Hillcrest News

2 April 2021

"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."

Galatians 6:9 NLT

Jeff Davis
Executive Head of College

What a great finish we had to Term 1 with the JLC, MLC and SLC Easter Gatherings last week. It was truly amazing to witness students leading each ceremony. To see our young men and women rising into outstanding leaders of their peers and taking responsibility for sacred events such as our Easter services is truly wonderful.

Easter is the most sacred of times for the Christian community at large. The stories surrounding Jesus’ arrest, trial and death on the cross, Peter’s denial of his association with Jesus and Christ’s resurrection on Sunday are well known and spoken about each Easter as the core foundations of our faith are celebrated around the world. These tenants are the basis of our evangelical faith in Jesus Christ. Each of the Gospels speak of these events from different perspectives. Each has a different lens to view it. I have been reading through the Gospel of Mark recently and one aspect struck me more than it had ever before. The story of Peter’s denial of Christ is written in Mark 14. This chapter talks of Jesus’ anointing at Bethany, The Last Supper, Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial, Gethsemane, Jesus’ arrest, Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Peter disowning Jesus. These are incredible insights into Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

If I was to look more critically into Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial, I would ask the question; “what were the other 10 disciples saying at this time?” They had been part of Jesus’ group for the three years of His ministry and had seen everything unfold. They had witnessed the incredible miracles that occurred daily while following Christ, yet here they found themselves confronted with the arrest of their leader. I try to think of what this must have been like for them. Even though Christ had spoken of this to them, they truly didn’t understand his message and now the reality was in front of them. Peter being the most bold of them clearly stating that he would never deny Christ. We know that story but what is often missed is found hidden in Verse 31.

But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same. Mark 14:31

The other 10 disciples, like Peter, all committed to Christ but within a few short hours they were scattered from their life as disciples of Jesus Christ as was prophesised in scripture. From this we learn that Faith is a daily choice. The Disciples were scattered until Christ’s return and then they regrouped and set about building the foundations of Christianity and the Church as we know it today. We know that each day from that time forward, these men and their followers faced persecution and torment but they understood that Jesus had died on the cross and was risen from the grave to save all mankind. Their choice was to continue the work that Christ had started and to reclaim the lost world for our Heavenly Father.

Choosing to follow Christ daily is something that is not easy, but it makes a profound difference in our lives and all of those around us. I encourage you all to make this decision each day and let the whisper of the Holy Spirit guide you each day. This is when you will see how this is the best choice you can ever make.

Have a wonderful Term 2. As previously communicated, I will be taking sabbatical leave for next term and look forward to seeing you all again in Term 3.


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Other News & Key Dates

Culture and Wellbeing

Here we are at the end of Term 1 and life has been very busy! We’ve had the excitement of starting a new school year, camps, swimming carnivals, productions, getting back into our extra-curricular activities, parents and carers working out the logistics of who needs to be where and when, new routines, new timetables, students working hard on their assessments, and all the other things that life throws at us. Is anyone else feeling a little bit tired right now too?

We humans live very full lives with a lot going on! Most of these things are wonderful experiences, but sometimes it is easy to feel overwhelmed. One of the things we can do to feel sustained, to keep on going, and to keep on enjoying life to the fullest is to pay attention to a few key wellbeing habits. The school holidays are a great time to remind ourselves of these habits! Read more.‎

From the Director of the ELC

On Wednesday, 31 March our Pre Kindy and Kindy friends participated in our Early Learning Community Easter Hat Parade. Our Pre Kindy and Kindy children proudly paraded their amazing Easter hats that they had made with their families. Our two Kindy classes also had the opportunity participate in the JLC Gathering where our Kindy children learned about the true meaning of Easter.

