What makes a good leader? If you could choose someone to be your leader, what would you look for?

At this time of year, we have been selecting student leaders for 2021, and it is an interesting process to reflect on the skills and attributes that are required from our students to lead the College. If you read anything about leadership, you will soon see that many of the abilities expected of a leader are contradictory. Leaders are expected to be decisive, but also are expected to be consultative; they are expected to be agile and flexible, but also to provide stability and consistency. They are expected to be charismatic and confident, but also humble; they need to be optimistic and positive while also being sceptical, planning for worst-case scenarios.

It takes wisdom, good judgement and experience for a leader to be able to successfully navigate these paradoxes, and over the course of our students’ schooling, there have been a multitude of opportunities for students to take on leadership roles and to build their experience and judgement when it comes to leading others. While there are larger leadership roles such as being involved in Round Square events, leading or coaching a sporting team, driving an environmental group, leading a fundraiser or being a leader for younger students on Education Outdoors programs, there are also numerous day-to-day opportunities for students to show leadership in class activities, in the playground, and within their peer group.

Leadership is about being able to influence others, and how people use that influence can be fascinating to observe. Poor leaders use their influence to make things better for themselves, while good leaders make things better for everyone. Good leaders use their influence to bring people together, create unity, and build trust, while poor leaders create division and suspicion. Most importantly, good leaders lead by example, put their words into action, and have a strong ethic of service towards others. Interestingly, none of these descriptions of good leadership require a badge or official position to be enacted. Every single one of us has the power to positively influence people, to build trust and unity, and to be a great example to others on a daily basis, and I look forward to all students across the College embracing and developing this concept in the coming year.

Mark Hassell
Dean of Students


/ Junior School

Learning Celebrations

It has been wonderful to see so many families able to attend class Learning Celebrations across the Junior School this week  – thank you to all who have enjoyed this time with their children and their classes.

The week ahead has Celebrations for more classes in both the Early Primary and Primary year levels and students and staff are looking forward to sharing learning highlights and special on-campus moments that have been part of our 2020 experiences.

Details of all these events, together with the details for registering, have been sent to all families.

All visitors to the Campus are reminded of the continuing need to register visits and follow social distancing and other COVID protocols.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School



Next week will be the final week for the Laneway coffee cart in 2020. Barista coffee will be available (card payment only) in Laneway on Wednesday and Thursday mornings (Dec 2 and 3) from 8:20-9:30am and on Friday Dec 4 from 12:30-1:30pm ahead of the Year 5 Final Assembly.

Visitors attending events on these days are most welcome to call by Laneway on arrival. Parents with children in other classes are also warmly invited to drop in (registration on entry) to chat with other parents and staff members who will be present.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School



Transition activities to assist in preparing students for their move to a new year level in the new year have been ongoing over these last weeks of the Term. 2021 class placements for all Junior School students will be finalised next week and parents will receive details of this on Thursday 3 December (2021 Prep and Early Learning) and Friday 4 December (2021 Years 1-4).

On Friday 4 December all students in 2021 Year 1-5 classes will have a ‘step up’ session with their next year’s class. For those entering Prep and Early Learning classes next year, meetings with their new class will be between December 3-8. For all 2021 Early Learning classes, there will also be an Orientation Morning on Friday 29 January, immediately prior to Term 1.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Vacation Care

Programs for Vacation Care in December and January, along with the registration details, are available online or from the Junior School Reception or Outside School Hours Care room in the Early Learning Centre. Program dates are December 10-23, and then January 4-29.

Vacation Care is based in the Early Learning Centre on the Elphin Campus and is open to Scotch Oakburn College students from Early Learning to Year 6. Students enrolled for 2021 are able to register for both the December and January programs. 2020 students not enrolled for 2021 are still able to register for the December program.

Anybody needing further information should contact Junior School reception.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Year 5 Final Assembly

The Year 5 Final Assembly is a special event for all Year 5 students and their families as their Junior School years draw to a close and they transition into Middle School at the Penquite Campus in 2021.

With some restrictions still in place, this year’s assembly is being held in the HPEC@Elphin at 1:30pm on Friday 4 December. Invited guests only are able to attend this year and all Year 5 families have received full details of this.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School




/ Middle School

Maths Club

Please note that Monday 30 November will be the last Maths Club for the year.



/ Senior School

Year 9 Community Service Expo

What is Poverty? What is the difference between situational and generational poverty? Why is wealth distribution an issue in Australia? What resources are needed to change a person’s current situation? These are just some of the questions Year 9 students have been confronted with over the past three days whilst involved in the first Community Service Expo event at the College.

