Hillcrest News

5 November 2021

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."

Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT

Jeff Davis
Executive Head of College

The Year 10 Semi-formal was held on Thursday 28 October and was another special event for our community. This year was no exception with the new venue at Paradise Country providing a new backdrop for this celebration. The students had an exceptional time together and their memories of the night will include a huge thunderstorm, an incredibly humid night and some of our beloved teachers out on the dance floor. Thank you to everyone involved, our students and especially to the staff who went out of their way to ensure that all students had a great night together.

On Friday 29 October, a group of staff gathered in the library as part of a new partnership with Griffith University. Hillcrest staff are doing an amazing job in many areas that have yet to be acknowledged due to the lack of research evidence. Griffith University has partnered with Hillcrest to provide the support for staff to research some of these areas with particular attention to the area of student agency which is a strong influence in the College Strategic Plan. Staff from all communities have volunteered to undertake some research over the next 12 months. We look forward to presenting these findings in due course and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead to impact the educational landscape.

We held the last P&F General Meeting for 2021 on Monday night. The new 10 Year Master Plan was presented and an update on ideas were presented for our 40th Anniversary in 2022. It was wonderful to see some new faces at this meeting. We have a committed P&F Committee who provide an excellent service to our community and I encourage new and long standing families to consider becoming part of this impactful team.

We have many exciting events coming up over the remainder of the term, some of which include:

  • Australasian Champion of Champions Futsal
  • P-2 Christmas Concert
  • Years 3-4 Awards Ceremony
  • Year 6 Half Point Celebration
  • Kindy Graduation
  • Originals Gathering
  • Year 8 Leadership Dinner
  • MLC Celebr8 / CIA Day
  • Year 12 Valedictory Breakfast and Graduation Assembly with Guard of Honour
  • The last Day of Term 4 will be on Friday, 26 November

Again, it is always a pleasure to see our families out and about at these events and I look forward to seeing you at these special upcoming celebrations.



Early Learning


Junior Years


Middle Years


Senior Years

Sports & PA


Other News

Other News & Key Dates

Culture and Wellbeing

We are excited to share the arrival of a very special member to our Hillcrest Staff team – Toby the ‘Therapy Dog’. He may only be very tiny, but the impact he is having on our community already is HUGE!

Toby is a Mini Groodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle) who is training to become a working therapy dog here at Hillcrest. Groodles are a highly recommended therapy dog breed as their fur is low allergen, they have beautiful, friendly temperaments and are highly intelligent.

Therapy dogs provide wonderful opportunities to enhance wellbeing, connection and positive emotional experiences in school communities. We are really excited to have Toby as part of our Hillcrest community. Just like our students, Toby is also on a learning journey. He is enrolled in classes which will teach him how to be the best therapy dog he can be. We will follow Toby’s journey as he grows from cute little puppy, to a fully grown working dog.

Although Toby isn’t fully trained as yet, he has special permission to come along to school for socialisation visits with his handler, Emily Townsend – one of our College Counsellors. Between the ages of 8-16 weeks, puppies are vigorous learners. The more safe experiences we can expose Toby to, the more comfortable he will be as an adult dog in our College environment. When puppies are around 16-18 weeks old, they begin to develop more caution. It is at this time that new experiences can become a little ‘scary’ for them. For this reason, these early socialisation and enrichment visits are vital to Toby’s development.

When you see Toby around school, he is sure to put a smile on your face. Please remember though, that he is not yet trained, so we need to work together to help him grow and develop into a healthy, happy therapy dog. Whilst he loves cuddles and pats, ask his handler first before you touch him and please refrain from picking him up – as tempting as it may be. It is also really important not to feed Toby here on campus – even if he looks at you with those big puppy dog eyes during break time. He has a special diet to keep him healthy and Emily looks after that for him.

Life at the College is very exciting for Toby, however he needs regular breaks to sleep and relax. When Toby is out and about on his lead with Emily, this is his awake time, and is a great opportunity to come and say “Hi!”.  However, if Toby is in his crate, he needs to be left alone so that he can get the rest he needs.  When he is in his crate, this is his ‘Do not disturb’ time.  His crate is his safe space and it is important for him to know he can retreat there for a break.