From the Head of the JLC

We have had a wonderful time of learning and fun in the JLC this term. It was lovely to finish the term with our JLC Easter Gathering. Terrace hall was a sea of colour with all our P-2s in their Easter hats. Students were eager to participate in the Easter story and songs put together by our talented performing arts team as they followed along and signed the lyrics. While COVID restricted parent attendance, we hope the photos taken capture the essence of our Easter message and the joy on each one of our P-4’s faces.  As you all go to holidays, we pray all our students and families have a safe break and time to celebrate the significance of Easter with loved ones. We look forward to seeing you all in term 2, for another exciting term in the JLC.  

Christy Gittins
Head of JLC

Moving into the JLC community this year has allowed me the privilege of being part of the key activities and events for students and staff in P-4. Many hours of the journey of our lives are spent in the school environment, and creating a culture and space of safety, enjoyment and learning is paramount to what we doJesus loved on children and encourages us as parents and teachers to continue to do the same, for they actually are a reminder of what it is to come into His Kingdom and way of living. 

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14 

We have enjoyed events such as O Week and First Day of School for Prep, JLC Gatherings and Community Celebrations, Swimming Carnival, Year 4 Camp, Easter Gathering and a host of other amazing events. Each one providing an opportunity to grow and nurture our cultural values and see students engage in enriching educational experiences. 

Term 2 will see more great events and activities throughout the JLC with our P-4 Cross Country Carnival (including the Preppie Dash) kicking off in the first week back after the Easter break. We are hoping for this event to have parents and carers in attendance (someone say Coffee Vanas students run the Cross Country and get involved in a range of other fun sporting games. JLC will also honour those who have gone before us in ANZAC Day Services. Years 3 & 4 will attend the 3-12 ANZAC service at the MLC and P-2 will attend a more intimate gathering on the Prep Deck. Term 2 will also see events such as Under 8s Day, National Simultaneous Storytime, NAPLAN, St Johns First Aid ProgramBike Education along with all the amazing learning happening in classes across the JLC.  

Enjoy Easter time with friends and family. Rest, relax, restore, revive… and don’t eat too much chocolate! 

Damien Taylor
Deputy Head of Learning

2021 has seen the formation of some dynamic new teaching teams in the JLC. Together, they have been refining and re-writing some of our current programs and making what’s already great, even greater. The major focus for the JLC community is that of Guided Teaching where the intentional and explicit teaching of content and skills, in the early years, is the primary focus for our educators. Having said that, though, it is also an opportunity for teachers to begin to train children in the ways of thinking and working towards the DCL (Design Centred Learning) of the middle years. I am astounded at how creatively and wonderfully the teachers have managed to pull together the content of the different subject disciplines to form a DCL project for their respective year levels. The teams have set in place interesting provocations (a question or task that provokes thinking towards a solution) and set about to equip the children with all the information and skills necessary to solve some form of dilemma. From designing Sun Safe playgrounds to family Curiosity Cubes, the creative and critical thinking in JLC has been astounding.

Our Year 3s also embarked on a training regime for the online NAPLAN occurring in May 2021 and sat an ‘Omnibus’ (mixed assessment) co-ordinated practice that happened at the same time, across the nation. Our Year 3 students and teachers are to be congratulated for how smoothly it went on the day, and how well they both negotiated this new assessment platform.

I encourage all our Hillcrest families to have a wonderful and safe Easter vacation, making memories, and taking time to consider the sacrifice of Jesus and what that historic moment means for all of us! Then, when the time is right, come back to school and find out what the term has in store and what exciting adventures the children will embark upon in Term 2.

Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4

Mike Collins
Deputy Head of Curriculum Alignment

Prep – Year 2 Easter Hats

Every year at Easter, our Prep to Year 2 students come to school wearing their decorated Easter-themed hats. We were so impressed with the array of hats students wore and the pride students had for the hats they had made with their parents. Well done to parents and students on the Easter hats this year!

Year 1 Swimming

Year One had lots of fun over the last week riding on buses to swimming and learning how to do rocket ship dives, big arm strokes, diving down to find pool toys, star floats, obstacle courses, races and best of all having lots of fun with our friends!

