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Stronger Together

We are stronger together. The theme of the AGM and National Conference for 2015 was ‘Stronger Together’. And upon reflection of our time in Canberra, I think we proved it! There was a great sense of unity and encouragement around this conference. Thanks to all who participated and served during the 2 days. The theme of ‘Stronger Together’ will continue to capture our intentional way forward for the coming years. As an organisation, we have worked hard to define who we are and where we are going and this is captured in the words of Grow, Enrich, and Strengthen. Christian Education National seeks to grow Christian education and Christian educators, we do this well and want to continue to be a strong voice of distinction in the education sector. Further to this, we want to ensure that our associations are strengthened to grow and be sustained. There is no way we can do any of this without enriching our member associations through a robust organisation. All of this is captured in the pages at the front of our AGM booklet. If you weren’t at the AGM, copies of this will be delivered to your school shortly.

Message from New Board Chair

What a buzz! I’ve returned to Mount Evelyn Christian School so encouraged from the 2015 CEN Annual General Meeting. In the rest of this eNews you’ll discover all sorts of reasons for that buzz. It’s the people, stories, passion, vision, and resources that make the community of CEN what it is. These are all things to be incredibly grateful to God for.

Immediately following each AGM the board has a meeting in which the positions of responsibility are sorted out. John deJong has been the board chair for a number of years now. While John continues to serve on the board he has stepped aside from the role of board chair. I indicated my willingness to serve in this capacity and so my fellow board members ‘dobbed me in’. I count it a great privilege to be able to serve as the chair of the CEN National Board and president for CEN – my prayer is that I can do so both effectively and as a loving response to God’s great love for us (the message from Brian Vaatstra over the AGM weekend).

On behalf of you, all I’d like to thank John for his sacrificial service as chair. Of course we will continue to be blessed by his years of experience. I’d also like to publicly thank Hugh Bryant-Parsons for his nine years of service on the board – epitomised by Godly wisdom. As he sort of snuck off to the end of his term in the AGM, the board is conspiring to find a nice concrete way to thank him beyond these words. Finally, welcome to Veronica Vanderree our newest board member. She comes to us from Bayside Christian College in Victoria. Veronica’s profile along with that of Sue Goudswaard, Anne Baker, and Geoff Brisby the other re-elected members of the board can be found in the edition of our eNews.


Dr Gerry Beimers


Your national board

anne bill david geoff gerry john susan yvonneveronica

Welcome to Newstead Christian School

It was a great privilege to welcome Newstead Christian School as a new member school at the AGM. The Principal, Bronwyn Eastley and Board Chair, Richard Holloway attended the weekend and from all accounts, ‘felt right at home’. Newstead is found in Launceston, Tasmania and have a great relationship with Launceston Christian School.

Newstead is in a time of transition and growth, including some big building projects that are underway. Like all schools, theirs is an exciting story of vision, challenge and blessing. We welcome you Newstead and look forward to continued engagement.

Succession in CEN Leadership

In 2009 Ken Dickens took on the role of chief executive officer while retaining his position of principal of the National Institute for Christian Education. Such a dual role was seen to be appropriate at a time when the teacher training operation of CEN was being more fully incorporated into the consolidated National Office and the mindset of our national association. This was largely in response to the findings of the CEN Reference Group into Teacher Education.

Together with the dual role of CEO and principal an executive team was established with operations manager and academic dean sharing the leadership. There have been various iterations of this executive structure over the past six years. Most recently Michelle Dempsey has been appointed as National Coordinator to work with Ken, Chris, and Craig as the national executive.

Michelle’s appointment was made with succession in mind and she has assumed many of the CEO functions allowing Ken to focus more on his role as principal. For some time the national board and Ken have been discussing succession and the transition back to the separation of the CEO and principal roles. CEN and the National Institute are now fully consolidated structurally and philosophically to the extent that a redefining of roles is very timely. Ken had indicated to the board his retirement would commence at the end of 2015. However, with the new arrangement, he is happy to continue as principal albeit in a less than full-time capacity.

