College News

Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:06

From the Principal's Desk - Week 9, Term 4 2018


Dear Parents, Staff and Students

This year we have been Loving Life Together and have enjoyed a most successful year for our College. The 2018 Year Book that students will take home this afternoon is filled with happy memories and many photos to remind us of the various events throughout the year. I always enjoy seeing the happy faces that reflect the fun had by students. I commend this Year Book as a must read publication for the upcoming holiday period.


Tuesday evening saw the final of our eight Celebration evenings and events completed. While this is a marathon effort for staff and some families who attend multiple events, having this number enables us to keep them relevant, age appropriate, relatively short and fun. I know some schools have only one or maybe two of these events, but we have found this a good way to engage with our community and to celebrate our students’ growth throughout the year. Thank you to all families who supported these events and to the staff who worked so hard to ensure they all ran smoothly. While the work of most staff in preparing students is obvious, the unsung heroes for these events are the maintenance staff who ensure that everything is set up and ready to go for each event, and Mr Griffith who operates the sound and lighting with his tech crew of students. Without their attention to detail, we could not achieve the high standards witnessed by all who attend. Thank you to all staff for your tireless work for these celebrations.


Our two bridge crossings this week have provided special moments for the Pre-prep and Year 6 students as they transition to the next phase of their education. As a relatively young College, these opportunities to celebrate such important milestones for students are invaluable. We know that they become highlights for students as they reflect back on their time at the College once they have left. Thank you to all who make these rites of passage so special.


Yesterday the Farewell Assembly for Mr Kirkpatrick was lovely. To see so many people there to pay tribute to the great Mr K was fabulous. Members of the College Council, past staff, students and parents as well as our current community and Mr K’s family all came for this surprise farewell. There is no doubt that he has played a significant role in our community and has had a profound influence on many people. It was a special moment when the entire student body and most of the staff did the Cha Cha Slide for Mr K and then he led us all in the College War Cry. We wish Graeme well for his year away and look forward to hearing more of his stories in the future. Mr K, we salute you and express our sincere gratitude for all you have given to our College and the community.


I also take this opportunity to thank all families for your support in 2018.
There have been many wonderful moments this year where the support of parents has been invaluable. Thank you for all you do in partnership with us in the education of your children.


Best wishes to all families for Christmas and the New Year.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal

Recently the College was fortunate to secure the services of Mr Cameron Adair. Mr Adair is a technology expert who has delivered seminar-type presentations across the globe to students and parents, about the potentially problematic domain of gaming.


With almost all teenagers playing video games regularly, 13% of them reporting symptoms of a problem, and the increasing popularity of competitive eSports, the time is now to ensure teenagers have a healthy and productive relationship with gaming and social media.

Mr Adair has left the following resource images which will help you identify at-risk teenagers, and give practical strategies to help them thrive in a world dominated by technology.












Dear Parents, Staff and Students


This week we have moved secondary students into their 2019 Year Levels and they have commenced work on next year’s courses. This is an important step in preparing students for the new assessment system commencing for Year 11 in 2019, but it also gives all students a head start on their studies for next year. Years 10 and 11 students moved on Monday and Years 7-9 moved today following their Celebration Evening on Tuesday night. While we do not expect students to be working during their summer break, it gives them the opportunity to read novels and start thinking about setting some goals in a relaxed manner.


Junior Secondary Celebration Evening was a lovely way to congratulate all students for their achievements this year. Thank you to Mr Golder and his team for their work with the students this year and congratulations to all students for your efforts. It is clear that we have many very talented students in our College.


With one week remaining in the College year, we will complete the Celebrations Evenings next week with Years 3-4 on Monday and Years 5-6 on Tuesday evening. The Early Learning Centre Christmas concert is tomorrow night. All of these events take a huge amount of organising and the music staff are involved in them all. Thank you to Mrs Smith, Mrs Materne, Mrs Bissett and the music tutors who prepare the students so well. Given that all tutors have also completed concerts over the last two weeks, this is a very busy time of the year for them all. Mr Andy Griffith runs all the sound and lighting in the Ivan Gibbs Centre with students he is training. These people all do a fabulous job and ensure that our various events run smoothly and professionally. Thank you to all who assist in this way.


Next week the important Crossing of the Little Bridge for Pre-Prep into Prep on Wednesday morning and the Year 6 Crossing of the Bridge on Thursday are significant milestones for these students and a very special way to end the year. I believe we conduct these transitions from one campus to the next very well. Many years later, students reflect on the significance of these occasions in their journey through the College.


