Somerset Lifetimes 2019 Semester 2

SOMERSET F I F T Y F O U R T H E D I T I O N | 2 0 1 9

Contents 3 From the Headmaster 6 Somerset College Expands 7 The Collective 8 Celebration of Entrepreneurship 10 Senior Musical Students 12 Day of Dance 14 Outdoor Education 16 Young Leaders’ Conference 18 USA Business Trip 19 B3 Returns to Baramabah 20 Kristen Honoured for Service 21 Clare Hong is Number 1 22 Staff Updates 24 Alumni Staff – Bronwyn Lee INSIDE THIS ISSUE

26 Alumni – A Few Years Down the Track 28 The Alumni Chapter – Volume 1, 2019 32 The Somerset Gift 34 Junior School Art Show

Information Somerset Lifetimes is published twice a year by Somerset College to share items of topical interest relating to overall activities of College life and the greater Somerset community. Cover Photo: Our Design Centre was officially opened on Founders’ Day, 2019. Read about the developments at the College in ‘Somerset College Expands’ on page 6.

Editor: Narelle Higgs Design and Layout: Somersault Group Contributing Writers: Craig Bassingthwaighte, David Thornton, Josie Kay, Dane Oman, Craig Sayer, Lilliana Swainson, Naomi Gray, Brad Walker, Andrew Wrigley, Bronwyn Lee, Dean Marais, Damian Flint

Contributing Photographers: Paul Broben, Belinda Turner

Somerset Alumni Association All students become life members of the Somerset Alumni Association, founded in shared experience and comradery. The Association seeks to create,

All College alumni can access the Association, simply visit us on any of our networks. This network is your network, so come and join us! For further information regarding the Association, please contact our Community Relations Office: Instagram: @ReturnToSomerset | Facebook: /ReturnToSomerset | Linkedin: /in/ReturnToSomerset | Web: | Email: Phone: 07 5559 7100 Mail: Community Relations Office Somerset College Somerset Drive Mudgeeraba Qld 4213

nurture, and grow positive and mutually beneficial associations within the College community. The Association also provides all members with a copy of the College’s annual Somerset Lifetimes publication, and works to contact our many Association members with information about upcoming events and engagement opportunities.



Headmaster FROM THE

SEMESTER TWO AT SOMERSET The jacarandas are blooming and that can only mean end of year exams in Queensland. We commenced Term Three having demolished The Aitkenhead Building during the holidays, construction is now underway and expected for completion before classes resume in 2020; our 37 th Founders’ Day was a wonderful celebration of the College’s past, present and future. Our celebrations commenced with the Official Opening and Dedication of The Terry Herbert Foyer and The Suzanne Roberts Centre for Performing Arts . Our guests arrived to a beautiful performance on Piano by Himman Lo (Year 12 Franklin) and with approximately 100 people in attendance. Our guests were treated to heart felt words from the Chair of the College Board, Mr Tony Hickey OAM, Performing Arts Captains, Ziggy Enoch and Bella Harris (Year 12 Laver and Veivers) and of course, Mr Herbert and Mrs Roberts . Guided tours of the new facilities were taken by several Year 12 students enabling our guests to view performances by Year 10 Drama students preparing for a Scenes Project in the Black Box; the Junior GCSSDF Play in Rehearsal; a Commercial Jazz Dance Class in the Theatre; Mr John Mitchell with Suzuki Strings which includes some of our youngest students; and the Senior String Quartet in rehearsal. What a brilliant start to the day! Our Founders’ Day ceremony included inspirational addresses by the Chair of Board, Mr Tony Hickey OAM , and our College Captains, Kevin Song and Vivi Baker . We presented the Spirit of Somerset and Founders’ Day Awards amidst magnificent performances from the Concert Band and the Vocal Group.

The Spirit of Somerset Awards and Founders’ Day Awards are awarded for exceptional effort and commitment, which embodies those qualities that the College is proud to embrace. The recipients this year are: Spirit of Somerset Community Award – Mrs Katie Norman Spirit of Somerset Staff Award – Mr Paul Evans (Teacher – Senior School) Spirit of Somerset Senior School Award – Lilly Thompson and Stewart Ford (Year 12 Franklin) Founders’ Day Award

– Phoebe Rogers and Ryan Longfield (Year 6 Veivers and Laver respectively)

Honours in Student Leadership are presented to Year 12 students who have demonstrated service and leadership at a level recognised and respected by staff and students this year were presented to: Luisa Ardill-Walker (Starkey)

Samuel Dalton (Laver) Maya Hobley (Veivers) Montana MacFarlane (Franklin) Bria Phillips (Andrews) Mackenzie Quiggin (Veivers) Lachlan Sowerby (Laver)

It was a perfect Gold Coast day to enjoy the traditional Founders’ Day activities, the All-Age Swimming Relay, the Steeplechase, the All-Age Running Relay, the Tug-o-War and the Courtyard Dash. Our Spartans shone as they competed or cheered – such wonderful traditions established to celebrate Founders’ Day. We could only continue to be amazed at the passion that Somerset produces.

