Broughton Blog


There's an orange balloon in my letterbox

The other day I returned home from another great day at work here at Broughton to find an orange balloon and a small message in my letterbox. The note read:
“Dear neighbour, I would like to encourage children of the area to come “trick or treating” around the neighborhood (minus the tricks, thank you), but only to houses that have orange balloons showing. If you want to see the cute costumes, and maybe send your own kids out as part of the celebration, blow up the balloon and hang it up outside. On your letterbox is good. Then lay on some lollies for the visiting munchkins. If you would prefer not to have anything to do with it, just throw the balloons away (or drop them back in our letter box for recycling) and ignore the whole mess.”
I don’t know about you, but until recently I didn’t really know much about Halloween. This is probably because as an Australian child growing up in the 80-90’s I never celebrated it and nor did my friends. For instance, when I was at school I never heard anyone recount stories of their trick or treating adventures. As far as I can tell it’s only been in the last few years that Halloween has been celebrated with any kind of gusto. However, now that I find myself in a community where its often celebrated it I’ve needed to do a little bit of good ol’ Googling to see where Halloween started and what it’s all about.
So here’s what I found…
 Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. During this time, they believed that there was a better connection with the spiritual world and so in an effort to capitalise on this season they would dress up in costumes consisting of animal heads and skins and attempt to tell each other’s fortunes as they danced around huge bonfires.
Over time as cultures collided and as the Roman Empire took control of the Celtic territory, other festivals and celebrations where combined with Samhain and then eventually in 609 A.D Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Later on Pope Gregory III expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. Eventually by about 1000A.D the Catholic Church established November 2 to be “All Souls’ Day”, a day to honor the dead. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas and so the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually as we know it today as “Halloween”.
Eventually, by the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular celebration and with the mix of lollies, costumes and large scale parties. By the 1950s, Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Even the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was revived. It evolved from people dressing in costumes and going house to house asking for food or money and where young women even believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. It changed to be relatively inexpensive way for a community to share the Halloween celebration and in theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats.

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ANZAC - Centenary Celebrations

ANZAC - Centenary Celebrations

ANZAC Day 25 April 2015 - 100th year anniversary

 Cadet 2

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.


On Saturday 25 April 2015 Australians celebrated a very special ANZAC Day being the 100th Anniversary of the landing of our troops at Gallipoli Cove in Turkey. Dawn Services, Ceremonies of Remembrance and ANZAC marches were held across Australia and in many parts of the world as we remembered the service and sacrifices of the men and women of our armed services, not only at Gallipoli, but also in many theatres of war during our history.  These brave men and women gave much to defend the values and freedoms that we enjoy today.

I encourage you to consider the unconditional love and service to others that our service men and women show. They know that they may face capture, torture or death but they are still willing to defend our way of life.  Compare this to what Jesus did for us. Instead of using His might to destroy the world as we deserve, God chose to send His Son to live amongst us. Knowing He will die on a cross so that we might be saved. Jesus is the perfect example of service and love as He was prepared die in order to save not only for those who He shared values and relationships with, but all people, past and present, whether they always loved Him or hated Him until they accepted Him as their Saviour.

ANZAC day is a time of remembering and thanking our armed services – something we should do every day. I encourage each of you to take time every day to do the same for Jesus – thanking Him that through Him we can be saved.


The College held our ANZAC Assembly on Friday 24 April at which Pastor James Carter-Locke, representing Campbelltown RSL, addressed the students on the response of our men and women to the call to defend our freedom and the story of the Gallipoli landing.

He also spoke of the bravery of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick who spent his short time at Gallipoli using his donkey transporting the wounded back to safety. It was interesting to note the impact of Simpson’s bravery and character on the Australian identity given that he lost his life after only four weeks at Gallipoli.

I thank Pastor Carter-Locke and his wife for joining us on this special day. It allowed them to see how God has blessed Broughton given that he and his wife were at church when Canon John Darlington shared his vision for Broughton and that he was a member of our Schools Council for many of the first years of the College.

A group of Broughton students represented the College at the Campbelltown ANZAC march which was followed by a service at Mawson Park.

