I am very happy to be back from speaking at the International Virtual Education Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A special thanks you to Austrade for making that possible and funding the visit. It was an amazing opportunity to speak about our online school and how we bring education into the homes of our parents.  Participants were very keen to hear our journey and the outcomes of online schooling. I felt very proud to be able to tell your stories and talk about our students and staff. I also had the opportunity to see what was happening around the world in virtual education as well as meet with companies creating new tools to make online school even better. I was excited to hear how South American countries are developing Ministries of Virtual Education and delivering laptops and virtual education to schools as well as villages where there are no schools. This echoed the content of my Keynote Address with lots of exciting discussions about why developing countries may not need to build physical schools when they can deliver education into the home.

I was invited to a couple of schools in Buenos Aires including one of their top private schools that is very international focused, uses online learning and is close to where we are at present. I can see that an exciting relationship has been formed with that school and ours which should bring some exciting opportunities for our DE families to interact with those students on e-projects, internet exchanges and even physical visits.  I again was reminded of how Australia-focused we are as a nation, and especially our education program. Over the coming term I will work with DE staff to consider ways we can open the eyes of our DE students to the world because working in the future will be more globally focused and working as a part of a global team will become more common. We need our students to understand and have experience working globally.

The other Australian speaker at the Conference was from the  University of Queensland who explained how the university is moving all their courses to online courses with even the oncampus students having to undertake the reading and do testing before they come to a tutorial. They are expecting all students to work like our online students do now. I think our online students will be even better equipped than oncampus students to fit into a tertiary institution.

I pray you all have a wonderful break because next term is packed full of events as we graduate students around the State and celebrate their end of secondary schooling. It will be an exciting and emotional term for so many graduating students as well as families finishing their DE journey.  I look forward to seeing you at these events, so watch out for invitations in the inbox.

God bless


Gary Underwood


[email protected] 


Long Service Leave

Thank you to those who prayed for our Deputy Principal of Distance Education Michelle Flood while she was travelling for her long service leave. We are all looking forward to her return at the beginning of Term 4.

End of Year Awards Nominations

The end of the year is fast approaching, and families can start nominating their students for Parent Choice Awards, and also choosing how and where they would like to receive their awards by using this link: Application for Awards 2018.

This year, the following awards will be given.

Below is an outline of the scope and type of awards available, with the aim of motivating students to meet their highest potential.Some of these awards need to be selected by parents, and others are selected by the College Teachers.

Scripture Memorisation Award

Awarded to students who have memorised the nominated Scripture passages during the year up until 2nd November 2018.

Sword of the Spirit Award

Awarded to students who have memorised a book of the Bible during the year up until 2nd November 2018.

Parent’s Choice Awards

Parents/Guardians select up to two awards listed below to acknowledge their child’s individual achievements in 2018.

Awards to choose from:

Christian Character Award

Awarded to students who have most consistently been an example of behaviour in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity of life (1 Timothy 4:12).

Citizenship Award

Awarded to students who have regularly participated in local community (including church) activities in their own time and volunteered repeatedly to serve others; and who has shown outstanding leadership and responsibility.

Persistence and Effort Award

Awarded to students who have shown a conscientious, perseverant, positive and hard working attitude; and consistently applied their best effort.

Creative Arts Award

Awarded to students who have participated in out-of-school performing arts activities and have demonstrated a high level of skill/s in at least two of the following areas - Visual Art, Drama, Media and Music; and demonstrated a consistent attitude, focus and commitment in at least two of the following areas - visual Art, Drama, Media and Music.

Sports Award

Awarded to students who participate in out-of school sporting activities and have demonstrated a high level of skill/s in chosen sport; and demonstrated a consistent attitude, focus and commitment.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

Awarded to young business leaders who are turning their innovative ideas into reality and forging new paths. Students may own their own business or have demonstrated that they are making great strides towards their own unique place in the business community.

Academic Honours Award

Awarded to the highest achieving year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 students in all subject areas. This is calculated by the average results achieved up until the final day of Term 3 and determined by the ACC class teachers.

