Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Parent Survey. Your feedback is deeply appreciated. Probably the biggest takeaway from this year’s survey is the appreciation and high value you placed on our Christian faith.
We are a community of people who believe in a loving God; a Heavenly Father who gave his Son Jesus, so we could fully experience God’s unconditional love and grace. Christmas is our reminder of God’s precious gift to the world; His Son. For most of us, it is a wonderful time where we delight our family and friends with expressions of thoughtfulness (e.g. gifts) and generous, unrelentingly, one-a-year, ‘anaesthetising meals’. We love it, even though we need a year to recover!
Jesus is arguably the most influential life ever lived, with up to a third of the world’s population identifying themselves as His followers. It remains a great irony that Jesus was killed for violating the religious laws of His own people. Something resonates well with my Aussie identity when I reflect that Jesus’s lack of strictly religious behaviour ultimately resulted in Him becoming more loved and respected by non-religious-elite, ordinary people.
Jesus lovingly challenged the thinking of his community and ultimately shaped the very society we currently enjoy. Our western civilisation is arguably an outcome of ‘cause and effect’. Because of Jesus life, Australia has developed legislative (laws) and cultural norms (customs) that largely affect our way of life. Some examples of Jesus influence are below.
In Jesus time, children were not considered to be worthy of adult respect. As one scholar (Bakke) puts it, Jesus teachings meant children became people. ‘Childhood’ was conceived through the lens of a Christian world view.
The ancient world loved education but generally reserved it only for the privileged elite. Jesus taught we are made in God’s image. This created an understanding that everyone should be able to enjoy a love of learning. Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard all began as Jesus-inspired efforts to love God with one’s mind. South Coast Baptist College is a direct reflection of Jesus’ view that learning needs to be accessible to everyone made in the image of God.
The concept of ‘hospitals’ was arguably conceived because Jesus had loving compassion for anyone afflicted by ill-health. Leper colonies became a place where care was given, especially to the poor. Throughout history, Churches have commonly inspired or initiated institutions to care for the sick.
The ancient world honoured many virtues like courage and wisdom. Rank in society was considered very important during Jesus life, but not humility. Jesus challenged this thinking by washing a servant’s feet. Humility is now openly accepted as a highly valued character trait.
In the ancient world, virtue meant rewarding your friends and punishing (ideally crushing) your enemies. Jesus challenged this thinking by teaching it is best to love your enemies and see them reconciled to you. Forgiveness is now commonly understood by Positive Psychologists to significantly improve your overall wellbeing.
Jesus championed the significance of those who were not perceived to be in favour of the elite; namely women, children, the poor and slaves. The Bible is largely credited for one of the most profoundly ‘levelling statements’ about our importance: ‘Now there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave or free, male and female, but all are one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3: 28). This appears to me as a major cornerstone to the Rule-of-Law. We are all considered equal in the eyes of the Law.
Within a context of thankfulness, we say farewell to the following Primary School staff members who will be departing at the conclusion of the 2019 academic year:
Elise Kirk – Year 1B Classroom Teacher – We wish Miss Kirk well as she moves to Carey Baptist College in 2020. She has been a blessing to our younger students.
Mim Hosking – Kindergarten 2 & 3 Classroom Teacher – Mim has worked for several years with our Junior to middle primary students. She is moving into fulltime church ministry at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
Emily Collins – Primary School Physical Education Specialist – Emily has planned and organised physical education activities and events for our Primary School students for several years. She is passionate about the College and has developed the sporting skills of the students she has worked with. Emily is moving to Sydney with her family.
Holly King – Year 1 EA – Holly moving to SCBC Childcare, where she will continue to bless the children she works with
Selina Johnston – Year 4A Teacher- We are thankful for Ms Johnston’s contributions to our Year 4 students over the second semester.
Jo Roades – Funded Students Education Assistant – Jo has assisted our funded support students for several years. We wish Mrs Roades well as she continues pursuing her teaching qualifications.
Jane Ivens – Kindy & Pre-Primary EA – Mrs Ivens has been a blessing over many years in her role as an assistant in the Kindy and Pre-Primary classrooms. We will continue to see her in a relief capacity.
Catherine Levison – EA Learning Support – Catherine has assisted in the Primary School as a general assistant and as a special needs EA. She has also worked in the secondary school in the Food Technology area. Catherine has been at the College for many years, seeing her children (now adults) progress through the College. She has blessed others and in return been blessed by the students she has worked with over these years.
Furthermore, we say farewell to the following Secondary School staff members who will be departing at the conclusion of the 2019 academic year:
Wayne Strong joined the College in 2004 when music was being taught from a small demountable building. From these humble beginnings, Wayne has diligently worked hard to build the music program to all that it is today. Wayne is a gifted musician and music teacher who has inspired, taught and mentored hundreds of music students over the past 14 years. A significant number of these students have gone on to study music beyond school and play professionally. We will miss seeing Wayne grooving with his students during future assembly performances.
James Trimble joined the College in 2015 as Head of English. His excellence as a teacher and leader is reflected in our Year 12 ATAR English students collectively to be recognised as being in the top 10 schools in the State in both 2017 and 2018. James has been directly involved with instigating and implementing many initiatives. Some of these include teachers and students utilising AVID strategies, compendiums, excellence pin’s and debating for students. James will be greatly missed by staff and students, both for who he is and his continuous striving for excellence and positive change.
Louise Carey has worked at the College as an Education Assistant. Her care and concern for our students, along with her diligent work ethic, has made a wonderful difference. Nothing was too much for Louise or too difficult, including to assist one student by getting her hands dirty with farm work. We will miss Louise’s big smile and wonderful work.
As reflected in your survey feedback, we share a common appreciation and value for the influence Jesus has had on our school community; individually and collectively.
Together we remember Jesus is the reason for the season. If you’d like to attend a Christmas service, but not sure where to look, I encourage you to look up Rockingham Baptist Church’s website, as a means of celebrating Christmas. All of our surrounding Christian Churches would warmly welcome you to any of their services.
Wishing you, your family and friends a wonderful, refreshing time together this Christmas.