Tomorrow will be another very busy day for our College. We are running a Leadership Training Day for the Year 11 Leaders elect. This provides them with an overview of what leadership is all about, and gives them the opportunity to hear from some leaders within the College and the community. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions and are encouraged to start thinking about setting their goals as a leadership team for 2019. I believe we have become much better at assisting students to develop their leadership skills over time. Like everything we do, it is important to reflect on and challenge the process to ensure it is relevant, fulfilling the need and using best practice. The outside speakers who come from the health and professional industries are helpful in this regard.


The Corporate Golf Day that was washed out in October is also being held tomorrow at Gainsborough Greens. This should be a lot of fun for those involved and the weather is looking much better for golf at this stage. Thank you to all who have been involved in planning this day and to all who have signed up to play. Happy golfing!


Finally, the Early Learning Centre Christmas Concert is also on tomorrow evening. The children have worked very hard with Miss Kathryn and their teachers and are no doubt looking forward to performing together in front of their families. I am always amazed at the capacity of these very young children to learn so many songs. It should be a fabulous concert.


Cyber Safety

Coomera Anglican College is proud to partner with Family Zone commencing 2019. The College will be one of the first schools to take a whole of College approach making Family Zone available to our families from Preparatory to Year 12. Family Zone will be available to all our families as part of your College fees. Family Zone is a complete online cyber safety solution that protects your children at College, at home and when they are out and about. It is available on College supplied devices, as part of our eMind programme, but will also allow families to provide protection on other devices at home. As part of our commitment to keeping our students safe, it will require the College to work in partnership with our families, who will need to register online in 2019. Family Zone is simple to set up, easy to use, and supported by a team of cyber experts.

Further information will be sent out in relation to the registration process and some convenient webinar sessions for families in the New Year.

In the meantime, if you require more information please visit the College Cyber Safety Hub:


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal


Dear Parents, Staff and Students


The time has come for us to farewell another cohort of Year 12 students. Each year at this time we ask, how did this happen so quickly?


Last night the Celebration Evening for Years 10-12 was a lovely celebration of a most productive year. It was delightful to see so many students being recognised for their hard work throughout the year. However, while there were many students acknowledged in this way on stage, it is not possible to recognise the individual growth and development in each student in the same way. All students are to be congratulated for their efforts throughout the year. I encourage those who were not on stage to continue to work hard, set achievable goals and celebrate when they are achieved. The best growth is always incremental. Some students blossom early and some take longer. The rewards eventually come to those who persist.


I was so impressed with the quality of our music and singing last night. The Senior Strings and Vox Collective performed a beautiful rendition of May the Lord Bless You and Keep You. While the Senior Jazz Band’s performance of September was excellent. The other student performances prior to the official start of the evening were also wonderful. The quality of the music continues to improve and is a credit to the students and their tutors.


Tomorrow we farewell 88 Year 12 students. While this is a relatively small cohort, 31 of them have been with us since they started in Prep in 2006. This is an achievement worth noting. Given that we are a P-12 College, this number will no doubt increase over time. The Valedictory Assembly is a special event that marks the end of their time as students at Coomera Anglican College, and the dinner with their parents tomorrow night is a fitting way to complete their journey.


While this time of year is frantic for many of us, it is also a great time to celebrate all that has occurred in 2018.


Last week I was at a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The conference was about Anglican education in USA and was great. I will write more about this in time. It was also a very interesting time to be in one of the Southern States during the mid-term elections. The anticipated protest vote against the Trump Administration did not eventuate. While the Democrats did win control of the House, Trump increased his majority in the Senate. There were a number of firsts during this election. The first Muslim women were elected in two states, the first openly gay Governor was elected and the youngest female Senator was elected at 29 years of age. When I left, the votes were being recounted in a close race for Governor of Georgia. While the Republican candidate was claiming victory, his Democrat opponent was not willing to concede defeat. She would become the first female, African-American Governor of Georgia should she be successful. There certainly is a lot of hype around American politics as you might expect, and I witnessed a country quite divided in their views.


I look forward to farewelling the Year 12s tomorrow, and take this opportunity to thank them for their contributuion to our College.

Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal

Hey 2018 school leavers! Congrats on your last few weeks of school life EVER!! We know you're keen to celebrate, but we have one last pre-schoolies task for you to complete - and it could save your life. If you haven't already had yours, now is the perfect time to get your free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine at any of our Community Clinics or your GP. #schoolies2018


Some of the highest rates of Meningococcal disease occur in 15 to 19-year-olds, who can transmit the bacteria to people at increased risk, including young children. Parents of teens in this age group who have missed their meningococcal ACWY vaccine are encouraged to email the Public Health Unit at or phone 1800 940 750.


For your convenience please see the clinic calendar for the rest of the year.

