SCEA Research Trip Visits Christian Schools in Queensland

Within our SCEA Strategic Plan, we have identified three priorities that are guiding all of our development initiatives; learning, leadership and interdependence.  Integral to these priorities is a commitment to engage with like-minded leaders and educators within the Christian schooling community.  With this in mind, some of our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members ventured to the eastern states last week to attend the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) National Leaders’ Summit 2022 and visit Christian schools in Queensland.

The travelling group consisted of:

  • Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer, SCEA)
  • Dr Thelma Perso (Chief Education Officer, SCEA)
  • Dr Darnelle Pretorius (Principal, Swan Christian College)
  • Mr Michael Bolan (Principal, Beechboro Christian School)
  • Mr Stuart Chisholm (Principal, Northshore Christian Grammar School)
  • Mr Michael Pitman (Principal, Ellenbrook Christian College), and
  • Mrs Shelley Forbes (SCEA Board Member)

The three-day conference in Cairns began on Wednesday, allowing Monday and Tuesday for school visits after arriving in Brisbane on Sunday evening. The visit to Christian Community Ministries (CCM) was of particular significance to the SCEA group, as this network is made up of 12 Christian schools that operate in four different Australian states and currently enrol approximately 6,000 students. Chief Executive Officer Mr John Lyndon hosted the SCEA group at Groves Christian in Kingston, Brisbane. The group also travelled to see Livingstone Christian College (a twenty-minute car ride to the south of Kingston). Both of these schools are in the CCM network, and SCEA leaders were able to see system-wide practice in action at these two sites.

There are very few Christian school systems like SCEA in Western Australia, and the opportunity to visit a system of schools like CCM provides an occasion to learn from their experiences. This trip was an opportunity for SCEA staff to see other Christian schools in Australia and build relationships that will enable further collaboration in the years ahead. We are united in our desire to bring the gospel to young people through education; there is much that can be learned and celebrated with our colleagues around Australia.

The CSA National Leaders’ Summit ran from Wednesday to Friday and included a number of excellent speakers, including Riverview Church’s Dr Tania Watson (known to many SCEA staff following her keynote speech at the SCEA Celebration Day).

A similar research trip is planned for Term Four that involves some other members of our SLT and SCEA Board visiting St Philip’s Christian College and the Melos Foundation, which are located in New South Wales.  St Philip’s is a system of eight educational entities, which includes a combination of schools, special education centres and a teacher training school.  Their total student enrolment is very similar to SCEA.  The Melos Foundation is a system of schools that are connected to Green Point Christian College.  It has been established to allow small Christian schools to receive support and governance assistance through connection with the Foundation.  We know that there is a great deal that we can learn from both of these organisations, who share a common mission with ourselves.

Below are some photos from last week:

1 – On board the eastbound flight on Sunday, with Mr Mike Bolan sandwiched between Dr Graeme Cross and Dr Thelma Perso.
2 – At Groves Christian School, where the Head Office for CCM is located with CEO Mr John Lyndon.
3 – At the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) National Leaders Summit 2022.
4 – The SCEA table at the Summit.
5 – Panel discussion including Dr Graeme Cross and Mr Mike Pitman.
6 – Dr Tania Watson keynote speech at the Summit.

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