We have so much to learn from, and with Toby, and look forward to sharing this adventure and the positive impact he is having on life at the College. Keep an eye out in upcoming newsletters for regular updates and information on Toby’s learning journey.

From the ELC

It is always a hive of activity within the Early Learning Community and the last few weeks have been no different! Over the last few weeks we have had the opportunity to engage in our wider community in a variety of ways.

As the Early Learning Community we have supported two amazing organisations. On Friday, 22 October we had lots of fun raising awareness and funds for the amazing work Hear and Say do in supporting deaf and hard of hearing children to access support and the gift of speech by wearing our loudest, funkiest shirts for Loud Shirt Day! There were certainly some bold shirts around!

On Friday, 29 October we supported the Daniel Morcombe Foundation by dressing in red for Day for Daniel. Day for Daniel is Australia’s largest national day of action to raise awareness of child safety, protection and prevention and honours the memory of Daniel Morcombe. Our Pre Kindy and Kindy staff utilise the opportunities these special days bring by educating the children on the various causes these amazing organisations support, in an age appropriate manner.

Our Pre Kindy children have really enjoyed getting to know our Kindy teachers throughout our mini transition group times they have been holding each week in Pre Kindy. This has been a wonderful opportunity for both the Pre Kindy children and our teachers. We look forward to our ongoing transition opportunities and the benefits these have for our Pre Kindy children moving into Kindy in 2022.

Our Kindy children haven’t missed out either! They have been absolutely loving their visits down to the Prep classrooms and the amazing bus library! The opportunity to familiarise themselves with these environments and getting to meet staff and current Preppies is invaluable to the successful transition for our Kindy children moving into Prep in 2022.

This week we were blessed to have the Year 10 students visit our Kindy children. Year 10 students have spent some time recently learning about volcanoes and constructed their own unique design from recycled materials. Year 10 students broke into small groups with Kindy children and tested out their volcanoes, teaching the children as they went. Some volcanoes were less successful, while others erupted sensationally. All students big and small, had fun learning about volcanoes. We absolutely treasure the opportunities available to our children, being part of the wider College community.

Katie Flanagan
Early Childhood Teacher / Educational Leader

From the Head of the JLC

This week, JLC Deputy (Curriculum), Mike Collins, shares an update on the way student reading progress is changing and being recorded.

Christy Gittins
Head of Junior Learning Community

PM Reading in 2022

Nelson – A Cengage Company, is the birthplace of PM Reading, one of the longest-running reading resource programs in Australia.

Hillcrest has been using PM Readers to support our student’s literacy development, for many years, and have accessed their material to provide benchmarks for tracking each child’s reading progress.

Over the course of a teaching week, teachers would sit with students and have them read one of the levelled texts, capture their reading behaviours, and check their comprehension of what has been read. This one-on-one session was captured on paper and manually transferred into a teacher’s personal system of tracking progress.

Welcome to the new millennium.

In 2022, this PM Reading process will be done using a newly developed online system for tracking student performance and progress. What this new system provides classroom teachers, apart from having everything accessible in one place via an online ‘cloud’ environment, is the ability to map data and inform teaching for moving students forward. Student reading profiles will now be captured, electronically, and each student’s data can travel with them and accumulate, to provide an extensive profile of their reading journey throughout the JLC.

Many JLC teachers are currently trialling the software and upskilling, ready for the rollout in 2022.

Now, that’s a few thousand trees saved, right there!

Mike Collins
Deputy Head of JLC (Curriculum)

What’s been happening in the JLC

Year 2 Film Making

As part of our viewing and visual literacy component in English, we have been studying camera shots and angles in films. The children have been challenged to think critically and look behind the scenes in movies. They are encouraged to ask questions such as,  ‘how does the movie maker use different techniques to cause us to feel different emotions?’

