Somerset lifetimes 2019 Semester 1

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

Contents 3 From the Headmaster 4 Class of 2018 6 Easter Hat Parade 7 P&F Event 8 Storyfest 14 Sustainable Symposium 16 Seniors’ Global Outlook 18 Year 12 Co-Hosts Major Event 19 Leading the MYP 20 Global Play Day INSIDE THIS ISSUE

26 Alumni – Three Generations 28 Alumni – A Few Years Down the Track 30 Alumni – A Rewarding Journey 32 Somerset Sport – Triathlon 34 Somerset Sport – Football

10 Alpacas with Maracas 12 Junior School Musical

22 Mindplay 24 New Staff

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: Mr Gigilo the alpaca turned it on for the Junior School students while visiting for National Simultaneous Storytime. Read the inside story on page 10.

Editor: Narelle Higgs Design and Layout: Somersault Group Contributing Writers: Craig Bassingthwaighte, Andrea Lewis, Jennifer Walsh, Rebecca Collie, Katie Norman, Michele Sauer, Janie‑Marie Burgess, Luisa Navanteri, Elly Lynch, Brenda Millican, Vicki Goodsell, Jacinta Hyman, Graham Hyman, Jack Lewis, Glauber Scattolini Correa and Maarten de Kruijf.

Contributing Photographers: James Geralds and Katie Chirathivat- Geralds, Isla Clancy, Darcy Beynon and Ruby Sherrington.

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

As always at Somerset College we have enjoyed a semester full of events, achievements and developments. Our Class of 2018’s results released early this year revealed much success with one of our student’s ranking first in Queensland. We celebrated our established annual events and hosted the inaugural Sustainability Symposium, welcoming neighbouring schools to the College. We conducted our regular day-to-day activities while construction continued on our new buildings. These new projects will officially open next semester. Our 37 th year of the College began introducing 194 new students – 126 in the Junior School and 68 in the Senior School – to life at Somerset. More than 1520 students from Pre-Prep to Year 12 have enrolled this year and on behalf of the College Board, I thank the College community for continuing to support Somerset. We embraced new staff to Somerset in Grounds and Maintenance to teachers, sporting coaches, dance instructors, administrative support staff and appointed a new Co-ordinator –

Grace Kennett

Marc Eksteen

Chaplaincy Services. We welcomed teachers returning from leave who have taken no time settling back into their roles this semester. The first Sustainability Symposium was a great success and we were honoured to be part of the event. Congratulations must go to parent, Katie Norman and the team from the Sustainable Schools Network, who drove the initiative and launched the Symposium. Somerset is committed to adopting sustainable methods for an improved future and we look forward to sharing this journey with those who also value this approach. We are at the centre of major development and improvement of Somerset’s facilities. There have been extensive projects completed so far this year and designs approved for construction to begin on a state-of-the‑art building in the Junior School. An update on our new facilities will feature in the next edition of Somerset Lifetimes , published in December 2019. All students in Year 12 should be commended for their dedication and persistence. Grace Kennett is one shining example of the insightful individuals graduating from Somerset. Grace topped the Queensland Core Skills test, a cohort of over 30 000 students, and was awarded the prestigious Queensland Certificate of Education Achievement Award along with fellow graduate Marc Eksteen. Somerset is one of only two schools, and the only non-selective school, to have had two students recognised with these awards every year for the past three years. When we all work together great things happen. Craig Bassingthwaighte Headmaster

From the Headmaster



Class OF 2018

CLASS OF 2018 ACADEMIC RESULTS OP, Cohort of 134 • 10 OP 1s, 9.5% • OP 1 to 3, 22.9% • OP 1 to 5, 39.0% • OP 1 to 7, 55.2% • OP 1 to 10, 76.2% • OP 1 to 15, 94.3% A median OP of 7, missing a benchmark of 6 by one student.

The most common OP score for Somerset students 1992 to 2018 continues to be an OP 1, an incredible achievement. IB Diploma, Cohort of 12 • 16.7 % obtained OP 1 or 2 Equivalent • 66 % of IBDP group got ATARs equal to or better than an OP 9. As part of the changes we made five years ago to find alternative pathways, we had 22 students complete an external Business Diploma. This enabled them to be given a rank score equivalent to an OP 9 for tertiary entrance purposes, enhancing their opportunities after graduation.

Class of 2018


Headmaster with 2019 College Captains Kevin Song and Vivi Baker

ACADEMIC RESULTS 2018 10 Students Received OP 1

In addition, 29 students received a VET qualification and 22 completed the Diploma in Business. 22 Students Completed the Diploma in Business

29 Students received a VET qualification

The College has a proven record of academic achievement as shown below where OP results from 1992 to 2018 have been summarised below.