From the Headmaster



Headmaster FROM THE

The verandahs of The Smith Building, The Brown Building and The Arnison Building – all named for other magnificent servants – were perfect for a wonderful display of all things Somerset and the optimal vantage point for our littlest students. Our invited guests were able to view these Founders’ Day activities from the Terrace of the Design Centre. It truly had the atmosphere of a colosseum!

Mr Hickey OAM reminded us of our humble beginnings and the dedicated and brave people who founded our great school and gave us the opportunity to thank three of the founders who were in attendance for their contributions; Mr John Aitkenhead, Mr Tony Cordner and Mrs Mary Rudkin and former Chairs, Mr Lex Bell, Dr Peter Brown . While the students attended their House Lunch our invited guests attended the Official Opening of the newly completed Design Centre. Mr Hickey congratulated all involved in the creation of this magnificent facility. The Head of Department – Design, Mr Dallas O’Brien and two of our Year 11 Engineering students, Marcus Ibsen (Veivers) and Anica Moller (Starkey) told us that the new Design Centre will provide students with access to a plethora of impressive equipment, that will not only benefit quality of work but also fast-track the acquisition of skills required in a professional career. Our array of equipment now comprises of high precision 3D Scanners, 3D printers, high resolution tablet style computers, powerful laser cutters and industrial standard design software; just to name a few. Using this equipment, students will be able to reverse engineer, enhance existing products, sketch and design digitally as well as manipulate 3D worlds and environments. There is also an expanding robotics and internet of things with the personalised tours of the new facilities with demonstrations of Year 7 Design 3D printing phone charms to fit their client’s needs; Year 9 Digital working with programmable micro controllers for wearable technology and Year 10 Digital developing a robotics solution with text-based coding in order to increase the scope and functionality of the capabilities for a robot. addition of various peripherals. Our guests, were again treated to

Congratulations to the winning teams: All Age Swimming Relay Andrews All Age Running Relay Veivers Steeplechase – Junior Girls

Alexandra (Alex) Halloran (Starkey)

– Junior Boys – Senior Girls – Senior Boys

Timothy Hornsey (Starkey) Charlotte Chant (Franklin)

Nicholas Tan (Laver)

– Overall


Tug-O-War – Infants

Andrews Starkey Starkey

– Upper Junior School

– Senior School Courtyard Dash

Samuel Reeve (Veivers) Britney Ingr (Laver)

Another Founders’ Day tradition is to acknowledge and thank members of staff who have served the College for 20 years. This year we thank and congratulate Mr Jeff Grocott , Mr Greg Juniper , Mr John Mitchell , Mrs Annmarie Moy and Mr Brad Walker for their dedication and contribution to Somerset. We concluded the first week of Term Three with the inaugural Alumni Association Awards and the Inaugural Somerset Gala which replaced the individual class reunions. What fabulously successful ventures these activities were. I’m sure you will enjoy the articles on these events, found elsewhere in this publication. My congratulations to the Alumni Association, led by Mrs Sally Leslie and her Committee, for their efforts in ensuring these events were such wonderful occasions.

From the Headmaster



stories, collaborate and learn the secrets to success in the post- industrial workplace. My congratulations to the Chairperson of this magnificent event, Mr Dane Oman , and his organising committee; and our staff for producing another spectacular event. This year’s Synergies Exhibition took on a different look. Also held over the two days of the Celebration of Entrepreneurship, the exhibition was held in our new Design Centre with an amazing array of pieces from the various genres of the Visual Arts. Many more activities, competitions and events have occurred in Term Four including Day of Dance, Cultural Collage, Rowing Dinner Exams, and the Valedictory Chapel and Dinner to name only a few. Our students continued to work hard in our academic, cultural, co-curricular, service and sporting programmes that we work consistently and tirelessly to shape our students’ futures by learning to critique, collaborate, create and communicate! Craig Bassingthwaighte Headmaster

In the weeks following we saw our student; in the Gold Coast Eisteddfod and the Gold Coast Secondary Schools Drama Festival, our netballers and rowers competed in the Vicki Wilson Cup and the South Queensland Rowing Championships respectively, and we again hosted a very successful Somerset Festival for Young Performers. Of course these are just a few of the many varied activities, competitions and events that our students have been involved in as they continued to work hard in our academic, cultural, co-curricular, service and sporting programmes. We returned to Term Four inspired and ready to run. With the annual MYP Personal Project Exhibition we witnessed the culmination of the hard work of our Year 10s, with the guidance of their staff mentors, who produced some amazing and spectacular projects for all to see. I am in awe of their achievements. The Somerset Gift, on Saturday 12 October included of a Pole Vaulting Competition for the first time and was an outstanding success with record registrations. I congratulate Mr Damian Flint , Sports Facilities Manager and his Committee and Ignition Athletics Club and Queensland Athletic League for their organisation and delivery of this magnificent event. It was also wonderful to see some of our students competing; enjoying the environment and, for some, bringing home some prize money. And that was just week one! Week 2 saw the third annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship and the Synergies Exhibition, held over two packed days celebrating the problem solvers, creative thinkers and innovators of the Gold Coast and Queensland. Entrepreneurship represents the new workplace, and this is why our Celebration of Entrepreneurship aims to bring together entrepreneurship with young people to share

