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From the Head of Senior School

Clay WatkinsLife lessons we can learn from Olympic athletes 

I have always loved sport and, like many people around Australia, I have spent the majority of the past two weeks following the Olympics. Taking part in an Olympics is just about every athlete’s dream. For those select few lucky enough to get this privilege, the trade-off is years of commitment and dedicated training to compete at the very highest level against other word-class athletes.  

One thing I love about the Olympics is the stories you hear about individual athletes' journeys to the world’s greatest sporting stage. Through hearing these stories, I believe there is much to be learned from the people that have achieved the ultimate success in their field, representing their country at the Olympics. I also believe we can apply the same principles these elite athletes use in our own lives to help us achieve long-term success.  

Do Your Best – it is more important than winning 

I love seeing athletes celebrate making a final or performing at or above their expectations; especially when there isn’t a medal that comes as a reward. This is because celebrating our personal best is a good lesson for all of us, rather than just focusing on winning. In every event in our life, regardless of importance, there is a lesson we can use to do better next time. If we aren’t happy with where we are, then why not celebrate how far we have come, and use our progress as motivation to persevere. Like an Olympian. 

Set Challenging Goals 

One of the most successful Olympians of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps, was once described by his coach as “the most goal orientated person on the planet”, but Michael Phelps is not unusual in this way. Almost all Olympians like to start with a clear understanding of their desired destination to ensure the steps they take are always in the right direction. Setting goals helps us navigate the way to our set destination — much like a compass. If we live aimlessly every day without aiming for a particular outcome, we’ll likely struggle with motivation and ultimately in finding happiness.  

Develop a Positive Mindset

Olympic athletes are often great at controlling their emotions and attitudes, in ways that benefit their performance. Having a positive mindset is crucial to success in sport and in life. Identifying positive keywords or phrases such as “I can do it” and “I’m almost there” are common strategies used by athletes and can help redirect our attention and increase motivation to persevere through difficult or challenging situations. Developing a positive mindset also helps enhance our self-esteem – how we feel about ourselves, which is a strong predictor of various positive outcomes in life, as well as being linked to our long-term wellbeing and happiness.  

Adopt a Strong Work Ethic  

One thing not shown during the coverage of an Olympics is the gruelling practice sessions athletes endure to improve their overall condition and performance. We only see the almost superhuman-like skills and athleticism they display while on the track, in the pool, or on the court or field. Elite athletes often make it look easy. This is because they have done the hard work during practice when there were no cameras around. One of my favourite quotes is “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” I have a great belief in the value of hard work. Not just in helping us work toward and achieve our goals, but because it gives us a sense of personal satisfaction to be working tirelessly in pursuit of something that means so much to us.  

While I am sad to see the Olympics finish, I am thankful for the opportunity to get to watch a collection of inspiring individuals pursuing their goals and doing well at something they love. I encourage our students to reflect on these lessons from Olympic athletes; in the hope that they might use the understanding to improve their experience at school this semester.

Clay Watkins
Head of Senior School

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2021 Adelaide Eisteddfod

On Thursday 5 August, held at the Capri Theatre, Concordia College was well represented in three sections of the prestigious Adelaide Eisteddfod.

Despite very limited preparation time, our String Quartet 1, String Quartet 2, String Ensemble and Chamber Strings all played at an exceptional level and every student involved should be very proud of their efforts.

By its nature though, it is a competition and Concordia’s results in the respective sections are as follows:

  • String Quartet 1 – First Place
  • String Ensemble – Second Place
  • Chamber Strings – Second Place

Thanks to all staff and directors for their resilience and in advocating for our students to have this performance opportunity.

Mat Noble
Director of Music

  • 2021 String Quartet 2 at Eisteddfod
  • 2021 String Ensemble at Eisteddfod
  • 2021 Chamber Strings at Eisteddfod
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Drama at Concordia

SACE Stage 1 Drama Masterclass

On Monday 9 August, our Year 11 Drama cohort participated in a full-day intensive masterclass, immersing themselves in the traditions of Commedia dell’arte.