Nov clinic dates



Gold Coast Health Immunisation Team
Carrara Health Centre
45 Chisholm Road
PO Box 318, Nerang, QLD 4211 Australia
P: 1800 940750 F: 5667 3281


Wednesday, 07 November 2018 01:25

Junior Secondary Leaders 2019

It is with great joy that I write to inform you of the Junior Secondary Leaders for 2019. The selection process was a particularly daunting one, given the nature and quality of applicants. As with most experiences of this nature, there are always going to be those who were less successful than their peers. I deliberately avoid the term unsuccessful because in truth, every single applicant in this process, has experienced success of some kind. Whether this success manifests itself in the form of the ‘job interview’ like experience, the nerve-bending exercise of addressing an entire campus of peers or composing a letter of application for the role, these activities have put all candidates in a better position for life, than where they were before the process commenced. It would be remiss of me to not mention the dignity and integrity with which all candidates received the news of their individual results. They should all be proud. The Junior Secondary Leaders for 2019 listed below will do an outstanding job of representing our College in the upcoming year.


Junior Secondary Captains

Lachlan Bergin
Ashlyn O'Toole


SRC Representative

Jessica Dobbie and Lataya Oweis


Faith Leader

Tannaya-Paris Bartlett


GibbsJayPGibbs House Captains
Lily Delaney and Eden Rieck


SmithJayPSmith House Captains
Bowie Hawke and Brooklyn Lowe


MorrisJayPMorris House Captains
Tom Macarthur and Mikayla Maudsley


LaneJpegLane House Captains
Sophie Miller and Lachlan Sheppard


Congratulations to these students.


Greg Golder - Head of Junior Secondary

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 21:11

From the Principal's Desk - Week 5, Term 4 2018


Dear Parents, Staff and Students


Relay for Life Group NLjpg

Congratulations and thank you to all students and staff who supported the Cancer Council Relay for Life last weekend. Our College has hosted this event for many years now, and it is always well attended. Students raised over $9000, which is a fabulous effort. Well done everyone.



I spent the weekend in Daylesford in Victoria where I attended a school reunion: 50 years since we started High School. You may think that is an odd event to celebrate, but in 1968, around 100 of us started in Year 7 (Form 1 as it was then). Six years later only 20 completed Year 12 (Form 6). It seemed more likely that the organisers could track down a reasonable number from the hundred who started. Around 40 of us gathered on Saturday evening to renew our acquaintances and talk about the 'Golden days' with stories that had no doubt been embellished over time. There were plenty of laughs and many photos of our families shared. It was interesting to see where life had taken each of us. Some still lived in Daylesford, some had moved away to other towns or cities, while others had moved interstate or overseas. The most interesting thing to me was the connection that was still evident between us. Here we were speaking to people we had not seen in a long time and all the memories of past friendships came flooding back. I guess that is the thing about belonging to a community- there is much more that connects you than divides you. We are now planning to gather again in 2023 to celebrate 50 years since we completed Year 12.


This is rather pertinent now, as we are preparing to farewell Year 12 in just over two weeks' time. I imagine that such reunions may not have the same significance in the future given the social media connections that exist amongst our senior students. It is hard to imagine the current Year 12s losing touch with each other for 30, 40 or 50 years as we did. It is also far less likely that many of our Year 12s will remain living where they went to school, as this generation will be far more mobile than many of us were. I find this a fascinating study of social demographics and generational change.


The final Principal's Tour for 2018 was held this morning. This allowed prospective families to come into our College, to hear about us and what we do, and enjoy a tour conducted by some of the Junior Secondary Student Leaders. This is always well received by families and gives them some first-hand information from current students. Our students are excellent ambassadors and love to show off their College. Thank you, particularly to the enrolment and support staff, the students and their teachers, who make this important event so successful.


Next week I will be in the USA at a conference in Atlanta. In my role as President of Anglican Schools Australia (ASA), I have been invited to attend the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) Biennial Conference. The programme looks very impressive and I look forward to hearing about how Episcopal (the USA equivalent of Anglican) schools operate. While the timing is not ideal, I am grateful to the College Council for allowing me to attend this important conference.


This week I have enjoyed listening to the rehearsals for the end of year events, as students prepare for this busy time of year.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal

Thursday, 25 October 2018 03:38

UPDATE - PAFA Colour-Run


The PAFA Colour-Run will be held on the last Friday of Term 4 - Friday 23 November, during College hours, for all students, Prep to Year 11. The PAFA Colour-Run will be a FUN and healthy fundraiser with proceeds going to PAFA for future College Sustainable Environment Solutions.  Individual information booklets and sponsorship forms were sent home to all families at the beginning of the Term. Thank you to the many students who have already registered and commenced their sponsorship. If you have not registered and created your personal profile page, you can do this via the Colour-Run website -


Fundraising to date:

Total $7,682.37

The top three classes are:

  1. PM $1,532
  2. 4F $1,092
  3. 4P $661.75


Please note: Sponsorship is NOT compulsory. All students regardless of fundraising, will be included in the excitement of the day.