From the Headmaster



THE DESIGN CENTRE The new Design Centre was also showcased on Founders’ Day and its perforated metal gauze façade is still a striking feature against the green of the quad and the sandstone of the traditional establishment. People have said it makes this view of the campus more ‘grown-up’ like a coming- of-age or even more like a boutique university; the juxtaposition of modern and traditional works well and the vibe inside is just as transformative. 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics combined with a sizzle of entrepreneurship, ‘apps’ and media, render a magnificent picture of students being prepared for the modern world. This centre also includes a living ‘flowering’ green wall which is soon to be ‘fed’ by a new array of solar panels that also charge a Tesla Powerwall battery. Students can interface with these systems to test models of sustainability and recycling that are critical concepts for the next generation to study for the improvement of our world. There is also a fantastic roof-top social area for reflecting on all that has been achieved and for those projects that are still rising up!

THE SUZANNE ROBERTS CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS The enlarged and fully refurbished performing arts building, now called The Suzanne Roberts Theatre for Performing Arts, is fully operational and currently testing its new operational capabilities. The Herbert Foyer is a stunning new entrance to the theatre and has already hosted social gatherings and the first of many packed events. The addition of an additional nine metre fly tower for fast set changes has required new skills and qualifications for staff to operate but equally it reflects the tremendous opportunities ahead for students wanting advanced experience in this area. Lighting, audio-visual and building management systems have all been upgraded to the latest in automation and energy efficient componentry. Classrooms have been enlarged to cater for the growth in students that has taken place over the years and new facilities like the black-box theatre provide for a whole new creative dimension for students to immerse themselves in. David Thornton Chief Operating Officer

6 Somerset College Expands

Collective THE

POPULAR SUSTAINABLE CHOICE The Parents’ and Friends’ Association’s vision and purpose is a simple one, to create opportunities to build friendships and partnerships that benefit all, focussing on activities that ultimately enhance our children’s educational experience at Somerset College. A wonderful example has been the establishment of their hugely successful pre-loved uniform and textbook sustainability shop known as The Collective. Its humble beginnings began in late 2015 when a number of committee members identified there was a significant demand for this service. After listening to community feedback and receiving unwavering support from the College Leadership Team, the pop-up shop began. It didn’t take long to

quickly ascertain that recycling and minimising waste was a very high priority for parents and carers. Thanks to the generosity of the community donating their quality pre-loved uniforms and the hundreds of hours volunteered by passionate and committed parents to establish the sustainability shop, it was open within a few weeks. The demand was overwhelming and continues to be very popular. Funds raised have built a dynamic hub for the community to meet and share a laugh. Supportive parents and carers not only appreciate saving funds, more importantly, they are celebrating the collective spirit of our community that has found a convenient and practical solution to recycle uniforms and textbooks. As they say, from little things, big things grow. The Collective is dedicated to every past, present and future volunteer parent and carer for their selfless and valuable contribution. The Somerset College community is extremely grateful for all uniform and textbook donations. Josie Kay P&F Volunteer

The Collective

Founding Volunteers left to right: Robyn Lindsay, Leisha Hay, Josie Kay, Leanne Evans, Jacqui Sina, Anthea Gerrard


Entrepreneurship CELEBRATION OF

For the first-time in the Festival’s history, students in Pre-Prep, Prep, Years 1 and 2 were actively engaged in entrepreneurial activities. This involved our youngest students engaging in play-based learning activities in cubby houses provided by our sponsor - Castle and Cubby.

From 5,000 tickets in its first year, an astounding 12,000 seats were reserved at this year’s Somerset Celebration of Entrepreneurship. The festival, held on 15 and 16 October is now in its third year after launching in 2017. Speakers included Leanne Kemp, the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Eden Shirley from Gold Coast based AutoGuru and Dr Baden U’Ren from Bond University.

The three cubby houses at the Festival this year included:

1. A market stall with a selection of play fruit and vegetables and cash register; 2. A general Store with cash register. This general store will be stocked with cereal, milk, bread and;

3. Post Office with cash register.

The aim of having our youngest students involved was to provide them with the opportunity to develop the entrepreneurial skills they will require for the future. At Somerset, the spirit of entrepreneurship fits perfectly with the IB Learner Profile attributes of Risk Taking, Collaboration, Inquiry and Open- Mindedness. Feedback on the Castle Cubby Precinct was excellent and is best summarised by Patricia Vizcay-Wilson, our Pre-Prep teacher of the Yellow Class: “I’d like to thank you for the wonderful opportunity the Pre-Preps had shopping at the cubbies. The whole experience was an age appropriate roaring success. It was beautifully and clearly set up and we did lots of hands on shopping. The experience enriched our numeracy, literacy, socialising and organisational skills. In the end I decided they could all have a pretend wallet and shop for as many things as their age and for items that had the same number as their age - a four or a five - on the price. The children were encouraged to work with a friend to identify the numerals. The experience was totally engaging, with no behavioural challenges and lots of opportunities for scaffolding and extension.” A huge thank you must go to our sponsors including Somerset College, Study Gold Coast, Bond University, Extreme Networks, Somerset Alumni Association, Travel Sim, Gold Coast City Council – Division 9, The Sowerby Family, XBC – Xerox. Without the financial support of these organisations, a festival the size of the Celebration of Entrepreneurship would not be possible. Dane Oman Chairperson of Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Guest Entrepreneur Saxon Phipps