Encouragement Award

Awarded to students who have demonstrated a marked growth in adjusting to the requirements and expectations of school work despite facing many challenges. This award is determined by ACC class teachers.

Most Improved Award

Awarded to students who have demonstrated a marked level of improvement throughout the year in reading and/or writing, and/or numeracy and/or participation, as demonstrated by school data. This award is determined by ACC class teachers.

Subject Excellence Award

Awarded to the highest achieving year 7, 8, 9, and 10 online students in Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science. This is calculated by the average results achieved up until the final day of Term 3 and determined by the ACC subject teachers.

QCE Subject Academic Award

Awarded to the highest achieving student in each QCE subject in years 11 and 12. This is calculated by the average results achieved up until the final day of Term 3 and determined by the ACC subject teachers.

Joshua Avenell

Acting Deputy Principal

[email protected]


Please remember to visit our website calendar to find up-to-date information about events and other school happenings.

Click 'Google Calendar' to have our events display in your own calendar.



(9 Weeks) Monday 8th October - Thursday 6th December

  • Students Return: Monday 9th October
  • Student Free Dates: 15th October & 7th December
  • Brisbane Awards and Graduation Ceremony: 10th November
  • Senior Formal: 15th November
  • Last day for Year 12 students: 16th November
  • Cambodia Discovery Tour (Yr 11 students): Dates 29th Nov - 9th December



A daily, aloud reading of the passage usually ensures that the student knows the passage by the end of the month. Please adjust the size of the passage to meet your child’s age and abilities. Most secondary students usually complete the whole passage.

Below is a listing of all the Scripture verses for the 2018 year.


Proverbs 4:1-9


Psalm 24:1-10


Matthew 5:3-12


Isaiah 6:1-8


Romans 5:11-18


Matthew 7:7-14


Psalm 104:1-9


James 1:2-10


1 Chronicles 16:8-15


John 15:1-8


Isaiah 9:6-7


Six-weeks term notice (this does not include school holidays) is required for withdrawal of students. Insufficient notice will result in additional fees being charged. Families must complete the Student Exit Form to initiate the withdrawal process.


If you wish to receive a Student ID card for 2018, please fill out this form. You will need to have passport quality photos ready to attach for each student. The photo must be well lighted, and have a plain background (no trees, or snazzy wallpapers).  


The Gold Rush played a significant role in the development of Australia. In Year 6, students have been investigating the artists Julian Ashton, Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin and Sidney Nolan. They created paintings that had included a tool from the Gold Rush in the foreground resulting in some beautiful pieces.

Rustic Goldmine Desert by Jessica Shaw

Hunt for Gold by Kirsten Vetter

Windmill in the Field by Coby Bailey

By Jordan Summerton

Panning for Gold by Alicia Woods

No Gold Today by Charlie Lees-Hooper

SECONDARY UPDATE - Help us help you!

As your teachers here at ACC, we do a lot of things that can help our students. Here are a few:

  1. We answer your questions. You or your child/ren are more than welcome to contact us if you have a question that you as their supervisor cannot answer about a course or you just want to clarify something. Here are the two best ways to contact us.
    1. Over Schoology Messages:
      1. The quickest way to get help if you’re stuck with something on Schoology is to send your teacher a message with a link to the page that you have a question about. You’ll find the message option to the right of the Schoology taskbar in both the student and parent account. If you want to refresh your memory about how to do this, take a look at the following video:
    2. Calling our Direct Number at ACC:
      1. When you joined ACC you would have been asked to set up student profiles. Your teachers have done this too! There is an info section in each of your teacher’s profiles where you can find their direct number. If you call this number you won’t have to go through admin to contact us.
  2. We provide feedback on drafts. This may seem pretty obvious in some of your subjects, such as English and Humanities which have dropboxes for draft submission. However, even if these dropboxes are not present you are still welcome to send your teacher a draft of any assignment which is not a exam.
  3. We provide feedback throughout the term. So, get in contact with one of your teachers if you’re not sure how to check the feedback you are receiving. An easy way to check how you are going and what feedback you are receiving is to look at the grades/attendance page on Schoology. This will show you an overview of your results and feedback (like the image below). Remember to check for comments against rubric elements by clicking on the rubric icon (four squares).  If there is a comment for a specific rubric element there will be a speech bubble on the right side of the rubric (also pictured below). Again, you are more than welcome to contact us if you want some extra feedback on a quiz, forum or assessment.


