Issue 50, 16 September 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Thank you so much for the work and dedication that you have shown throughout this school term. I am not sure about you, but I have found this to be a very challenging few months (with not much relief) after a disrupted second term. The practice of working with ‘unknowns’ continued this term and I suspect that we will be faced with this at ‘the front line’ during the remainder of the year. Hence, it is so important that there is a down time in the next few weeks for everyone. Again, I cannot speak more highly of you as staff – a point not missed at our meeting as College Council and Lutheran Education Queensland on Saturday. 

I recognise that all staff will need to do some preparation during the break, and indeed, some will be working throughout the next two weeks. I would especially like to thank teachers who have taught Year 12 classes and are working to prepare these students for the first external assessments to be held in Queensland for thirty years. I am always concerned about focussing on one group of staff with the knowledge that others are also working above and beyond; but this time I am sure that you will understand that a special thanks must go to those Senior College teachers who are voluntarily offering tutorials for Year 12 students throughout the holidays. From experience in other systems, these sessions are crucial in the preparation and support of students seeking to achieve the highest entry score to allow them study and career choice beyond school. Thank you so much everyone – greatly appreciated!

Staffing matters

At this time of the year all schools begin the process of staffing for the coming school year. I am pleased to announce that:

  • Mrs Elisabeth Smit has been appointed as Head of Science in 2021. Elisabeth replaces Dennis Wolbers who is currently transitioning to an administrative role at St Ursula’s. Elisabeth is current Acting Head of Department.
  • Ms Angela Sten has been appointed as Head of English in 2021. Angela has a recent history at St Edmund’s College in Ipswich as well as extensive virtual education experience. She replaces Ian Hoddinott who completed his work in this position earlier this year. Thank you to Wendy Bowen for covering the gap from Term 2. 

I have received and acknowledged the resignation of Ms Emma Herbert from staff. Emma has been on extended leave and I thank her for her contribution to Concordia over the years. Ian Hoddinott has been granted one-year leave of absence in 2021 and I wish Ian well for this time beginning in January. We also farewell Margaret Battle who has ‘filled many gaps’ for us over the last three years. 

On your behalf, I wish Emma, Ian, and Margaret God’s blessings for their new journey.

If you are travelling, then remain safe. Relax and take time out and I look forward to being with you at the start of the final school term for 2020.

Kindest regards and many blessings,


Need to know!

Darren Pope has initiated a review of existing policies and processes catering for student needs through reasonable adjustments. This new Inclusive Education Policy written by Darren and endorsed by Leadership encompasses all learning contexts across the College’s learning community, and is an important stage in changing our language and practice away from Learning Enrichment/Enhancement/Support to Inclusive Education, advocating for all learners. Thank you, Darren, for your leadership in this area. 


The following College strategy has been updated to incorporate recent changes to the Blue Card system.  Please read and familiarise yourself with the requirements.

Child Risk Management Strategy

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Monday, 5 October Public Holiday & Boarder Travel Day
Tuesday, 6 October Term 4 starts
Monday, 12 October Year 12 Recognition and Valedictorian Evening Recorded
Thursday, 15 October Valedictory Arrivals Live Streamed

Thank you to senior teachers!

Thank you once again to our senior teachers who are delivering student support sessions (online and face to face) throughout the holiday period in preparation for the new external QCE exams in Term 4. 

The full schedule can be accessed here

Support for Year 12 students

Given the Year 12 students have had a challenging year we are hoping to surprise every student with a “Study Survival Pack” as a gift for them but also way of acknowledging their journey and sending them into SWOTVAC knowing we have their back. The contents would be a combination of stationery, food items, motivational quotes, stress balls, brain breaks, affirmations etc.

We are asking staff to voluntarily nominate to contribute to these gifts in whatever way they see fit but would need to provide sufficient for EVERY year 12 student (e.g. a single staff member might donate 51 lead pencils, a staffroom might donate 51 packets of Minties, the English teachers might write 51 poems). I have already had commitments of bubble wands and College pens. It would be nice if we could have contributions from all campuses and all aspects of the College community.

I am confident there are many creative ideas out there that individuals and groups of staff would come up with. I can store items in the storeroom off D4 and package up ready for distribution before they head into SWATVAC (week 3). Happy for volunteers to help with packaging. The distribution of the gifts is yet to be decided but my thinking is that this be a little like Christmas morning with a ‘ceremonious’ calling out of names and gift giving.

