From the Principal

It was impossible not to be impressed by the sight of our foundation Year 7 & 8 students walking through the main College gates on Monday to herald the opening of Murrumba State Secondary College.

Students were greeted at the gate by Premier Anna Bligh and Education Minister Cameron Dick to make the occasion even more memorable. Our planned assembly at 8.50am was transformed at fairly short notice to become the official opening ceremony for the College. At the end of the ceremony the Premier and local member Mary-Anne O'Neill unveiled the plaque and we were officially open.

Following the ceremony, Year 7 students Isabella Aitken and Christian Suemalo escorted the Premier and official party on a tour of the campus to showcase some of our magnificent facilities and resources. Meanwhile all of our students were organised into class groups to commence their induction program. Although the day played out somewhat differently to our original plans, our special visitors and the media attention only served to make the day even more memorable for our staff, students and parents. We have included a photo slideshow of the opening with this newsletter. (Click here to view the slideshow).

The role of foundation student is both an enormous privilege and responsibility. Our students will play a crucial role in the establishment of our positive campus culture and will be integral to the establishment of processes and traditions that will be part of campus life for years to come. Students have already commenced this journey by working on the new house colours and emblems as well as the College mascot. This is quite a challenging task because every chosen colour or icon must have a well-constructed legend to justify its selection. Our students are making history already!

We have already commenced the vital task of embedding our College values. Students have been immersed in a number of sessions in which we started to explore what it is to be a Murrumba student and what it means to live our values. I have been impressed from the outset by how many students are already quite well aware of our values and motto. This is wonderful to see and certainly augers well for the commencement of our quest to instill Learning for Life.

Our Year 7 & 8 introduction evenings for parents are being held commencing 5.30pm on Tuesday 31 January and Wednesday February 1 respectively. This will be the perfect opportunity to meet our new staff and to tour these magnificent facilities. I know there are a lot of parents who have been waiting for the chance to see the facilities first hand. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Warm regards

Paul Pengelly


From the Deputies

Welcome to the first edition of our College newsletter.  My name is Dale Beecher and I am one of the Deputy Principals here at Murrumba State Secondary College.  I have worked in the Primary Sector of Education Queensland since 1989 and in administration positions for the past three years.  One of my main roles at our college will be to look after the Year Seven cohort and oversee their positive transition into Junior Secondary.  As I spoke with many Year Seven students during the week they are as excited as I am to be here in these wonderful facilities.  They also mentioned how eager they were to learn exciting new things.

My name is Kevin Fullbrook and I am also one of the College Deputy Principals.  I have worked in both P-12 and Secondary settings over a number of years in both metropolitan and rural schools.  I am very much looking forward to working with our new students as much as possible over the coming months and celebrating their successes in this wonderful new school.

What an amazing first week we have all had.  Many wonderful memories have been created and shared.  There was an excellent parent and community turn out to our first assembly and official opening of our college.  It was lovely to meet those who attended.  Our students have now settled in very well after the first week and are getting to know the policies and procedures to help them become successful learners and confident students.  They have learnt what it means to be a proud student at Murrumba State Secondary College and were able to work through a series of activities highlighting the five college values and what they mean to each individual student.  The values of Respect, Pride, Resilience, Community and Quality Learning will dominate and become our guide for all members of our staff, students and community.

In Week 2, we will be holding our Year Seven and Eight Welcome evenings.  The dates will be Year 7 Tuesday 31 January and Year 8 Wednesday 01 February.  This will be a good opportunity to hear from your child’s connect teacher and talk to other specialist teachers at our college.

We look forward to meeting you all over the term at the various events coming up.

Kind regards

Mrs Dale Beecher and Mr Kevin Fullbrook

Deputy Principals


Heads of Year

Year 7 – Craig Brown and Brandie Clucas

My name is Craig Brown and I am undertaking the role of Head of Year 7 (along with Brandie Clucas) as well as teaching Maths & Science this year.  I have been in this profession for 15 years now and have had experience in both Primary and Secondary sectors.  I have transferred to this exciting new opportunity from Townsville where I was undertaking a Head of Curriculum position.  I am looking forward to an exciting time ahead where rich and varied educational experiences await your child.  I see my role as Head of Year 7 as a vital one within the school community.  If you have any questions or queries regarding your child feel free to contact one of us at any time.


Year 8 - Glen Williams

My current roles in the college include, Head of Year for Year 8, Applied Technologies teacher in addition to Learning Support teacher.   As a Head of Year my main focus will on the rewarding of student attendance, participation and achievement. Prior to my employment at Murrumba State Secondary College, I taught in the Industrial Technology department at Bribie Island State High School for two years and Charleville State High School for four and a half years.  During my posting at Charleville I also taught Maths at various levels, in addition to Art.  I have also taught in England for 18 months as an Applied Technologies teacher focusing on the Resistant Materials and Graphics learning areas from years 7 to 13.