8 Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Guest Entrepreneur Yasmin Grigaliunas

Guest Entrepreneurs Marc Orchard, Anna Guenther and Murray Galbraith

Celebration of Entrepreneurship


Students in our Early Learning Precinct enjoying stalls from Entrepreneurship sponsors, Castle and Cubby



Being a part of Somerset’s Senior Musical for six years now has been a privilege and such an experience. Starting as a 12-year old in Year 7 looking up to the ‘big kids’, the journey that the Senior Musical has taken me has allowed me to embrace the different characters in all of these different worlds. However, beyond all the shows, rehearsals and costumes, being a part of the musicals has really been a lifelong memory where I have built relationships and friends that I will forever cherish. Kevin Song Over my high schooling years being a part of the Senior School Musical was a true highlight of every year and something I always looked forward to. Not only have I learnt a lot about performing on a stage over these years, but I also made many relationships both with students and staff. I have loved being able to watch the kids younger than me grow up and build a strong love for performing, just like I did. I am extremely grateful for both Mrs Roberts and Mrs D’Arcy for everything they taught me throughout the years, and I thank them for all their efforts into making every musical an experience I’ll cherish forever. Bria Phillips

My musical journey over the past six years has equipped me with skills, friendships and memories that will last me a lifetime. From mastering a four-corner-weave, to awkwardly knocking a microphone stand into the orchestra pit, to even witnessing Ziggy butcher the Irish jive, there truly has never been a dull moment. However, the past six years couldn’t have been possible without the guidance of Mrs Roberts and Mrs D’Arcy. I am forever thankful and grateful for their mentorship throughout this experience, as it has allowed me to discover my passion for musical theatre that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Bella Harris As soon as my Senior School journey began, I couldn’t wait to be a part of the Senior School Musical, and perform with the big kids. Having moved through the grades, and become one of the big kids, when I look back on my Musical experiences, I can easily say it was a highlight of every year. Being part of the cast every year, and the feeling of a tight knit team, always made me feel so at home. Not only the thrill of the performance itself, but the jokes, people, musical camp, and the opportunity to see the process of a show being pieced together, are the reasons why I’ve enjoyed every musical so immensely each year. From taking home my first few lines in 2014, and reading them 20 times over to make sure they were perfect, I’ve been just as excited to be in each new musical every year, and I’m so grateful to Mrs Roberts, Ms Flynn, Mrs D’Arcy and Mrs Rowe for allowing us students such a wonderful opportunity each year. Lilly Thompson




Musical Students

2014 OurHouse





2015 Hairspray

2016 HighSchoolMusical

2017 LegallyBlonde

2018 Beauty and theBeast

Musical Students

2019 WeWillRockYou


Dance DAY OF


Primary Ballet – Here Comes the Sun

Level 1 Boys – Rock This Party

Junior Tap – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Day of Dance


Junior Jazz – Birth of the Boogie

Commercial Jazz – Where They From

Senior Contemporary – Game of Thrones

Senior Girls Hip Hop – Sally Walker

Junior Performers’ Group – 1999

Open Lyrical Ballet – Heart Shaped Box

Advanced Jazz – Soul Bossa Nova

Day of Dance


All Photos: Belinda Turner

Opening Number – Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Drummer Boy


THE VALUE OF CAMP Our students from Years 3 to 11 enjoy a variety of camps locally, over the border, north to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the state’s islands, west to outback Queensland and as far south as Tasmania. More often, these camps form the fondest memories of a child’s school journey.

2019 saw our first full time Outdoor Education specialist join the activities team. Emma Easther has numerous qualification in outdoor pursuits and joins us from the private outdoor education sector. In addition to providing a camp experience for students from Year 3 to Year 11, in 2019, Emma was able to offer regular indoor rock-climbing sessions and we gained certification as a Duke of Edinburgh provider. The student response has been overwhelming and we expect a cohort of approximately 35 students embarking on our inaugural bronze certificate in 2020. Equally impressive is the interest shown in completing the Kokoda challenge in the Gold Coast hinterland in July. I have 26 signed up already to attempt the gruelling 48km challenge. In a year when the 2019 Australians of the Year, Drs Richard Harris and Craig Challen visited the College, it is worth considering their message to parents and young Australians. “Kids need to be allowed to find their own boundaries and to discover their limits… Outdoor activities really do promote physical and mental well-being and it’s critical that kids can test their own limits.” Research confirms that the role of risk and adventure is essential in human development. Adventurous activities help children make decisions, problem solve, exert self-control, follow rules, regulate emotions and maintain peer relationships. Children learn to handle risk and gain a more realistic risk perception, which in turn makes them less anxious. The students who voluntarily opt for the hard hike on Year 10 camp can attest to the following from Dr Craig Challen, “… kids risk never knowing their own strength and what they are capable of and we risk that when faced with adversity we crumble in a heap and give up instead of standing up.” Somerset does not support an outdoor pursuit programme because we think it’s good fun for kids, we do it because we believe it brings out massive developmental benefits to the adolescent self. Craig Sayer Dean of Activities

