BDC Campus News

Tuesday, 20 Jun 2023
Kokoda Challenge - Wow we did it!

What an experience our students and teachers had on June the 3rd. With the support of the school, parents and peers, we headed up to Brisbane for an adventure we will not forget. All students pushed through and completed the 30km Endurance event in the VERY hilly D'Aguilar National Park.

We all supported each other and throughout the elective all students showed Courage, Endurance, Mateship and Sacrifice, the four pillars of Kokoda.

A huge shout out to the teachers who led a team Mr Galvin, Ms Fisher, Ms Dunn, Mrs Martin and the very late ring in Mr Chapman. We also thank Ms Titcume for supporting us and driving the bus the whole way home.

Lastly, thank you to Taj Grey ,Kit Taylor, Leo Gerhard & Kweller Happ who joined the teams during the last term, we really appreciate your grit and perseverance to join in this adventure with us.

With all the positive feedback, it’s no doubt that this elective will be run again next year, we look forward to letting more of our students have this opportunity.

A reflection from Leo Gerhardt

“Kokoda was an amazing, fun and challenging experience. I would definitely recommend it. Although I joined a little later, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It teaches you courage, mateship and definitely perseverance. Having a teacher with us was really good, they pushed us beyond what we thought was capable and and made sure we were ok. Our group was a crucial part of completing the 30km, everyone was  encouraging, talkative which helped us all finish together. The event was not only a physical experience, but also a mental experience. Before the race I thought that 30 km was not a lot. But after the event I had a new appreciation, the soldiers walked the Kokoda Trail (96km). Walking through the bush was very peaceful and calm, yet I was doing a 30km walk. I would recommend this course to anyone who loves a good physical and mental challenge.”

Well done! 

Year 10 Career Days

Week 1, Term 3 kicks off with our signature Year 10 Career Days. Year 10 will be immersed in a range of career activities and presentations, including UAC’s HSC and the ATAR presentation, Senior Subject Selection, Digital Badging, Career Exploration, VET and University Pathways and more! There will also be our first ever in-house career expo right on campus in the BDC Branson Centre, where we will host a range of local employers and industry, universities, TAFE, UNSW Rural Medicine, Hoys Allied Health and Coffs City Council to name a few! Students will have the opportunity to speak directly with and collect information from exhibitors about future career and/or study options and network with employers to secure their work experience placements for Term 4. Up untill now, Year 10 have been learning about themselves; their own interests, values and strengths. The Career Days are designed as the next step to their senior years, giving them the opportunity to explore all career options available to them from apprenticeships to professional careers and to assist them make informed decisions about their future.   

The Year 10 Career Days are followed by subject taster days and individual student and parent subject selection interviews.

Year 11 Post School Options Expo at CHEC

Year 11 have been given the opportunity to express their interest in attending this annual Expo at the CHEC gymnasium next term. Attending the expo will be local and interstate universities and accommodation providers, employers, TAFE, ADF and more. 

Post Options Expo Flyer

School Based Traineeship Opportunities

Applications are invited from current Year 10 students. 

School Based Traineeship (SBT) in Certificate III Business Administration

Want to gain paid work AND a nationally recognised qualification while completing your HSC?

We have fantastic opportunities with 2 of  Coffs Harbour’s long established and respected businesses.

Hibbard Homes believe that every Australian deserves to own their own home. It’s the great Australian Dream. Providing affordable quality family homes of exceptional value to fulfil  the great Australian dream of home ownership is the goal set in stone and running through the veins of the Hibbards family and will continue for many generations. And we would like you to be a part of our team to help us make that Aussie dream a reality.

Hibbard Homes are offering an exciting opportunity for 2 x  current Year 10 BDC students to work, learn and grow with us as we expand our operations. The successful applicant(s) will undertake the VET Cert III in Business course over  Years 11 and 12 offered at BDC.  In addition, the trainees will undertake paid work in our office in Coffs Harbour 1 day per week.  The trainee admin role is exciting and varied!  You will gain experience and exposure in all areas of our business including legal, finance, HR, sales and marketing, drafting and estimating.  At the successful completion of the traineeship, the trainees may be offered full time employment with us and further training in their area of interest. 

We envisage that shortlisted applicants may like to do a work experience placement or Internship with us in Term 3 to make sure that the SBT is for you and that you are a good fit for our team.  Paid work would likely start from Term 4 and students would commence their VET Business course at BDC at the start of 2024 school year. 

Essential Requirements: 

  • Excellent personal presentation
  • Great customer service skills (polite, helpful and can talk easily to people)
  • A willingness to work with other team members and learn varied tasks

Pros (good things) about an SBT at Hibbards:  

  • Achieve your HSC and a Cert III in Business at the end of Year 12.
  • The VET Cert III Business (with exam) can contribute if you are looking to achieve an ATAR for university application.
  • Earn while you learn - paid work one day per week (can do more in holidays).
  • You can do your training at school at BDC! (previously, this qualification was delivered at TAFE, meaning students missed another whole day of school. 
  • Earning a Cert III can assist you in the future apply for some university courses - so if you decide to apply for uni at some time in the future, you can use your Cert III qualification to get in.
  • Gain employment, administration and transferrable skills to set you up for your future career.
  • Good opportunities for career progression with this employer.

