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Christmas Greetings

Hi There! It’s hard to imagine that Christmas is already around the corner. The year has flown past, and what a year of joy and pain it has been. I am keenly aware that for some, this year has been difficult. We’ve lost loved ones, we’ve faced traumatic situations, we’ve experienced stress, and we have at times, doubted. As you wind up in your role for the year and look toward next, it is my prayer that you will be able to switch off from the challenges you have faced this year and focus your attention towards celebrating one beautiful part of the big story, the birth of King Jesus. May you engage with family and friends, and enjoy the fellowship that friends and family bring. Thanks so much for all that you contribute to your school and to the wider CEN community. We are indeed, “Stronger Together”.

Christian Edu. in New Zealand

Kathy Pereira (NSW SEO) and Michelle Dempsey have just returned from visiting New Zealand, where they were able to meet and visit schools and organisations, many that sing from the same ‘song sheet’ as us. One of the reasons for the trip was the reconnoitre of a study tour for CEN Principals for next year. Look out for details early next year and an information session that will be held at the Thrive, Executives Conference 2016.

Highlights have included:

• Spending 2 intense days with Kevin Knight and Lois Chick at the NZ Graduate School of Education. The Graduate School is applying a radical intensive approach to preparing graduates for the classroom. Interestingly, many Christian interns are attracted to the course. If you ever have someone who has completed this course apply in your school, you can be assured they have been rigorously prepared for classroom teaching.

• A visit to Middleton Grange Christian School which has grown out of similar Dutch and Reformed roots to many of our CEN schools. It’s an impressive school which is massive. 1200 students plus. It was interesting to learn more about how their funding arrangements for “independent” (integrated) schools work.

• A visit to South Auckland Middle School where they are playing with a different approach to teaching Mauri kids which includes small classes, short projects and an integrated approach. This is all underpinned by Christian values, though we weren’t sure how overt these values were to the students and surrounding community. They also lease their buildings which is interesting.

• Breakfast in the funkiest café in Auckland with Nathan and Luke from the Venn Foundation. Venn is doing some fantastic work in NZ, and exist “to form and support people who seek – out of the gospel – to bring life and flourishing to NZ”. It goes without saying that that was one stimulating breakfast conversation. I am thankful to the Lord for deep Christian thinkers like these guys.

• A visit to Kingsway Christian College where we were welcomed like old friends. They were so keen on our resources and we made some positive connections there. The school is massive, but had quite an intimate ‘earthy’ feel to it. Shoes are optional for kids at break times at this school which was really nice to see.

• A visit to Bethlehem College and the Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (on the same campus) was really interesting. Bethlehem is actually the name of the town, which included street names like “Zion” way and is close to the down of Judea. (I’m being serious!) Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has a new Masters course in Professional Practice which looks great.

New Office Manager 2016

We are pleased to announce that as part of a the development of our National Office, we have appointed Anne Blair-Hickman as the office manager for 2016. Anne is familiar to you as the editor of Nurture which she currently does for 1 day per week. Anne will now be in the office over 4 days and will work 1 day at Nepean Christian School where she is also currently employed. We are thrilled to have Anne on board in this role and look forward to the skills and enthusiasm she will bring.

Principal of National Institute for Christian Edu.

2016 sees Dr Ken Dickens transition into semi-retirement. We are very pleased that he will continue serving as the principal of the National Institute for 2 days per week with a special focus on Post Graduate courses.  Chris Parker continues to share his allocation of time with his Communications role for CEN and his lecturer and speaker role for the Institute.  One of Chris’ focuses in 2016 will be on the development of further professional learning for our schools. If you have ideas for how the National Institute may best serve your school, and Christian education, in this space then Chris is keen to explore these with you.


Announcement of New Principals

We welcome the following faithful leaders who have been appointed to Christian Education National schools for 2016:

  • Matt Patterson (previously Rivergum Christian College, SA) has been appointed to Mid North Christian School, SA.
  • Greg Smith (Tyndale Christian School, SA) has been appointed to Rivergum Christian College, SA
  • Adrian Bosker (previously Calvin Christian School, Primary, TAS) has been appointed to Launceston Christian School, TAS.
  • Petrina Essex (previously Calvin Christian School, Primary, TAS) has been appointed to Northern Christian School, TAS.
  • Keith Roberts (previously Brindabella Christian College, ACT) has been appointed to Channel Christian School, TAS
  • Erik Hofsink (previously Launceston Christian School) has been appointed to Emmaus Christian School, ACT
  • Ian Shaw (previously Nepean Christian School, NSW) has been appointed to Kuyper Christian School, NSW
  • Dan Clark (Strathalbyn Christian College, WA) has been appointed to Annandale Christian College, QLD
  • Mike Vos (previously Nhulunbuy Christian School, NT) has been appointed as Interim Principal to Devonport Christian School, TAS
  • David Gleeson (previously Maranatha Christian School, VIC) has  been appointed to Melton Christian College, VIC


Executives’ Conference

You will have received your invitation to the CEN Executives Conference 2016 (Thrive). This will be a wonderful time of challenge, sharing, and networking. Please note the registrations close on the 15th January, so how about registering you and your executive staff now before you are on a beach, soaking up the sun?

Click here to register now

Board Chairs’ Conference (Godly Govenance)

The CEN Board Chairs’ Conference held in Melbourne in October was a huge success. Plans are underway to run another one next year. Look out for details coming out soon. You can also check out a full report of this in the latest edition of Nurture.

Christian Edu. Resources – a catalogue

CEN and the National Institute for Christian Edu. offer a growing suite of resources to serve those in Christian edu. We have developed a one-place catalogue that lists these resources. Look out for this as an insert in the November Christian Teachers Journal.


Office closed over Christmas

The CEN National will be closed from Christmas Eve til the 11th January 2016. We are sorry for any inconvenience that may cause.