We were very grateful to have a real live stunt coordinator and safety supervisor visit our class to share some true to life experience and exciting stories with the class. The children were all completely absorbed as we learned about the intricacies of creating just a few seconds of film. We had a sneak peek at actual movie story boards and footage behind the scenes. For the grand finale we created a short class movie making sure we used the various screen shots for dramatic effect. Thank you Leon Stripp for sharing your experience and passion for film making with us.  We just couldn’t stop the excited questions!

‘Silence on set, camera rolling, action!’


Year 4 this term have been learning about social justice in Christian Living and Life Groups. They have seen through the Bible, the heart God has for orphans, widows and the poor. The students are aware they live in a wealthy part of the world in the richer portion of people in the world. We have been considering the idea that perhaps our wealth is given so that we can be helping those who have less than us, so we can be the answer to the prayers of those with needs. The students were challenged to serve others and give of their time over the term by participating in an odd-job-a-thon. They performed different jobs or services and even got creative in their serving so that others could pay them. The money they are paid goes to those in need – in our case the Compassion child sponsorship charity. We are amazed at how diligent the children have been with money coming in over the last fortnight. Bit by bit we have seen some children raising upwards of $300. Creative jobs include holding garage sales, book sales, lemonade stalls and making Christmas cards. Service included house chores, yard work, car cleaning, Kindy maintenance and so on. One lovely servant-hearted student went to a company and gave a speech in front of all their staff and gained donations over $700. One class alone is forecast to bring in over $2500. Imagine what the whole year level will raise once it is all in and counted. It is wonderful to see students concerned for the needs of others and be so giving of their time and energy. Service is one of the core values of Hillcrest and combined with diligence, these students are showing that in bundles.

From the Head of the MLC

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

During the week a Christmas tree has popped up on each floor of the MLC as we head into the final few weeks of the year. We feel it is important to celebrate Christmas and the season of giving by setting up a House challenge over the next three weeks with students bringing in non-perishable items to be donated to charities in need. Each week we will tally up the items and see which House is leading the way in serving those less fortunate than us. This is a great opportunity to model the real meaning behind Christmas and to remember that we were given the ultimate gift when Jesus was born into the world.

Year 4 Parent Information Session
I want to thank the 80 parents who attended the Year 5 information session last week. It was a great show of interest and support of the College and I really enjoyed getting to know some more of the families who will be joining the MLC in 2022. Please continue to email any questions about next year through to my PA, Paula Mason at pmason@hillcrest.qld.edu.au.

Year 6 & 8 Dinners
We are excited to be hosting two firsts over the coming weeks, the Year 6 Half Point 2027 Dinner on Friday, 12 November as well as the Year 8 Leadership Dinner on Wednesday, 17 November. A lot of planning has been happening behind the scenes to make both of these evenings a great success. We look forward to seeing your children at their relevant dinner!

Year 6 T-Shirts have also arrived this week and I know the students are looking forward to wearing them over the next few weeks.

MLC Instrumental Finale Concert
Another great event that has taken a lot of planning is the MLC Instrumental Finale that saw Strings, Year 5 Band, MLC Concert Band and MLC Rock Bank all demonstrate what hours of practice can produce. Congratulations to Tania Vadeikis and the Music Department for their continued support in strengthening the individual pathways and passions in our students. We appreciate all of your hard work, thank you.

Darren Rackemann
Head of Middle Learning Community

What’s been happening in the MLC

Designing the Future

Last week, Mr Shawn Skinner (Head of GQ), Mr Marty Harris (Head of Faculty – Technologies) and Mrs Danni Foster-Brown (Deputy Head of MLC – Alignment) attended a Griffith University Partnership Professional Learning Day, in conjunction with GISP (Gateway to Industry Schools Program). As a GISP school, the MLC is connected with local and national industry partners which allow students and teachers to partner in real-world projects with experts in their field. This particular workshop focused on the fact that Australia is now becoming world-renowned for ‘Mass Customisation’ of custom-made, bespoke, quality products, as opposed to the ‘Mass Production’ of the past.