Click here PAFA Colour Fun-Run for detailed information from the Event Organisation


** Class Incentive**

The first class with all students registered will receive a burrito voucher for each student from Guzman y Gomez, kindly donated from the Upper Coomera store.


We have a few cases of Chickenpox reported within our College Community.  Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella virus. It cannot be treated with antibiotics. Treatment is usually to relieve the symptoms, which are commonly fever and a rash.  Chickenpox is easily spread by direct contact with a person who has chickenpox, or by fluid droplets in the air when they cough or sneeze. A person with chickenpox is infectious to others from one to two days before the rash first appears until the last blisters have dried up.  In rare cases, children can develop serious complications as a result of chickenpox. A chickenpox vaccination is given to children aged 18 months as part of their normal schedule of vaccinations. It is very effective, has few side effects and is free in Australia.


Signs and symptoms of chickenpox

    If your child has chickenpox, they may:

  • Have a mild fever

  • Feel tired and irritable

  • Be itchy

  • Have a rash.

The rash usually appears 10 to 21 days after first being exposed to someone who has chickenpox. The time between exposure and getting the rash is called the incubation period. The rash usually first appears on the chest, back or face.  It can then move to other areas of the body, including inside the mouth. At first, the rash looks like small pimples. These later become blisters full of fluid. Most children with chickenpox are unwell for about five to seven days.

CP Image


You should take your child to see a GP if:

  • They get large, sore, red areas around the rash, which may indicate a secondary bacterial infection
  • They become increasingly unwell, are very drowsy, have a high fever or are not drinking
  • You are concerned for any reason.


Children and adults can get chickenpox, but it is more common in children. Chickenpox is highly contagious, which means it is very easy to catch. It can be spread by having direct contact with the person who has chickenpox, especially by touching the liquid from the blisters. Chickenpox is also spread by the fluids that are coughed or sneezed into the air.

If your child has chickenpox, they are infectious to others from one to two days before the rash first appears up until the last blisters have dried up. Some members of the family may need to stay away from the child during this infectious stage.

Children with chickenpox should be kept home from the College until the last blister has dried. A dry blister scab is not infectious. Please let me know if your child gets chickenpox, you can email me


Key points to remember

  • Chickenpox is very easy to catch, and is infectious for one to two days before the rash starts up until the last blister has dried.
  • The rash usually starts between 10 to 21 days after the first exposure to chickenpox.
  • Antibiotics will not cure chickenpox.
  • A chickenpox vaccination is given to children aged 18 months as part of their normal schedule of vaccinations.

College Nurse - Rosmary Brown


Dear Parents, Staff and Students

Mark Sly1 

It was very exciting to welcome the 2019 Preparatory and Year 7 students to the College on Monday morning for their Orientation Day. There are always a few nerves especially for those who are new to our College, but this is an important event, as it gives students the opportunity to meet others and find out a little about what to expect in 2019. Thank you to the teachers who made our guests so welcome this on Monday morning.


You will be well aware that Child protection is at the forefront of our care for our students. Each year we undergo specific training to ensure we are providing the safest and most secure environment for those in our care. While it should be obvious that children need to be protected, unfortunately in the past in this country and many others, this has not always been the case. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has taken five years to reach its conclusion. Over 17,000 survivors of abuse came forward and almost 8,000 of them recounted their abuse in private sessions to the commission. One hundred and twenty-two recommendations were made. On Monday the Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave a public apology to all children who have been sexually abused in institutions in the past. In a moving speech in Parliament Mr Morrison said "As a nation we confront our failure to listen, to believe and to provide justice..., today we are sorry. To the children we failed, sorry. To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces, sorry. To the whistleblowers who we did not listen to, sorry. To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands and children who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction, sorry. To the generations past and present, sorry." Mr Morrison announced that the government has adopted all 122 recommendations, 104 of which are worked on immediately while the other 18 are being closely examined in consultation with the states and territories. There is now a National Redress scheme, where survivors can access counselling, seek compensation and receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible if they wish.


Our own Archbishop also released a statement on Friday in support of the Prime Minister's apology. He wrote, "I welcome the Prime Minister's apology to all who suffered child sexual abuse in institutions, and join with him in apologising to those abused in Anglican institutions. Anglican Church leaders, including myself, have apologised to hundreds of survivors around Australia, and have met with them personally when they requested us to do so. This is part of the Church's repentance for its past failings that have inflicted pain and suffering." You can read the Archbishop's full statement by using this link.