Class of 2018





2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25


Easter Hat Parade




P&F Event

H A M P T O N S S T Y L E I N T E R I O R S & S T Y L I N G 0 4 3 4 8 7 5 2 9 9 | S T U D I O @ M A Y F L O W E R H O U S E . C O M . A U M A Y F L O W E R H O U S E . C O M . A U | @ M A Y F L O W E R H O U S E I N T E R I O R S


Storyfest This year Storyfest delivered its inaugural festival under the newly developed brand continuing the tradition and upholding the title of Australia’s leading youth literature festival. Storyfest will deliver a series of literary experiences throughout the year which include workshops and masterclasses for our emerging writers along with featured author presentations to engage our readers! This year’s festival saw over 20,000 ticket sales to some 8,000 individuals over the three days. It is difficult to determine which

Photo: Darcy Beynon

clear throughout the festival was the commitment each presenter made to ensure their presentations were captivating and relatable across the multiple age groups. The expansion of Storyfest has seen opportunities extend to the wider Gold Coast community. We recently partnered with Book Links (Qld) Inc | The Centre for Children’s Literature to host Romancing the Stars, a discovery about the books our local authors and illustrators have been creating recently for children and young adults. Another wonderful initiative for Storyfest is the On the Road programme, which sees the van taking authors into schools offering pop up writing workshops and continuing to share the love of literature. Similarly, our Little Lending Libraries have also been far reaching, landing in remote parts of the state, on popular beaches and in and around local suburbs.

aspect of the festival engaged with our audiences the most. A highlight for students would have been the Illustrator Battle which entertained some 700 children who cheered on crowd favourites as they battled against legendary illustrator, Graeme Base! What became abundantly

Photo: Ruby Sherrington

Photo: Isla Clancy



Oliver Phommavanh getting slimed in the Quad Felice Arena entertaining youngsters

Our corporate events have seen exponential growth and we’re thrilled to host Joint Australian of the Year – Drs Richard Harris SC OAM and Craig Challen SC OAM, who in November as they share their story of the challenges, teamwork and how to facilitate the perilous rescue of a Thai Soccer team from the flooded Tham Luan Cave. I am personally excited by the challenge ahead and filled with enthusiasm for the possibilities now available. We are extremely grateful for the continued support of our partners – Somerset College, Thyne Reid Foundation, City of Gold Coast, the Herbert Family and QBD Books along with many local organisations and many of Australia’s leading publishing houses who join with us in making a difference in the literature world not only with us but with varied other entities that provide growth and opportunities of literature throughout Australia. Andrea Lewis CEO/Festival Director, Storyfest

Photo: Ruby Sherrington

Photo: Isla Clancy

Illustrator Graeme Base

Photo: Ruby Sherrington

Photo: Ruby Sherrington

Photo: Darcy Beynon

Photo: Ruby Sherrington



Photo: Darcy Beynon

Maracas ALPACAS WITH INQUIRING MINDS WITH ALPACAS AND MARACAS Our Junior School students celebrated the National Simultaneous

Storytime on Wednesday 22 May. The event involved over one million children with schools and libraries across Australia and New Zealand, reading the same book at exactly the same time.

This year’s book was Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove, so we invited some very special, fluffy friends to Somerset to join in the fun. Ms Rebecca Collie, Head of Junior School, read the story to our Prep friends who all waited very patiently for the word “maracas” to be read, so they could shake theirs. Four alpacas on Somerset’s Towers Quad was a sight to behold! Our alpacas travelled from Grafton, thanks to Pauline and Col Glasser from Wahgungurry Alpacas. It gave our Junior School students the opportunity to get up close with Suri alpacas, Aristo and his sister Beersheba, and Huacayas, Marquisette and Mr Gigilo. Pauline taught us that Suri alpaca are the ones with long dread-locked fleece (like Al in the book) and Huacaya are fluffy (like Macca).

Alpacas with Maracas


We learned that alpacas are very different to their cousins, llamas; their fleece is as soft as cashmere and as strong as silk and they are very sweet, curious creatures that rarely spit at people. Nevertheless, our young risk-takers shone and curiosity won out with a few of our lucky seniors managing a quick cuddle after their exams. The aim of National Simultaneous Storytime is to promote reading aloud to children as it is so important for every aspect of their development. Shaking maracas and cuddling real, live alpacas prove it’s also a lot of fun! Jennifer Walsh Information Services

Alpacas with Maracas


SEUSSICAL JR – THE MUSICAL Melissa Black, Kate Grigg and Sara Rosentreter in the Junior School had outstanding vision and direction in bringing this masterpiece to life. Additionally we had many volunteers – staff and parents – who assisted with choreography, the creation of props, costume design, backstage and the many other factors that made the show such a great success. Parents James Geralds and Katie Chirathivat-Geralds must be congratulated for the photography and videography of the show. Musical JUNIOR SCHOOL “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” There were smiles all round for the performances of Seussical Jr – The Musical , in April and May. The show was completely AMAYZING! Parents and students were beaming with the success of the show and the praise from audience members was overwhelming. Seussical Jr – The Musical is based on the fabulously entertaining stories of Dr Seuss. The show was a colourful spectacular with Nurse Linny leading the way in costume design.

