Hillcrest News

19 March 2021

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Ephesians 4:29

Jeff Davis
Executive Head of College

Executive Head of College, Jeff Davis, talks about the construction occurring on the College grounds including the removal of the spider playground and the addition of a temporary Hub in its place while the main Hub undergoes work for water damage.


Early Learning


Junior Years


Middle Years


Senior Years

Sports & PA


Other News

Other News & Key Dates

Culture and Wellbeing

The SHIELD defines our culture here at Hillcrest and underpins our Vision, Mission and Values. It helps us to integrate Christ-centred values into our community and uphold our motto of “Excellence in Christ”.

By aligning ourselves to the strong values Jesus displayed, we can then aspire to lead like Jesus and influence those around us. Anyone who has influence is a leader and by demonstrating Integrity, Respect, Courage, Service, Humility, Diligence and Discernment we encourage our whole community to be united in saying, “Bullying. No Way!” and to have a positive IMPACT on those around us.

From the Director of the ELC

On Wednesday, 10 March, our Pre Kindy and Kindy friends raised awareness and funds for Crazy Hair Day in support of the Leukaemia Foundation by coming to Kindy in their craziest hairstyles for the day.

Our Pre Kindy and Kindy friends raised $83 dollars for the Leukaemia Foundation. The money raised will support families and will also go towards research, which is needed to find better treatments and cures for leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders.

Well done to our Kindy community for such an amazing effort!

From the Head of the JLC

In walking through our classrooms on a regular basis, it is wonderful to see the consistent approach to teaching and learning and the strong connections being made.  Over the past few weeks, students have been busy finalising individual and group projects, pieces of work, and a range of assessments as a culmination of their learning for Term 1. If you visit JLC over the next few weeks, you may see models of sun safe playgrounds, vision boards, season wheels, old-world toys and stories, cultural arts and crafts, Easter artwork, and so much more.

It has been a wet, few weeks in the JLC as our Year 4 cohort headed off to Mount Tambourine QCCC venue for their first camp experience. The three-day camp was a huge success and both staff and students made some wonderful connections and memories.

Our Year 2 class participated in the Learn to Swim Program at Somerset College swimming pool; braving the weather to perfect their strokes and learn how to be safe in the water. Next week, Year 1 classes will also participate in the week long program.

On Friday 19th of March, we held Bullying, No Way Day at the College – a National day of action. Bullying can happen anywhere: in person or online. In the JLC, we aim to create a safe and supportive school community for everyone. During the week, teachers highlighted the importance of the topic leading up to the day. Throughout the year, students learn about bullying within everyday classroom activities, continuing to reinforce our school values and especially that of Respect. All students contributed to the Bullying, No Way Day displays around the JLC, tracing their hands, cutting them out, and writing a range of messages around the learned topics. Bullying is an important topic and, as a parent, I know the importance of listening to our children and contacting a teacher immediately, if there are any concerns. To stop bullying in our community it involves everyone. The Bullying No Way campaign has a comprehensive website (bullyingnoway.gov.au), that provides information for all stages of a child’s development.

Christy Gittins
Head of Junior Learning Community

Year 2 Swimming

Year 2 braved the rains to ensure they didn’t miss one of the highlights of the year – swimming! Everyone had a fantastic time developing their technique in a range of strokes and water safety skills under the guidance of expert coaches. It was wonderful to see the positive attitudes of the students, with a student remarking with a smile “the rain doesn’t matter if I’m about to get wet!”

Jesus And Me (JAM)

Servant Leadership

During Term 1, a group of eager Year 3 and 4 children have been meeting regularly with Chappy Heidi for a JAM (Jesus and Me) Group in the JLC. It is a time where the children can sing, dive into the Bible, encourage one another and just enjoy a fun time together.

One of the highlights of the group has been welcoming a team of keen Year 11 and 12 students to lead, share and love on the younger children. Seeing the warmth and joy between the Seniors and our younger students has been wonderful to witness! We have all enjoyed spending time praising God together, followed by meaningful chats about how God’s Word relates to our daily lives. I hear that it’s been a highlight of the week for our SLC leaders too, who love seeing the joy and enthusiasm of the Year 3 and 4’s and hearing their perspectives on life. The younger children listen intently when the older students share and are inspired to in turn go on to lead and serve others. When asked if they would like to help out with Castle JAM for Year 1 and 2, one of our Year 3 students responded with, “Then we can be leaders like the big kids are for us!”

What a wonderful opportunity it is to offer service experiences to our older students who then go on to inspire the younger children to do the same. Thank you SLC leaders for helping to foster a culture of servant leadership here at Hillcrest!