Don O'Connor







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Rev Michael Duckett, Mr Don O'Connor, Uncle Ivan, Bryan Doyle MP and Tori Duckett

The 'Celebration of the Creation Wall' Assembly, held on Monday 24 November will certainly be listed as one of the highlights of 2014 that I will remember. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for the creation of our world and the gift of salvation through Christ and to recognise the role that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made to our country.

I thank Uncle Ivan (an elder of the Dharawal people), Mr Bryan Doyle (Member for Campbelltown) and members of the Aboriginal community for joining us at this special event. I particularly would like to thank Reverend Michael Duckett (Macarthur Indigenous Church Pastor) for the significant role he played in the planning, development and painting of the wall and for sharing the message behind the wall with our students. I also thank Tori Duckett (Year 6) and Mariah Alone (Year 1) for signing the beautiful Aboriginal gospel hymn, Ngarra Burra Ferra (Yorta Yorta Language), which is based on Exodus 15.

The journey from the initial thoughts relating to designing a mural through to the final design, celebration and sharing of the message behind the wall is one which I and the College community will remember and value. It reflects the partnership between the College and our community and the power of God who can grow a simple idea into a way of sharing the message of salvation and reconciliation through Christ with others.

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On Friday 31 October 2014 our College Captains Kye and Kara spoke to College Staff at a morning tea celebrating World Teachers Day.

Kye’s Speech

Romans 12:4-8

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Kara’s Speech

On behalf of the entire college we would like to show our appreciation and say thank you for the contributions that all of you have made towards the college. Your hard work and dedication within the college community do not go un-noticed, your positive attitude towards all tasks, creativeness and caring nature are just a few aspects of what makes you all truly fantastic teachers. The humility that you possess is obvious and it is noticeable that you don’t teach to be praised but to make a difference. Teachers don’t just teach students, they inspire them to learn.












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This week has been a sad week for the College with two members of staff losing their fathers. Please pray for these families as they grieve their fathers and pray that they feel God’s love and comfort at this time.

The College was also saddened by the loss of Mrs Lyn Moore (Support Staff 1990 - 2003). Mrs Moore would be remembered by past students for her modeling of Christ, her servant heart and permanent positive attitude and smile. Her enthusiasm and love for the all in the College community, past and present, was greatly appreciated and will be missed. 

As I have spoken to people about the lives of those who have passed away this week and attended two funerals,  I have been touched by the way people spoke of their loved ones - the importance they placed on relationships, their willingness to help and care for others, their servant attitude even when they were unwell and the importance of faith and how this is helping them get through a sad and difficult time. 

I have been reminded again of the fragility of life and the importance of having a strong relationship with Christ. At one of the funerals I attended, whilst family and friends were sad at their loss and the separation they feel, they were also able to celebrate the life of their loved one and recognise their life of service and mission.  They were also able to celebrate in the knowledge that death is a door to a life in the presence of God for eternity.

In this time of sadness I have been blessed to have been reminded of the promises of God and I pray that everyone in our community reflects on their relationship with God, and if they have not yet made a commitment to Christ they please consider doing this.  If you wish to talk further about what is means to be a follower of Christ, please feel free to contact the College Chaplains, Reverend Grant and Miss Philpott, or talk to myself or another member of staff.

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As the first half of the 2014 academic year draws to its conclusion it is a good time to reflect on what has been achieved in our first two terms, to give thanks to God for all that He has provided and all that we have been able to achieve through Him.
Terms 1 and 2 have been extremely busy and students and staff have achieved many great things. Within our classrooms, our students have achieved numerous educational outcomes through the quality teaching and learning the College provides. Over the past week, I have signed the front page of the rports for each student in the College and have been impressed by the achievement and effort grades.
Outside the classroom, studens have had the opportunity to be involved in various co-curricular activities such as the sport carnivals and competitions, our Christian fellowship groups, bible studies, the College Mission Week, the Senior School production of 'Stories in the Dark',

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Easter 2014

As we enter this Easter period, I encourage the Christians in our College community to share the joy we have of the assurance from God of our salvation and eternal life.

