We know love by this, that He laid down his life for us-and we ought to

lay down our lives for one another.

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees

a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

(I John 3:16-18)


This passage of scripture, along with writings of Robert K. Greenleaf, embodies the spirit of servant leadership at Bethany College. Greenleaf (1977) defines servant leadership as a practical philosophy that supports people who choose to serve first, and lead secondly as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions. Greenleaf contended that the servant-leader is servant first. The definition of servant leadership acknowledges that the individual who is a servant leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first, to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are meet.

Spears (1998) further characterized servant leadership with specific qualities. These qualities and characteristics include:

  • listening
  • empathy
  • healing
  • awareness
  • persuasion
  • conceptualization,

These qualities of Servant Leadership identified by Spears (1998) serve as the framework for Bethany College’s common values and behaviours that all members of the community are encouraged to embrace. These values and behaviours are expressed as:

  • Concerned about social justice nurtures family and community
  • Selfless persuades rather than coerces
  • Committed builds trusting relationships
  • Courageous (takes risks) envisions positive change
  • Redemptive empowers others

Following our Student Leadership seminar with Year 11, the girls and their teachers reflected upon who they believe best represented them for 2017. We are proud to acknowledge our Student Leadership Team for 2017:
























































We thank Christina Ristevski, Sharlize Lasala and Grace Robinson for the incredible job they did in leading the student body this year. You will be a hard act to follow! Let us pray this prayer for leadership for our new student leaders:



Leadership is hard to define.

Lord, let us be the ones to define it with justice.

Leadership is like a handful of water.

Lord, let us be the people to share it with those who thirst.

Leadership is not about watching and correcting.

Lord, let us remember it is about listening and connecting.

Leadership is not about telling people what to do.

Lord, let us find out what people want.

Leadership is less about the love of power and more about the power of love.

Lord, as we continue to undertake the role of leader let us be affirmed by the servant leadership we witness in your son Jesus.

Let us walk in the path He has set and let those who will, follow.

Let our greatest passion be compassion.

Our greatest strength love.

Our greatest victory the reward of peace.

In leading let us never fail to follow.

In loving let us never fail. Amen





 This week we bade a fond farewell to Year 12 as they commence the next chapter of their lives. I have included my Graduation Assembly address here:

Graduation is a bit like a birthday party. It means that yet another year has gone by. It means that those who wish you well surround you and above all, it means that there are all sorts of goodies on offer on the party table. Those goodies range from a choice of university places to a choice of jobs. You may decide to take a year off and hitch elephant rides around India. You might decide to help out a charity or an environmental organization. You could decide to do your stint in the family firm. Today is the start of the rest of your lives.

Just now, of course, you are all happy and fulfilled. You feel justly proud of your accomplishments to date. Today is a day both you and your families can be proud. It is fitting, I think, at this time to acknowledge just what the family means to you. It is appropriate, I believe, to thank your families, your parents for their support until now.

Soon you will be starting a new way of life armed only with what you have learnt so far. You will have to make decisions, solve problems and do things as an adult. That’s a challenging thought isn’t it? Are you prepared for it? Are you prepared to budget, to plan and to be responsible? Are you prepared to become a taxpayer?

Today you are leaving behind your school friends. Don’t forget them because they are part of what you are. I asked your group to name for me some of the fond memories you have of your time here. The responses were interesting and at times, most disturbing!