Photos: James Geralds and Katie Chirathivat-Geralds

Junior School Musical


The talent of our Junior School cast was mind-blowing. Regardless of how many times I watched the show I found myself bursting with pride and feeling fully entertained each and every time. Congratulations to the cast and crew for your outstanding performances of Seussical Jr – The Musical , presented by Somerset College Junior School 2019. “Oh, the THINKS you can THINK!” Rebecca Collie Head of Junior School

Junior School Musical



SUSTAINABLE PATHWAYS FOR SCHOOLS The Sustainable Schools Network Limited (SSN), in partnership with Somerset College and the City of Gold Coast, delivered the inaugural 2019 Sustainability Symposium on 13 May 2019. Identified as an ambitious undertaking, the event was co-ordinated after just seven months of the SSN commencing. Building partnerships and highlighting the need for sustainability education to become a mainstream concept were the main aims for the event. Almost 600 individuals received the message that the youth of today are inspired and empowered! The participants were from 44 organisations and 39 schools, co-ordinated by 36 volunteers. With NAPLAN testing on the following day (excluding some schools), the attendance rate was still incredibly positive. The keynote speaker Melati Wijsen and other youth presenters Molly Steer, Kareem El-Ansary (the current Australian United Nations Youth Representative) and local Holley Sommerville Knott, stimulated and motivated students and teachers to return to their schools as change agents.

Headmaster Craig Bassingthwaighte opening the Symposium

DAY SESSION A keynote presentation carried the day session and ran concurrently with three workshop times in five sessions. The highly anticipated Melati Wijsen’s keynote and workshop did not disappoint, rating as a highlight, along with our other youth speakers. Outward Bound performed an icebreaker to commence the day while Melati inspired all present and the call to action left attendees ready to “be a mosquito”. One attendee described the day session as, “inspirational, empowering youth.” Another responded in the survey saying, “I can make a difference! There are other people who feel the same! Talk to them.” PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DINNER The dinner was an opportunity to provide professional development for teachers and administrators. The concept here was to provide engaging speakers and a panel discussion to contribute to sustainability knowledge. The highlight for attendees was not only being able to network with peers but to enjoy the panel discussion. One attendee recognised the panel as the best part of the evening, saying, “Being able to hear all the different approaches was wonderful.” Most of all respondents to the survey (96 per cent) reported the food served for the evening was either great or excellent. One guest stated it, “…was quite possibly the nicest meal I have ever eaten – divine is an understatement!”

Sustainable Symposium

Guest speaker Kareem El-Ansary, 2019 United Nations Youth Representative



SPEAKERS Melati Wijsen

Melati Wijsen is a 17 year old activist who grew up in Bali, Indonesia. Melati realised early on her island home was becoming a dumping ground for waste, especially plastics. She was inspired from attending her sustainably focused school and with her 10 year old sister founded the social initiative Bye Bye Plastic Bags at just 12 years old. Together they are intent on taking their vision to rid the world of plastic bags worldwide. Today their organisation has spanned 25 locations across the globe with founders continuing to share their mission “to empower people to do what is right through education.” Molly Steer TAKE THE STRAW NO MORE PLEDGE Molly is a 10 year old Australian school student and vocal activist in the fight against plastic pollution, particularly the plastic straw. In March 2017 she attended a film screening of A Plastic Ocean which motivated her to begin thinking about how she could help. When Molly discovered humans use more than 500 million straws everyday she knew she had to act and started by convincing her Principal to stop using plastic straws at the school tuckshop. Other schools in the area caught on and wanted to join in. Today schools from all over Australia and the world are involved in Molly’s initiative, Straw No More. Katie Norman CEO, Sustainable Schools Network

Melati Wijsen (second from left) with organisers and speakers

Straw No More campaigner Molly Steer

KEY HIGHLIGHTS • The panel discussion during the evening event • Year 6 student, Phoebe Rogers (6W) delivering the personalised acknowledgement to country in local dialect Yugambeh • Ice breaking laughter in the Great Hall in the morning • Students, teachers and local NFP organisations engaging • Delicious 90 per cent sustainable meals sourced and provided by Mudjira Village Eatery • A breakdown of boundaries between states, schools, ages • Building capacity in schools, youth, teachers, administrators, grounds keepers, and local organisations enthused to work with schools to ensure a sustainable future for our children

Sustainable Symposium


Outlook SENIORS’ GLOBAL STUDENTS EMBRACE AN OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME Desmond Chuah, Georgina Powell, Mohnish Chand, Joanne Jo, Lilly Thompson and Kristen Crasto were invited after meeting the high criteria in academics, service to others and leadership, which were all required for nomination. Previous College students who have attended the conference include Marina Hou (Class of 2016) and Jessica Lekich (Class of 2018).