Our Diocese and hence our College has joined the National Redress Scheme. Given that we are a young College and I have been here since the start, I believe we have no known history of abuse. However, we must never be so naive as to think this could not happen here or anywhere. Fortunately, the awareness of our students and staff has been heightened significantly to ensure that our training and practices never allow such behaviour to occur in our College.


I take great pleasure in informing you that my new Assistant, Mrs Rachael Georgoulas, commenced this week. I am sure you will come across her in the coming weeks as we approach the end of the school year and all the Celebration Evenings and events.


Finally, thank you to all who completed the College survey. With 1981 responses in total we will no doubt receive a lot of valuable feedback.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal

Friday, 19 October 2018 03:17


Next Monday, 22 October, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver a national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse at Parliament House in Canberra.

Please click here to view the statement issued by The Archbishop of Brisbane The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall.


Dear Parents, Staff and Students

Mark Sly1 

On Monday afternoon we met with parents of Year 9 students to explain the Life-Fit Learning programme we have developed with Griffith University and the Menzies Health Institute Queensland. This wellbeing programme enables us to assist students to find an appropriate balance between health, learning and relationships. Doctors Lara Farrell and Allison Waters from Griffith University explained the results obtained from a recent survey conducted with Year 9 students. Our main aim is to measure cohort responses and trends to allow us to tailor our personal development courses to meet the needs of students. We plan to track data over time to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of our students. I thought I would share one handy hint given to parents involving healthy habits.


The following Life-Fit-Five Healthy Habits were reinforced by Dr Waters:


1. Sleep: get 8-10 hours each night
2. Exercise: do 1 hour of vigorous activity per day
3. Vegies: eat five serves per day
4. Fruit: eat two serves per day
5. Water: drink 7 cups per day.

I wonder how well you do with this. I certainly fail miserably in some areas!


The wet week has sent some challenges with play areas and sport training, but with more than 60% of Queensland in drought, we are not going to complain about the rain. Our ovals are looking very green and lush and that is great for us. It is always difficult keeping students off the ovals when we want them to be running around and getting the exercise referred to above. However, it is potentially dangerous to have the children playing on a slippery, wet surface and taking good care of the fields makes them safer for students to use in the long term.


Unfortunately, our Corporate Golf Day due to be held at Gainsborough Greens Golf Club tomorrow has been postponed. Following further inspection of the Golf Course this morning after overnight rain, and with some showers coming through today, we have had to make the difficult but necessary decision to postpone this event. Grounds staff have been working continuously with the pump on various parts of the course day and night to ensure we could have 18 holes. Unfortunately, the recent rain on an already very wet course is going to make various holes/areas unplayable and all round conditions very difficult. Thank you to Gainsborough Greens for their efforts.

New dates are being looked into for the very near future.


Today I announced the Year 12 student leaders elect for 2019. Congratulations to the following students:


College Captains
Mackenzie Brown
Thomas Buenano-Thompson

SRC Chair
Hannah Dumbleton

House Captains

Hannah Fitzgerald
Ben Garner

Amy Stirling
Jackson Templeton

Kaitlyn Jepson
James Harwood

Madeline Hall
Caitlin Miller

Kyle Chapman, Grace Miotto, Ricky Tang, Claire Wilson
Cultural Christine Fairweather, Laura Frith, Parker Newlan
Faith Kendall Bronson, Alana Harris, Rohan van der Merwe
Service Lachlan Evans, Zoe Owen, Ben Phythian, April Want
Sport Jessica Duncombe, Kane Hurley, Mackenzie Jordan, James Murray


These students will be presented as leaders elect at the Senior Secondary Celebration Evening on Wednesday 14 November, but will not be formally inducted to their roles until the start of 2019.


Thank you to those who have completed the online College survey. At the time of writing this, only 37% of parents had responded, so I am hoping for some more over the next few days. The survey will close on Monday 22 October, so you have 4 days remaining if you have not yet done so. I look forward to receiving your feedback.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal


Friday, 12 October 2018 01:36

2018 Corporate Golf Day Update

Dear Parents and Guardians

Thank you for supporting the 2018 Coomera Anglican College Corporate Golf Day. The uptake has been incredible with the biggest field ever taking part in this year's event. We look forward to a great day of golf, entertainment, business and fun on Friday 19 October!