As Christians, we need to share with our non-Christian friends that to us Easter is a time of celebration and reassurance. Through the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, God has shown us that He ‘so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son’ [John 3:16]. He was willing to give His Son so that we might be saved from the power of death.


As Christians we have much to celebrate with the resurrection of Jesus. We know that even though He was crucified and buried in a tomb, He was able to rise from death after three days. Through this, God has shown His power over death giving us the assurance of a future in eternity with Him. At Easter we can celebrate that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have certainty of God’s promise that: ‘whoever believes in [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

May I encourage the non-Christian members of our College family to take the opportunity that Easter services give to visit one of our churches and find out how much more we have to celebrate at this time of year? If you are unsure where to go – you would be very welcome to attend a service at St Peter’s Anglican Church and to have a chat to Reverend Fortesue or members of his team.

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Jesus Brings - Eternity Without Tears - 4 April 2014

JESUS BRINGS – Eternity Without Tears

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’      Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Isn’t this an amazing gift?! How awesome is our God to love each of us so much that he promises us a place with no more tears, pain, broken relationships, sin etc.? His original plan for us was to have us live in a world such as this, however, we as man disobeyed Him, sinned and moved away from the world God planned for us.

Each of us in our College community have suffered, and continue to suffer pain and hurt. At this time I know of many members of the Broughton family who are ill, who are grieving, who are caring for loved ones who are seriously ill, who are dealing with broken relationships and financial stress. Not one of us can be certain that tomorrow will not bring us some kind of pain.

However, there IS something we who have accepted Christ can be certain of - the promise we are given in Revelation 21:4. Our tears will be wiped away, we will no longer have to suffer with the results of mankind’s sin, there will be a place with of no more tears with Him for eternity.

May I encourage you, as we enter our Mission week and the Easter season, to accept this great promise that we have been given and to take the step, if you have not already done so, to come into a living relationship with Christ? Come to our Term Services with an open mind and heart or go to a church for one of the Easter services in the coming weeks.

If you feel you wish to make a commitment to Christ but are not sure how you do this, feel free to speak to Reverend Grant, Miss Philpot or any of the College staff and we will give you some help in taking this wonderful step. Alternatively, speak to Reverend Fortescue or the team at St Peter’s Anglican Church or a member of the ministry team of another church.  However you do it, whoever you speak to, please know that all of us would love to rejoice and support with those who make a commitment to Christ. We will celebrate that you will spend eternity with us in the place with no more tears, illness, pain, death or grief because God will have restored things to the perfect plan He had for us.



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Jesus Brings - Life to the Full - Purpose to Life - 28 March 2014


‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’     John 10:10 (NIV)

Australia – ‘the Lucky Country’, the ‘Land of Milk and Honey’, ‘the Land of Opportunity’. Yes, we do indeed live in the best country in the world. As Australians, we live in a country with beautiful weather – our harbour is renowned for its beauty and majesty, we have plenty to eat, we live in comfortable homes, we have freedom that others can only dream of, we have plenty of opportunities to be educated and to have work to live a great life. Yes at times we have difficulties, of illness and of grief – but compared to a large majority of people on Earth, we are very fortunate and blessed. It has been said that many of us struggle with the concept of Heaven because we feel we are already living there. There are many people who live in less fortunate situations who would spend their last penny or make a dangerous journey so that they might come to Australia to live in freedom and experience life to the fullest.

We know that the riches we have cannot be taken with us when we die – even the richest man women on earth cannot escape death. Even though Kerry Packer purchased defibrillators for ambulances after he was saved by one after a heart attack, he was unable to avoid death and passed away on 26 December 2005. No one can be certain what Mr Packer’s relationship to Christ was at the time of his death but we do know that the thief called ‘death’ steals all your earthly riches. Those of who are followers of Christ are confident that we will have life in God’s presence.