During the day, teachers used a high-tech scanner to scan their faces, uploaded this to design software where they manipulated the image, and were then able to take this digital file back to school where they could print out their face (see photographs). This technology will soon become common-place; it could be that we all have a digital scan of our feet on our computer, which we then use to order custom-made shoes! Or we could use a body scan to get clothes that fit to perfection! A range of 3D printers at Griffith are already being utilised to design everything from medical products and fashion accessories to models of human and animal body parts.

Design companies will be looking for future employees passionate about industrial design, graphics, pack design and displays, as well as web design. In the MLC, we are excited that students start this design process as young as Year 5, where they are currently learning skills to design and 3D-print custom-made board game pieces for self-made games. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Griffith University and GISP, to allow our students to utilise the facilities and expertise of industry experts as they develop their emerging skills in this area.

Parent Information Evening

Elevate Education is hosting a free webinar series for parents/carers on assisting students in the final stretch before exams in 2021. Elevate is a global education organisation that helps over 1 million students to improve their study skills and boost academic performance. You can learn more about them at au.elevateeducation.com or follow them on Facebook.

Upcoming sessions include:

  • November 10 – Exam Preparation tips to deepen revision
  • November 24 – Exam-Room skills

👉🏼 Register here

From the Head of the SLC

There has been quite a bit happening in the Senior Learning Community since the last newsletter. Our annual Celebration Evening acknowledged the academic achievements of the high achieving students and highlighted the talents of the Performing Arts students. Congratulations to all award winners and well done to the performers. A huge thankyou to the staff who brought this event together.

Quite a few schools complete all of their year level transitions at the start of the school year. To better prepare our students, we complete a number of year level transitions in Term 4. As announced at the Celebration of Excellence evening, our new student leaders have begun their leadership journey. They all attended a leadership camp at Emu Gully to identify their strengths and traits that they could bring to the team as well as identifying the strengths and characteristic of others in the leadership team. I had the privilege of spending one day with the students and I was impressed with how they approached each activity and reflected on how they could improve. They are an impressive group of young leaders and I am confident that they will leave a positive mark on the history of the college.

The vertical Life Group is something unique to Hillcrest Christian College.  With the Year 12 students completing their External Examinations and no longer attending Life Group, Assembly or Gathering, we have taken the opportunity to transition the Year 8 students into their 2022 SLC Life Group.  This has been well received by all and I am delighted with the positive relationships that are being developed.

We have also completed some academic transitions. To give our students the best opportunity, Year 10 students have commenced their Unit 1 studies for Year 11 and Year 11 students have commenced their Unit 3 studies for Year 12.  This will ensure that each of the 4 units will be studied for 1 semester before the external examinations at the end of Year 12. This will mean that some Year 10 students will complete summative assessment which contributes towards their Unit 1 result and some Year 11 students will complete some summative assessment which contributes towards their Unit 3 (and ATAR) this term. We wish these (and all students) well in their studies.

Until next time.

Jason Day
Head of Senior Learning Community

What’s been happening in the SLC

Drama – Year 11 – ‘Hoods’ performance work

Students from Year 11 Drama have just started their Year 12 curriculum work and have selected scenes to perform from the script ‘Hoods’ by Angela Bietzien. The play explores issues of poverty, family violence and abandonment as well as other family issues so is a valuable study to allow students to view the world through a different lens, building empathy and understanding. Our Year 11 actors have multiple character changes throughout the play swapping from the Hoods (the narrators) to children, social workers and community members which is a really challenging job for an actor. The students have to change their voice, physicality, character, status and staging to become multiple characters within the scene and make those changes in a fraction of a second. Our Year 11 students are passionate and hardworking artists who are up for the creative challenge to tell important stories that can reach audiences in order to provoke thought, create empathy and educate us on the human condition.

Year 10 share Volcanoes with Kindy kids

On Wednesday, 3, November, Year 10 students paid a visit to our Kindy children in the ELC. Year 10 students have spent some time lately learning about volcanoes and have constructed their own using a plastic bottle, paper and then painted them with their own unique design. Year 10 students broke off into small groups with Kindy students and tested out their volcanoes, teaching the kids as they went. Some attempts were a bit of a fizzle while others were quite the explosion. Fun was had by not just the little kids, but the big kids too.