In our winter vacation, six College students from Years 11 and 12 head to the United States to attend the 10 day Envision Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC), in Washington DC and New York. GYLC is a unique leadership development programme that brings together outstanding young people from 146 countries around the world.

Our students will have the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with today’s world leaders in challenging and dynamic environments. Through their programme, our students will meet with influential business leaders, policy officials, lobbyists, journalists, diplomats, and academics from diverse cultures and backgrounds who will not only inform and exchange ideas with our students, they will also help them cultivate important leadership skills. Our young leaders will be encouraged to analyse issues, form and advocate positions, as well as influence sound decision-making. Our students will be inspired

16 Seniors’ Global Outlook

to expand their horizons by fully exploring cultural differences, gaining first-hand exposure to the challenges of international diplomacy, developing their passion for international affairs while exploring a future career, and gaining a fresh, new global perspective. Each day our students will engage in understanding and developing impactful leadership. They will explore their role as a global leader by using their communication and negotiation skills, to bring their peers to a consensus on an issue of worldwide importance. In a Global Summit simulation, held at the United Nations headquarters, based on UN Sustainable Development Goals, along with their fellow scholars, they will act as diplomats representing various countries on international commissions. They will draft policy proposals; debate how to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change; pass resolutions; and adopt plans of action. Between their presentations and workshops, our students will also immerse themselves in the cultural aspect of their educational programme. They will explore Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York City, discovering all of the illustrious landmarks these cities have to offer. In DC, they will visit the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, Smithsonian Institute, and Holocaust Museum. In Philadelphia, they will enjoy lunch and explore the renowned University of Pennsylvania campus on their way to New York. In

New York City, they will taste the culture of Chinatown, visit New York University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), experience bustling Times Square, and take a dinner cruise on the New York Harbor, where they will catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. At each stop, they will absorb the culture, history and the world views of the diverse people they meet. Our students will return home from GYLC with a greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens and future leaders in an international community. As an IB World School we value an internationally minded learner who is above all a competent communicator, open-minded and knowledgeable. Our attending students grasp the importance of inquiry, challenge themselves to think critically and creatively, and are highly reflective. They represent the highest standards of integrity and they appreciate and support others. They are outstanding ambassadors for the College and we know they will fully embrace the opportunity and challenges that lie ahead. We wish them safe travel and look forward to hearing of their experiences on their return. Michele Sauer Dean of Middle Years From left: Mohnish Chand, Joanne Jo, Georgina Powell, Kristen Crasto, Desmond Chuah, and Lilly Thompson before embarking on their life-changing experience.

Seniors’ Global Outlook



LILLY THOMPSON Year 12 student Lilly Thompson has had her talent and young professionalism recognised. The Somerset student hosted the high‑profile United Through Sports opening and closing ceremonies. Chosen by the Gold Coast City Council, to whom Lilly is known through her role on the Gold Coast Junior Council Executive Committee in 2018, she joined other members for the ceremonies of the sports conference and festival earlier this term. The Executive Committee consists of several young student-leaders, but Lilly was selected by the organisers for her outstanding conduct and dedication to her role. The United Through Sports event formed part of the international and very prestigious SportAccord Summit, which was hosted by the City of Gold Coast and opened by appropriately high-profile guest, United Nations

Secretary General H. E. Ban Ki-moon – a guest Lilly was even lucky enough to meet! In a letter thanking Lilly and her co-hosts, the United Through Sports CEO and Vice-President wrote: “Your participation not only contributed to a successful United Through Youth Festival but a successful SportAccord convention 2019… We have received so much positive feedback from the IOC, SportAccord, LOC, Queensland Government, the various sports and certainly all those in attendance.” Congratulations to Lilly on her earning such an exciting opportunity. We encourage all young people at Somerset College to see this as evidence of the value of leadership programs like the Gold Coast Junior Council, and to get involved wherever they can! Janie-Marie Burgess

Year 12 Co-Hosts Major Event




SOMERSET STAFF TAKE ON ROLES WITHIN THE IB ORGANISATION As International Baccalaureate teachers and Middle Years Leaders, we are constantly reflecting on our practise and carefully considering how we embody and model the IB Learner Profile characteristics within our College community. We have taught the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Middle Years Programmes (MYP) for many years at the College and completed regular professional development courses along the way. Our passion for, and deep working knowledge of both programmes has developed immensely. This year the chance arose to build on our current roles in the Middle Years Leaders’ team by applying for the positions of MYP Workshop Leader and IB Site Visitor within the IB organisation. Ever the ‘risk takers’ we decided to make the most of this opportunity. The application process was long and intense, involving several written tasks and a video presentation; however, we had so much fun working together!