However, it is not only in the eternal perspective that life is fuller with Christ. When I became a Christian my view of life changed. Whilst the good things and bad things of the journey called life still occur, I am now confident that they are all part of God’s plan for me. As I get older, it is becoming easier for me to see how various events in life are part of God guiding me and helping me to grow so that I can be better in doing His work. I am confident that God is in control and that any painful times will disappear after death. I  believe that through Christ my life has become richer and fuller and God triumphs even when my sin tries to take control and encourages me to think I am the who has determined my life path at a career and personal level.  However, since coming to Christ I have learned that sin such as pride and putting other aspects of life first is a thief who, if left unchallenged, would steal the richness of life that is possible through Christ.



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Jesus Brings - Real Community - Blessing to Society - 21 March 2014


‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’     John 15:12 NIV


How hard is it to love ‘one another’? Yes, each of us have people who we love – they may be our parents, our husband or wife, our son or daughter, our grandparents, our boyfriend or girlfriend etc. God has blessed each of us with people who we love and who love and care for us.

But how hard is it to love someone who might have characteristics or traits we do not like? We all struggle with liking, let alone loving, some people. They may say and do things that annoy us; they may disagree with areas and arguments that we are passionate about; they may disrupt areas of our lives; they may just be people who annoy us.

In John 15:12, Jesus commands us to ‘love each other’.  Note, this is not a request or recommendation, it is not optional - it is a command.  Jesus commands us to love each other - just as he loved us. Remember - He loved us so much that he was prepared to suffer a horrific death on the cross so that we might be saved.

I am not saying this is easy – we all struggle with this every day. Other people are not perfect - we can see their faults and flaws. Similarly, we ourselves are not perfect - we can be grumpy and unpleasant at times; we can upset others; we find it easier to criticise and put down others than to love and care for them. Yes, it is difficult, however Christ is there to guide us and help us.

Christ showed his love for others, even those society shunned - the ill, the lepers, the tax collectors, those who had led lives which did not reflect God’s will.  Even on the cross, Christ showed his love for others when he said ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:34 NIV).

God is also there to help us. If there is someone you find difficult to love - ask, through prayer, for compassion, love and grace.  Acknowledge you are struggling to live Christ’s great command of love and ask Him for strength to work through this. Could I challenge you in the next week, to consider a person you find it difficult to get along with and ask God to show you a way in which you can build a relationship with that person?


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Jesus Brings - Rest for the Weary - 14 March 2014


JESUS BRINGS – REST FOR THE WEARY                            

Wow!!  I never cease to be amazed at how often God directs me to just the right verse or devotional at the very time that I need it.  As I prepared this article for the newsletter, I noted that one of the verses that the RAGE leaders had chosen for this week, as we look at aspects of the Jesus Brings Mission, was Matthew 11:28:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”


What a time to read this verse. This week has been an extremely busy week for the College. We have held a very successful Year 7 (2015) Information night, we are planning for the Prep/Kinder (2015) Information Evening, I have been to two conferences etc.

It has also been a week when I have heard of some of our College community grieving or struggling with illnesses or other major issues. I was saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of one of our ex-students – the sort of news that puts my other concerns into perspective.

Have you ever felt overburdened, extremely stressed, overworked, and extremely tired? When we feel like this, our bodies are telling us to take time to rest.  It is also a time when we are reminded that we need refreshment, particularly spiritual refreshment.  This refreshment comes through Christ – He has promised to take our burdens from us.  Commit your problems and concerns to prayer – we know that God will listen. Yes - He might not answer your prayers in the way we have decided He should, however, be confident that He will answer your prayers in the way that He knows is best for you.

I continually find that if I take the time, in the extremely busy periods of work and life, to stop – breathe – pray, that I then feel calmer and less stressed and able to continue to be more productive in the work or activities that I am doing.  Can I encourage you to do the same?


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Jesus Brings - Forgiveness to the Guilty/Salvation to the Lost - 7 March 2014




But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.     Romans 5:8 (NIV)                                                                               

Have you ever been let down by someone you love? Has a loved one said the wrong thing, been thoughtless, been selfish or did not do what you asked? Have we ever hurt or let down people who love us?

I know that as a son, in my younger years, there were many times that I did not do what my parents asked and I disappointed them – the times my mother said ‘I love you but at the moment I do not like the things you are doing’.  As a husband there are times when I upset my wife or have not done the small task she has asked me to do. As a father there have been times, especially in their teenage years, when my children and I have expressed our disagreement with the things they wanted to do and the decisions I made ‘for their own good’. Yes – there are times when we disappoint and let down even those who are the closest to us. However, after these people have expressed their disappointment and hurt, we always worked through them because of the love we have for each other.