  • In Year 10 Pass class when Vanessa Patrulovski tried to jump the fence and almost split her head open and everyone laughed.
  • Miss Rothwell in homeroom on Bethany day when Vanessa Patrulovski tried jumping for a photo and hit her hand in a moving fan and Miss Rothwell had a heart attack.
  • In Year 8 and still to this day Ms Summons owes Vanessa Patrulovski $20 dollars for scoring the winning goal in school soccer grand final as it was raining in extra time and wanted to go home.
  • Kristyn Katidis slipping on a banana peel
  • Dance battles at retreat. In particular, Tayla, Zarina and Kijana’s dance off at retreat, Mr Guthrie’s dancing on retreat (there’s videos) 
  • Dance parties we have in hospitality 1 class (there’s videos)
  • When our Mrs. Rowland stumbled on her footing (it’s ok she knows the textiles class thinks she’s the best)
  • Stories by Mr Raptis
  • Mr Raftery’s wit and comments e.g. ‘going through a black hole is not a day to day experience’
  • Mr Hulme deliberately saying “dairy” instead of “diary”
  • Calling a teacher mum by accident in Year 8
  • The constant meltdowns we have in society and culture with Mrs Smit and she has to play therapist
  • Going to modern history with Mrs. Rizzo and always being able to have a laugh either at the fact that you don’t understand anything about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge or Mrs. Rizzo’ endless attempts to make the class interesting and engaging
  • Dr Trent’s science music videos and our sing alongs
  • When Mrs Lavorato said “20,000 and 16” at assembly
  • When Miss Munro typed in a google maps to find a picture of a fish
  • The very first day of school. Just remember how lost all of us were. The running to classes so we weren’t late, having troubles with opening lockers, getting so upset about demerits and being determined to get merits
  • I’m so thankful to have my friends and I’m so happy to say we’ve all pulled each other through the good and bad times, we are always there for one another no matter what and year twelve was definitely a year to remember!

So stay in touch, attend school re-unions and make that call or send that email. If you do, you will keep those friends and the friends of your childhood are special.

Today I would urge those of you who have been given the gift of faith to be true to that faith because it will sustain you in years to come. Live by the commandments because they are guidelines for a good and decent life. Love your neighbour because in doing so you will be happier and more content. Above all, respect the faiths of others because they too have their own beliefs.

Graduation day is a day for stars in your eyes and dreams in your heart. I hope that you will work hard to make those dreams come true. Nobody else can do that for you. There is, though, nothing sweeter than success due to hard work.

Like the cakes on that birthday table, each one of you is different. Some of you are sweet, others wholesome. Each one of you has different abilities, different skills. You may be a champion belly dancer; wonderful at skiing or you may have a beautiful voice. All those attributes are nothing, though, if you haven’t got a kind heart, if you aren’t truthful and upstanding and of sound character.

These things may sound dull but they are the measure of a worthwhile person. We live in a world where there is so much deceit and dishonesty that it is far easier to go with the flow. If you do, you can have no respect for yourselves. If you do, all that we have tried to teach you here has been for nothing. I hope that, in the years to come, you will be known for your integrity, your honesty.  Today I say to you to be tolerant to the faults of others but not your own. I say to you to realise that the world has many facets, many faults. You cannot change the whole world but you can make a difference to your particular corner.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do in the future if you remember to help others along too. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professor or a gardener as long as you remember that every type of work has its own dignity. It doesn’t matter how high you rise in the world’s estimation as long as you don’t get above yourself. All of us have entered this world the same way. All of us will leave it the same way too. It is what we do with the time allocated to us that matters.

Today is the day where we should take the time to thank people. I’d like to thank your parents for choosing Bethany in the first instance. When you enrolled your daughter here, you are letting us know that you trust me and my staff to look after your precious daughters, educate them and care for them, as if you were there. An enormous responsibility that we, as teachers, do not take lightly.

We thank the Year Coordinators and home room teachers you had along the way, especially Miss Sukkar who has looked after your group for three years with care and dedication. She knew when you needed a stern word, clear boundaries and also when you needed a cuddle and a good ear to listen to you. She has been your unfailing advocate and for this I thank her personally and on your behalf.

We thank your teachers who have taught you here from Year 7 but most particularly in Year 12. We all take teaching you very seriously and I especially enjoyed having a maths class for two years who kept me grounded and let me know first-hand of issue your group was having.

And most of all I thank you for being great young women: you are fun, loving, quirky, multi-faceted, strong, bright and precious just like Diamonds, the tag that your group was given.

So today I urge you to celebrate because today is a day for celebration. I want you to be happy because happiness spreads. I would like you to enjoy yourselves because we should make the most of every fleeting second. Someday your children may ask what was it like in the good old days? I hope you will remember today and say with great conviction,” That was a good day, they were happy times.”

May you all be blessed with health and happiness. Always remember, though, that real happiness will only come to you if you count your blessings while others add up their troubles.  Keep Micah’s words in your heart and always act justly, love those you meet as tenderly as you can and walk humbly into your future with God at your side. Thank you.



Our mantra:

“Girls can do anything.
Bethany girls can do everything!*
(*except divide by zero)”
Vicki Lavorato