Brindabella Christian College

Speech in the ACT Legislative Assembly

22 September 2015

I rise this afternoon to speak about Brindabella Christian College, particularly the Charnwood campus. The college was formerly called O’Connor Christian School, and it has been providing a holistic approach to education based on Christian values for over 30 years. The school commenced in 1980 with two teachers and 29 students. It has grown to 700 students across two campuses.

The Charnwood campus caters for children aged from one to four years in its early learning centre and children in kindergarten through to year 3 in the junior school. Classes take place in the Canberra Christian Life Centre building, and the school eventually plans to extend to year 12 on the site.

Brindabella Christian School encourages parents and carers to be actively involved in their children’s school life, including through reading groups, library, sports carnivals, excursions and assemblies. Parents can also contribute through involvement in parents and friends associations.

Junior school students at Brindabella have been focusing on the idea of healthy safe kids, and the school has organised a number of initiatives to help support this concept, including the mid-morning munch, a healthy bones morning tea, visits from Constable Kenny, a self-defence workshop and the walk safely to school program.

Last Wednesday morning I was pleased to take part in the walk to school with dad program. This was the second time all students met at the local oval and walked to school together. Last Wednesday’s event focused on dads and male role models. Students, teachers, dads and other people from the community met at the Melba Oval and walked to the Charnwood campus along bike and walking paths.

The idea for the event came from Keith Roberts, the head of the junior school at the Charnwood campus. Keith was supported by teachers Louise Sullivan, Sarah Lim, Anne Bowman and teacher aide Wendy Straw. Helen Wilks helped with the invitations and organisation.

Other role models who attended the walk included: Glynn Jones from ACT Fire & Rescue; Brett Cunningham from the AFP; Quentin Botha from the ACT Ambulance Service; Kelsey-Lee Roberts, the Brindabella Christian College Charnwood sports ambassador and Commonwealth Games medallist; Nathan Campbell, the head of senior school at Brindabella Christian College, Lyneham campus; Susan Jones, the acting head of Brindabella Christian College, Lyneham campus, and Pastor Sean Stanton from Life UC Church.

I would like to congratulate all those involved in the walk to school with dad event on a very enjoyable day. I am sure the students enjoyed the experience. I wish the students, staff and the rest of the school community all the best for the rest of the year and for these coming holidays. For more information about Brindabella Christian College in Charnwood, I recommend members visit their website at bcc.act.edu.au/charnwood.