In the above cases I have been blessed that there was no permanent damage to these relationships. However, if I am honest, it might have taken a short period of ‘no speaking’ and avoidance for the issue to disappear. Yes, as in most families, I have been blessed that the love we have for each other is greater than the disappointment and hurt we might feel when we have been let down.

The gifts of ‘love’ and ‘forgiveness’ we feel in our relationships gives us only a glimpse of the love that God has for us.  In our relationship with God, ‘rejection and disobedience’ is one sided – it is us who let God down. We constantly disobey him by not living in the manner he planned for us; we continually sin; we rejected God in our thoughts, words and deeds.  However, the unconditional love and forgiveness he has for us is infinite – much more than the love and forgiveness that we have towards our family and friends. He loves us, no matter what we have done. He gave up his Son to die for us on a cross – even though we did not deserve it. He will give us forgiveness and salvation through Christ because He loves us and wants us to be in a relationship with Him.

So, next time, a loved one forgives you for something that you have done, remember that this forgiveness is only a glimpse of the extent of the love and forgiveness that God has for us and that through Jesus He brings forgiveness to the guilty and salvation to the lost.

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Jesus Brings - 28 February 2014

Jesus Brings

Throughout 2014, Anglican Churches across Sydney will be focusing on sharing the message of what does ‘Jesus Bring’ to each of us.

At Broughton we know that Jesus brings us many things. We have seen how the College and our community continue to be blessed by God and that the promise of salvation and eternal life that is available through Christ is the greatest blessing of all.

Throughout the year, the College will be using chapels, term services, our Christian fellowship groups and outreach events to encourage each of us to reflect on, and give thanks for, what Jesus brings.

In Term 1, our Senior School RAGE (Revolve Around God Everyday) will be looking at how Jesus brings us:

  • Forgiveness to the Guilty/Salvation to the lost
  • Rest for the weary/Hope to the broken
  • Real community/Blessing to society
  • Life to the full/Purpose to life
  • Eternity without tears

Term 1 will culminates with the 2014 Broughton Mission Week during which we will be inviting in speakers and other groups to challenge students and families. During Mission Week we will hold our Easter Term Services to give thanks that Jesus died on the Cross for us so that we may be saved.

Broughton Mission Week          9-11April 2014

Junior School Term Service      Friday 11 April 2014     1.15pm

Senior School Term Service     Tuesday 8 April 2014    7.30pm

I ask students and parents to put the dates of the Mission Week and Term Services on your calendars. 

Senior School students and parents are asked to note that attendance at our special services is a condition of enrolment that was agreed to at the enrolment interview.

Further information on the Jesusbrings mission can be found on

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The College has another published author in our midst. Mrs Torrington (Junior School) has had an article titled 'Using Guided Inquiry in a Year 3 classroom' published in the Australian School Library Association's Journal 'Access'. The article details the guided enquiry work Mrs Torrington did with her Year 3 class earlier this year. I congratulate Mrs Torrington and her Year 3 class on the recognition of their work. To read the article click on the link below.

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At the invitation of Professor Ross Todd, Rutgers University, New Jersey, Broughton Anglican College was recently showcased at an International Research Symposium.
The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL)
Third International Research Symposium 2013
Digital Youth, Inquiry and the Future School Library ...research to Practice
A symposium consisting of presentations and small group
discussions for researchers, school librarians and educators
Dr Ross Todd has been coming to Australia to present at Conferences for many years, teaching about the work of Emerita Professor Carol Kuhlthau, author of the 30 year research based Information Search Process (ISP). The Guided Inquiry method of student research is based upon this ISP and taught in schools with the support of the school library.
As Teacher Librarian at Broughton I first learned of Guided Inquiry in 2007 and went on to initiate it as a practice in Broughton in 2008 and in every year since with various classes and with the help of their teachers each year. I have also conducted Action Research into its effectiveness each year.

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