From the Head of the MLC

As we head very quickly towards the end of Term 1, there is a strong sense of community that has spread across the MLC. Students are enjoying the new challenge of working together with peers from other year levels in Life Group and accepting responsibility for their own learning as teachers underpin them with the SECRET Skills. In Week 7 we had the first night of Student Conferences and this was the perfect example of student ownership and self-management as parents listened to their children guide them through their journey in the first few weeks of 2021. I was amazed to hear students articulate their learning, strengths and goals in each subject so comfortably but it was especially heart warming to hear our youngest students in Year 5 sharing with their parents. It is a new culture for parents and very different to sitting in a Parent/Teacher Interview; however, we believe that students sharing in their own words can lead to richer and more purposeful learning which is a great outcome for us as we partner together through your child’s education.

In Week 8 we hosted a networking lunch for the Gateway to Industry Schools Program (ICT) with around 30 guests from the cyber-security sector, Local Universities, TAFE, Startup ecosystem, IBM and educators from other local schools across the Gold Coast. It was a chance for us to develop some partnerships with the guests, show business leaders what schools look like in the 2020s and to showcase our College and our students.

Our students had the opportunity to share some of their passion projects with the guests in the Senior Resource Centre before we went for a tour of the MLC.  As our guests walked the campus and toured the MLC, my favourite quotes were;

  • I wish my workplace looked like this (Business Leader)
  • You have done the wrong thing. How are students meant to learn in Uni after experiences like this? (University Rep)
  • I am moving my family to Sydney but I wish I had known what Hillcrest is really like. I would have never moved my family and my students would have been here (Business Exec)

As we finish off the term, I want to wish all of our students good luck in your exams and hope that your hard work pays off for you.

Darren Rackemann
Head of Middle Learning Community

Bullying No Way

On Friday, the 19th of March the MLC celebrated Bullying No Way. This is a national day of action against bullying and violence. This event was emphasised at Gathering and Assembly with a focus on the story of the Good Samaritan and an emphasis on why this is important in our community and how it naturally links with the values of the College. Students had the opportunity throughout the week to reflect on these values and think of the various ways they can support themselves and their friends. The week culminated in a symbolic picture of the community in the shape of a heart at the foot of the cross in the courtyard. This symbolic representation is an excellent example of what Christ has done for us on the cross and the example of love that Jesus gives to us.

Roy Jaques
Deputy Head of the MLC – Pastoral

(MLC) International Women’s Day Breakfast

MLC students Maja Fowler and Mackenzie Reedy were recently invited to attend an International Women’s Day Breakfast, hosted by Engineers Australia, at the Southport Surf Life-saving Club on 17 March.

The keynote speaker was Dr Mae Jemison, an entrepreneur, engineer, physician, former astronaut, social scientist and educator, who shared some inspiring messages with the audience. Dr Jemison, the first woman of colour in space, spoke about the need for gathering different perspectives when solving a problem, rather than surrounding ourselves with people who will agree with our ideas, in order to get a balanced view of both the problem and solution.

Looking at multiple perspectives and being proactive in gaining a range of opinions is a major focus of the ‘Enquirer’ SECRET Skill which Hillcrest students work towards. We are proud to have students such as Maja and Mackenzie making an impact in the world around them.

Danni Foster-Brown

Deputy Head of MLC – Alignment

(Image: Dr Mae Jemison – Wikipedia)

From the Head of the SLC

After having the unenviable task of having to inform the students that the musical had to be postponed twice, it was great to be able to finally see the finished product last week. Well done to all cast, crew and teachers who were involved in putting the musical together. It was a spectacular production that showcased your gifts and talents. Well done! I wish to also thank the community for coming to watch the show. It does mean a lot to the students to perform to a sell-out audience.

Social Media
Social media has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. In the early 2000s, students were able to connect using a variety of social media platforms including AOL online, ICQ, Myspace and Facebook. As internet access was expensive and mobile telephones were not web enabled, most students had limited opportunities to engage in the online social media space.

Fast forward 20 years and the technology has changed. It is uncommon to see a senior student without mobile telephone that does not have web access. These telephones come with built-in cameras, yes, most telephones come with more than one camera lense, that allow students to quickly and easily capture content. There is also a plethora of social media platforms that allow students to connect.

With easy access, social media has become an integral part in how our students connect. There are a range of positives that come with social media. I personally use one platform to connect with family and friends who live in different parts of Australia and in different countries.  However, I think there are also negatives. I recently overheard my daughter having a conversation with one of her friends about the followers she had on Instagram. She was asking if she knew all of her followers to which the answer was no. Her friend was more concerned about how many followers she had rather than who her followers were.