Heads of House

Bragg – Lauren Atherton

My name is Lauren Atherton and I am a Year 7 teacher at Murrumba State Secondary College. I am proud to be a foundation staff member and look forward to an exciting year at the college. I will be teaching year 7A and 7B for English and History.

During 2012, I will be the Bragg Head of House. I am responsible for the sporting, cultural and academic development of all students. I will be involved in creating a positive atmosphere, full of student participation at sporting events, lunch time activities, academic and cultural events throughout the year. 

The Bragg House was named after William and Lawrence Bragg.  Lawrence was the son of William Bragg and together this father and son were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915. The Nobel Prize was awarded to the pair for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of x-rays. To date, Lawrence Bragg is the youngest Nobel Laureate (, 2012).

I believe 2012 is going to be a fantastic and memorable year. I look forward to working with the students and staff at Murrumba State Secondary College.


Doherty – Touria Fernandez

Welcome to Doherty.  Our house team consists of dynamic staff members and a Head of House led by Ms Fernandez.  Our house staff members are; Ms Dahms, Ms Parr, Mr Chigwidden, Mrs Jeffries, Mr Williams, Ms Clarry, Mrs Fullbrook, Ms Cordiner and Mr Pengelly.

Our house name is named after Peter Charles Doherty, born on the 15th of October 1940 in Brisbane. He is an Australian veterinary surgeon and researcher in the field of medicine. He is an outstanding scientist; a Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, the highest achievement in the field of science.

Doherty's research focuses on the immune system and his Nobel work described how the body's immune cells protect against viruses. His notable awards and achievements include the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1995, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Rolf M. Zinkernagel in 1996 and he was named Australian of the Year in 1997. In the Australia Day Honours of 1997, he was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his work with Zinkernagel.  Zinkernagel was named an Honorary Companion. He is also a National Trust Australian Living Treasure.

John Monash Science School has a house named after him and we are privileged to share that name and represent an outstanding Queenslander.  So the pressure is on to keep our name as high as possible across all our learning fields: sporting, academic and cultural activities.


Blackburn – Dane Jeffries

Blackburn house is named after the first Australian woman to receive a Nobel prize, Elizabeth Blackburn. Elizabeth was born in Tasmania at a time when it was unusual for females to take an academic pathway. She was a pioneer for successful Australian women in Science. Elizabeth received the Nobel prize for Medicine in 2009 for her work with the enzyme telomerase, which has a role in the cell life cycle and cell division. Her work has led to more research that is investigating how this enzyme behaves in cancerous cells. Maybe one day her work will lead to a cure for cancer! Elizabeth Blackburn is an inspiring role model for which to base our house’s values upon. She is hard working, and was daring and confident enough to choose her path despite society not recognising science as a career for women.

The students of Blackburn house are keen to participate in the first inter-house competition at the swimming carnival in the near future. In a recent house meeting Blackburn students selected the colour green to represent our house and a Thorny Rose as our logo. At the swimming carnival our dress up theme is “Surfers”, so get out those green boardies, smear your face with zinc, put on some loud and bright sunglasses and get down to the swimming pool to cheer and compete for our house.  


Faculty Information

Applied Technology

The Applied Technology department at Murrumba has come together through much hard work and dedication. We have been working on the department’s development since September last year. The result is a cutting edge facility that houses some amazing facilities and equipment to engage all learners and push the schools “Learning for Life” motto.  A core focus of the department is to ensure that all students remain safe while engaging in industry standard processes. Our key method of providing information to parents of our expectations is to provide student and parents with a contract outlining our general safety procedures. If your son/daughter has ITD in Year 7 or Year 8 please look out for this document.

The Applied Technology staff would like to thank Siemens UGS software for their generous grant to the school of a site licence for SOLID EDGE ST4, which is commercially valued at over one hundred thousand dollars.  We would also like to thank GraphiSoft for supplying the school with a site licence of their Archicad suite of software.  This allows Murrumba State Secondary College students to engage with industry standard and cutting edge software.

Our students will engage with a full class set of advanced robotics equipment with photo, infrared, sound, touch, and motion sensors. Premier Anna Bligh was most impressed with the robotics equipment when she toured the facility on Monday. The other equipment within the department for our students to engage with will include a Versa Laser- Laser Cutter, MDX-40a CNC Mill, MPX-90 Impact Printer, Vacuum Former, Injection Moulder, Roland CNC vinyl Cutters and a host of other industrial equipment.

We look forward to guiding your child on a pathway of “Learning for Life”.

