I am very excited and delighted to provide you with an update on the progress of St George College and the current status of the Application for Accreditation and Funding.
Many decades ago, the Greek Orthodox Community of St George – Brisbane identified the need and embarked on establishing a Private Greek Orthodox College. This has been a work in progress and a labour of love for many in the Community. There have been many attempts to achieve this goal and after considerable toil and dedicated effort, the reality of this great achievement and community dream is coming to fruition.
The Day Project Committee established some 4 years ago has been working arduously over the last 12 months on completing the requirements for the final submission of the application and is aiming to have this lodged by the end of April 2022.
There has been significant consultation, engagement and involvement with Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and Non State School Accreditation Board (NSSAB) in fine-tuning and guiding the application to ensure that we receive the mandatory accreditation and the highest level of funding for the College.
St George College will adopt the Australian Curriculum in its entirety and have as an integral part of the curriculum, the Modern Greek Language, the Greek Orthodox faith and the Hellenic culture, history, customs, traditions and beliefs. In addition to the core curriculum, the College will offer the students the opportunity to undertake extra-curricular activities that will enhance their learning and provide them with a diverse and wide range of innovative platforms to build concrete educational foundations. We live in a fast paced and constantly evolving world that requires a panoply of skills and a unique set of attributes to be able to adapt and pivot for the ever-changing landscape of the 21st Century.
The College Website went live late in 2021 and since then it has generated a great deal of genuine interest and solid enquiry. I am thrilled to announce that we currently have over fifty prospective students on the Expressions of Interest database.
The current waitlist of children is extremely encouraging with genuine interest in Prep to Year 3 Classes. There has also been enquiry for years 4-6. This is current as of March 2022. Expressions of Interest current total as of April 2022 is 50. Given the timeframe until the commencement of the College, we anticipate having at least one Prep Class and it is highly probable that we might be in the enviable position of having a second Prep Class. There will also be a year 1, 2 and 3 Class.
In late November 2021, a survey was conducted by means of an email survey consisting of questions targeted at mainly young parents with children under the age of 5 and without children but intending on having children in the foreseeable future.
The survey was sent to the Greek Orthodox Community of St George – Brisbane database, St George Church Parishioners via a Facebook link, the GOC Childcare Centre and the Cypriot Community Association of Qld.
The Salient Findings
- The Survey clearly highlighted the overwhelming need for a Co-educational Private Greek Orthodox School in Brisbane.
- The Proposed Annual School Fees are viewed at the higher end of the spectrum and could be a barrier for a low percentage of the interested parents.
- Listed below responses in order of importance:
- Modern Greek Language
- Greek Orthodox faith
- Hellenic culture, history, customs, beliefs and traditions
- Small class sizes
- The learning of the Modern Greek Language ranked as the number one priority for the prospective parents. This is clearly stated in the comments and is seen as the gateway to the learning, preserving and maintaining of the Orthodox faith and the Hellenic culture, values, beliefs, customs and traditions. There were 43/58 respondents that reinforced this belief.
- 75% of the students on the current waitlist reside on the Southside of Brisbane.
- Although the location of the proposed School is highlighted as an area of concern, the majority of prospective parents of students indicated that they are able to manage it.
- The Master Plan need to be finalised that clearly shows the School’s long term Vision.
If any conclusions may be drawn from the data, they are, perhaps, as follows:
- The School is long overdue
- Major emphasis must be given to 21st century Learning methodologies and Curriculum Framework
- Quality educators
- State of the Art Facilities
- Affordability considerations
- Transportation concerns
Information sessions have been organised to outline and highlight the Greek Orthodox Community Master Plan which will incorporate the College. The Greek Community at large has the opportunity to provide input, engage with key stakeholders and canvas their preferences on what they would like to see incorporated in the Master Plan.
The College will have a visible presence at the Paniyiri Festival this year and we look forward to meeting interested parents and Community members to provide further details on the College Vision, Philosophy, Mission, Values and future plans.
The Greek Orthodox Community through its various Committees and Initiatives has begun Fund-raising activities for the College. This will ramp up in earnest over the next 12 months and we will be seeking expressions of interest from the Community to assist and be involved in as many ways as possible.
In concluding, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, involvement and interest and look forward to the exciting times that lie ahead.
Together the College dream will become a reality!
College Executive Officer