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A message from the Learning Leader - The Arts

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein

Emma WilliamsAfter several years of leading the Drama department, I am excited this year to be joining a great team of people to lead the implementation of the College’s Unlocking Futures learning framework. So much of what we do in the Arts is inherently embedded in this framework and as we work to prepare our students for the future, the skills and qualities of an Arts student have never been more important. The research is clear, learning in the Arts encourages the development of creativity, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, motivation and self-confidence, skills seen as essential for the world of work in the 21st century. 

When I think back on my own learning, it was through subjects like Drama and my involvement in extra-curricular activities that I found the creative freedom to be myself and explore the world around me. Inquiry-based learning in the Arts is two-fold. Students inquire into the skills needed to be a practising artist (musician, actor, filmmaker, photographer, and so on) but they can also inquire into social and political issues that are important to them on a local or global scale.  Students’ involvement in the Arts builds resilience in a myriad of ways, from playing, creating and experimenting, to taking artistic risks both individually and in small groups, right through to producing an artwork or performance for an audience. The opportunities to connect, collaborate and innovate are many, and I love nothing more than supporting students on their journey to becoming artists. Seeing a student achieve things they never thought possible and working in a team to create a memorable experience both for the student and audience, is truly joyful work. 

On Friday night, I had the pleasure of experiencing the skills and talents of the students involved in the Senior Vocal Cabaret. This is just one of the many events put on by the Concordia Music Department throughout the year and of course, one that was not possible to stage in 2020. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the expertise and hard work of many musicians and singers and was an evening of great entertainment. I was in awe of the students’ courage to sing in front an audience and it was a lovely reminder of the array of talent we have here at Concordia. 

In our efforts to continue strengthening cross-campus connections at the College, the Drama department recently teamed up with the Year 6 cohort from St John's Campus. The Year 6s took part in a workshop where they were introduced to some Drama games; it was great to see them bravely interact with the Year 12s. Linking to the Year 6 unit of inquiry, the Year 12s shared their experience of putting on their recent production and offered advice to the younger students who are also preparing for a performance.

A well-rounded education will serve our students well and having a creative outlet will also support their well-being. A balanced education includes the Arts and I am passionate about the strong Arts programs we offer at Concordia. I look forward to continuing to work with the Learning Leadership team to really bring our Unlocking Futures framework to life across the College. 

Emma Williams
Learning Leader – The Arts

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World Oceans Day

Recently, to commemorate World Oceans Day, students at both campuses had a unique opportunity to learn about marine environments through a series of hands-on stations, including a virtual reality underwater experience featuring creatures native to South Australia.

Read the full story here...

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Mount Gambier Regional Music Tour

Generating Some Jazz, Concordia Style

After very few opportunities to perform to audiences last year, and with the cancellation of Generation in Jazz again this year, the Concordia Music Department decided to generate some jazz of its own.

Big Bands 1, 2 and 3, String Ensemble and McKenzie Jazz Choir boarded two large Adelaide Coachlines buses full of instruments and PA equipment on Thursday 3 June and travelled to Mt Gambier to perform to eager audiences. Our first stop was Unity College, Murray Bridge, where we performed a packed program to students from Years 4–11. From there we continued our journey to Mt Gambier where over the next few days we performed for Grant High School students at the newly refurbished Mt Gambier City Band Hall, Nangwarry Primary School and then back to the Band Hall to perform a public concert to a full house.

The 74 student musicians from Years 6–12 were a credit to Concordia, not only during their outstanding performances, but in the way they behaved as a caring, service-driven team.

Audience feedback was extremely positive, with many shocked by the students' high level of musicality and performance skills.

My sincere thanks to the support staff who made this important tour possible – Jenni Watkins, Bron Elsegood, Lee Pfitzner, Barnabas Smith, Simon Kuchel, Adam Page, Robin Finlay, Tom Voss and Kathie Renner. This was an experience that will long be remembered by both our students and the audiences we performed to.

Mat Noble
Director of Music

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Young Women in STEM Event

A group of Year 10 girls visited the University of Adelaide for a day of hands-on STEM activities. Here are some of their reflections:

“This was a great experience that allowed us to explore the different STEM courses and careers available to us. We had a chance to engage in different activities, meet new people and ask any questions we had about STEM careers. The highlight of the day was using clickers to train each other, like we would train animals. It was surprisingly hard, but still great fun.” – Tahlia

“My favourite part about Young Women in STEM was seeing all of the theoretical work put into action, which opened my eyes to how applicable STEM is to the world. It helped me to realise there is a wide variety of careers in the STEM area, and I was able to gain more understanding of what university life is like.” – Maddie

"This day helped me refine my career goals and understand what I would like to do when I’m older. I really enjoyed the group work and team bonding with the challenges across the day and seeing our designs in action. I really enjoyed today and felt very informed." - Ruby

"The young women in STEM day was a very exciting opportunity. Our group of ten got to go to different workshops which further explored STEM career options. it helped me understand the specifics of each STEM career. It helped me find more options that I am interested in and will look into further. It was a fantastic day." - Rachel

Dr Joanne Rogers
Head of Science

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Strike A Chord - National Chamber Music Championship

Utilising Concordia’s outstanding Media facilities and staff expertise, both our String Quartet 1 and Cello Quartet recently recorded 12-minute programs of Chamber music as entries to the Strike A Chord competition.

The Cello Quartet played original music composed by their director Stephan Richter, and we recently learned that the group was awarded a Bronze award. We congratulate Rafael, Ella, Ruben, Oliver and Stephan for their outstanding work.

