The Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC) staff gathered with SCEA representatives on Thursday 17 August 2023 to commission Mrs Gigi Thiele for her new role as Principal of ECC.
Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer – SCEA) remarked that, in his youth, the word ‘commissioning’ was only ever used in church contexts when churches were sending missionaries out to far-flung locations or pastors were being introduced to new church congregations. Now the concept of ‘mission’ has connotations within our schools and the notion of ‘creating community’ within Ellenbrook’s multi-cultured College has new meaning in 2023.
Opening remarks from Mrs Michelle Cockrell (Head of Primary – ECC) and worship from the ECC staff band allowed the group of 60 people to thank God for His provision of a new leader for the SCEA school on Santona Boulevard, Ellenbrook.
Pastor Peter McLean from Living Waters Church of God, a non-denominational congregation that meets at the ECC campus each Sunday, prayed a blessing on Mrs Thiele and the ECC community, before Dr Cross gave an address and presented Mrs Thiele with a gift on behalf of the SCEA Community.
Mrs Thiele responded with comments centred on her upbringing, her Christian journey to this point and her aspirations for this new chapter of ECC.
Recalling the words of a former pastor, Mrs Thiele recounted the phrase “Your character needs to keep up with your calling.” Her two passions – Jesus Christ and education – come together in this new role leading the college that now has more than 650 students on their roll.
Dr Cross then urged SCEA leaders to gather together in prayer for Mrs Thiele, who has already met many of the ECC staff and families since beginning her tenure at the start of Term Three.
With the growing student numbers and the MetroNET rail line construction work set to continue for the next two years, Mrs Thiele will be drawing on her experience in the CARE (Curriculum and Reengagement in Education) school environment, the single-sex élite school settings and the in-country cross-cultural missionary work over the past forty years as she navigates the way forward for the College.