With the unsettled year, we have had the regular community service offering was not possible, and so we thought if our students could not go into the community, we would bring some of our community agencies to the College instead. Students in Year 9 have had the opportunity to find out more about poverty in our community and what they can do to assist others with this growing issue. They also had the opportunity to find out more from some of the agencies themselves, that provide essential services to our community every day. Agencies such as the Tasmanian Fire Service, the Royal Flying Doctors of Tasmania, Vinnies Community Assistance Services, as well as the Migrant Resource Centre and their new “Beyond Limits” project.

Students engaged with Will Smith and JCP Empowering Youth for a final seminar based on “Risk-Taking”.  They were made aware of the consequences and outcomes of negative actions and decisions, but also why some risking taking can be used for good.

Thanks to these amazing agencies and their volunteers for all they do within our community.

Simon Dray
Community Service Coordinator

Art Rage Exhibition

Art Rage is an annual exhibition held at the Queen Victoria Musuem and Art Gallery before travelling the State. Works are selected across all Tasmanian Colleges and showcase the breadth of talent of our young artists.

Congratulations to TCE students Lilly Callow, Jessica Finnigan, Samantha MacFarlane, Lilly Reeve, Andre Van Zyl and Baxter Wilson for having work selected to be in Art Rage 2020.

Carmel Dilger

Spike Mason’s album featured by the ABC

The College’s Music Tutor and director of jazz ensembles, Spike Mason, is not just a great teacher, but also an amazing performer. As a professional jazz saxophonist, Spike has been steadily working to produce ten albums over ten years. He has finally completed this epic task with the 2020 release of “Another Moment In Time”. This recording features new music penned by Spike as well as members of his band – including trumpeter Mike Kenny, pianist Henri Peipman, bassist Mark Lau and drummer Cameron Reid.

Spike’s album has won critical acclaim and has been named ABC Jazz’s featured jazz album of the week. You can listen to the album at BandCamp.

Congratulations Spike!

Stephen King
Head of Visual and Performing Arts


/ Junior School, Middle School

Ten teams, four boys teams and six girls teams, consisting of 82 students, have participated in the Primary School Basketball Championships.

In the Grade 5/6 competition, teams achieved a total of nine wins and one draw. An awesome effort with two teams making it through to a semi-final.  In the Grade 3/4 competition, we achieved a total of four wins and three draws (edge of your seat games!). We had a few more losses than wins but the teams improved immensely in skill level both personally and as a team as the weekend progressed. All teams showed tremendous sportsmanship, enthusiasm and a positive sense of team spirit, supporting and encouraging not only their own team but other teams as well over both weekends. With a mix of experienced club players playing with students who have never played the game at all, it was great to see so many students find a love for the game and express interest to pursue it as a sport in the future. Those who had played before stepped up into positions of leadership and acted as mentors and coaches for those inexperienced players. All teams learnt valuable lessons in humility, courage and resilience.

Special thanks to all the coaches and team managers who offered their time and expertise, in a lead up to and on game day.  Thank you to all the parents and friends who assisted on bench duty and who came to support their child and others throughout the weekend. And lastly, thank you to the players for trying their hardest right up to the final siren and representing their school with pride.

We look forward to seeing you all back in action in 2021!

Rachel Buck
Cocurricular Coordinator


/ Round Square, Senior School

On Monday, 23 November, Scotch Oakburn College Year 10 and 11 students hosted a group of Year 5 and 6 students from St Marys District School and Bicheno Primary School at the Valley Campus in Fingal.

The day was populated with fun group-based activities, allowing both the younger and older students to bond in an environment outside of school. The novelty of the situation was not lost on any of us as the day was designed to help the St Marys and Bicheno students bond before they enter the same grade at the same school next year. Whether it be trying to get the best time on the famously exciting low-ropes course, or trying to transport as much water as possible from one bucket to another using only a few pipes, the activities enlightened all students, young and old, to an incredible sense of mateship and teamwork that will hopefully be applied to many of our future social or school endeavours. Many of the students remarked on how easy they felt bonding, with not only their peers, but also a group of talented and dedicated Scotch Oakburn leaders.

Mateship immediately manifested as Baraza Leaders, Activity Group Leaders, teachers and students began to learn of the wonderful characteristics of the individuals in groups we formed. Groups came in all kinds on the day – staff or student cohorts, Baraza Groups, lunch groups, friendship groups. When each of these groups recognised the power of the individual in making a difference in their world, discovered the breadth of knowledge each person brought to the group, and when the unique and colourful personalities exhibited by all were put on display, the very best of the Scotch Oakburn, St Marys, and Bicheno spirits shone brightly.