Prep Passport Party

On Friday, 26 March, the Preppies celebrated Passport Party Day! Preppies came dressed in costumes to represent their cultures and heritage. They rotated through the classrooms exploring the countries of Australia, France, China and the USA. While travelling, they learned about traditions from these cultures and completed an activity in each country, ensuring they got their passport stamped each time. Our Preps have loved exploring a variety of cultures this term and have enjoyed finding out about their friends’ families and heritage.

My First Years – Gold Coast Bulletin

Over the last few years, Hillcrest has featured their Prep class photos in the Gold Coast Bulletin’s, “My First Year” article. Thankfully we didn’t have as many issues this year due to COVID and were able to have a photographer take out class images. Please find a few of the class images along with some “behind the scenes” images.

Many thanks to the GCB and you can view the online gallery of participating schools here.

Flare Maths Scavenger Hunt

After working diligently for many weeks on solving Maths problems, Flare Maths students participated in a problem solving scavenger hunt to test their knowledge. Students had to use various mathematical strategies to carefully solve each problem before moving on to the next clue. What an exciting way to finish the term and celebrate learning new skills.

Specialist Visual Arts

JLC Specialist Visual art followed a “Birds of a Feather” theme across P-3. They discovered different mediums such as chalk and charcoal on toned paper, oil pastels, and a variety of paints, pens and pencils. They improved their fine-motor and sketching skills through observational drawing, guided drawing and using the grid method.

From the Head of the MLC


Thank you parents and carers for your support of the MLC in our first term of operation! It is never easy to open a new community but I am thrilled with the cultural and symbolic norms we have already created within the first 10 weeks. A list of some of the programs/events we have delivered so far include:

  • Swimming Carnival with incredible attendance by students
  • Successful Year 7&8 Life Group Camp at Tyalgum
  • Year 5&6 Friday Fun Day to build House spirit
  • Appreciation Day that offered students and staff the opportunity to give thanks
  • MLC Mashup with over 300 students in attendance after school to play and have fun together
  • Student Conferences where students led the learning conversation with their parents
  • Regular Gatherings where students shared their testimony with the community
  • Participation in the Fuse Cup
  • Surf Smart program in Year 6
  • Study Skills sessions led by Elevate Education followed up with a session for parents
  • Incredible Easter Service that was an amazing celebration of the events leading up to Easter
  • Bullying No Way Day

The list above is only a sample of what has occurred so far in 2021 and I must thank the incredible teaching team across the MLC for their support and leadership of these programs and others. For me the Easter Service was an absolute standout and it was truly a humbling experience to sit as the Head of Community and watch our students engage so actively and positively with the Easter message.

I want to wish all of our community a Happy Easter and a safe break over the two weeks. I hope you find time to share in the light, hope and love that has been made possible by our heavenly Father sending his Son to die and rise again for us.

Happy Easter and blessings over your holiday break.

Darren Rackemann
Head of Middle Learning Community

MLC Easter Gathering

On Monday, 29 March, the MLC attended the annual Easter Gathering. During this time students were led on a journey detailing the Easter story from Palm Sunday through to the betrayal, death and resurrection of Jesus. This journey was facilitated by an amazing performance of the song ‘Worthy’ by the Poco Voce choir. We also enjoyed a performance from dancers led by Mrs Boucher and Mrs Joubert who accompanied Ella Henderson and her spoken word about the Easter story. The service was a very powerful event and highlighted the real sense of community within the MLC. A big thank you to the Performing Arts Department and Chaplaincy team for their dedication to this very important cultural event.

Easter Reflections

Easter is a big time of year for all of us whether we are Christian or not.

So, what does Easter mean to you? Does it mean chocolate eggs and bunnies or Jesus’ death. Or even maybe a little bit of both. I know that for me Easter means new slippers, chocolate, and a Church service. But more than just a church service, it’s time to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection. A time to ponder what impact this has on me today.

This Easter, maybe you could question what Easter is about for you. In Year 6 Health, many of us have been learning about how your identity changes over time. Maybe  our perspective on Easter changes over time too? You could make this Easter different by reflecting on what Easter means to you now. So this Easter, I challenge you to question what Easter means to you. You may even want to pull out your Bible and read Luke!