The adolescent brain – literally ‘use it or lose it’

Last Sunday night ’60 Minutes’ aired a story about a couple of adolescent boys addicted to gaming. Whilst a very disturbing story highlighting our growing understanding of the dangers of gaming, it was also a reminder of the importance of brain development during adolescence.

During this story education coach Jill Sweatman described a child’s addiction to entertainment such as gaming as having a permanent effect on their brain. Ms Sweatman cites that  “if children spent so much of their time and brain on entertainment, they would lose cells not being used in “planned brain death”, a process known as apoptosis, the death of brain cells.

Whilst this may seem an ‘over-the-top’ claim, it is less so when one understands that the period between childhood and adulthood is responsible for the serious remodelling of the brain. From the teen years to well into the mid-twenties, the adolescent brain is ‘pruning’ down existing neurons and laying down myelin sheaths on existing neural pathways that connect the remaining linked neurons.

But why does nature do this? Remodelling of the brain through destruction of existing neurons and their synaptic connections is deliberate and purposeful. Whilst childhood is about the constant creating of neurons through experience and ‘sponge-like soaking in of knowledge’, adolescence is about refining and shaping. The skills honed and practiced in this stage of development will determine what from childhood remains and the skills and knowledge permanently taken into adulthood, as well as those edited out forever.

“The classic “use it or lose it” principle applies to adolescence—those circuits that are actively engaged may remain, those underutilized may be subject to systematic destruction.

(Pruning, Myelination, and the Remodelling Adolescent Brain, 2011)

In addition, myelin enables the remaining and connected neurons to communicate with each other with more coordination and speed creating neural firing thousands of times quicker with myelination. It is repetition and practice that lays down myelin to enable a skill. Consequently, adolescence is a great time for learning new skills such as a language, musical instrument, becoming proficient in sport etc. However, any skill not practiced or used is equally in danger of becoming ‘extinct’ through the pruning process. However, those practiced daily will remain.

Consequently, if adolescence is about refining and strengthening neural pathways, it is essential that adolescent brains are exposed to a wide variety of experiences to create links that support the healthy regulation of attention, mood, emotion, thought, social interactions and behaviour.

As carers and educators, I believe it is our job to ensure that the adolescent brains in our care, which are not yet mature with a fully functional pre-frontal cortex, are given opportunity to engage in a wide variety of experiences that support a healthy balance of skills. It is true that gaming and other technologies offer skill development opportunities – but we also now understand that if exposure to this sort of activity is not regulated or ‘balanced’, neither will be the adolescent’s brain development.  

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Let us make sure that we use the ‘appointed time’ given to us to speak into the lives of the teenagers in our care in a way that ensures the right things are ‘torn down’ and ‘built up’ during this important stage of their development.

Quick-links to articles used:

Pruning, Myelination, and the Remodeling Adolescent Brain:

60 Minutes Story:

Anita Newell

Head of Senior School

[email protected] 


  Considerations for the Future – Year 12 decision time

As we head towards the end of Term 3, our Year 12 students are making plans for next year. Here is some information that may help:

QTAC applications and preferences

Year 12 students should be considering putting in their preferences for tertiary study for 2019 asap. While the final date to apply and to submit documents for the major offer round on 16 January 2019 is 14 December 2018, it is recommended that Year 12 students apply early as some courses have early and/or fixed closing dates. If you need assistance to organise your preferences, go to the QTAC website and scroll down to ‘How should I order my preferences?’.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS) when applying to QTAC

The EAS provides OP or rank adjustments for applicants who have experienced circumstances that have negatively affected their studies. When applying for this scheme you need to ensure you are aware of the following:

  • Lodge your documents either electronically or by mailing hard copies to QTAC
  • Each EAS category you apply for has a relevant cover sheet that must be completed.
  • If applying for the Financial Hardship category, a current financial year’s Income Tax Return is required (ie.  2017/2018 financial year).
  • If an applicant has experienced disruption due to leaving foster care/out-of-home care, they are encouraged to apply in the ‘Home Environment and Responsibilities’ category.  A separate tick box on the cover sheet is now available for this situation, and there is an additional section to indicate that the applicant is willing to be contacted about available support by the various institutions.