Kind Regards

Andrew Rogers

HOD Applied Technology/eLearning



HPE Teacher & Sport Coordinator - Alistair Watt

I have come to Murrumba SSC from Marsden State High School. I have a background in coaching a wide variety of sporting teams during my teaching career and have been privileged enough to be part of the coaching staff in Soccer Excellence Programs at my previous schools.  I am looking forward to helping the school community grow and encountering all of the challenges associated with this. As a Health and Physical Education teacher and Sports Coordinator I am excited about the opportunity to help create a positive sporting culture in the school through interschool sport and district representation.


HPE Teacher & Sport Coordinator - Allie Jeffries

I have relocated to Brisbane from Cairns, Far North Queensland. My main sporting specialist areas are Netball, Hockey and Equestrian. I have played both sports for many years at different levels including State representation for Netball. I was also lucky enough to be the Regional (Peninsula) coach along with the Qld Schoolgirls State Manager for Hockey. I am looking forward to establishing a strong sporting culture here at Murrumba State Secondary College and I am enthusiastic about getting involved in the wider sporting community. 


ART - Amy Wilson

I have come to Murrumba SSC from Kingaroy State High School, and prior to that, Charleville State High School.  My media background is printmaking and drawing.  I am looking forward to introducing students to new experiences in the visual arts, and getting them involved in a variety of activities to foster experimentation and creativity.


MUSIC - Kathryn Dash

My main specialist background in music is piano performance.  I have also had much experience conducting and accompanying youth choirs in the wider community with the Australian Youth Choir.  I am eager to introduce students to a variety of musical styles and genres and am looking forward to giving students many opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities such as the choir, keyboard and guitar groups. 


Welcome to Murrumba State Secondary College Science / Maths Department!

My name is Sharon Cordiner and I am Head of Department for Science and Maths.  I have taught a range of Science and Maths subjects during my 20 years of teaching, specialising in Biology.  I’ve also had extensive experience in learning support and outdoor education and I am excited about bringing my experience to Murrumba State Secondary College.

We have an amazing facility in our Science building, which has three dedicated junior science labs and a lecture theatre which we are looking forward to using for events such as presenting science demonstrations to year level groups.  Another great resource on campus is the dam which we plan to use for water testing with our Year 7s during term 1. 

I am very fortunate to be working with a terrific group of teachers coming from both primary and secondary backgrounds.  They are all science / maths specialists, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom.  Our specialist Year 7 teachers will be largely focusing on ensuring their students make the transition to secondary as smoothly as possible.  The students will have their Connect teacher as their main teacher, with specialists coming in to deliver learning experiences specific to their area of expertise.  This will provide the students with an engaging curriculum.


Here’s a few photos of our faculty staff preparing for the students on Day 1.



Our Year 8 teachers above (L to R:  Kalia Rabbidge, Sharon Cordiner, Dane Jeffries, Amanda Wiebe) got our skeleton “up and running” while the Year 7 teachers below (L to R:  Craig Brown, Kerrie Smedley, Brandie Clucas) had fun playing with the Van der Graaf generator.  Lots of time has also been spent in planning engaging lessons which are in line with the new Australian Curriculum.



I’ve asked each of our faculty to present a brief biography so you will know a little about them and how to best contact them. 



My name is Kerrie Smedley and I will be teaching Year 7E & F Maths and Science. I have a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Middle Years). I am looking forward to teaching your children about the wonders of science and making maths exciting!  Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any concerns. My email address is

My name is Brandie Clucas, I am a Year 7 Maths and Science teacher and a Head of Year for Grade 7 at Murrumba State Secondary College.  I began my career teaching Maths and Science to Years 8, 9 and 10 eleven years ago.  Then I moved on to Year 5, then Year 7 where I was heavily involved in the transition between primary and secondary school.  It was as this stage in my career that I realised that I had found my place in education.  I continued to work in primary school with a major focus on the transitional years.  Then I had the unique opportunity of working in a P-12 college where Year 7 was part of the secondary school.  This experience had helped me gain the skills in preparing our Year 7 students in their own journey in to secondary school at Murrumba State Secondary College.  My email is

My name is Craig Brown and I am also teaching Year 7 Maths and Science at MSSC as well as being Head of Year for Grade 7.  Most recently, I have been in the role of acting Head of Curriculum at Kirwan State School in Townsville.  Before that, I have taught grades 3 to 7, as well as having taught secondary English, Art and SOSE as well as teaching in America.  If you would like to contact me, my email is


My name is Kalia Rabbidge and I will be teaching Year 8 Maths and Science.  I did a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology followed by a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) at University of Queensland. I am very passionate about Biology, especially the environment and wildlife. I am looking forward to getting my students involved in science practicals and interesting maths activities.  I can be contacted at

Welcome! My name is Dane Jeffries and I have previously taught at Woree SHS in Cairns and Centenary SHS in Jindalee. I have bachelor degrees in Science (Sport and Exercise Science) and Education. My main teaching areas are Science, Biological Science, Chemistry and Mathematics. I am excited to be teaching at such an excellent facility and with such a promising group of students. Please feel free to contact me at