Cameron Hawley
Year 6

MLC Celebration Assembly

The MLC’s last assembly for Term 1 was one of celebration and sharing. Student representatives from each year level took to the stage to share some highlights of their learning during Term 1.

Year 5 students shared some of their learning highlights from Christian Living, Drama, Health, DigiTech and Art. This included, in Christian Living, learning to rely on God in difficult times and in Health, learning about individual uniqueness and how to control emotions in different circumstances. A few students demonstrated the freeze frame technique to create scenes from a flood rescue while multiple paintings of bushfire scenes were displayed to highlight different painting strokes and textures learned this term.

Year 6 students shared their work around the theme of kindness which was inspired by the book, “Wonder”. Two students shared their incredibly well written and spoken speeches on kindness; several other students explained the passion project they are embarking on: developing an anti-bullying campaign! Both Year 5 and 6 students have also been learning about digital citizenship and what it looks like to operate safely in an online world.

Year 7 – The learning in the core subjects (English, HaSS, Maths and Science) in Year 7 this term has all surrounded the theme of “The Past”. In English and HasS, students have explored the legacies of Ancient China and Egypt; one such legacy includes the kite. In Maths and Science, students have been constructing and testing a kite using their knowledge of the forces of flight, while also analysing the mathematical similarities and differences in the kites. During the assembly, students shared a video on their kite making and strategies to improve kite flying.

Year 8 students shared about the research they conducted at the beach this term, in regard to pollution and how construction developments are affecting the Gold Coast. Several students shared their poetry on this topic; the poems were exceptionally captivating, inspiring and emotionally-gripping!

It’s been a great first term in the MLC, and we look forward to more exciting learning opportunities next term. At the end of assembly, Mr Rackemann congratulated everyone for their learning and effort this term and challenged each student to contribute to at least one assembly this year.

6 LUMOS – Science Demo in SLC

In the last week of term, some Year 6E students visited the SLC Science Labs to have their chemical change experiments demonstrated.

Mrs Priestly, the Science Lab Technician demonstrated an experiment designed by Jamie and Lucas. This experiment lead to a chemical change as sugar, bicarb soda and lighter fluid were ignited. This produced a “carbon snake.” Students learned about experiment and safety protocols and were also in awe at the result.

Such a great experience to inspire our young scientists!

Year 7 Christian Living

Once a week, each class in the MLC has Christian Living. In this period, students reflect and grow in their faith in Jesus while watching a series of ALPHA Youth videos. Each week, students are encouraged to deepen their connection with Christ, increase understanding of the Bible, and apply what they have learned to their daily lives.

The ALPHA Youth series begins with the most simple questions like ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘Why did Jesus die?’, which inspires students to begin considering their own faith and relationship with Jesus and discern what they really believe in. As the ALPHA Youth series continues, more difficult questions are asked like ‘Why should I pray?’ and ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’. This evokes more questions to be asked from students, in the safe space of the Christian Living classroom. This period is a time, once a week, for students to spend a moment with God, growing their faith and belief. It is a time of prayer and thankfulness, and to learn more about who Jesus actually is.

I like how ALPHA gives people new to Christianity, an engaging introduction to it while also providing those who already know God a refreshing take on the bible,” commented Joel L.

I love the ALPHA experience as it presents foundational Christian beliefs in an engaging and personal way,” said Chappy Nat. Students get the opportunity to share their views in a safe environment, with some food to share as well!

ALPHA and Christian Living classes are a great time for students to grow their relationship with Jesus.

Fleur Hammersley
Year 7

Year 5 David Fleay Wildlife Park

In the last week of Term 1, our Year 5 students spent the day at David Fleay Wildlife Park. Our students experienced animals up close while also learning about habitats, animal adaptations and life cycles. Year 5 had the opportunity to experience Queensland’s natural environment through educational talks, wildlife presentations, interactive experiences with native animals, and self-guided walks.

