2023 Graduate Stories: Northshore Christian Grammar School (NCGS)

“I would never have had the confidence to do what I am doing now without the teachers at Northshore,” says Sally as she serves breakfast to a ninety-year-old lady at the Aegis Shorehaven aged-care facility in Alkimos at 7:07 am on a Tuesday morning.

“Mr Speldewinde told me in Year 11 that I was capable of doing something meaningful in life, and I guess that was what I needed to get me on the right track,” says Sally.

In Year 11, Sally was lost in the world of peer pressure, experiencing the identity crisis that all adolescents feel at some point.

Her grades were low, and her self-esteem was even lower.

Thankfully, she turned to the right people for guidance – her Christian teachers at Northshore Christian Grammar School (NCGS).

“Mr Hutchinson was my Physical Education teacher, and he encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing. I did not think I could do it – not for one second. But he told me to take it one step at a time. I’ve enrolled in the Enrolled Nurse (EN) course at TAFE, and after that is completed, my aim is to go on to university to complete my Registered Nurse (RN) qualifications,” says Sally.

When she is not at TAFE, Sally works in the aged-care facility across the road from NCGS on Scotthorn Drive, undertaking work shifts with other nurses and care workers from around the globe in the pristine facilities completed in 2022.

NCGS Principal, Mr Stuart Chisholm, has been instrumental in setting up a partnership with AEGIS Shorehaven, with NCGS students regularly visiting the aged care facility to spend time with the residents there.

“This was always part of the plan right from the inception of Northshore – a collaboration between our school and this excellent lifestyle retreat for seniors. Aged care residents have the wisdom of a long life and our young people light up their faces when they come to spend time with them. It’s a win-win. Having Sally working there now only increases the bonds between our school and this wonderful facility,” says Mr Chisholm.

Flynn knew in Year 11 that his passion was for sport, and the dream of coaching and teaching Physical Education was paramount in his thoughts about life after Northshore.

“There was a staff member at Northshore who had completed an AFL Coaching course, and I was keen to pursue something like this. I love my footy, and I have had a bit of exposure to teaching and coaching working with students from younger grades at Northshore,” says Flynn.

The next six months will see Flynn complete a UniPrep course at Edith Cowan University. Then, he will undertake the four years of training needed to teach secondary education, majoring in Physical Education.

“Mr Cull [NCGS Head of Science] was very supportive of my pathway choices and encouraged me to go down this line. I am very fortunate that I had some excellent male teachers (Mr Perrett, Mr Sobejko, Mr Hutichinson) who really channelled my love for sport into something tangible that I can use for my future career aspirations. Ideally, I would love to get into teaching and continue my pursuits in the world of football.”

As Northshore tips over the 750 enrolments mark for the first time in its short history, it is pleasing that these two pioneering students can look back fondly on their schooling journey, thankful for the wonderful staff and supporting teachers who helped them to reach the next stage of their lives with a sense of hope and confidence in the future.

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