My name is Amanda Wiebe and I will be teaching Year 8 Science and Mathematics. Over the last five years I have taught Chemistry, Health Education, Junior Science, Mathematics and Health and Physical Education whist being on the Sunshine Coast/Wide Bay Queensland Studies Authority Panel for Health Education and teaching at Summer School. I have a passion for healthy living, sport and science and am looking forward to building a rapport and engaging your child in learning at MSSC.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or questions. I am best contacted through email at

 If you would like to discuss any issues or concerns you might have regarding your student’s transition into secondary school, particularly in the areas of maths and science, please don’t hesitate to contact Sharon Cordiner on 3491 3245 or by email at

We look forward to meeting your students and welcoming them to Murrumba State Secondary College and you, at the parent evenings during week two.

Kind regards,

Sharon Cordiner


English/Humanities Faculty

On behalf of all the teachers in the English/Humanities Faculty here at Murrumba State Secondary College, I’ll take this opportunity to offer a warm welcome to our new school. In our faculty, our aim is to deliver high quality lessons which will lead directly to high quality outcomes for all of our students. As with all the teaching staff here at the college, the teachers in this faculty are highly trained and highly motivated professionals set on ensuring that all of the students in their classes are given every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes.

This, of course, is a very special year for our Year 7 students as they make the transition from primary to secondary school and our aim is to ensure that they are able to cope with the demands that this entails. The work programs being used in the faculty reflect both the current and future demands of the Australian Curriculum and these are designed to enhance learning skills at every level. Specifically, the skills that students from both Years 7 and 8 will be using and developing in their English and Humanities studies will enable them to achieve well in individual assessment pieces as well as national testing areas such as NAPLAN. The strong foundations they make now will benefit them when they become senior students in years to come.

We in this faculty and the college as a whole are very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Here’s to the future!

Robin Peek

HoD English/Humanities


Sport  News

Swimming Carnival!

Our 1st inaugural swimming carnival is scheduled to be held on Tuesday 7th February at the Murrumba Downs Community Pool. It is a compulsory school day, as such all students are expected to attend. A letter will be sent home with detailed information about what to bring on the day. Parents are welcome to attend in support of their child. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Allie Jeffries and Alastair Watt

Sport Coordinators


Office News

Welcome to 2012.  Our office hours for term 1 will be 8.15am – 3.30pm. 

This term our staff in the office are:

Tracy – cashier and parent counter,

Karen – student counter, and

Katherine who supports the parent and student counters. 


As you can imagine the ladies are trying to update details and ensure accuracy of information but this will take a little time – if you know that information that flowed through from your child’s previous school is incorrect please send an email to so the information can be updated.


Our Cashier Window Hours are as follows:

8.15 – 9.15am

11.20 – 12.30pm

1.30 – 2.00pm


Hopefully, those parents who had enrolled their child in 2011 received a statement over the Christmas break outlining all the options for payments available to families.  Further statements will be sent home with students in early February and March so that parents can make the next instalment which is due on February 10th.  The statement will also provide information to parents who are paying by BPay or Centrepay that payments have been received.  Thank you to all the parents who have dropped in or emailed to formalise payment plans or Centrepay payments.  Those of you who have not yet had the opportunity please feel free to email so we can find what works for you and formalise your payments as soon as possible. 



Kerri-Ann Stedman

Business Services Manager



Canteen Info

Click here to see more information about our canteen.


General Information

Year 8 Immunisation Program

As part of Queensland Health’s School Based Vaccination Program every Year 8 student in Queensland is being offered free vaccinations.  Female students are offered Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chickenpox) and Human Papillomavirus vaccinations while male students are offered Hepatitis B and Varicella (Chickenpox).  Our Moreton Bay Regional Council provides the Immunisation Program to our college.  If you would like your son/daughter to receive the free vaccinations please fill out each form for the different vaccines and return them to the office by Wednesday 01 February 2012.


College Photographs

The date for college photographs is Friday 10 February 2012.  Advanced Life Photography will be the company taking these photos on the day.  Please fill in the front section of the provided envelope including Student Details, Purchase Details and Payment Method.  You will be required to bring the completed envelope with money to school on the day to give directly to the photographer.  Any family requiring sibling photos please come in to the office and pick up a separate order form.  A special Foundation Photo will also be taken on the day.  All students must wear full formal college uniform on this date.


Upcoming Events

Tues 31 Jan       Year 7 Welcome Evening


Wed 01 Feb        Year 8 Welcome Evening

                              Return Year 8 Immunisation Forms


Tues 07 Feb        MSSC Swimming Carnival


Fri 10 Feb            College Photographs


Tues 14 Feb        Year 8 Immunisation Program