Year 4 Camp, Lake Ainsworth

Outdoor Education

Year 5 Camp, Mapleton


Year 6 Camp, Tasmania

Year 11, Outback Camp

Year 8 Camp, Moreton Island

Year 11, Fraser Island Camp

Outdoor Education


Year 11, Navigation Camp



“Not only were we able to learn from each other, we were given the amazing opportunity to not only interact with, but to learn from subject matter experts such as members of the US State Department, diplomats of various countries, business leaders, Human Right Advocators and respected academicians. Hearing from such successful yet passionate individuals sparked motivation in us, as the ‘global young leaders’, to pave the way for our future. “Overall, although this experience has exposed me to an abundance of knowledge and education, I am most appreciative of the valued friendships I have gained. The people that I have encountered have been influential in helping shape myself further into the person I strive to become. These unforgettable friendships will be cherished.” “The Global Young Leaders Conference was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I learnt a great deal about so many different countries and cultures. Going into GYLC, I was a bit nervous, I was unsure about the work load (as our schedule was jam-packed) and the level of intelligence of fellow scholars. “Every day I learnt new things about people, culture, politics that I never knew. It was interesting to compare with other scholars what was different about our lives. I left the conference a little exhausted with what I felt was a lifetime’s worth of knowledge given to me in 10 days.” Desmond Chuah, Year 11 Student

In our 53 rd Edition of Lifetimes we learnt of our six brave Year 11 and 12s who were chosen to attend the Envision Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) in the United States over 10 days. Here we read their reflections after experiencing this remarkable opportunity. “We listened to multiple different speakers from different aspects of leadership including members of the US State Department, Public Diplomacy as well as different Country Embassies. Not only did I learn about both national and global politics, I also had the opportunity to witness these inner workings of leadership and develop public speaking, conversational and organisational skills. Additionally, we were able to also experience life in both Washington and New York and saw attractions such as Times Square as well as landmarks such as the Lincoln memorial.”

Mohnish Chand – Year 11 Student

Kristen Crasto, Year 12 Student

Young Leaders’ Conference 16

“Throughout the conference, leaders and mentors would repeat this one phrase, or some variation of it: ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’. Initially it seemed little more than a cliché; however, after 10 days of listening to the perspectives of peers from all around the world, engaging in cross-cultural communication, working with global issues, I began to value the significance of each individual country and community working on a national scale to resolve international challenges. The culminating event of the conference was a model United Nations simulation in which my peers represented the nations of the world and negotiated for resolutions to be passed and employed their decision-making and negotiation skills to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Being part of the leadership team that ran this event allowed me to witness international co-operation and diplomacy come to life.” “Whilst we were able to explore the cities and visit tourist attractions such as Times Square, the Empire State Building and The Holocaust Museum, it was the people and ultimate friends that we met along the way that really made the trip unforgettable. One of the highlights from my experience was the cultural exchange activity in which each scholar brought something that represents their country and presented it to the group. This activity opened my eyes to the large influence in which your country, school and family life have on your own attitudes, beliefs and values. Each scholar that I talked to seem to reflect a different view point which was independent of the last but still inferencing similar values that are instilled in their country of origin. This interested me and prompted civil debates, discussions Joanne Jo, Year 12 Student

and peer communications as we all explored just how our different upbringings have shaped us into the individuals we are today. This experience has left me with unforgettable memories and bountiful opportunities, skills and ideas to help me continue on my journey as a young leader and help others to continue theirs.”

Georgina Powell, Year 11 Student

Young Leaders’ Conference





Our first night saw us walking to Times Square and as the bright lights of the blinding billboards started to engulf us, it finally hit us that we were in New York. We were excited for what the next two weeks could have in store for us. Some notable highlights of the trip include going to the Top of the Rock during sunset, which allowed for an excellent view of the Empire State Building. For an hour we took photos, while poor Keanu had to wait. The tour of Madison Square Gardens is where we learnt the history behind the world-class venue and where we explored the VIP rooms and locker rooms. Then there was the Wall Street tour, exploring Central Park (the natural gem in the middle of madness), the 9/11 memorial museum, enjoying a Mets baseball game, seeing the Statue of Liberty, doing lots and lots of shopping and the list truly does go on. Among all these activities, we attended the British International School of New York for two days which allowed us to experience school life in America. Although the class sizes were very small, we were able to make many friends and have fun conversations on school-life and what it is like living in New York. We also had the chance to take a day trip to Boston to explore many famous locations including the Boston Harbour where the Boston Tea Party took place. We also visited the Harvard campus with our tour guide Bruno. There was also a trip to Washington D.C. to see the White House, the Capitol building, Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. A personal favourite experience of mine was the NBC Studios tour. This tour allowed us to go on set of various famous shows including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and NBC News . We had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore the areas in which the magic of live television took place. We created our own late night show and with Stevie acting as the host and Keanu acting as the celebrity guest we were able to create quite a comedic piece. We all had an amazing time navigating New York. From group dinners at Olive Garden, to late night runs to Target to stock up on snacks, to seeing vomit on the subway, we were all able to truly experience every aspect of New York, making memories