Michele directs the ‘takes’.

Recently we received notification that our applications were successful and in late July we will travel to Tokyo, Japan, for face-to-face training with the IB. After training, we will be involved in running MYP workshops, in-house and around Asia-Pacific, and visiting other campuses as part of an evaluation team. The returns for Somerset will be significant as we collaborate with others in the IB community and share our understanding of the holistic nature of the MYP for the benefit of our students. Throughout the application process we have been motivated and inspired by the Dean of Middle Years, Ms Michele Sauer, and we wholeheartedly thank her and Headmaster, Mr Craig Bassingthwaighte, for their tremendous encouragement and support. We also acknowledge and thank Mr Grant Peel for his cinematography skills in producing our videos and Mr Andrew Hawtin for technical support. Luisa Navanteri Acting Assistant Head of Foreign Languages Elly Lynch Assistant Head of Science

Leading the MYP


Luisa and Elly rehearse their lines.


A GLOBAL DAY OF PLAY Global School Play Day (GSPD) is a recent initiative which is gaining momentum across the world as more and more research indicates the importance of play for children. GSPD is designed to raise awareness of the need for children to participate in unstructured play. Children acquire social skills when playing. They also learn to plan and organise. Research suggests that one of the predictors of academic performance in the eighth grade is a child’s social skills in the third grade. Furthermore, countries that allocated more time at recess also tended to have higher academic performance (Pellis, 2011).

Students from Pre-Prep to Year 6 commenced their day of play on the tartan track with exercise to music before moving off to various supervised areas around the Junior School. Years 3 to 6 were free to choose from volleyball, cricket and bocce on the front oval, and games on the track to classrooms where art supplies, board games and Lego were readily available to use as they wished. Outside areas saw hopscotch marked on the concrete, elastics and marbles. Handball continued to be popular whilst dancing in the music room resulted in some great dance moves. Dress-ups proved very popular. In the Early Learning Precinct (ELP), whole areas were devoted to construction, sand play, play dough, pulling apart appliances and art. Aside from the occasional teacher who could not help themselves and just had to join in an activity, the children organised themselves! The role of the adults was simply supervision and safety. As a couple of students said: “This is one of the best days of my life,” Harry 3B. “The best thing that could happen to me,” Zubin 3B Pellis, S., Pellis, V., and Bell, H. (2011). The Function of Play in the Development of the Social Brain Brenda Millican Assistant Head of Junior School – Curriculum, PYP

Global Play Day


Global Play Day



Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the impact of MVRC is to hear from the children, who have a current license, and their parents. River reports that Mindplay has helped with his reading and spelling. He added, “It makes me feel like I am smart now.” Leny says the programme challenges him and he, “… enjoys trying to work to reach new levels.” He admits he previously found reading difficult and was embarrassed to read aloud in class but now his self-esteem has improved and he feels much better about his learning. Leny is excited sharing that he now reads all the time for enjoyment. Ava in Year 5 says Mindplay involves doing lots of different educational activities and it teaches spelling, reading and grammar in fun ways. Ava no longer feels like she is at the bottom of her class and also stated she was much quicker doing NAPLAN this year. Our Year 2 friends are also enjoying Mindplay. Willow likes the programme because it challenges her and says it, “… helps me to spell and write.” Ava added, “There are lots of different activities and if you get them wrong, you can learn from them. It teaches you about sounds and letters and how they go together so you get your spelling right in class.”

HELPING OUR STUDENTS BECOME CONFIDENT READERS Since the beginning of 2018, Somerset College has funded 20 Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC) licenses for students who enjoy extra assistance in the area of literacy. Mindplay’s research-based teaching methods and innovative technology enable every learner to receive individualised instruction, in their area of need. Training the brain to decode the written word is done using a student-friendly technology based reading process. Skills are initially built in the areas of phonological awareness and phonics and once a student can demonstrate accurate decoding skills, they also receive lessons in vocabulary and grammar. Finally, MVRC delivers explicit fluency training to improve silent reading rate. Improvement in comprehension and fluency are simultaneous goals. Each student works toward 100 per cent mastery at his or her own pace.



Charlotte is honest and admits she doesn’t really like Mindplay. Let’s face it, literacy programmes can be a bit repetitive and dull! However, she states, “When I first started, my spelling wasn’t that good [but] not now, it has helped me. It has also helped me to learn the sounds in words. I also like to read now because I can read better.” Our MVRC parents have also noticed positive outcomes from the programme. “Mindplay has been a wonderful tool in providing learning support to our daughter Ava. Since she has started the programme her Independent Reading Grade level has increased from Grade 3 to Grade 5. This has been over a period of six months. We are very happy with Ava’s progress and look forward to seeing improvements in other areas of fluency as well. Thank you for the introduction of this fantastic programme,” said Karen.