New registrations

If you’re keen on entering, either individually, with a colleague, or as a team; OR boosting your already entered playing group – please note – there are ONLY 10 places remaining. We’ve had great support this year from the college community and local businesses, but don’t leave it until late as we’re very close to being sold out. Online entries will close 6PM THIS SUNDAY. Registrations can be completed online here -


player changes

Any teams or players making modifications, be it to their playing group, their team name, or dietary requirements for the buffet dinner – please advise as soon as possible. Our cut off for changes is 6pm this Sunday so the correct plans and ordering can be made. Please send an email through to with any updated or teams information from those entered online.

hole in one

Thank you again to James Frizelles Gold Coast Skoda for offering a fantastic prize and challenge for all of our golfers – keen on driving away in this fantastic new Skoda Rapid!*



Thank you to all of the businesses who have also donated further prizes and awards for the Golf Day. 

prize sponsors

business card draw

Please remember to bring along your business card(s) to go in the draw to win some great prizes.

event timings

A full event schedule will be sent out in the coming days, but the general times are all as planned. 11am meet for 11.30am briefing and 12noon shotgun start. BBQ Dinner will be served following the round with prizes and awards at approximately 5.45pm.


Finally I would like to thank our wonderful sponsors again for coming on board and supporting this great event. Please take a look through the event partners and get behind their services/business where possible.

Sponsors5 10Oct2018b


Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:34


Over the last 4 days, Coomera Anglican College musicians were well represented at both the State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) and the inaugural Australian Honours Ensemble Program (AHEP) in choirs, bands and orchestras. This year, 1500 of the state’s best young musicians, selected from the 10000 students who applied, gathered at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University for SHEP, with 900 of these travelling from close to the border to as far away as the Cape and Mt Isa, the biggest event in the program’s history. For the prestigious AHEP (where instrumentalists are required to be a minimum standard of Grade 7 AMEB), 800 students auditioned resulting in 300 successful applicants from NSW, Victoria and the ACT, and 15 American students represented Pacific Honours Ensemble Program (PHEP). 170 students who successfully auditioned were from Queensland.


The opportunity for these students to work under first class conductors and with students at a similar advanced standard allows them to grow musically. The AHEP program was intense, with the students completing 10-12 hour days (excluding travel time!) and also attending concerts at the Conservatorium as part of this. Harrison Hanley (Year 9) and Baxter Dent (Year 10) performed in the AHEP Vocal Ensemble, presenting challenging repertoire that was performed with finesse at the final concert after only three days of intensive rehearsals. Similarly, the SHEP students spent long hours in rehearsals and were excited with the musical works they produced. The following students were part of SHEP:


  • Chanelle Chardon (Year 9) – cello
  • Gemma Jacob (Year 11) – violin
  • Lily Taylor (Year 11) – flute
  • Alexa Ripsher (Year 12) – vocals
  • Lilli White (Year 9) – vocals
  • Cullyn Beckton (Year 10) – vocals


Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the program had grown from modest beginnings to a record number of students attending this year. “This is our largest ever cohort with many more nominations received from schools than we were able to accommodate. It is a delight to welcome hundreds of emerging musicians to our state-of-the-art facilities at South Bank. SHEP is now a firmly established aspect of music education in Queensland, bringing together young people from across the state to share their passion for music.”



Thursday, 11 October 2018 05:14

College Mum Takes Cancer in her Stride

Students from Coomera Anglican College are preparing for their 9th Relay for Life on 27 – 28 October, an event that is close to the hearts of many families within the College community.

One parent, Samantha Goodwin knows this journey too well. After turning 40, Sam had a routine mammogram with no family history or symptoms. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and five days later had a double mastectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy, radiation and further surgeries.

We had a chat to Sam about her journey, how it has changed her outlook on life and why she thinks Relay for Life is such an important event.

As a parent at the College, why do you think this is such an important event for our children to be involved in?

This time last year I was going through chemotherapy and wasn’t well enough to join Relay for Life but it was heart-warming to see so many people supporting the event and fundraising for cancer. It felt like they understood and justified how hard the fight was and it gave me the strength to hang in there. 

I’m not the only parent going through this experience - there are a lot of us. Relay for Life gives our kids a chance to be proud of the fighting strength their parents have and walk beside us along the track. Also, for them to connect with each other and know that they are not alone in what they are going through at home from Mum asleep on the couch to Dad worrying, whispered conversations to multiple surgeries and hospital admissions, nights and days being cared for by grandparents or friends and not being able to promise that you will be ok. 

For my daughter, she didn’t want to talk about it at school; she wanted to go there and not think about it. Her friends and the school were very supportive of that but this event is a chance to be amongst like-minded supporters. 


Sam during Chemotherapy treatments

As a survivor, what advice would you give to people?

Don’t be afraid to get screened. If cancer is there, it’s there and you will find the strength to deal with it. Free breast screening saved my life. My surgeon said had I left it for six months it would have spread and likely been terminal. Through early detection and treatment I’m here with a better prognosis. 

How has your diagnosis changed your outlook?

As a former control freak and impatient perfectionist, I’ve finally learnt the hard way that you can’t control everything, no matter how hard you try or want to. I’ve learnt patience and to slow down. Healing takes time and you can’t rush to get through each stage of treatment as your body won’t allow it. The journey is just as important as the destination. Prior to cancer, I read many books and failed to implement the art of not sweating the small stuff – now I finally get it! And isn’t life sweeter for all those lessons? 