Seven fortunate Year 10 and 11 students headed to the U.S.A. for a business trip in September. Ms Navanteri and Ms Hudson accompanied our group as we departed early on a Monday morning for the 20-hour journey. Following a short stopover in Vancouver, we finally arrived in the Big Apple, one of the world’s biggest financial capitals. The group tired from a day’s worth of flying and travelling took a short car ride to the Chelsea Inn, where we stayed for our little adventure.

that will last a lifetime. Naomi Gray Year 11 Student

USA Business Trip


Barambah B3 RETURNS TO

allowed us to be engaged in different activities such as watching corroboree, storytelling, beading and painting. Lunch times were also always so much fun – whether or not it was sharing stories or running around with the students on the oval. There were always so many smiles on their faces after a lunch time soccer or basketball game. Every afternoon we returned on the bus after school with many new stories and reflections to share. Time spent with Community Health Manager Mrs Christine Stewart and Aboriginal Elder Uncle Eric Law (AM) were somethings that we reflected on together throughout the remainder of the trip. Listening to the history and hardships faced by Indigenous Australians, both in the past and at present in communities such as Cherbourg, was an integral part of our trip to the Wakka Wakka country. The efforts made by the First Settlers to eradicate indigenous people and culture from their land was difficult to hear. Uncle Eric made us think about the parts of history that we cannot change and asked us how we can learn from those past mistakes. Listening to Christine was also another difficult experience for many of us. Through Christine’s presentation about the mental wellbeing of the Indigenous Australians in Cherbourg at the Bunya Nursery, we began to really see the vicious cycle and deepening crisis that Indigenous Australians have been facing since European arrival. The truths we became aware of on this trip have profoundly changed our perception of Australian history. The Indigenous people from Cherbourg and Barambah do not want sympathy from us but rather empathy and understanding. It is unrealistic that visiting for a week would ‘fix’ all the problems faced in the area, however, our action provided much needed encouragement, support and hope. Sharing the classroom with the students of Murgon and Moffatdale Schools gave rise to new understandings, new relationships and renewed hope. On behalf of our group, I would like to thank Mr Brad Walker, Mrs Clare Walker and Ms Daneale Scandrett for accompanying us. They have given us the precious opportunity to walk alongside the children at Moffatdale and Murgon State Schools during the past week. Our time in Wakka Wakka country is something that none of us will ever forget. Lilliana Swainson Year 10 Student

An excited group of Year 10 students travelled in June from Somerset College, four hours north-west of the Gold Coast on our third annual Barambah trip (B3) to Wakka Wakka country. With the success of previous Barambah trips before us, we were all very eager to carry on the work done by previous Somerset College students at Murgon State School and to also form new relationships with Moffatdale State School. Throughout the trip we were immersed in the Barambah and Cherbourg culture and history to better understand the struggles and real-life trauma faced by the First Nations people as well as the ongoing challenges faced by indigenous peoples today in Australia.

After being ‘officially’ welcomed to Country we were all engaged in a moving Smoking Ceremony. Somerset College students were truly welcomed into the Murgon and Moffatdale school communities as we worked alongside the students during the week. It did not take Somerset students long to make many new friends. The children were so excited to meet with us just as we were so excited to meet them. National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee Day known as NAIDOC Day at Murgon State School was a highlight of the week for many. A day that

B3 Returns To Barambah



Kristen Crasto a Year 12 student was awarded a Secondary Schools Citizenship Award from The Order of Australia Association (Queensland Branch) for outstanding service to her community. It was one of 12 awards presented to senior students from around Queensland at Parliament House in Term Three. Kristen has contributed extensively in recent years to local service learning programmes such as Mudgee Kids, Seniors helping Seniors, Clover Connect, House Charity projects, numerous Committees and Gold Coast Junior Council participation, as well as the Barambah Service in the South Burnett, and a Timor Leste project through her local parish. Kristen also represented Somerset at the significant commemoration and reconciliation service at Myall Creek. Of course, Kristen’s acknowledgement encourages us all to think about Australian citizenship and the importance of contributing to our community through service and involvement. We join in congratulating Kristen, on her compassion, contribution and leadership.

Kristen Crasto acceptance speech

The scene taken from the public gallery

Brad Walker Learning Co-ordinator

20 Kristen Honoured for Service


The NMSS is a two-week residential programme for the discovery and development of mathematically gifted and talented high school students. Participation is restricted to 75 students who have completed Year 11. During the NMSS, students participate in a number of courses on different branches of mathematics not typically studied as part of the school curriculum. Each course is delivered in a series of lectures and small-group tutorials. Private study in the evening also gives students time to puzzle over problems and absorb what they have learned during the day. The main course is Number Theory, which is studied in depth over the two weeks. Other courses which each run for one week vary from year to year and have in the past included: Chaos Theory, Cryptography, Knot Theory, Languages and Automata, Projective Geometry and Topology. Clare is currently studying Higher Level Mathematics and Higher Level Further Mathematics as part of her IB Diploma course. Her extended essay is on the topic of Diophantine Analysis.