From the Head of the SLC

I wish everyone a Happy Easter and an enjoyable Easter break.

As I write my final article for this term, I have reflected on the accomplishments of the Senior Learning Community.  The restructure of the College meant our Year 9 students had previously experienced Life Group and timetable in the Senior Learning Community, however, we still had a large number of new students commence at the start of and during the term. O Day was the perfect start to the school year, followed by successful swimming carnival and House camps.

Throughout the term, students have engaged in high quality teaching and learning experiences, an outstanding worship program during Gathering and selected from a variety of Thursday afternoon activities. A highlight for me was, after having to announce to the students that the College had to postpone the Musical twice, was seeing the performance come to fruition. It was another example of the exceptional opportunities available to the students in the Senior Learning Community.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had impacts across the term. Some states had community cases and went into lockdown but on the whole, the College was not directly affected until Week 10, when Brisbane and surrounding areas went into lockdown. Unfortunately, we were forced to postpone our Performing Arts Concert and Term 1 Celebration Assembly.  With a change in regulations, we were able to conclude the term with a student-led Easter Service.

Over the term I have read numerous articles of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of students. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind parents, students and other members of our community of organisations that they can contact if they feel a need to connect with people, or have concerns that they would like to discuss.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Eheadspace: headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

I wish everyone a Happy Easter and an enjoyable Easter break and look forward to serving you in Term 2.

Jason Day
Head of Senior Learning Community

SLC Easter Gathering

Our Senior students participated in the annual Easter Gathering held on the last day of Term 1. It was an important time to reflect upon the true meaning of Easter and what that means for us all today. It was great to see so much student participation including performances from the SLC choir.

Introducing STYMIE

Alarming statistics suggest that one in four kids are bullied at school. Every day across Australia, more than 100,000 students stay at home from school because they feel worried, scared or threatened. Persistent bullying has been proven to lead to increased cases of depression, reduced academic achievement, social exclusion, self-harm and even suicide. Unfortunately, Australia and New Zealand both have some of the worst statistics for bullying in the world.​

​The word stymie means to stop or thwart. At Hillcrest, we want to equip students with the tools to be an upstander—someone who supports their peers in times of need, and to help stop bullying within our community.

Stymie is an online reporting tool that allows students to support their peers in cases of overt and covert bullying. We have designed a way to empower bystanders with the confidence to stand up for each other without fear; we are teaching them to say something. Stymie helps combat the bystander effect by enabling students to report incidents of bullying and harm, safely and anonymously.

The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.​ Social influence affects how bystanders behave, and students are less likely to stand up to bullying behaviours in public when the number of onlookers is high.​  This bystander effect is also caused by a diffusion of responsibility—the belief that someone else will help.​

Students are generally socially invested and may not feel as though they can speak up or don’t know how.​ Rather than trying to work against this peer pressure, our solution recognises the nuanced nature of their social currency, by providing security and anonymity to the bystanding community.

On Tuesday 27 April (Term 2, Week 2), Stymie will be launched across our Senior Learning Community through year level seminars and staff professional development and will be live from this date. If you would like more information about Stymie, feel free to visit https://about.stymie.com.au/

Year 12 Ice Skating

As part of our intentional Year Level engagement this year, our Year 12 students were invited to participate in a social evening of Ice Skating, hosted by Hillcrest Christian College at Gold Coast Iceland, on Friday, 26 March. It was a great night of fun and fellowship, with a number of students and staff demonstrating their expertise on the ice. We thank our Year 12 students who represented our College with distinction and to our amazing staff who attended and supervised the evening.



This term a number of teachers were blessed with the opportunity to coach our Futsal students. A BIG shout out to all the parents, Mr Skinner, Mr Hopper, Mr Yarrow, Mrs Jeffries, Ms Godinho and Mr Reid for making his happen. Hillcrest has a flourishing Futsal program with over 104 students who have been selected to represent Hillcrest Christian College at the Gold Coast Titles. Students have been busy training during their morning sessions starting at 7:30am to practice their skills and to play as a team. We look forward to following their progress over the season and a big thank you to all the parents for their early morning starts and support for the players and program.