Visit the EAS site for more details.

Additional criteria for teaching applications

Students who are applying for teaching degrees are required to complete an online questionnaire and 2 x 500-word personal statements in addition to meeting subject prerequisites.  Visit this area of the QTAC website to help with this statement as it shows how to reflect on why they would make a good teacher. Once completed, students upload their personal statements to their QTAC application.

Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website

This great website has all the information you will need about Australian apprenticeships and traineeships. The ‘Student’ entry point will provide you with the tools and resources needed to explore apprenticeship and traineeship career pathways in Australia. The ‘Job Hunters’ page is worth looking at as well because it includes topics on job hunting and pre-apprenticeships.

A reminder for Year 12 students about Tax File Numbers

Students wish to go to university are encouraged to apply early for a Tax File Number (TFN).  A TFN is needed to be able to defer fee payment through HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or a VET Student Loan. These loans are made on the basis you pay it later through the tax system. So if you don’t have a TFN, you won’t be able to finalise a government loan for study.  In order to apply for a TFN, visit the Australian Tax Office website for details.  It may take time to receive your TFN, so apply early.

The Year13 website

Year13 is a helpful online resource for post school options providing information on jobs and job vacancies, a gap year, studying, money matters, internships etc. The ‘Get Advice’ section has some interesting and informative articles.  

How to be Competitive for Jobs

The JobJumpstart initiative has videos to help guide you on how to be competitive in the job market. They are set out in three parts:

Definitely worth the watch.

Have a restful holiday break and take some time to prayerfully consider your future.

God bless

Sue Fraser

Head of Student Services

[email protected]



Brisbane City Excursion

DE QUT Excursion

by Jonathan Falkner

On the 11th of September 2018, the Gold Coast & Brisbane DE ACC students went on an excursion to the CUBE at the Queensland University of Technology or QUT.

The Primary students went to Old Government House with Mrs Peisley for a tour of the William Robinson Art Gallery, an art lesson and an interactive art session at the CUBE.  Meanwhile, Secondary students went upstairs with Mrs Timmins and our guides at the CUBE to learn about coding robots.

Secondary students learned how to code a Sphero robot, before using the Sphero robot to make a scale model of the planets in the solar system. We programmed the robots to move in a circle that resembled the orbits of the planets in the solar system. The robots were then placed on the ground and activated to see if the coding worked with mixed results.  

After lunch, Secondary students had their own session at the CUBE. They learnt about the effects of gravity wells and the different gravitational pulls of the planets in the solar system, as well as the Sun and Earths’ moon. They also learnt about how fast light travels through a simulation that could be activated on the cube.

Secondary students then re-joined with the primary students.  The primary students gave the senior students a tour of the William Robinson Art Gallery and Old Government House before we all moved on to a tour of the QUT Art Museum to finish the day.

Admiring Artwork about Springbrook at Old Government House

ACC Elite

One of our ACC Elite students, Tayla Cloete, has achieved some great success in the BMX world. Last year Tayla placed third place in the Australian Championships for BMX. This year she set herself a goal of placing on the podium and achieved that goal by placing third. This means that Tayla is currently placed third in Australia. Tayla also placed third in the Oceania Championships earlier this year.

Tayla placed second in the South Queensland Championships last year. This year she was the winner and is now the South Queensland Champion.

Tayla is now looking forward to some more major competitions. She will be competing in the Queensland Championships very soon. She will also be competing in the Grand Final Championships in America later in the year.