Congratulations go to Clare Hong who has scored in the 100 th percentile in the recent Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC). She was consequently awarded the prestigious Cheryl Praeger Medal for the best female Year 11 student in Australia.

Andrew Wrigley Senior Teacher - Mathematics

Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AM FAA, is a passionate advocate for attracting more girls to mathematics and was instrumental in forming Australia’s first team to compete in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad. Cheryl Praeger was recently awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in recognition of her incredible contribution to mathematics research and education in Australia and around the world. Clare has also been accepted at the National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS) to be held at ANU in Canberra next January. This is the oldest and most prestigious Summer School of its type in Australia, and in the past 51 years it has been attended by over 3,000 students from around Australia. Clare will be the first ever Somerset student to attend the NMSS.

Clare Hong is Number One




Ryan and Brittany Simpson (nee Seeney) married 23 June 2019.

Staff Updates


Lisa Connell married Timothy Beere 27 April 2019 at North Burleigh.


Will and Bronwyn Boston welcomed their daughter, Elowen Mae on 15 October.

Paul Wilton and Jo McCauley with twins, Arlo and Lexi McCauley-Wilton on 27 March 2019.

Staff Updates

Jose and Mikael Strand welcomed Halle Mae Strand on 7 October, sister for Leia.

Daughter for David May and sister for Finley, Alice Charlotte Valerie May born 28 November 2018.



She guides her cubs to become strong, kind-hearted and full of Lion Attitude. Chief Lioness, Bronwyn Lee took her role at Somerset as Head of Andrews House to another level, experiencing the real attitude of lions in their natural habitat. From herding her Andrews cubs, to safari in Africa, here Bronwyn shares how she came to teach at Somerset and how she values her position guiding and caring for her students. BronwynLee (Class of 2004) Prior to becoming an English teacher and Head of House - Andrews at Somerset, I had been teaching at another school. After five years, I was seeking a change of scenery when I saw an opportunity to return to Somerset. Recalling the wonderful experiences I had as a student, I was eager to encounter the flipside and in doing so, keen to give back to the community which gave me so much. In fact, I actually became a teacher because of the teachers I had here. They were so passionate and engaging; I loved going to class because of the way my classes were taught. You weren’t just another student – teachers

genuinely cared about you and wanted you to do your best. It is this attitude towards education that I have adopted and that has impacted my teaching the most. Now as a teacher at Somerset myself, I especially value the relationships I have developed with my co-workers and my students who make coming to work everyday something I enjoy. I think the best part of my job is the opportunity I am given on a daily basis to encourage, inspire and support my students. In Andrews, everything we do, we do with Lion Attitude. This is our House mantra and is based on the principle that if you believe you can, one day you will; and the notion success isn’t the same as winning. One thing I’m most proud of is the spirit with which we approach competition. Andrews students are characterised by the Lion Attitude and genuine engagement with our House values – teamwork, resilience, kindness and the importance of supporting others. I hope that during their time as students of Andrews House, they learn that working together to achieve a common goal can be more fulfilling than being victorious (though we have enjoyed our couple of victories this year – especially Founders’ Day). If I’ve learned one thing as Head of Andrews, it’s the importance of practising what you preach. After all, how can I expect my students to embrace their inner lion if I’m not willing to embrace mine? The extent to which I live and breathe Lion Attitude is well-known in the Senior School so when I had the opportunity to visit Africa this year, I couldn’t wait to get on safari to not only see some actual lions up close, but to also get some quality footage of lions in the wild to use in my trademark Andrews motivational videos. I could only take a small backpack on my adventure,

Alumni Staff


but I made sure to pack my Andrews cap and my lion earrings so I was appropriately attired upon my encounters with our wild lion friends. Sadly, I didn’t actually get to see many on safari, but was able to visit a wildlife sanctuary and have a brief up close and person encounter with Nigel the Lion on my last day. I loved Africa so much that I have decided to return over the Christmas break where I’m hoping to see a few more lions in the wild and a get a few more hours of quality lion footage for next year’s Athletics and Cross Country motivational videos. It is easy to forget the impact we can have on others but I feel very privileged to work in a job where I have the potential to positively impact the lives of our students, every single day. I could write pages about why I love my job and coming to work each day but when it comes to what I find most rewarding, it’s my students who define it best. Year 9 Andrews students Mackenzie, Claudia and Ellie shared their collective response saying, “She guides students to become strong, kind-hearted lions full of Lion Attitude.” I hope all students I encounter, whether in Andrews or another House, leave Somerset remembering to have courage in the face of adversity, to be resilient, to be kind and to be grateful. Oh, and with the understanding that lions can in fact swim – thanks Leonard the Lion for this valuable lesson.