From August this year Michelle will take on the role of CEO (transitioning out of her Victorian state executive officer role) and Ken will revert to the role of principal of the National Institute only. Michelle and Ken will continue to work closely together and with the executive team, ensuring a smooth transition. Both Ken and Michelle are excited about the synergy that this natural progression will facilitate.

Staffing Arrangements

Amanda Hottinger has reluctantly decided to leave her administration position with CEN to take up a role in her family’s business. We will miss Amanda and are grateful for her contributions to CEN and wish her well in her new endeavours.You may still hear from Amanda from time to time as she may be involved in some contract work for CEN.

We welcome Luke Pereira into the CEN staff. Luke has been contracted as the CEPA Project Manager. His task will be to oversee the implementation of the recommendations arising out of the CEPA review late last year. Previously Luke was deputy principal at Kuyper Christian School and he brings to CEPA a passion for teacher collaboration and professional development.He has lots of good ideas but also wants to hear from people within the CEN family. You may receive some communication from Luke seeking input. Please respond frankly and promptly if you can.



Christian Education National seeks expressions of interest for a part time (0.6) Administration Officer. This is an initial 6 month position with the possibility of extension.

This is an excellent opportunity for the successful applicant to serve a national community of Christian schools (Christian Education National) by providing administrative support in the national office, based in Mulgoa, Penrith.

The position involves general office administration (word processing, spreadsheets, phone booking etc) with specific online content management support (website content maintenance, membership database, online surveys etc).

The successful applicant will not necessarily have specific experience in online content management but will have a high degree of IT proficiency and aptitude.

Applicants should be committed Christians; able to subscribe to CEN Statement of Faith; and be in good standing with standing with a local church. 

Applications should be submitted via email to the Administrative Assistant, Melinda Storm and should include a CV and cover letter outlining suitability to the role.

Click here for more information

Enquiries can also be sent to Melinda Storm via email or phone 02 4773 5800.

Church service before ITEC15

For those attending ITEC15, and will be in Melbourne on Sunday night 12 July, a gathering of believers (church service) has been organised for ITEC15 participants. This will be at 5pm in the city which will allow for groups to have dinner together after the service in one of Melbourne’s ‘eat-streets’. Although this is aimed at being a kind of commencement event—with opportunity to pray for the conference that follows—please feel free to invite friends, family, and colleagues.

Location:  Scots Church, 156 Collins Sts (Cnr Exhibition St), Melbourne

Date/Time:  Sun July 12th, 5:00 – 6:30pm

Bible teaching:  Murray Capil

Getting there: There are plenty of car park stations close by. Trams from Albert Park go up St Kilda Road/Swanston Street, then short walk; and its easy walking from Flinders St station (train).

National Board Chairs Conference

Attention board chairs and deputy board chairs! Please set aside Thursday 15th October – Saturday 17th October 2015 for the National Board Chairs Conference in MELBOURNE. The theme of the conference is “Godly Governance – Leading Vision Driven Schools” and will feature John Sikkema as the plenary speaker. John is the executive officer for Halftime Australia and the author of the book “Enriched – Redefining Wealth”.

The conference is suited to all board members and interested principals, though the program is designed particularly to focus on board chairs and deputies.

The conference is $875 per single or $725 twin share (and is inclusive of most meals and accommodation) and will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Click here to register

Click here to email Philippa de Haan for any questions or enquiries

Accredited Training for School Boards

We are pleased to announce that CEN has been approved as an accredited provider of board training under the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards in NSW.  What does this mean? Well, in NSW, each board member is now required to participate in accredited board training for 4 hours per year as part of compliance for schools.  We don’t think that Victoria will be too far behind in this expectation. It is our aim by next year to have online board training modules for all boards to access through our website.  Stay tuned for more details!

NEW Curriculum Development Resource

We are pleased to present to you Transformation by Design produced by the National Institute for Christian Education. Transformation by Design is a resource designed to help you develop curriculum from a biblical perspective. This resource has been developed by a team of expert and experienced Christian educators from around Australia. It provides a model for developing curriculum in direct response to a mandated curriculum while unfolding a transformational, biblical perspective for the students.