Year 10 Semi Formal

The Year 10 Semi-formal is one of the highlights of the year for Year 10 students. This year was no exception with the new venue at Paradise Country providing a new backdrop for this celebration. It was a night of laughter, good food, great company and some awesome dance moves. The students had an exceptional time together where their memories of the night will include a huge thunderstorm.

Just Dance

This week the SLC got to ‘Just Dance’ during their breaks in the SLC courtyard.  Thanks to the efforts of Year 10 students, Daniel Arden and Matthew Young, who organised and ran this event, a fantastic atmosphere of fun and community engagement was had by all who participated or cheered from the side lines. Well done, Daniel and Matthew, for seeing an opportunity and committing to bring this event to fruition.

Year 9 Bounce

This week our intentional Year Level Social Activities for the year concluded with Year 9 attending Bounce, Burleigh. A great night of fun, fellowship and exercise with some impressive jumping, twisting and bouncing was had by all.  We look forward to engaging in more year-level based social activities in 2022 as these have been a highlight for many of our students. Thank you toall who have participated.  If anyone has further suggestions of activities our year levels could engage in, please don’t hesitate to email slc@hillcrest.qld.edu.au or contact our Deputy Head of SLC, Mr James Colefax, directly.

Public Speaking Competition

In Week 2 and Week 3, students in the SLC participated in the AB Paterson Public Speaking competition. This hotly-contested annual competition sees students from across Gold Coast schools present speeches on a range of topics for judges from Bond University. They progress through heats to the Grand Final, where three top students receive awards in each year level. Congratulations to all students that competed this year—it’s no easy feat to speak to a room of strangers! Here are the participants and results:
Year 9 Participants
– Taylah Britz
– Ricky Cai
– Idara Eweka-Esiet (made it to the Grand Finals)

Year 10 Participants
– Jed Gregory
– Jayden Adams (came second in the Year 10 Grand Finals)

Year 11 Participants
– Jessie Duduc

Support Alexis attend the National Science Youth Forum

Chau, AlexisYear 11 student, Alexis Chau has been invited to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra in January 2022. After completing the rigorous application forms and attending an interview in early September, Alexis Chau, has been invited to attend the National Youth Science Forum from 10-25 January 2022, as part of the Year 12 program. Click here to learn more about the program.

The event will enable Alexis to rapidly learn more about STEM fields and be inspired by various academic and industry experts. In 2021 the opening panel consisted of some of Australia’s brightest minds discussing the role of future STEM professionals in helping build our national resilience. As last year demonstrated, the world faces significant challenges, with COVID-19, climate change, energy, food and water security and an ageing population posing some of the most urgent issues of our time. Read more.

If you would like to support Alexis in getting to this forum, click here to view her gofundme page.

Sports, Performing Arts and Co-curricular

Hillcrest eSport

We have seen an explosion in the growth of eSport across the College this year. At the recent FUSE Cup competition, we had over 300 students across MLC and SLC try out for a spot to represent our College. We want to congratulate Amelia Ballaban (Year 5) who came second in the QLD State Final of the Just Dance competition. Josh Rouse (Year 5) and Leon Tarabrin (Year 6) teamed up and came second in the QLD State Final of the Rocket League competition. We have two teams (Zachary Thomas and Ryan Baker – Year 8; Finn Mackenzie and Nicholas Salanitri – Year 8) who have progressed to the semi-finals of the international Mario-Kart competition, involving 72 Teams having competed from 5 countries across 14 cities. Well done to these students!

Dance Showcase

‘Dance as though no one is watching.’ Hillcrest dancers represented the College this year with school performances and our Eisteddfod. Our students showed great commitment, talent and perseverance. With lockdowns and cancelled performances, students continued to rehearse, building their skill level, developing new friendships and preparing to perform. Dance Team presented a multi-media performance at Celebration night with a record 32 students performing on stage at once. Well done students for all your hard work.