Even more exciting is the news that String Quartet 1 have been chosen as one of 12 groups from across Australia to be invited to Melbourne to perform in the Melbourne Recital Hall as part of the semi-finals!

Congratulations to Haneulle, Jasmine, Sterling and Caleb, as well as their director Martin Butler. This is a stunning effort, and we wish them well for next performance.

Mat Noble
Director of Music

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Old Concordians' Association Centenary (+1) Dinner

It was fantastic to finally be able to host our Old Concordians' Association Centenary (+1) dinner on Friday night after our plans for last year were thwarted. Thanks to all who attended celebrating 101 years of alumni associations at the College. It was wonderful to welcome the Class of 1971 and the Class of 1981, celebrating their 50 and 40 year reunions respectively. Entertainment provided by our Old Concordian jazz musicians who added to an awesome evening!

Sue Spry
Alumni Manager

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Senior Vocal Cabaret

Last Friday night at the Arkaba Function Centre, Glen Osmond, 70 students took to the stage to present an outstanding night of music for parents and friends.

The Vocalists, Big Band 1, Year 9 Choir, Concert Vocal and McKenzie Jazz Choir performed at the highest level, entertaining the 220-member audience with a wonderfully varied program in a beautiful space.

We extend our gratitude to all of the staff and volunteers who made the evening the success it was.

Congratulations to all performers who worked so hard in preparation for their performances.

Congratulations also to the Seymour family for the highest bid in our chocolate auction, and to Bruce Harris for winning the $200 Size Music voucher in our highly contested raffle.

This was certainly an evening of music and fun to remember.

Mat Noble
Director of Music

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Reconciliation Artwork

“Journey to Enlightenment through Reconciliation” by B Coleman-Sleep, Class of 1968

Reconciliation is love in action. It is an enormous challenge, with tremendous rewards.

This painting depicts a number of symbols, including the vine and branches (remaining in Christ), beams of light (Jesus lighting the way), the dove (the Holy Spirit), the cross (the love of God) and the doorway to heaven.

The 14 faces in the background depict some of the confusing and enlightening, painful and fruitful aspects of the ongoing reconciliation journey.

We are very privileged to have this artwork, painted by Old Concordian Bonnie Coleman-Sleep, hanging in the upstairs kaleidoscope breakout space in the Nautilus Centre.

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Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra

It was with great joy that Concordia welcomed this outstanding Concert Band to our Chapel to perform an exquisite program of music for our students. Directed by one of Australia’s leading conductors, Luke Dolman, the ensemble inspired our own students with their performance. After the concert, our own Concert Band and Wind Ensemble were fortunate to rehearse with Luke as their conductor. His insight and expertise was highly valued by the students and will certainly assist in future musical performances of their own.

Mat Noble
Director of Music

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Gala Ball - early bird ticket prices end on 30 June

Our Concordia 'extraordinary' Gala Ball on Saturday 6 November is sure to be an amazing night. If you are interested in registering as a Table Captain, contact Angela Warrick. Tickets to this event, to be held in the William Magarey Room at Adelaide Oval, are currently on sale at early bird prices ($185 each). If you would like to attend and are yet to secure your seats, please book online today! Tickets will be $200 from 1 July onwards.

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Peer Support

The Year 7s have been heading down to the Quad once a week on Wednesday morning to participate in their Peer Support groups. The goal of the groups was to provide a supportive and fun environment for students to better themselves, their relationships, and their coping mechanisms for challenges they may face. We learned about how to be respectful with others, how to work better as a team, how to read people's emotion and to understand what they are feeling. There was a topic each week, and the leaders put in a lot of effort to come up with games that helped us learn more about the topic. The games ranged from hide and seek, to relay races and acting games. 

“Peer Support helped us learn to take risks. It helped us meet new people from different home classes and taught us how to be open and comfortable around other people.” - Scarlett 7LAUS

“It was interesting to hear things from older students. It gave us a chance to work with others we may not usually work with.” - Gwendolen 7SMAR

“It was very helpful because it gave us a break from class and time to connect with others.” - Cameron 7SMAR

"Peer support with the Year 7s was an awesome opportunity to develop connections with students from the Middle School. It was great to see everyone in the courtyard on a Wednesday morning being involved in fun and engaging activities. As part of the Peer Support program we organised and planned sessions so that we could build relationships with the Year 7s. These sessions included a number of activities from a range of different topics to help build group dynamics. Peer Support was a great way for the Year 7s to build relationships with their peers, but also develop connections with the Year 11s. The Year 7s came to the sessions with great attitudes and were willing to participate in the activities. The sessions proved beneficial in improving confidence and were a great way to start Wednesday mornings." - Year 11 Peer Support Student

Ms Jane Healey
Year 7 Teacher

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4 – 11 July 2021

National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) can be traced back to the 1920s when Aboriginal groups first sought to increase awareness of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The NAIDOC theme for 2021 is Heal Country. It is a call for every Australian to support the traditional owners of this land who have Native Title Rights to Country to seek greater protections of their lands, their waters, their sacred sites and their cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction. It is an opportunity as a nation to acknowledge and celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.

Steve Eden
Head of International Student Programs

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Student Achievement

Congratulations to Elliott (8NMCG) who was selected to represent the Adelaide Hockey Club in the U13 State Hockey Championships involving metropolitan and country teams. 

Elliott’s team gained second place over the weekend - a fantastic result!


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