New centre a celebration of original Year 9 vision

16 October 2018
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Today I was proud to be part of the official opening of our new Year 9 centre at the Beaconhills College Pakenham Campus.

As the State Member for Eastern Victoria, Daniel Mulino, emphasised in his speech today, this magnificent facility represents a partnership between the government and our community. Schools like Beaconhills are critical to providing education services in what is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.

We had some 80 guests join us today, including students, parents, former and current staff, Melbourne Anglican Archbishop The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier and Reverend Ann Simons from the Officer Pakenham Mission Area, State Member for Gembrook Brad Battin, Board Members and House patrons.

Today was not just about celebrating the facilities, but also the innovative Year 9 program and those who helped bring it to life when our original centre opened in 1997. This first dedicated, on-campus Year 9 program in Victoria was just three months old when I joined the College as Headmaster that same year.

My predecessor Rick Tudor, who was present today, had extensively researched the concept of the Year 9 campus. His vision was of a campus where:

  • Opportunities for learning would be related to the environment
  • A flexible program would operate, allowing longer learning modules
  • There were local outdoor education opportunities
  • School land could be used for growing fruit trees, vegetables and crop plants
  • There were opportunities for students to develop physical fitness, discuss issues relevant to themselves and take part in sessions relating to the exploration and formation of values and Christian faith
  • Students could take part in community service and support worthwhile causes
  • Students could develop communication skills; and
  • There were different routines than other parts of the school.

Twenty-two years on we have affirmed that early vision. We have a beautiful new $5.7 million centre, built on the same village concept as the original centre, with a central courtyard.

For our students, Year 9 at the Berwick or Pakenham Campus is on their list of their most memorable schooling experiences, a life-changing year where lifelong friendships are forged.



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