I had had to recently deal with some unpleasant issues that had been happening on social media.  While it was happening outside of school on a social media platform that the College cannot control, we were still feeling the impact in our community.

I encourage all parents and caregivers to talk to their children about social media – what is acceptable to post?; who is acceptable to follow?; who can follow them?; and what happens if they receive inappropriate content or content that makes them feel uncomfortable? I hope that your discussion aligns with the values of the College and I encourage you not to shy away from asking to see your child’s social media accounts. You are the first group of parents that need to navigate through the age of easily available social media and we want to journey with you.

If you require any further assistance regarding social media usage, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Head of House.

Until next time

Jason Day
Head of Senior Learning Community

Bullying No Way Day

This week across the College we highlighted Bully: No Way Day. In our SLC Celebration Assembly, our student leaders defined the difference between rude, mean and bullying behaviour as well as ways we could stand up for students who were being disrespected by others. I shared with students that it takes courage to stand up for others and that as a core value at Hillcrest, we are called to walk boldly into these situations knowing God strengthens us to do what we need to do to make others feel safe, valued and loved. Students were given an opportunity to commit to standing up for others to stop bullying behaviour by writing five things they would individually commit to doing on orange hands that were displayed throughout the SLC courtyard. It was great to see an ocean of orange hands and balloons to celebrate and recognise our National Day of action against bullying and violence within the SLC.

Sports, Performing Arts and Co-curricular

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

What an amazing musical after a long wait, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat certainly lived up to all expectations and more.

Classic Tunes and More

Come along and enjoy the music of the SLC Choral Excellence Choirs, SLC Instrumental Ensemble and more!

Monday, 29 March
6.30 – 8pm
College Theatre

For more information email performingarts@hillcrest.qld.edu.au

Inter-house Chess Comp

Our first ‘Chess Challenge” inter-house competition was a huge success. Twelve chess tables were set up, which saw 39 players come through the initial knockout rounds that took place on Wednesday, 17th March at morning tea. Winners played on, whilst those they defeated had to step away from the boards. A ton of excited cheering supporters filled both rooms 20 and 21. Each new defeat moved players up the leader board into the quarter finals which were held at lunch break. In the final three minutes of lunch break, the grand final contenders were decided.

The event saw many students from across the SLC get involved in having a go at a friendly game of chess. Two JLC students visited the Chess Challenge to compete in the challenge; Ryo Yorda and Elijah McGuire who are in Year 1, loved being involved with the chess challenge against high school students.

Ryo made it through the first knockout round, beating Elijah, to face Emma Adams (Yr11) in the next round and was only just knocked out of the challenge, walking away with the respect of all the SLC students participating, a huge high five and words of encouragement from Emma about his chess skills!

House participation looked as follows; Carmichael House saw 8 participants taking part, Flynn with 5 players, Green with 12 players and Taylor with 14 players. House spirit was awarded to Taylor House!

The overall chess challenge winners were:
1st place – Fynn McNeish (winning 100 points for Taylor House and a $15 Hub Voucher)
2nd place – Jack Seton (winning 75 points for Taylor House and a $10 Hub Voucher)
3rd place – Riley Bayldon (winning 50 points for Green House and a $5 Hub Voucher)
4th place – Jack Johnson (winning 25 points for Flynn House and a giant chocolate bar).


College Senior students and a few brave staff have been up very early on their weekends to arrive at 5:30am for training sessions for the Kokoda Challenge 2021. There are 16 sessions that will be undertaken by the students to prepare for the event, where some will be aiming to finish the 48km course, and others will be tackling the 96km course. Students and teachers had the opportunity to get to know each other better, as they will be spending many hours in each other’s company. Team morale is high, which really helps boost everyone’s spirits, especially when it comes time to take on some challenging hills. This was surely just the first of numerous hills the groups will face over the coming weeks. All in all, this was a great and fun start to the journey of preparing for the Kokoda Challenge, which will be held in July.
By Jasmine Scott

General News


New Parents Dinner

The 2021 New Parents Dinner was held on Wednesday night last week with approximately 100 new parents in attendance. This dinner is a great opportunity for new families to meet other new families as well as a chance to chat with College Executive, the P&F Committee and senior student representatives. Everyone enjoyed the live music including a string band, piano and singing, all performed by current students. Big thanks to the P&F team for the amazing work they did in setting up the SLC Courtyard, creating a warm and welcoming space for new parents and continuing to build community at Hillcrest.

