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Learning that Matters
Easter services, presentation balls, a wildlife linen drive, ‘coin trail’ fundraising, athletics, and swimming. What more could we fit into the last week of term? And I’m sure there was more!
It’s important that the Easter message is not lost amidst the end-of-term rush and preparations for the holiday break. I believe our chaplaincy team did a wonderful job at the Easter services held across both campuses, in what is a most important part of the Christian calendar.
No matter how dark or difficult life can be, it’s worth reflecting on messages of hope God has given us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I hope Easter is a time of renewal for you and your loved ones. We look forward to seeing you back at Beaconhills for term 2.
Congratulations to our 9/10 boys’ team (l-r) Sam Lewis, Francis Kasputtis, Josh Pinkerton and Mitch Toner, who managed a commendable third place today at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre regional swimming competition (Years 3-6).
Beaconhills College is leading the way to sustainability in schools with some major environmental achievements detailed in its newest ‘Green Report’.
Beaconhills is now one of Australia’s largest solar-powered schools, with a massive 530kW of solar panels installed at its Berwick and Pakenham campuses. The College aims to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2021.
Other key initiatives outlined in the Green Report:
• Six worm farms are ploughing through about 300kg of organic waste each week, with plans to add six more farms across the College
• Power-saving strategies such as LED lights, solar power systems and energy-efficient building designs have seen electricity use across the College plunge by 24 per cent since 2013
• The College now has 46 water tanks, holding 700 kilolitres of water in a bid to cut mains water use as the school continues to grow
• Six vegetable gardens and two indigenous food gardens supply fresh seasonal produce for the College’s canteen and catering menus as well as Food Technology classes and local charities
The College launched its Environmental and Sustainability Plan in 2010 with aim of lightening its environmental footprint. Business Manager David Young, the driving force behind the plan, said that encouraging students to be responsible stewards of the environment was one of the Beaconhills College philosophies. He added that it was also important for the school to lead by example.
Sustainability Co-ordinator Jack Donkers hopes people will share the Green Report within other organisations to help promote environmental awareness. He said the College welcomes enquiries on how to introduce simple initiatives to lighten their own organisation’s environmental footprint.
Mr Donkers said while Beaconhills was doing very well compared to other schools with similar student numbers, there was still room for improvement.
“Some areas, like our waste, definitely need improving – particularly reducing our waste that goes to landfill and education about contamination in waste streams,” he said.
“As a College, we want the best future possible for our students. It’s our responsibility to clean up our act so that they can have every opportunity to succeed.”
You can find a copy of the Beaconhills College’s Green Report here
Beaconhills students have taken part in a range of activities and assemblies to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week at both campuses.
A group of our international students were a huge hit with Junior School students at Pakenham when they performed a Chinese ‘frog dance’ at assembly.
Meantime, students from Sundai Kofu Japan here on a study tour learned about the Australian value of mateship by playing the ‘knot’ game outside of our Global Beacons centre and also explored their creativity through boomerang painting.
Inspiring philanthropist and the driving force behind women’s football, Dr Susan Alberti, was the guest speaker at our Pakenham Campus Senior School assembly yesterday, thanks to the efforts of Year 10 student Alysha Hall who arranged the visit.
Dr Alberti has been a tireless crusader against type 1 diabetes, after her daughter Danielle died of complications from the disease in 2001. She spoke to Beaconhills students about her three passions; women in sport and business, finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and her love of footy (in particular the Western Bulldogs, the club where she worked as vice-president to bring home the 2016 premiership flag).
She urged students to remember that “no matter how big or small the contribution, you have got to give something back to the community”. Dr Alberti is pictured here with Alysha Hall.
Year 9 Pakenham Campus student Elliot Perez has scored first prize in the Cardinia Shire’s ‘Together We Can’ Short Story Competition (12-15 years age group).
He read his story If I Were a Girl at the Pakenham Show over the weekend and was presented his prize, a Westfield gift card. Congratulations Elliot!
The next generation of Beaconhills College leaders were very excited to attend a leadership conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 14 March.
Eight Junior School leaders attended the conference, which was workshop-based and designed to help the students gain practical ideas to help them develop in their role as a student leader.
The group was accompanied by Deputy Head of Junior School Matt Newman and Principal Jenny Williams.
Beaconhills College staff member Fiona O’Callaghan has just become one of a handful of female cyclists to complete the gruelling 7 Peaks.
The road cycling challenge traverses hundreds of km of cycling terrain, climbing the mountains of Baw Baw, Buffalo, Buller, Falls Creek, Lake Mountain and Hotham, as well as Dinner Plain.
While participants can complete the peaks anytime from 27 October to 29 April, Fiona faced an extra challenge to overcome. Just before tackling the final Mt Hotham peak earlier this year, she suffered a collapsed lung following a routine medical treatment. However, last weekend she realised her goal, despite not yet regaining her previous level of fitness.
Fiona said the toughest challenge was Mt Baw Baw, renowned for its steep gradient (20 per cent in parts): “Baw Baw is number one in Australia for difficulty in road cycling”.
A keen member of the local Cardinia Climbers cycling group, Fiona only took up the sport two years ago. She works as a Graphic Designer in the Beaconhills’ marketing team (no jokes about spin!).
Her next challenges include the back of Falls Creek and Mt Donna Buang in the Victorian Alps.
Year 10 students had the chance to try out their Japanese language skills during a recent visit to Chadstone’s Yokozuna restaurant and popular Japanese ‘$2.80’ store Daiso.
As well as ordering in Japanese, the students from both campuses looked at some of the Daiso products and compared their pricing in Japanese yen.
Year 12 Berwick Campus cyclist Alana Field will represent Australia in the Junior World Track Championships in Switzerland, August 15-19.
A delighted Alana said she had worked hard for the honour of racing in the green and gold.
“It will definitely be a great experience and I look forward to racing and hopefully doing myself and Australia proud,” Alana said. She now has a busy schedule of five to six days of training each week, which she expects will intensify as the August event draws closer.
“At the moment the Melbourne indoor velodrome is closed for a couple months so I’m gaining strength through gym along with stationary bike sessions.”
Alana’s selection to represent Australia follows success earlier this year at the National Track Cycling Championships, where she won two gold medals, a silver and U19’s Champion of Champions title. She ultimately aims to represent Australia in the senior category.
Photo credit: St George Cycling
Videos for Change winners
A big camp for Little Beacons
Victorian All Schools Track and Field Championships
We are now an eSmart school
Harmony Club means no-one has to play alone
Brain Food: What to Eat When Revising
Vale Snr Antonio
Tribute to our teachers
Importance of Child Safe legislation
New centre a celebration of original Year 9 vision
School funding model announced
Vale Nigel Creese, AM
Roger Lord awarded Life Membership
New school funding model a cause for concern
Parent input benefits BeaconNet
Welcome to term 3
Tony talks Beacon Explorers
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810