Click here for more information

Click here to obtain copies

Click here for templates


NEW CCE Workshops

Many in our school communities have engaged with the Certificate of Christian Education which is a one day workshop laying down the foundations and core values of Christian education in an accessible and entertaining way for all staff and parents. The National Institute for Christian Education has designed follow-on workshops for schools wanting to enhance biblical literacy or develop teaching staff.

The following indicates the certificates currently available:


Certificate of Christian Education (CCE)
The flagship of our professional development courses is the Certificate of Christian Education that is designed for all members of the Christian school community including ancillary staff and parents. It is Christian education 101 and is also available in an online format for individual study. It addresses the questions; what is Christian education?, what is the purpose of Christian schooling?, where did Christian education come from? The course includes historical, theological and philosophical elements and gives participants an understanding of the: development of Christian schooling in Australia; biblical basis and worldview implications. This course would be a beneficial addition to any new staff induction program. For many this course provides a new perspective on education and for others it is like an old friend that it is really good to catch up with from time to time.


CCE (Design)
For the school wanting to dedicate a whole day of staff training in curriculum development, the National Institute has developed the CCE (Design). This 1 day (or equivalent) workshop explores designing school curriculum in response to the Australian Curriculum (or any mandated curriculum) from a biblical perspective. The interactive and collaborative practical sessions will develop the Transformation by Design model for curriculum development and a significant component will include training in the use of the National Institute’s resource, Transformation by Design.


CCE (Deliver)
This 1 day (or equivalent) workshop is for the school wanting to dedicate a whole day of staff training in pedagogy that is thoroughly Christian and shaped by the gospel. Teaching Christianly will include offering a biblically shaped perspective of the world through curriculum as well as practice and pedagogy that is biblically informed and shaped. The methods and techniques we use to teach our students in Christian schools will also be drawing them towards or away from the gospel. This workshop will explore the issues that need to be considered in the unique context of your Christian school when delivering a Christian pedagogy.


CCE (Teacher)
This is an optional bridging course between the CCE and the CCE(Design) and CCE(Deliver). It explores the areas of programming, pedagogy and people. The first of the 3 sessions deals with programming curriculum from biblical perspective and the issues to consider when unfolding a biblical worldview through your curriculum material. The second session then builds on this to explore how pedagogy will at times be distinctivlely different when shaped by the Bible. The workshop finishes with an exploration of the nature of Christian community and the particular characteristics of a Christian school community.


CCE (God’s Story)
Biblical literacy is critical for the successful delivery of Christian education. This one day workshop (or equivalent) provides an opportunity for staff and parents (even sernior students) to be better equipped at reading understanding that which is sharper than a two edged sword—the Word of God. This workshop is based on the popular God’s Story Banner and User’s Guide.


Click here for more information

Click here to inquire about making a booking for any of the courses for your staff, parents, or board.


NEW God’s Story Student Chart

The God’s Story Banner (3m or 6m) has been a highly popular and effective visual tool for raising big picture biblical literacy. It combines a chronological timeline of the Bible story, people, events, books, and major themes plus how to explain them. The National Institute for Christian Education have released a Student Chart version. This is an affordable version for buying a class set of charts that students can have in front of them on their desks for devotions, biblical studies, any lesson.

Click here for more information about God’s Story

Click here to purchase God’s Story Student Charts

Sue Batemans Memorial Service

Geoff Bateman is the State Executive Officer for CEN. At his wife Sue’s recent memorial service, CEN  was represented by Ken and Jennie Dickens, Simon Matthews and Wendy Joyce on Wednesday 3rd June. The service was held at Marrara Christian School and was a wonderful occasion giving tribute to a wonderful God and a life well lived. Geoff and his family spoke of their love and admiration for Sue and of the way she reflected Christ to all who came in contact with her. We continue to pray for Geoff and his family as they commence on this stage of their life without Sue.