Relay for Life will be held at the College campus from 2:00pm on Saturday 27 October, a Cancer Council initiative that raises vital funds for research, while recognising and celebrating those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the memory of loved ones lost.

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved in the event and are also invited to donate to Coomera Anglican College’s Relay for Life teams here.



Dear Parents, Staff and Students

Mark Sly1 

By now you will have received an email with the link to the College survey. Thank you to those who have already completed the survey. As I have mentioned previously, your feedback is very important to assist us in setting the future direction of the College. We speak to our students constantly about having a growth mindset, which requires seeking and acting on feedback about their performance, so it is vital that we do the same. As an educational organisation, it is important for us to model effective learning and best practice.  I am receiving regular updates on the percentage of people who have completed the surveys and they are still relatively low, so please complete the survey as soon as you can. Remember the survey is anonymous. You will receive reminder emails every few days until you have completed the survey, which closes on Monday 22 October. This is not our doing but the way MYP Corporation conducts the survey on our behalf. Once you have completed the survey the reminder emails will stop coming.


New Head of Primary

I am delighted to announce that Ms Lisa Kraft has been appointed as the new Head of Primary from the commencement of 2019. Ms Kraft is a very experienced and well qualified educational leader. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Major), Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate Certificate of Theology and a Masters of Education. She is the current Deputy Head of the Prep School at Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, having previously worked in leadership roles in coeducational schools on the Gold Coast. She has been Acting Head on a number of occasions. Ms Kraft has presented at conferences in Australia and the USA and has published articles about various elements of primary education in a range of journals. She has demonstrated great energy and enthusiasm for primary education over many years. I am very pleased that Ms Kraft has accepted the offer to join our College in this important role.


At this point in time we are going through the student leadership preparation and selection period. Students and staff have voted for the Year 12 College leaders and the final interviews are being planned in readiness for the candidates to be fully evaluated and confirmed in the various roles. Year 8 and Year 5 students are also being prepared for leadership and the important role they will play as the leaders of their campuses in 2019. Our staff do a wonderful job in preparing students for this opportunity. Our leadership programmes aim to provide an overview of leadership and the ways that students can lead. This enables all students to benefit while learning more about themselves. No programme can fully prepare students for all aspects of leadership, and we continue to work with and support students once they have assumed their roles. While there are many impressive students who will be selected for the formal roles across the College in the coming weeks, I am often equally impressed by those who perhaps don't quite make it this time, or don't yet have the confidence to put themselves forward for a role. These students tend to lead from within the group, their House or Year level and provide wonderful support for the formal leaders and their peers. All organisations need leaders of all kinds at all levels to function efficiently. Some of our most impressive students over time have never had a formal leadership role as they often chose to support their cohort from within. This is never more evident to me than at this time of year when I am writing references for Year 12 students. Reflecting on their achievements and involvement in our College over many years reveals a lot about students. True leaders, whether formal or informal, don't wait for the leadership selection process to impress with their commitment and actions. These things come as a result of their character as much as anything else, and are visible every day. They seek no accolades. I take this opportunity to thank all students who are considering leadership roles and encourage those who are less confident to back themselves and enjoy the opportunities offered by getting involved in the process. Equally I thank those who chose to continue their supportive roles without being in the spot light.



Thank you for your continued support.



Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal


Wednesday, 03 October 2018 01:25

From the Principal's Desk - Week 1, Term 4 2018


Dear Parents, Staff and Students

Mark Sly1 

Term Four begins and we prepare for the busy time ahead.


I particularly welcome new students and their families to our College. I am sure you will enjoy the experience of being here.


From early next week, you should receive an email from MYP Corporation regarding our School Results Survey. This company will conduct the online survey on our behalf. They will email you the survey link and ask you to complete the survey. The survey is anonymous and will include a number of statements that you will be asked to rank on a five-point scale, and you will also have the opportunity to respond to some more open ended questions. They will send you reminder emails every few days to ensure that as many parents, staff and students (Yrs 4 - 12) as possible complete the survey. The purpose of the survey is for us to hear from you; to ascertain what you think and to benefit from your experience as parents, staff or students.  As part of our Strategic Agenda, it is important for us to listen to our community in order to continue to improve as a College. Obviously, we cannot be all things to all people and it would not be possible to take up everyone’s specific ideas, as they will no doubt cover a wide range of suggestions and may even be potentially contradictory. It is important that we adhere to our long-term vision as a College, but feedback from our parents, staff and students helps to shape that vision. Thank you in advance for your involvement in our survey. I look forward to reading the feedback that MYP Corporation will collate from the completed surveys.