CyberTaipan Competition

During September and October, four senior students, Dylan Wondal, Lachlan Hammersley, Robbie Pollock and Daniel Arden, participated for the first time in the annual CyberTaipan Competition. This is an Australian Youth Cyber Defence Competition modelled on the US Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program. Throughout the competition rounds, the team of students is provided with a set of virtual images that represent different operating systems. Over a six-hour period, the team receives points for finding and fixing cyber security vulnerabilities, strengthening systems, and maintaining critical services. It is designed for students that have an interest in — or willingness to learn about — cyber security, defensive countermeasures, and securing virtual networks. The team did incredibly well finishing in the Top 20 out of over 140 teams nationally.

Hillcrest & Griffith University – SPASE Experience Project

Hillcrest Christian College has been selected to be part of a ground breaking collaborative project with ten Queensland schools, Griffith University and Gilmour Space Technologies. This partnership project will see a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) prototype satellite developed locally by students and deployed for launch in mid-2022.

Driven by Professor Paulo de Souza, Head of School, School of Information and Communication Technology, who has worked with NASA on the Mars rover projects, students and teachers will have exclusive access to a Space Tech Lab currently being built at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus, offering dedicated facilities for researchers and Gilmour Space Technologies staff to work collaboratively.

A small team of students will be attending various sessions at Griffith between February and June 2022, as well as a second group based at school supporting our school’s part. In the sessions students will learn about CubeSats, rockets, orbit, undergo media training and learn about mission parameters. They will be involved in a core aspect of the CubeSat design and development, working with experts and be part of this incredible opportunity. The project will be documented through a Griffith Film team who will be creating a documentary of the whole project. This amazing opportunity is open to Year 9-11 students that are passionate about Space, and are studying at least one of these subjects – Physics, Engineering or ICT. Students will be selected based on expression of interest and they will undergo an interview.

The team of students will be sharing their progress regularly with the College community. We look forward to Hillcrest being part of the ‘out of this world’ experience in 2022 and beyond.

Student Achievements

QLD Short Course State Championships 

Congratulations to Year 10 student, Kai Komulainen who is the winner of the 2020/21 Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year.

Kai has consistently performed well over the last 12-18 months and is very deserving of this award. Kai was presented with his award at the QLD Golf Industry Awards Night at the Star Gold Coast.

Kai was also ranked number one junior boy in Australia for the Australian Boys Order of Merit. Congratulations Kai on receiving both of these awards!

Other News

Advice for parents, carers, guardians and drivers from GCCC

The City of Gold Coast (City) wants to ensure that motorists comply with school zone road rules at and around schools to achieve a safer environment for children and the broader school community. These rules also help to optimise traffic movement and safety.

Please take extra care and obey the signed parking rules when parking on the roads and streets around the school.

Park Safe Vehicles – Licence Plate Recognition (LPR)
As part of the City Parking Plan 2015 to improve parking behaviour on the Gold Coast, City Parking Officers will soon patrol the city (including key school zones) using vehicles, clearly badged as “Park Safe” vehicles.  These vehicles use Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) which is camera technology fitted to Park Safe vehicles to ensure motorists are parking safely.

Park Safe will operate on school days at student drop-off and pick-up times focusing on pedestrian areas around schools. If a vehicle is found to be parked illegally the City will issue an infringement notice to the registered vehicle owner by post.

Offences to be aware of:

  • stopping 20 metres before or 10 metres after a sign posted crossing
  • stopping 20 metres before or 10 metres after a bus stop
  • stopping within 10 metres of an intersection or corner
  • stopping within a bus zone (bayed area)
  • stopping on a footpath or nature strip within a built-up area
  • stopping in a way that restricts access to a driveway
  • stopping on a yellow painted line
  • stopping in a loading zone
  • double parking for any period of time.

Park safely and legally to avoid a fine.

For more information visit www.cityofgoldcoast.com.au/parksafe

Key Dates