Alumni Staff





as possible (to a reasonable standard), in order to get more time on the rugby field or basketball court to practice. My friendship group at school, many of which I still play basketball with today, had a lot of great moments playing team sport at Somerset over the years. Fraser Ramsay, Chris “Milky” Handley, Justin Karch, James Fitzgerald, and Christian Radford, to name a few. I was completely hooked by the idea of building and being part of teams with chemistry, culture, and mateship around common values. After completing Year 12, I worked part time for my family’s construction business, Condev, while studying construction management. The construction industry was enjoyable, but wasn’t quite hitting home for me. Condev is the most amazing working environment, with the most incredible people, and is the dream workplace for almost anyone, but in my heart, I knew there was more out there for me. Along came Somerset College’s basketball programme, with a new basketball court built by Condev - the stars aligned. I started coaching basketball at Somerset College almost immediately, and remember shooting the first hoop in their brand new basketball court. I was home. I moved away from the construction industry, and worked relentlessly to educate myself in every way possible to become the best basketball coach I could be. I knew something would eventuate somewhere due to my passion and drive. Today, I have the privilege of working closely with 150+ students in the Somerset Basketball programme, and love every moment. We have over 20 club basketball teams, numerous coaches, and focus on building chemistry, culture, and mateship around common values - which, in turn, breeds dedication and creates quality team-play on the basketball court. How do you spend a working day? My typical working day as Basketball Coach at Somerset College includes waking up nice and early, taking the dogs for a walk and grabbing a coffee with my fiancé, Tori, before heading to Somerset for basketball training at 7.00am. Once the students head to class, I usually grab some breaky or do some work on my laptop and plan for the days and weeks ahead with whatever competitions, training programmes, tournaments, development sessions, etc. are on the horizon. Somerset Basketball plays in the Gold Coast’s top club basketball competition, and everyone involved is very committed to improving their game and working hard to be successful. Almost every afternoon there are team training sessions, skills sessions, and club games on, so I try to get around to as many players, parents, and teams as possible, and make sure everyone is

Dean Charl Marais (Class of 2007) What are some of your fondest

memories of your time at Somerset? My fondest memories of Somerset College are playing team sport with friends, and spending many years growing and learning around some incredible people. My family emigrated from South Africa to Australia in 2001, and I started school at Somerset in Year 6 the same year. During my time as a Somerset student, I was very passionate about rugby, and also played a lot of basketball, cricket, and touch football representing the College. We had great success with several teams, and many of the valuable relationships I formed through team sport at Somerset still exist today. I had the pleasure of being mentored by many different coaches and teachers throughout high school, and this shaped my values and teaching methods as a basketball coach at Somerset today. How did Somerset shape your career path? My career path has been quite an interesting one. Let’s say my time at Somerset had more of a sports than academic focus. As a student, I would do anything to finish my studies as quickly

26 A Few Years Down the Track

knew, and migrate to Australia to give us a better life. That is truly one of the biggest sacrifices any parent can make, so I am forever grateful to my parents for making such a huge choice to benefit our family. Life is a constant journey of experiencing ups and downs with a growth mindset, and seeing challenges (and failure) as a necessary stepping stone to the next phase of our journey is what it’s all about. Learn to love the grind I always say!

enjoying their basketball, playing the game the right way, and treating each other in alignment with our values. We have some amazing people who volunteer a lot of their time and energy into the basketball club, and care a lot, which makes my job very gratifying, and a real privilege. I end my working day with some emails, catching up on messages, and might even sneak in some hoops myself from time to time. Who are the people who inspire you? People who inspire me are definitely my parents, Steve and Tracy Marais. They have taught me many lessons in patience, generosity and kindness. Others who inspire me are head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, who is a master in setting standards and working with teams of people, and head coach of Springboks Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, who has such great insight into sports ability to influence society. Nelson Mandela is another person I often think of for inspiration, as the way he influenced others to sacrifice for one another during apartheid was pretty special. Last, but certainly not least, my wife to be, Tori Makapa, who is one of the most caring and patient people I know, and makes me a better person through her nature and example every day. What life lessons guide you? Many! The biggest would be my family deciding to leave behind everything they

What are some of your most defining moments in life, so far? My decision to follow my dreams, and pursue a new career, when I already had a pretty good gig right in front of me. I think sometimes when you have a gut feeling there is a bigger purpose for your life than what appears in front of you, it’s important that you chase it, and explore everything you have to offer the world. Particularly while you’re quite young without too many responsibilities, you don’t want to ask yourself later in life, what if? Take the plunge, and you can always learn from it, go back to where you were, and try again, but next time, wiser from experience. What advice would you offer current students? Enjoy the process of being at school, being a student, being around your friends, and being in an environment where there is so much at your fingertips, and so many wonderful people around you every day. Focus on the huge amount of good, not the small amount of bad. Many like to pretend school is something they would rather not go to, but the truth is, school is about so much more than getting grades and sitting tests (as important as that may be). It’s about building relationships, interacting and learning from others, being part of a team, and trying your best to enjoy everything experience school life has to offer. Enjoy the ride, learn to love the grind, and always try your best to enjoy the process, whether good or bad. It makes it much more fun!

A Few Years Down the Track


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