Over the break we had two overseas trips for students. The Year 12 Chinese Extension class travelled to China to assist in making a promotional Tourism video for Jiangsu Province. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to practise their Chinese and was funded by Jiangsu Province Tourism Board. I understand the video, which was made in conjunction with Coomera TAFE, will be used across the world to promote Jiangsu Province as a holiday destination. Thank you to Mrs Cheung and Mrs Liu for organising this trip and for accompanying our students. In addition, a group of Basketballers and Netballers from our Academies travelled to New Zealand on a sports tour. The students had great fun and enjoyed the experience of representing our College on and off the court. Thank you to Mr Hall, Ms Young, Mr Goldfinch, Mr Price and Ms Grant for organising the tour and accompanying our students. These are big commitments for staff and I appreciate them giving up their own time to make this experience possible for the students.


Tomorrow 5 October is World Teachers' Day. On behalf of the College community I thank all of our teachers for their professionalism and dedication to their students and the College. Thank you to PAFA for supplying morning tea to all staff. The rest of Queensland will celebrate this occasion on 26 October.


I want to take this opportunity to thank and farewell Mrs Heather Morris who leaves our College tomorrow after 15 years of service to the Accounts Department. Mrs Morris has played a key role in our Administration for many years and has overseen some major projects including refurbishment and furniture and asset acquisition.  We will all miss Mrs Morris. I thank her for her wonderful service to our College and wish her well for the future.


I trust you all have a great term.


Thank you for your continued support.



Yours sincerely

Mark Sly - Principal


Dear Parents and Guardians

With just over two weeks to go until the 2018 Coomera Anglican College Corporate Golf Day, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with James Frizelle’s Gold Coast Skoda and offer a brand new Skoda Rapid Style 92TSI, valued at $22,532, as the prize at the Par3 Hole In One Challenge! It only takes one shot and we hope one of our golfers will be the proud new owners of this great vehicle.



We would like to thank everyone who already registered. We now have just over 20 places remaining in the field so if you have not done so already please secure your ticket as soon as possible. We look forward to a another great college fundraiser day out. 

Your entry includes 18 holes of Golf on a championship course on Friday 19 October, Electric Cart, Lunch Pack, Drink Vouchers, Player's Gift Bag, Golf Challenges, BBQ Buffet Dinner, Awards & Presentations, Full use of the clubhouse, locker room and additional facilities, and heaps more! Take up the challenge and play alongside friends, colleagues and local businesses.

Registration link here >>>



A big shout out to the current sponsors of this year’s event. There are a couple of hole sponsorships remaining so if you’re interested in getting further awareness through the event and supporting the College, please contact Shane on 1300 855 270 at the earliest convenience.




Thank you to SEAHAWKS BASKETBALL, BFX FURNITURE, and HALL FINANCE & INSURANCE SOLUTIONS for donating some prizes towards the 2018 Coomera Anglican College Corporate Golf Day. If you are interested in donating a prize from your business, please let us know. It’s an easy and great way to highlight your product/service.



Not able to play but keen to be a part of the event on the day? Then why not register online and volunteer. There are a variety of roles available from assisting with golf challenges, to registration desk, and several more. Available times from a couple of hours to the whole day – a great occasion and opportunity to support the College. More information can be found here -

Thank you for your support.

Coomera Anglican College Events Team

Ph: 1300 855 270




If you've been lookig around for parental controls to help manage your kids' Apple devices, you might want to put on the brakes: The new operating system, iOS 12, has a feature called Screen Time that might have what you're looking for, and it became available this month.


Screen Time lets you see exactly how much time your kids spend on their phones and tablets, the times of day they're most active, and which apps they use the most. You can also set app time limits, filter inappropriate content, and schedule "downtime"—basically, shut down the device—whenever you want. (By the way, you can do this for yourself if you need help managing your own device use.)


Below is information from Steve Window - Cyber Safety and Digital Wellbeing Advocate- Anglican Schools Commission

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 05:00

Musical Audition Notice - Oliver 2019

It's that time of year when we all start gearing up for a new Musical season.  2019 will be another fabulous year of Performing Arts where Oliver will headline our College calendar.




I'm excited to announce that our official AUDITION DAY is scheduled for
Sunday 7 October - end of week one.


Students in Years 6-11 will need to register their interest on Passmarc by Tuesday 2 October (first day back in Term 4).  Students will be required to attend both a dancing and singing audition on this day.  While the auditions will run from 10am-4pm, I ask the students to please check their College emails for more information about specific session times they will need to attend that day.


The audition information will be posted on Passmarc.  There will be lyrics and a backing track available.  Students will be taught the choreography on the audition day.


I look forward to seeing our next generation of performers!


Kirsty Terry - (Director)

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