The tournament dates are to the right and will be held at Coomera Indoor Sports Stadium.

Basketball Series due to air on Fox Sports

Our Senior Girls basketball team has been filmed during 2019 and despite a fragmented 2020 season, a Basketball series is due to be released on FOX Sports and Sky Sport in 2021. Cameras followed the Hillcrest Christian College Senior Girls basketball team to State and National Championships in 2019 and 2020, coached by Basketball New Zealand Coach Pero Cameron. The team undergoes a transformation as the challenge of sport, school, and life make the season and life interesting for our Senior Girls. We look forward to seeing the documentary launched soon thanks to Onion TV.

Old Scholar (Class of 2018) Tara Manumaleuga

Congratulations to Hillcrest Alumni Tara Manumaleuga (Class of 2018) who played in the NCAA Women’s Championship matchup for Arizona University in their matchup against Stanford for the 2021 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. In a nail-biter that came down to the last shot in the last few seconds Arizona just missed out on securing the championship but played an amazing game. Tara (number 3) has played for the Arizona Wildcats since January 2019 and continues to pursue her career in Basketball after playing in College, QLD and national basketball championship in Australia. Tara also competed for the New Zealand U17 Team at the 2018 FIBA World Cup where she averaged 12 points per game, leading New Zealand to an 11th-place finish.

General News

Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC)

Hillcrest provides a quality Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) service onsite at Hillcrest Christian College. Our College families enjoy the many benefits of our various OSHC programs, where our Prep – Year 6 students engage in a range of educational and exciting activities in a nurturing, child-centred environment.

The programs are run from our classrooms in ECHO Block, and students also have access to use the College playgrounds and sporting facilities under the supervision of our OSHC staff. Our child to educator ratios is 1 educator to 15 children as per Education and Care Services National Regulations.

From term 2 our OSHC service will be reopening Before School Care for Hillcrest Christian College families from 6.30am – 8.20am.  Our Before School Care fee is $24.00 for casual bookings and $22.00 for permeant bookings. Breakfast will served from 6.30am – 7.30am and includes cereals and toast. If you are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy this can be applied to your child’s OSHC account.

To register your child for our OSHC program, please contact our OSHC coordinator Shannon Ohearn on 0400 212 656 or oshc@hillcrest.qld.edu.au.

Key Dates


Supervised Study Sessions (with Teachers)
Teachers in certain faculties will offer supervised study sessions for their classes on a weekly basis, and will communicate this with their individual classes. These sessions will run from week 5 to week 8 in the Resource Centre.

Tutoring (University Student Tutors)
The Senior Learning Community provides a ‘Tutoring Program’ for students in Years 7-12. This is a free service and an excellent opportunity for small groups to support and learn from each other with the guidance of Student Tutors. The Tutors are some of our top academic Hillcrest Alumni who are currently studying at various Universities. During Term 1, Student Tutors will be available for assistance with Mathematics, Science, English and Humanities subjects predominantly. ‘University Student Tutor Sessions’ will take place from week 5 to week 8 in the Hillcrest Resource Centre as follows:

  • 1:00 -1.40pm – Lunchtime (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)
  • 3:00 – 4:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 3:00 – 5:00pm Thursdays

Online Tutoring (University Student Tutors)
Tutors can include 1 x student via Teams online while in a group session. The ‘online’ option will be set up with the ability to book 20-minutes during the afternoon sessions as outlined above. Mr Wotton (Tutoring Coordinator) will advise as soon as the booking system is active. If you have any questions regarding the student tutors, please contact Mr Paul Wotton in the Resource Centre or email pwotton@hillcrest.qld.edu.au

Peter Fernance – Deputy Head Senior Learning Community – Academics

Danni Foster-Brown – Deputy Head of Middle Learning Community – Alignment

Paul Wotton – Head of Resource Centre / SLC Tutoring Coordinator