Issue 51, 9 October 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Welcome back to the start of the final Term in 2020. Earlier in the week I posted an introductory email with one or two important notices. I mentioned that Jason Smith had fractured his leg, and I would ask that we continue to keep Jason in our prayers and thoughts over the coming days and weeks. As an update, Jason has seen the specialist and there seems a likelihood that he may be able to escape surgery if the leg can be immobilised to alleviate excess swelling.  He is attending to important matters from home and is contactable via email or through Karen Watson. Thank you everyone for your support as we have patched together the tasks for the past week and in particular as we have ‘reshuffled’ next week. I would like to thank Karen for providing the continuity needed across a range of organisational areas. Get well soon Jason! 

Valedictory Week

Next week will see the community celebrate the final formal week for the Yr. 12 Class of 2020. The ‘Valedictory and Recognition Service’ (Monday 12 October) will be held under restricted conditions in the Empire Theatre and this will replace the ‘Awards and Presentation Evening’ and the Yr. 12 Valedictory Service normally scheduled during this week. This Service will be recorded and will then be made available for all interested members of our community 

The traditional ‘Arrivals and Valedictory Dinner’ (Thursday 15 October) will also be held under restricted conditions, with family and household clusters being able to be present on the College grounds. The arrivals will be ‘live streamed’ through the Concordia Lutheran College Facebook site.

There are several other internal activities planned for this coming week and I thank all who have been involved for their willingness to support this very special group of young people.

Our Year 12 students will then head into Swatvac before commencing their external assessments over a three week period beginning on Monday 26th October. I thank Sonya Holden for her work in bringing together ‘Survival Packs’ for these students - as explained in an email earlier in the week. If you can support this cause, then please contact Sonya asap. We look forward to getting this stage of the new QCE underway and I wish all our students and their teachers the best for the weeks ahead.

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) proposal at Warwick Street Campus

The College in consultation with Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Services (QLECS) has been looking at the possibility of establishing a before and after school program for Junior College students at the Warwick Street Campus. We recognise that many parents currently arrange for their children to be cared for at other centres or in other programs during these after school times, and that they prefer to use a service that is close to WSC for convenience.

As a first and critical step, a short survey will be issued to parents from Warwick Street Campus and to incoming WSC families for 2021. This will determine whether the registration process will progress in readiness for a 2021 start. Please note that we are not considering offering a Vacation Care program at Warwick Street Campus in the near future. I will keep the community posted as we determine any further actions.

General points

Importantly, we will also farewell our Year 9 students as they embark on their one-month journey to Googa Outdoor Education Centre. They will be farewelled on Tuesday morning and we wish them well for what is often a life-changing experience.

The Find My Spark Festival is occurring online over the next two weeks 12th – 23rd October. It is essentially a parallel program to Spark Festival but for students and teachers. The Find My Spark Festival involves 2 workshops/masterclasses each per day for students and teachers and explores the Entrepreneurship and Design Technology concepts in classrooms.

Registration is free and comes with a stack of resources for attendees - all open source material. 

Further information can be found at

Kindest regards and many blessings,


Need to know!

Next week is the final full week of school for Year 12 students. A consolidated list of events and activities for Stephen Street Campus staff and students is below for your reference:


Footy Fever is certainly taking over Queensland...

Congratulations to Year 12 Student, Zimmy Farquharson who has been drafted into the elite AFLW competition. Here is a WIN News clip.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of history, as the Toyota AFL Grand Final Cup Tour visits Toowoomba!

Get your photo with the Premiership Cup and fine tune your skills with AFL activations on Friday 16 October 8-10am at the Cobb & Co Museum.

And congratulations to Gabe Robbie, HOD, HASS who contributed to the South Toowoomba AFC Team's Grand Final Win over the holidays, breaking their 12 year drought.

Support for you

The College has a connection with AccessEAP for all staff to access 3 free confidential face to face or phone counselling sessions each year.

EAP sessions may be used for developing strategies for handling life’s inevitable curveballs, goal setting, or planning for major life events or changes. 

Their support extends to:

To book an EAP appointment, you simply need to call 1800 818 728 and the AccessEAP team will arrange for you to speak with an experienced, professional counsellor or psychologist. 

Staff Updates

Welcome back to Melanie Beckman (Mrs Downs) who is engaged at SSC this term and thank you to Stacey Warrener who is teaching full-time this term across both Junior Campuses to support staff absences.

Applications have closed for teaching positions at SSC from 2021 and the Leadership Team will be interviewing for these roles next week. 

Emiel Duthoit is currently completing a student placement in IT as part of his tertiary studies. You will likely see Emiel supporting Daniel and Mitch across the 3 campuses this term. 

SSC Administration staff farewelled Tricia Priest, Receptionist on Tuesday, as she has secured full-time employment. Tricia has worked across all campuses in her time with the College and her leadership and coordination of both internal and external events over the past 3 years is acknowledged and appreciated. 

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 will need all remaining contributions as soon as possible and please remember that this is a SURPRISE so do not share with any students. 

Sonya Holden, SSC Teacher

Escape for a moment...

There are many thoughts as we reach the end of this first week of the final school term. For Muppet (and non-Muppet) fans, here is a fun way to end the week...

Development Opportunities

Applications for ISQ’s  2021 professional learning programs are now open. Explore ISQ’s leadership, curriculum, and teaching and learning programs to build capacity, lead change, and improve student outcomes in your school. Applications close 30 October 2020.