Having taken place under the beautiful backdrop of our Valley Campus, we, as student leaders, could not have been more fulfilled at how all people broke down the social barriers that may have previously separated us — Launceston/East Coast, Young/Old, Confident/Diffident — and overcame the challenging yet diverse obstacles we were presented with. As a result, we were able to truly and confidently bond and connect with those in our company. That, above all else, was the most gratifying part of the experience as we knew we had discharged our duty to bring together and work with the effulgent students who defined the program and who collectively built its distinct sense of togetherness. We look forward to working with groups such as this into the future, learning from and learning with the youth of Tasmania.

Dean Power
Year 11 Student

What a wonderful way to conclude the year: a meaningful, authentic leadership experience, supporting and directing an exciting, positive excursion day for the Year 5 and 6 students of St Marys and Bicheno. While Year 10s and 11s organised and ran a range of engaging activities focusing on teamwork, co-operation and effective communication for this transitional cohort, the students enjoyed a day playing and problem-solving with friends and peers. All students, both younger and older, felt very grateful to have been a part of such a positive, rewarding experience!

Perhaps the most rewarding moment of the day for me was seeing the joy and appreciation on the faces of the students after they had shared an exciting day of teamwork, problem-solving, communication and courage, during their transition.

Jack Oates-Pryor
Year 11 Student


Author: Dr Jodi Richardson


“The mental load means always having to remember.”

Emma, a French cartoonist summed up the mental load that most mothers carry in her 2017 viral comic, ‘You should’ve asked’. In the opening scene, a very hassled mother was preparing for a dinner party, while feeding her two young children, dealing with a noisy dog and answering the phone, all while she was hosting a colleague for dinner. As the dinner boils over the stove and onto the floor she looked at her partner imploringly. He unwittingly answered, “But you should’ve asked! I would have helped.”

This scene artfully exemplifies the many invisible layers of responsibility that mothers carry including arranging most household tasks, managing the family home and being on top of the fine detail in every family member’s life.

This is not the case in all families, but current research reveals that the great majority of women bear the load when it comes to housework (mums do twice as much as dads), caring for children (again, mums doing twice as much as dads) and carrying the mental load for their family.

There’s only so much we can manage. For those of us who are anxious, there will be times our plates will fill and overflow. While there’s no single way to ease the mental load that mothers carry the following ideas will help to make life more manageable:

Stop making life easy for others

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many mums will overdo preparation rather than expect others to step up and help. I have been known in the past to cook and freeze up to a week’s worth of meals prior to travelling for work. Not any more though. Magically, my husband and two school-aged children have become very capable in the kitchen as I’ve stepped back.

Delegate and let go

Delegate some household jobs to your children. Leah Ruppanner, professor of sociology at Melbourne University says, “Unless death is impending from poor domestic decisions, step back, support and allow others to learn from their mistakes.” Letting go of jobs and allowing kids to do things in their own way is hard for perfectionist personality types, but it’s essential if you are going to last the parenting journey. Surprisingly, both guilt and perfectionism ensure that many mums keep their children dependent upon them.

Diarise and check

One way to ease is the mental load is to lessen the number of mental notes and details that you carry around. Set up recurring electronic calendar entries for routine tasks and check regularly. This way you have less to remember and a place to find what you need, which is a more efficient and mum-friendly way of being organised.

Lower the bar

Many mothers confess that they constantly feel guilt if they don’t put their children first. That’s a heavy burden to carry. If anxiety is a constant companion, it’s essential to lower the bar on your self-expectations. Unfulfilled expectations are proven stressors for mothers so take away tasks, rather than add to your mother load.

In closing

There’s little doubt that many mothers carry an overwhelming mental load that adds to their anxiety and stress. I’m not suggesting that you abandon your job entirely but rather to look for ways to make the mental load you carry a little lighter. In doing so, life will become easier to manage. As with all behavioural change, it’s easiest to start small. But whatever you do, if you’re straining under the mother load, make a start at releasing and sharing the load.


Kylie Wolstencroft
Wellbeing Coordinator / Registered Pychologist


/ Middle School, Senior School


We congratulate those students that were selected for the 2020 Tasmanian State All School Athletics Track and Field Team.  Although the Australian All Schools competition dod not go ahead, students were still recognised in a virtual team.

Under 14 Women

Abbey Berlese (Year 7)
Tahlia Muller (Year 7)
Sophie Marshall (Year 7)
Blaise Fitzallen (Year 7)

Under 16 Women

Kate Atherton (Year 9)

Under 16 Men

Tom Watters (Year 8)

Under 18 Women

Amy Campbell (Year 10)
Kate McShane (Year 10)

Under 18 Men

Alexander Creak (Year 11)

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School