Please let me know if you would like to contribute to this. I would need all items by the end of Week 1 – Term 4. A reminder that this is a SURPRISE so do not share with any students. 

Sonya Holden, SSC Teacher

Escape for a moment...

We’ve made it to the end of Term 3 in the most extraordinary year. If you are feeling a bit ‘poorly’, take comfort that you are not staying at Fawlty Towers. 

Development Opportunities

Have you heard of The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation? And, what even is a Laureate?

Read more here on resources and professional development opportunities for primary and secondary teachers to enrich the lives of your Australians through the power of story, including monthly writing activities with the 2020-2021 Australian Children’s Laureate, Ursula Dubosarsky. 

Heidi Edwards, Teacher Librarian


The QCAA continues to roll out an extensive professional development schedule of online webinars for educators from P-12


A reminder of this exceptional and free online conference. Click here to register. 

Teacher Feedback

AITSL is exploring how teachers and leaders in schools across Australia can be supported to enhance their Indigenous cultural competency. It is exciting and important work that requires your insights and ideas to be truly effective.

You can get involved by sharing your views on our latest discussion paper, Indigenous cultural competency in the Australian teaching workforce.

Who was I?

Which teacher went to school at Trinity Anglican School; had a copy of the highly coveted cassette tape The Greatest Love by Whitney Houston; has eaten crocodile; won’t ever jump out of a perfectly good plane; has raised four children who didn’t speak English; been awarded the highest award for Home Economics at school and loves cooking and baking; made jewellery in her spare time many, many years ago; and has travelled to many European countries whilst living overseas for two years?

Lee-Anne Millett, WSC Teacher

Sharing Learning 

Brett Lee from Internet Safe Education talks about Cyberbullying in this 12 minute video. It starts with a somewhat confronting and powerful video of what online bullying would look like in real life. 

Boarding Team Update

It was hard to tell from the photos who had the most fun at the recent 70’s disco in boarding! Here are memorable photos of just some of the 12 staff members who support our boarding students 24/7. 

Employee Benefits

The College has a partnership with RemServ and PayWise for salary sacrificing options and here is some information provided by RemServ.

To find out how you could potentially save, just book a one-on-one consultation with a RemServ salary packaging expert at a time that suits you. 

Concordia in the News

This article by thefilmguys provides a great insight into the behind the scenes work that went into the production of the College video and is well worth a read. 

Health and wellness

Are you interested in being involved in a FREE Health and Wellness Service? Do you want to reach your fitness goals, learn about healthy meal preparation, increase your mental wellbeing and gain greater social connections? 

Located at Baillie Henderson Hospital, Southern Queensland Rural Health offers a student-led service with physiotherapy, exercise physiology, dietetics, nursing, psychology and social work students, all working under the supervision of SQRH Clinical Educators, to assist people to improve fitness, mobility, nutrition and mental wellbeing. 

To find out how you can get involved, contact the clinic: phone 4699 8691 or send an enquiry.


With face masks now mandatory in medical settings, and recommended in some areas in south east Queensland, it is important to know how to choose and wear face masks.

Do remember that face masks alone will not protect you from COVID-19. Social distancing is the key prevention method, combined with hand hygiene.

Nurse Libby Chapman

In the Community

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is all about the FLOWERS this year. The feature floral-filled parks including Laurel Bank Park and the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park have garden beds bursting with colour, lush lawns and springtime wonder waiting for you to explore.   

Participating cafes, restaurants and pubs around the Toowoomba Region are offering signature springtime specials exclusively 1-30 September. The best part…..they’re only $20!

Explore more activities and experiences on the official website.

‘Whatever’ Days

Today is Collect Rocks Day! This obscure day has only been commemorated since 2015, and despite clarity on its origins, it offers a good excuse to celebrate Earth and Science, to indulge your inner geologist, and to learn fascinating things about the material that make up the Earth’s surface.

You may even have an opportunity over the coming weeks to start a collection of your own.

The Bunya Pine


Toowoomba has its first Disc Golf Club. Go to Queensland Disc Golf to learn more.

Toowoomba Regional Council, The Home Project: Mini Clay Bowls Online Workshop

Thank you for your extraordinary efforts and support this term. Stay safe over the holiday period.