The QCAA will be offering more than 60 webinars on topics across K–10 during October and November. These will support teachers and school leaders to enhance learning outcomes for all students. Visit the QCAA website for more information and to secure your place. 


A 'New QCE System Update' has been released today and will go up on their website in due course. Click here to access a copy of the email newsletter. 


The ACEL Bookshop has some unprecedented sales following the Global Conference last week. Click here for some time limited offers. 


Even though parents, schools and students have been talking about Discord for years it is rarely mentioned in mainstream media.

The app Discord is wildly popular with both primary and secondary students alike.  There are considerations though that parents and educators should be aware of that relate to screen time along with undesirable behaviour and content. 

If you want to learn more about Discord, here is an article written by Brett Lee from Internet Safe Education 

SSC Shared Learning Narrative

The first session of sharing future thinking and developing our learning narrative took place on Wednesday. Our sincere thanks to Isabel and Tom (2021 College Captains), Heidi, James, Wendy and Adrian for their participation and valued input.

The Work

Our work centred on identifying the challenges we all experience in the learning journey and also the opportunities, that are present or emerging in the College, that help to improve learning outcomes for all learners.

Our Team

Isabel and Tom have begun this journey in partnership with us all and have already provided articulate, deep and thoughtful insight. Authentically inviting and valuing student voice is a critical element in this ongoing process of change and growth. The intention is that Isabel and Tom will continue to bring important context and clear communication to each step in our thinking, planning, sharing and action, as we seek to bring about effective change that benefits all learners.

The Progress

Through a rich and rigorous dialogue, the product of the initial session was a Contemporary Learning Statement. This reflects the narrative of what we desire learning at Concordia to look, sound and feel like into the future. It provides a succinct filter and reference point for us to circle back to, check-in and help continually clarify our direction forward.

The design thinking we did together, along with the initial statement will now be compiled into a brief report and available shortly for perusal.

What’s Next?

The brief report will be compiled and available for perusal. Our next step is to think further about the road blocks we have identified, how to unblock them and how to benefit from current and emerging opportunities.

Please know that if you haven’t been able to come along as yet, you are most welcome as we progress together.

Your voice is valued

Ideas, and lots of them will continue to feed great change. All learners, every staff member and student, is a leader of learning and this change process.

Isabel and Tom are keen to invite and listen more widely to our student voice. Your insight is most welcome too, so come along when the next session is promoted or chip in your ideas as they emerge.

Exciting Times Ahead

We have all learned so much across this year. We have an incredibly talented team of professionals who lead learning, nurture individuals and create meaningful, sustainable change each day. We are blessed with a strong and supportive body of parents and carers. It is a great joy to share our days, serving and learning with our talented and dedicated students. Learning is at the heart of everything we do. Our future is bright.

Exciting times ahead at Concordia!

Darren Pope, Learning Enrichment Coordinator

National Safe Work Month

October is National Safe Work Month. The College's Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee will provide further information and insights during the month. 

Employee Benefits

The College has received notification that there is a new corporate connection for Lutheran employees to access AIA Health Insurance with AIA Vitality at very competitive premiums. 

Note: Most health insurance funds have increased their premiums as of 1st October 2020 after deferring the increase in April. However, AIA Health Insurance have decided to not increase their premiums.

For more information please access the following documents: 

If you would like to arrange a free no-obligation phone consultation and quote please click on this link:  Click on a date and time and a booking form will open (see attached document “04 AIA Health Sample Appt Booking Form 20200724”). Complete your own details and then please complete the Adviser Details on page 2 of the form as per attachment 04. This ensures they know you’ve been referred as a Lutheran employee. The booking form allows you to arrange for an AIA Health consultant to phone you at a time and date that suits you.

Remember there is no obligation if the comparison is not favourable.

Please note that for each Lutheran employee who does join AIA Health Insurance, LCA will donate $50 to ALWS Gifts of Grace on your behalf.

Are we there yet?

How often do you hear kids say from the back seat ….. “Are we there yet?”, well, that’s how many educators and school staff feel right now. The constant changes and heightened anxiety have been exhausting. Daniela Falecki from Teacher Wellbeing asks how will you renew (or sustain) your physical wellbeing this term? 

This year has seen our wellbeing has been challenged like no other…

  • Our cognitive wellbeing has been overloaded with decision making, change, and having to learn new systems.
  • Our emotional wellbeing has coped a pounding with fear and anxiety surrounding our personal health not to mention worry about student learning.
  • Our social wellbeing sees us trying to connect via zoom in weird ways when all we want to do is hug someone.
  • Our spiritual wellbeing is left wondering ‘what the point of all this’ is and ‘why is it happening’.
  • Our physical wellbeing is left feeling the brunt of all of this as a result of too much wine and not enough movement

In the book “The Power of Full Engagement”, Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr explain that “Physical energy is the fundamental source of fuel, even if our work is almost completely sedentary. It not only lies at the heart of alertness and vitality but also affects our ability to manage our emotions, sustain concentration, think creatively, and even maintain our commitment to whatever mission we are on.”

So, how will you renew your physical wellbeing this week?

Article by Daniela Falecki from Teacher Wellbeing

The Bunya Pine


Toowoomba Regional Council, The Home Project: Wood Flowers

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