I want to begin this week’s blog first by respectfully acknowledging the horrific accident that took place last week at the Dreamworld Theme park complex. Our heartfelt love and thoughts from the entire Upper Coomera State College community go out to the families, relatives and friends of the four people who have tragically lost their lives in this incident.
An event of this nature has not only affected people on the Gold Coast, but all over Australia and the world and for our community it is a time when we must come together and support each other. As we go about our everyday lives we tend to take things for granted and forget how important it is to get along, be kind to one another, treat each other with respect and support and look out for each other. We must understand that sometimes in life there are tragedies such as this that remind us that life is precious.
We’re aware that UCSC has many connections to the Dreamworld organisation, whether it be through work experience or traineeships at the park, family or friends who may work there, or simply connections as a patron. Therefore, the college has offered any type of support and counselling we can to our community. If you are a student simply contact a staff member who will help guide you to the appropriate support person in the school. If you are a parent, guardian or supporter of our school, please feel free to contact the school and a support person with be arranged to talk with you.
As time goes on, it is our sincere hope that time will help to heal aching hearts and that an organisation such as Dreamworld, which has been such a wonderful icon in this area, will once again be able to provide that much needed joy and happiness to so many people’s lives.
On a much happier front, as we head into term four what a wonderful time to be in school! This is the time of year when we get to celebrate the cumulative achievement of so many of our students. Last Wednesday we celebrated the sporting achievements of both our junior and senior school athletes and the evening truly showcased the amazing talents of our staff and students.
I simply don’t have the room in this blog to mention everyone, but I would like to make special mention of Mr Robert Brown who was named coach of the year as he led our Girls Rugby League team admirably throughout a very successful season. Also, a huge congratulations to our Junior Sports People of the Year, Skyla Adams and Kade Rasmussen, our Junior Secondary Sports People of the Year, Storm Reason and Elijah Hola and our Senior Secondary Sports People of the Year Kayley Le Roux and Cobe France. The effort and commitment that these people have put in to rightfully receive these awards is incredible.
These students have represented UCSC proudly throughout the year on our grounds, throughout the district, the state and even internationally overseas which is not only amazing, but experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
I would also like to make special mention of the tremendous effort undertaken by all of the staff and students who took part in the 2016 Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge. In particular the organising efforts of Mr Steve Kilvington and the student award winners, Mitchell Kirkman and Tamara Burney.
Staying on the sporting scene, last week I was fortunate enough to attend and present awards at the Gold Coast Academy of Sport Awards evening. With over 350 people attending (approximately 200 of those being athletes) athletes were recognised with Certificates, Mayoral Awards and prizes throughout the night. The event was hosted last Thursday 27th October at the Royal Pines Resort who helped put on a great event.
These awards recognised the effort and contribution by so many athletes around the Gold Coast who are involved in the Academy and of course, as the only school on the Coast attached to the academy, we were well represented with 80 of our “Future Stars” students stepping up on stage to receive certificates.
I truly want to congratulate all of our student-athletes who are in this program and make special mention of the coaches who put in so much of their time to make this happen for our school. Simon Taylor, Jenna Crompton and Nick Aldines who were present on the evening are not only inspirational instructors at our school, but have a true passion for supporting, encouraging and guiding our students to bigger and better things in the sporting arena. The tireless work that they put in for our kids is truly appreciated.
I spoke to many parents and dignitaries during the evening who had such glowing comments on how our students looked (in their very professional sports shirts), acted and conducted themselves on the evening. The main message was that UCSC was awesome and that the support for the school and the intention to see the program grow in the future was very positive.
Glynis Nunn-Cearns (Deputy Chair and Director, Athlete Services) made a special effort to approach me to thank us for our continued participation in the program and to pass on to all of our community that the academy will continue to support our school and how appreciative she was of the number of student s who actually made the effort to attend on the evening, particularly as our students had to back up from their own awards evening the night before. Well done to all!! All I can say about that evening is that UCSC Rocks!!
I also had the extreme honour of attending the 2016 UCSC Senior Academic awards night this week, which was an evening organised and held at the Southport Church of Christ auditorium to recognise those students who have achieved highly with their academic endeavours. Again there were simply too many students to mention each award winner in this blog, but there some real highlights that need special mention.
Our performing Arts Department at UCSC is unbelievable !! The talent that was displayed on the night was as good if not better than any performances I’ve witnessed in over 30 years in education at a school event such as this. The rendition of the National Anthem at the beginning of the night sung by Rachel Adams, Ziebon Heha-Templeton and Gracyn Va’A was beautiful and presented in a very unique, respectful and confident presentation of both versus of the anthem. Very well done and it set a very professional and welcoming tone for the rest of the evening. It was great!
As well as the talent of these three girls with the anthem, the individual talent of Sarah Parkin keeps getting better and better every time I see her in a performance. As a break in the academic awards presentation she performed a song, composed by herself entitled “My Mistake” and all I can say is, “Bring on X-Factor”!! She was awesome in her performance. Her talent appears so confident and natural and I’m sure backed up by a tremendous amount of hard work.
Also very impressive was the performance on the evening by the school’s senior dance group, consisting of Jayde Porter, Angela Swee, Kelsey Hutchinson and Alisha Robinson. These students not only performed on this evening, but were a part of the school musical that performed earlier in the year and are most certainly a great ambassador for the artistic talent that exists at UCSC.
I’ve discussed the performances on the evening and haven’t even mentioned the academic awards, so this gives you an indication of the fantastic job that our teachers and supporting staff do in our Arts Department. Simply put……Great teachers + talented students = UCSC
There were so many high achieving students recognised, however two highlights were the association that our College has with so many outside providers such as TAFE Queensland and Griffith University and obviously the announcement of our 2016 DUX of year.
There were several students awarded direct entry into Griffith University or TAFE study in the coming years, which is not only an honour to be recognised now, but a real opportunity for students that may otherwise not be able to afford to go on into the next phase of their learning in the future. Our sincere appreciation goes out to all of those outside providers who support out students.
Last and certainly the largest announcement was the 2016 DUX of the year which was awarded to Pierce Clark. Any student who is awarded this prestigious award is the highest achieving academic in the year 12 class each year and obviously recognises a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to their studies. Pierce was a very worthy recipient and we wish him well as he heads off into his next phase of higher level academic challenges.
The entire evening was a real reflection of hard work and determination by a high performing student body and the huge amount of personal interest and time put in by a sincere, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. Again Simply put, ………Great teachers + talented students = UCSC
As I stated earlier, this blog was about student achievement that takes place at this time of the year. But my journey of witnessing the wonderful talents and achievements of our students is not over yet. In two weeks we will farewell our year 12 students and celebrate their Graduation from compulsory schooling on Tuesday, November 15th at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. There will also be a school farewell for them the next day at the College and then they’ll enjoy a final event with the class of 2016 Formal function scheduled at the Sofitel Broadbeach on the Friday night, November 18th. Also coming up is the year 6 graduation on Monday, November 28th, where approximately 140 students will graduate from their Primary years of study and move into the junior secondary department of our wonderful P-12 College next year. I very much look forward to meeting many of these students and parents, most for the first time.
I want to conclude by taking the opportunity to thank the 2016 school captains for the work that they’ve put into the College this year. Gabby Lim, Tayla Kamura, Angela Swee and Jayde Porter have been great ambassadors for the school and have earned the respect of their peers and the UCSC community. We certainly wish them well in their future endeavours and hope that their leadership roles will be an experience that they will carry forward into future endeavourers. From the entire UCSC Community……… farewell to the class of 2016 and, Good Luck!!
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground”
Upper Coomera State College