2023 Graduate Stories: Southern Hills Christian College (SHCC)

Stepping out of the largest lecture theatre at Edith Cowan University (ECU) Joondalup with nursing textbooks under her arm, it is clear that Eloise Fletcher has made the smooth transition from the Bedfordale hills to the tertiary campus with a spring in her step and a plan for the future.

“It was Mrs [Naomi] Wheat that encouraged me a number of years ago to pursue nursing,” says Eloise in the student lobby.

“She was a great Science teacher and I always felt like I belonged in something science-based after being in her class. She had a way of blending God’s creation with the intelligent design of the human body, and it made me want to know more and see where it would lead me.”

Eloise spent the early years of her life in northern Western Australia in the coastal town of Shark Bay, which bred in her a love for rural communities and the ability to adapt to different surroundings.

“I love the country – I would like to work in rural Australia once I receive my qualifications in nursing. I’m a country kid at heart. My Outdoor Education teacher Mr Prinsloo was such fun and he always drove home the idea of creation being for the benefit of all of us. That means every person, everywhere. My aim is to follow God’s calling in my life. He has a plan for each one of us, even when it feels like things change. If we know that He is leading us, then we know that we can handle change when it comes.”

Eloise made the move to Southern Hills in Year 7, where she adapted quickly to the teaching of her “all-time favourite teacher” Mrs Esther Vallance. From that moment, she entered the secondary years at SHCC, serving as the Head Girl in 2023 for the College.

“I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family, and Southern Hills was like an extension of that family – the staff were super-caring and I just loved going to school every day!”

Eloise is studying the UniPrep course and will begin the Registered Nurse (RN) qualification in July 2024 – a three year course at ECU Joondalup. In her spare time, Eloise works in a local retail store and sets records for her clothing sales.

“Working in retail is teaching me that I need to enjoy certain seasons in life – but I’ll be happier when I’m on a hospital ward out in country WA, that’s for sure!”

Kyle Healy is covered in black soot.

He is not yet 18, yet he is welding and building machinery with men who have worked for over forty years in the ‘boiler making’ industry. The men in the workshop are polite, but quiet. They are veteran tradesmen who understand the value of hard work, and they are keen to have Kyle in their team.

“I love getting my hands dirty, and its great to have that sense of achievement when you finish a day’s work,” says Kyle.

Kyle has begun his apprenticeship in Metal Fabrication at Steeldale in Armadale, where the team are welding together the buckets used in the giant ‘Haulpak’ trucks for mining clients such as Rio Tinto, FMG and BHP.

“My parents were really keen for me to attend Southern Hills. They had heard that the Christian teaching was authentic and a good grounding for life,” says Kyle.

A budding guitarist in his spare time, Kyle was asked by 2023 SHCC Head Boy Zac Ward to take part in leading the ‘Collective Worship’ session for the Primary students on a regular basis.

“That was excellent. I loved the opportunity to learn new songs and see the young kids get into it and take part. It’s made me want to join my church’s worship team. Mrs [Renata] Sykes was always so encouraging, and I appreciated how she led and spoke to the students. ”

Again, teacher involvement spurred Kyle in the right direction for life after school.

“Mr Prinsloo and Mr Pleysier encouraged me to pursue this line of work. The Design & Technology staff at Southern Hills were a great example to me of how to work hard, have personal standards and be realistic with what can be achieved. I feel like it was a great place to learn now that I am in a fully-equipped workshop with things moving everywhere and expectations to slot into a high-performing team. I know those guys were role-modelling for me how to behave and how to survive in an environment like this.”

Southern Hills Christian College hit an all-time high in enrolments during Eloise’ and Kyle’s time in 2023, with College Principal Mr Paul Beacham keen to build on this momentum in 2024:

“As a College, we are so proud of all of our graduates, because we know that they leave us with values and life-skills that will serve them for the rest of their days.  People like Eloise and Kyle have achieved great academic results and are pursuing new studies and careers, which is an integral part of life,” says Mr Beacham.

“People like Zac Ward [featured in the ‘When God Moves’ at the SCEA Commissioning Service] are working through their own journeys, but all of them know that we as a staff support them – and we welcome them back anytime they want to visit or see us again.” 

Scroll to Top