived in Brisbane, Wagga Wagga, Perth and Melbourne but kept returning to Toowoomba; whenever possible likes to spend hours in the garden and pond; and will sometime soon, hopefully, go on the cruise that was planned for April.

Carolyn Lynch, Receptionist at HSC

Who am I? 

Went to school at…TAS – Trinity Anglican School

My first cassette tape was…Whitney Houston – The Greatest Love

Have eaten…crocodile and it tasted like chicken

Won’t ever jump out of a perfectly good plane

Raised…four children who didn’t speak English

Been awarded…the highest award for Home Economics at school and love cooking and baking

In my spare time…many, many years ago I used to make jewellery

Travelled to…many European countries after living overseas for two years

Concordia in the News

College Captains, Jess and Sam, speak to Lee Faulkner on Triple M about their experiences as Year 12 students in this very unusual year, 2020.

Education in the News

Borders for Boarders, LinkedIn

New QCE system update 31 August 2020, QCAA

Sharing Good Practice: Gonski and professional collaboration, Teacher Magazine

Passing of Education Luminary Sir Ken Robinson, Forbes

Here is Sir Ken's TED ED Talk which is the most watched TED Talk of all-time with more than 67 million views. 

Health and wellness

Libby Scouller, JC Learning Enrichment Teacher has formed exceptional staff teams for STEPtember which is a fun, safe and virtual event that challenges you to walk, swim, ride, wheel or spin your way to 10,000 steps per day for 28 days in September – all while helping us improve the lives of children and adults who live with cerebral palsy, including children like Nate in Year 5 at HSC.

The Concordia STEPtember teams are:

CLC HSC 1 - Libby Scouller, Juanetta Priest, Carolyn Lynch and Darryl Fry

CLC HSC 2 - Nikki Collins, Sally Weir, Emma Owen, Angela Norley

CLC WSC 1 - Tammy O’Rourke, Cathy Donald and children

CLC SSC 1 - Adrian Wiles, Carissa Jaworska, Glenda Rickert

You can donate to them directly (although I hear some are accepting step donations as well!). 

‘Whatever’ Days

Today is Calendar Adjustment Day!

Sadly, this doesn’t mean that we have licence to fast forward through the remaining months of 2020. It is a very interesting occasion though which dates back to the 1700’s.

Following the British Calendar Act of 1751, Britain adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. However, the current Julian calendar system required them to drop eleven days in order to sync themselves with the proposed Gregorian Calendar. So, on the evening of 2nd September 1752, the population of Britain and its American colonies went to sleep and awoke the next morning to 14th September 1752.

The changeover is also responsible for New Year’s Day being celebrated on 1st January, as before then it had been celebrated on 26th March.

The Bunya Pine


Learn “Kalkadon Kee’an”- a traditional aboriginal throwing game with Dusty Wilson, courtesy of Toowoomba Regional Council.

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