Fiona has also been impressed, “Willow was always apprehensive about reading as she was scared she would make a mistake. Mindplay has given her the confidence to have a go and it has shown in her reading ability. Watching her read books willingly is the best we could have hoped for!” I have talked to many children over the past 18 months about how MVRC is helping them and what is so exciting to hear is how learning to read has boosted their confidence. This combination of improved confidence and reading skill has become an important gateway for these young Mindplay champions to embark on a deeper level of learning in all areas of the curriculum. Mindplay outcomes are not possible without the dedication and collaboration of all involved including teaching staff, administrators, the IT department, parents and most importantly the child. When we all communicate and work together, wonderful outcomes really are achievable.

Vicki Goodsell Educational Psychologist



Staff NEW

Janie-Marie Burgess Co-ordinator – Debating Janie-Marie completed secondary school on the Gold Coast, where her team was named three-times Gold Coast Debating Champions and National Rotary Model United Nations winners, amongst other titles. So appreciating the enrichment that these opportunities provided, Janie has dedicated her adult life to facilitating debating, public speaking, model UN, and leadership programmes in South‑East Queensland by serving as UN Youth Queensland President, Gold Coast Debating Vice-President and Chief Judge, and debating coach and co-ordinator at numerous Gold Coast schools. Janie hopes to strengthen the culture for these opportunities at Somerset College by bringing them under one umbrella for the first time, facilitating rigorous and specialised coaching, and ensuring promotion of students’ successful participation throughout the College.

Maarten de Kruijf Co-ordinator – Football Maarten grew up in Holland, playing football from Under 7 to seniors at one of the local clubs in his hometown Utrecht. While Maarten was playing football, he finished his studies at the ROC from Amsterdam as Sports and Movement Co-ordinator. After studies Maarten explored the world. An eight‑year journey took him to South America, Central America, North America, Asia, Africa and back to Europe. In these countries Maarten worked as a social worker and football coach. During this time Maarten was also coaching, teaching and building sport programmes. After years of social work in Sport and Development, Maarten stepped up to work in elite and excellence programmes in China and Australia. In 2018 Maarten coached the Football Queensland U13 State Team at the National Championship. Football has the power to change lives anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you play the game, in any continent Football is helping and inspiring people. Somerset has the facilities, staff and students for a very successful football programme. I have taken on this challenge at Somerset College to build the Somerset Football Programme to the next level.

New Staff


Robert Hughes Teacher – Senior School

Peer Richards Head Coach – Rowing

Born in Ireland, Robert spent the first 27 years of his life there, growing up on a small dairy farm. Robert studied at Trinity College Dublin, completing a Bachelor of Science, followed by a Masters in Pharmaceutics. He became hooked on the idea of teaching while working as a lab demonstrator at university. After 12 years, Robert is still teaching. He has taught in four different countries during that time, all at secondary level. He still loves teaching saying, “It’s what gets me up early in the morning and late home in the evening.” Robert teaches Science, Chemistry and Physics in our Senior School.

Somerset officially welcomed Peer Richards as the new Head Coach of Rowing this semester. Peer comes to the College from South Australia, where his most recent role was the Development Manager at Rowing South Australia. He has experience and passion in developing club culture, coach development and diversity in competition. With coaching experience at the South Australian Sports Institute, and two Gold medals in the School Single Scull events at the Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships, Peer looks forward to providing our athletes with the preparation required to be among our country’s best. He has also been the Head of Rowing at All Hallows’ School in Brisbane and a Senior Coach at St Joseph’s Nudgee College.

New Staff




TEACHER WELCOMES FATHER AND DAUGHTER TO SOMERSET A first for the College, our alumni teacher Jacinta Hyman (Class of 1998) this year welcomed her father Graham Hyman (Co-ordinator – Chaplaincy Services) as staff and introduced her daughter Charlie (Class of 2032) into her first year at Pre-Prep. I graduated from Somerset in 1998 not really sure of what I wanted to do with my life. I “tried” a variety of degrees ranging from law to psychology to medical science, but I struggled to see myself thriving in any profession related to these pathways. To finance my indecisiveness, I worked as a swimming teacher and coach. What I thought was simply a part time job became the stepping stone to a career. It was working with children and young athletes that helped me to realise my love for teaching. Finally, I found something that I not only enjoyed, but that enabled me to make a small difference in the lives of others. My first teaching appointment was at Helensvale High teaching senior Chemistry and junior Science. In 2007 I accepted an appointment to Saint Stephen’s College where I taught in the Science Department and was a Head of Year 12 and Head of House. In 2014 I had my daughter, Charlie, and took a year’s maternity leave. The drive from Palm Beach to SSC everyday was going to be to difficult with a small baby so I was fortunate for a positon to become available at Somerset and