Girls Night In Clothes Swap

Have you started sorting your unwanted clothing items ready for our Clothes Swap yet??

Join the P&F Committee on Wednesday 24 March from 6pm for our first Girls Night In!

School Banking

For those participating in school banking, please have your child bring in their bank book every Tuesday and hand it to their teacher when class goes in. It will be processed by our lovely volunteers and make its way back to your child later that day 😊

All you need to get involved in the School Banking program is a Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver account. You can open an account for your child in one of three ways:

  1. Online: commbank.com.au/schoolbanking and click on the link to open a Youthsaver account.
  2. In branch: visit a Commonwealth Bank branch with identification for yourself and your child, like a driver’s licence and birth certificate.
  3. In person with the CBA representative later this term. Date to be confirmed.

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who have committed to helping out on Tuesday mornings. If you are able to assist, please contact us – even once a term is helpful!

Outside 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

College Operations

“The Hublet”

In the last month the College, like many others, has experienced significant rain and weather events. As a consequence of this, parts of the College have had water damage. The most significant one is our College “Hub”. It is going to be necessary to close the Hub for major repairs and renovation work for most of Term 2. In order to continue to provide the full service of the Hub a temporary demountable “Hublet” is being constructed next to Chocolate Drive. This will occur over the next two weeks so it is ready for the commencement of Term 2.

We are engaging external specialists to help us revamp the facilities and even our menus in order to continue to provide the best service we can to our community. It is the intent of the College to make a seamless transition to the temporary Hub and to continue to provide all the services of the existing facility.  As we draw closer to the start of Term 2, we will provide more information on how the temporary “Hublet” will operate.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank the entire team from the “Hub” for their continuing to provide food and beverages to the community over this term under sometimes difficult circumstances.

The Current Hub Canteen 

  • The Hub is the College canteen and can receive orders for students in Prep to Year 12
  • Parents can place online orders via Flexischools. www.flexischools.com.au with a cut off of 9am.
  • There is a Parent help line for any concerns with orders on 1300361 769.
  • For Friday orders please pre-order on Thursday as Friday is the busiest morning for ordering.
  • P- Year 2 JLC orders are delivered to the Castle where they are delivered to the Hublet. Students collect their orders from the undercover area with College Staff on hand to help and ensure all orders are received.
  • MLC and SLC collect their orders at the canteen window.
  • Prep to Year 6 can purchase over the counter only at Breakfast time 7.30- 8.30 and Afternoon Tea at 3 – 3.30pm.
  • Years 7 – 12 can purchase over the counter for Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea.
  • Payment methods include: cash, EFTPOS, and Student ID cards linked to their Flexischools accounts.

Any changes with the new Hublet will be communicated to you.

“The Spider”

Some years ago the P&F provided funding for the construction of play equipment on Chocolate Drive in the form of “The Spider”. Over the last few years it has begun to show its age and we identified that it was in need of some work. After having a workplace safety check it has become apparent that the spider needs complete re-roping and the Softfall underneath needs replacing. This is not a simple task to undertake. We are seeking a company who can help us in undertaking this. In the meantime we have dismantled the spider so that we can have it looked at. In dismantling the Spider it has also created a space where we can situate the “Hublet” to allow the renovation of the existing Hub.

Over the coming weeks the temporary Hub will be installed on the College grounds. We are aiming to undertake this work with minimal disruption to traffic and facilities. These activities will be undertaken with the support of external contractors and traffic control teams to ensure the safety of our community. I ask that you respect these people if you are on campus during any of these works.

Pedestrian Only Zone

With the creation of the Middle Years Facility we have significantly more students accessing Chocolate Drive throughout the day. Our primary concern is ensuring students, and everyone else’s safety around the new facilities. To improve this safety the College is planning to undertake the following improvements over the Easter Holiday Break:

  • Installation of a boom gate at the MLC carpark to stop any traffic from entering Chocolate Drive between 8:45 am and 2:15 pm. This will also provide families direct access to the MLC carpark and JLC reception throughout the day as the top boom gate will be kept open
  • Creation of a pedestrian only zone on Chocolate Drive with handball courts for students
  • Replacing all line markings on Chocolate Drive to clearly mark out parking, no standing and other zones to improve traffic flow at drop off and pick up times
  • Stage one of a dedicated footpath from the MLC to the Castle will be undertaken

All of these improvements are part of a strategic plan to improve traffic flow and safety between vehicles and pedestrians on campus. Once all of these works are completed, hopefully for the start of Term 2, we will have revamped and improved facilities for our community. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact me.

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