Commedia dell’arte is an Italian renaissance style of theatre and famously known in the dramatic realm as the birthplace of comedy. Known for embedding the artform of slapstick and comedic stock characters seen all through popular culture, it is a bedrock form for high school Drama students to understand.

The masterclass was facilitated by Commedia expert practitioner Corinna De Niro. Ms De Niro works with high school students and teachers all around Australia and emerging artists at NIDA and UniSA. Holding a PhD in the style of Commedia, her knowledge is outstanding, and she imparted it to our students with generosity, humour, and skill.

The Year 11s are using their knowledge to directly influence the development of their upcoming public performance of The Accidental Death of an Anarchist in Term 4, a hilarious political farce that explores the exposure of corruption within authority. The play is written by Italian playwright Dario Fo, who draws directly on Commedia traditions.

Oliver Wright, one of our Year 11 Drama students, said of the masterclass ‘I found it so awesome to learn this different and influential style of drama and compare it to something we are currently doing in class. It was intriguing and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did!’

The students were an outstanding example of our core values in the Drama Department. They worked with such creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, improvising scenarios, working together, and responding so respectfully and with boundless energy to our facilitator, Corinna. She said of them, ‘What a great day! The students are amazing, I am so impressed by their energy, enthusiasm, openness and willingness to jump in and have a go!’.

The students are in rehearsal for their production and details of the performances will be released soon. They look forward to seeing you all in the audience!

Zoe Tidemann
Head of Drama 

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Parent ManageBac Update

ManageBac screenshot showing Dashboard linkFirstly, thank you to everyone for supporting students and teachers during the lockdown. Parent support has been invaluable. 

Parent and student access to online tasks is through the College ManageBac portal. Late last week, Faria ManageBac updated the ManageBac parent view. The change is that what had been the Academics tab for viewing student progress and due tasks has been merged into a Dashboard tab. So, when you log in as a parent, to see what work is due for your child please use the Dashboard view.

Tony Shillitoe
Director of Digital Resources

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LLL Depositor Survey

The LLL cares about customers' experiences and wants to hear from its depositors across Australia via a survey. The survey is open until 13 August 2021. Click here for more information.

LLL customer survey advertisement - visit


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Adelaide Hills Careers Expo - Rescheduled

Please note the Adelaide Hills Careers Expo has been rescheduled and will be held on Thursday 2 September from 6-8pm. Bookings are essential. Click here for more information.

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Student Achievements

Rostrum Voice of Youth

Concordia congratulates Lily (9CRID) who has won the National Rostrum Voice of Youth Speaking Competition in the Junior section. 800 students from Australia competed this year. On Saturday 31 July 2021, the National Final results were announced via a Zoom celebration. 5 adjudicators conferred, and awarded Lily first place in the Junior category for her speeches delivered at the SA / NT Zone Final. Lily will be presented with her State and National Awards at an upcoming school assembly by a member of Rostrum. What a truly wonderful achievement!

SA State Music Camp

During the July school holidays, over 200 young orchestral and concert band musicians attended the South Australian State Music Camp at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide. As is the case every year, Concordia College was well represented at this event by nine students who, following their auditions in May of this year, were able to attend camp for a week of large ensemble music making. Zara 9ZTID, Samuel 9SWHI and Leilani 8KSPA attended playing Viola, Cello and Double Bass respectively in Bishop Orchestra. Our percussionists Ted 10JGER, Skye 10VNAR and Indi 9ZTID were very busy working across each of the orchestras. Isabel 7JHEA joined the Clarinet section and Zac 12TMCC played Tenor Saxophone in the Shephard Concert Band. Aidan 8SCOO was awarded the honour of being leader of the Alexander Orchestra. Each of the students enjoyed a wonderful experience, working with skilled tutors and conductors.

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