even more fortunate to have been accepted to teach here. I teach Science, Senior Biology and Chemistry and I am the Head of House for Franklin. It is busy and challenging, but a wonderfully rewarding experience. I am glad I have gained experience teaching in other schools, but I am also so pleased to have returned to Somerset. As a student, the College gave me so many opportunities and so many challenges. It is a school that allows students to explore their interests and their abilities and encourages and supports students to perform to their potential. I wanted to be a part of that process. One of the things I find interesting about having been on “both sides of the fence” at the College is how similar the experience is. Both as a student and a teacher I have experienced that every day is a positive challenge, that there are high expectations and a support network to help me achieve them, that the College is always seeking to expand its resources in ways that support both students and staff. In the midst of the challenge to excellence and its pursuit in all curricular and co-curricular endeavours, there is an equal commitment to the welfare of the person who is at the heart of those pursuits. This is why it is so great to have my dad working here, it is an extension of the mission of Somerset to work with the whole person. It can be a little strange but it seems to be working out well so far…especially as he buys me coffee!

26 Alumni – Three Generations

This is all particularly important now that Charlie has started in Pre-Prep. My partner, Nathan, and I chose to enrol her because we believe that the College will give her the best grounding in both education and life. The academic programme is so well implemented and the pastoral elements are clearly evidenced in the daily experience that we are sure it is the best place for her. Of course, it is also convenient! I am looking forward to watching her thrive throughout her own Somerset Experience . My hope for Charlie in her education journey is for her natural curiosity to be fostered in such a way that she embraces learning, for her to see the connections between school and the real world and for her to develop genuine relationships with people who will care for and support her in both failure and success. It may seem that I hope for a lot for my daughter’s education. Fortunately, I’ve got some inside information and I’m pretty confident the school we have chosen delivers all that and more. Jacinta Hyman I began my professional career in 1977 as the Minister of the Church of Christ at Burleigh Heads and in 1984 moved to Melbourne with my wife Jadie and our four year old daughter Jacinta, to accept the position of National Youth Director for our denomination. In 1988 we moved back to the Gold Coast, now with a son, Terrell, in tow, (Class of 1998) Head of Franklin

to begin our own business. Called Youth Specialities Australia it was first intended to provide training to youth workers, secular and religious. Within six years it had morphed into a parallel purpose; providing motivational and relationship training seminars to high school students, training about engaging adolescents and pastoral care to teachers, and the Understanding Your Teenager seminar for parents. Over the next 30 years the programmes grew increasingly popular to the point where around one third of all secondary schools in Australia, and many overseas, have used them. In fact, the bookings became so busy that throughout Jacinta and Terrell’s time at Somerset they basically had only one parent, their mum, because I was travelling so much. For many years I have had a yearning to have a deeper, more prolonged involvement with a school, to actually get to do what I have been telling other people to do for years. When the Chaplaincy opportunity arose at Somerset I was thrilled. The College has always offered so much to its community and achieved excellence in all that it does that I wanted to be a part of it. I am also excited to have the freedom to work on the many small things that can easily go unnoticed and even more easily overlooked that when enacted can make such a huge difference to people. This first semester has been a steep learning curve, and a wonderful joy. The acceptance by staff and students alike has been heart warming and the affirmations received from the small innovations I have made have been very encouraging. It is also really great to catch up with my daughter in a professional capacity and see how she works first-hand, even if I do have to buy her coffee! But there is one thing about the experience that is absolutely priceless and a rare privilege – to see my little Charlie in her multi house shirt run from her mum, jump into my arms and snuggle into my shoulder saying “Grandaaaaad”. It is indeed a rich blessing. Graham Hyman Co-ordinator – Chaplaincy Services

Alumni – Three Generations



How do you spend a working day? I have two small boys aged two and four, so I feel like I’ve done half a day’s work before I even get to work! I’m lucky that I now work part time at Canberra Veterinary Hospital, which is a large, multi-vet hospital in the centre of Canberra and we see a very varied caseload. I may spend a few hours consulting and seeing dermatology, ophthalmology or oncology patients. I then might do a couple of surgeries for example a de-sexing surgery or a lump removal and then the afternoons are spent writing up cases, calling owners to discuss any in-patients in our hospital and reporting laboratory results to owners. You never know what might walk in the door next and this continues to make it an interesting and exciting career. My other part time job is at the Canberra Institute of Technology (TAFE) teaching Veterinary Nurses. I love teaching these young and enthusiastic students in subjects including anatomy and physiology, surgical nursing, nutrition and radiography. Teaching mature aged students is rewarding and I feel I can draw on my experience as a Vet to engage them in their learning. Who are the people who inspire you? This is a difficult question to answer as I think along our lives we interact with so many different people who inspire us in different ways. That said, each day my children inspire me to be a better mother, my parents inspire me to be a better daughter, my colleagues inspire me to be a better Vet and my husband inspires me to be a better wife and person. Looking back as a student at Somerset, all of

Kimberley Godwin (nee Orth) (Class of 1997) What are some of your fondest memories of your time at Somerset? I feel so privileged to have been able to attend Somerset from Year 2 to Year 12 and I have many wonderful memories of my time there. I particularly enjoyed the school musicals, school camps, being part of several choirs and forming close relationships with many teachers. Time spent playing chess with the Chess Programme initiated by Mr Gardiner also makes me smile. How did Somerset shape your career path? Somerset gave me many opportunities being involved in a diverse range of subjects and experiences. The teachers at Somerset always believed in me and this allowed me to have the confidence to follow my dreams of becoming a Veterinary Surgeon. Somerset instilled values of hard work, diligence and ambition, which helped me through University.

28 A Few Years Down the Track

Kimberley with her husband, Michael, and their sons, Zach (5) and Alexander (2)

husband and I to travel around Europe and we had such a wonderful time. Being able to travel when you’re young and have no commitments, no children, it was so carefree and a fantastic opportunity to see other cultures and experience how people live. The other major life changing events are having my two children. Both boys are of course delightful (sometimes), but challenge me on a daily basis. I have so much more appreciation and respect for my mother, working mothers and women in general, who are trying to multitask, run a household and hold down a career. Parenting is so time consuming and relentless, that it makes me prioritise and appreciate what is really important to me. What advice would you offer current students? 1. Work hard, play hard and just do your best. 2. There are many different paths to University or other careers you may want. If you don’t get in on your first attempt, there will be another way in. 3. Enjoy your time at school when teachers care about you and nurture you, there will never be a time again when someone else (apart from your parents) cares so much about how you are. 4. Make some plans to travel. 5. Don’t stress so much, there is life after you finish school.

Kimberley with her sons, Zach and Alexander

the teachers encouraged me to be the best I could be and I really feel that support has been a strong foundation to build my life on. What life lessons guide you? I try to do my best and work hard. Everyone comes to this life with abilities and talents in all sorts of areas, but I really believe if you want something badly enough you can achieve it. I try to be kind to others as you don’t know what they’ve gone through to get where they are today. So many of the students at the TAFE where I teach, have had difficult upbringings and it makes me feel so lucky and grateful that I had an amazing start at Somerset. What are some of your most defining moments in life, so far? I lived and worked in the UK for about five years and did contract work as a vet. This time, although difficult away from family and friends allowed my

A Few Years Down the Track



A REWARDING JOURNEY OF RECONCILIATION AND RESPECT Reconciliation action and sustainable development are the driving forces behind former student Jack Lewis’ (Class of 2001) town planning business. A love of people and place planted the seed for a journey to seek meaningful action, to learn and incorporate our country’s rich indigenous perspectives into land use planning. Jack, a proud Somerset alumni is grateful for the opportunities he was given at the College, “One thing I loved about my school was the importance on following your passions, support from teachers and the motivation of your classmates having that same love of learning.” Graduating in 2001, he relocated to Sydney to pursue his passion in geography and completed a Bachelor of Science (Applied Geography) with Honours from the University of New South Wales. Jack recalls a significant day when he spent the morning surfing the point break of Merimbula before heading into the mountains for a snowboard in the afternoon, “I thought, where else can I do that? It was amazing.”

Looking at a map, Jack saw the next logical place to move was the South Island of Aotearoa/NZ where he could continue his love for surfing and snowboarding and study a Masters of Planning at Otago University. Here Jack was exposed to the importance placed on learning and understanding the concepts of ‘ Kaitiakitanga ’ and indigenous concepts of land stewardship. “New Zealand legislation places a large emphasis on the cultural considerations and a longer term view, to ensure everyone benefits from appropriate development – We even did papers that required us to stay at a marae for a week, ensuring you learn Maori waiatas/songs and notions of stewardship from different perspectives,” he says. Jack met Jessica and the couple moved to Broome in Western Australia where he accepted his first job post‑university working in local government. His experience in Aotearoa/NZ showed him how different cultural planning in Australia was, “Although Broome has a rich multicultural history and strong indigenous leaders, the way in which land use and planning is carried out seemed like something straight out of the East India company/colonial government system.” Expecting their first child they moved back to South East Queensland and were drawn to Noosa continuing to work for local government, “My interest has always been connection to people and place, with the aim of respecting the environments and stories people value” he says. The couple sought to find out more about the unique indigenous stories in the landscape that they love working in, recreating and raising their now three children (aged 10, eight and six) on. Jack’s discovery was shocking. Indigenous people were forcibly removed from across the State’s south east and relocated just an hour and a half from Noosa to Cherbourg in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Even worse, Indigenous people in Cherbourg up until 1988 weren’t allowed to leave the community without official clearance – the mission was set up for the indigenous population to die-off respectfully . The 2016 Census then revealed that Cherbourg is the most

A Rewarding Journey


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