Cons (challenging things) about an SBT:

  • As you will be out of school at work 1 day per week, you will have to catch up on missed work in your other HSC subjects. 

How to apply

Please prepare a cover letter stating how you meet the employers’ Essential Requirements and why you would like this opportunity and email to

Closing date for applications 

30 June 2023 (end of this term).

Our group of properties is continuously growing and encompasses the following quality Resorts in New South Wales: 

  • Bonville Golf Resort 
  • Coffs Harbour (Bonville) NSW
  • Pacific Bay Resort – Coffs Harbour  NSW
  • Jonah’s Restaurant & Boutique Hotel – Whale Beach, Sydney NSW

Bonville Golf Resort and Pacific Bay Resort offer School Based Traineeships to offer students first-hand experience in what a career would be like in the Hospitality Industry.

Different opportunities are available at each property and are available in

  • Food and Beverage
  • Retail, Proshop Operations
  • Front Office
  • Functions and Events  

If you are looking to gain practical experience and paid work during your studies in Year 11 and 12, and kick-start your hospitality career, please forward a cover letter and resume to Deborah Burnett, HR Manager

To learn more about how an SBAT or SBT would work for you with your HSC, please email or pop in to see Mrs Driscoll.

Year 11 Biology

On Thursday 1st June, (Week 6) all Year 11 Biology students participated in a workshop at the Botanic Gardens, Coffs Harbour. The Biological Diversity Study Day was an engaging full-day program presented by the Australian Museum, Taronga Zoo and the North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. Students had a wonderful day examining fossils, specimens, live animals, and plants, to understand the relationships between a range of organisms in terms of specialisation for selected habitats and the evolution of species.

Thanks to Mrs Fisher, Mr Laing and Mrs Matthews for their assistance on the day.

Secondary Matters

Term 2 has been a tremendous term for our students and this week NAIDOC Week has commenced and the theme for 2023 is For Our Elders. This year we recognise the role elders have played, and continue to play and how they hold a prominent place in communities and families. The NAIDOC Week web portal reminds us that elders are “cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.” At BDC we are fortunate to have our Goori students under the guidance of Mr Elliot Keen to coordinate our NAIDOC assembly for family, visitors and our K-12 campus.

Reports 7-10 for Semester 1

We hope that there is a time to celebrate progress with these reports and also to discuss what are the next steps or areas to improve for Semester 2. Congratulations Years 7 -10 on your work this semester.

Winter Uniform

There has been a recent improvement in the way we wear our uniform and the change to winter uniform. Thank you to our families for supporting the uniform code. We also ask that you remind your children that the tie and softshell or blazer are to be worn to school and home. 

Revised and New Syllabus Writing for 2024 has Commenced

Next year a range of new and revised courses have been created by the NSW Government. Our KLA teams have already been busy reading, discussing and planning for the implementation into classrooms from next year. The first areas are English and Mathematics. Heads of Faculty Mrs Walker in Mathematics and Mrs Dal Pozzo for English have been working extensively with their teams to redesign and implement these changes. The rollout of the new syllabus will happen over the next three years and requires extensive investment in planning time and resources.

HSC Workshops and Tutorials

HSC students and accelerated Year 11 students should make use of the holiday revision work and workshops that are scheduled over the holidays. This is a reminder that the iHUB is open most days from 9am until 4.30pm for HSC students only. Students must sign in to use the iHUB. We wish our HSC students well in their Trial HSC examination preparation.

Author Visit English

Acclaimed author Isobelle Carmody at the Bellingen Writers and Readers Festival conducted a question-and-answer session with a diverse group of approximately 30 BDC students from Years 7-12. Isobelle generously gifted signed copies of her novels to a select few students who asked outstanding questions. In addition, Isobelle conducted exclusive workshops for our Year 11 Advanced English and Year 12 Extension English students, equipping them with invaluable practical skills that will undoubtedly prove advantageous in their HSC studies.

Artist Visit for Year 9 and 10 Students 

The Visual Art team were fortunate to have local Bellingen artist, Mr Marc Renshaw, visit the school and join them in Visual Arts. Students have looked at Renshaw as a focus artist as part of the World Options: Painting Now elective, and have been designing their own artwork inspired by his art practice. Mark gave an artist’s talk about his work and life as a practicing artist, bringing a unique experience to our classroom.

World Options Showcase Evening

The evening for our Year 9-10 students in performing arts was once again successful and we thank our staff for arranging the evening and our families who could attend this wonderful event.

The BDC Advantage has been experienced by many across the term and resulted in a large number of students being involved in opportunities beyond the classroom. The Coffs Harbour and District Eisteddfod Society is to be congratulated on the range of performances our students could be involved in across several weeks including dance, vocals, choir, instrumentals, and drama. The dedication by a large group of performers (over 150 students) and our Performing Arts staff and some very busy parents/carers are to be congratulated. Thank you to Mrs Caesar for coordinating many of the logistics and below are some of our outstanding BDC Dance results for this year include:

  • First Place: Secondary Dance Academy Jazz
  • Second Place: Secondary Dance Academy Jazz
  • Third Place: Secondary Dance Academy Hip Hop
  • HC: Kaizen Elective
  • HC: Secondary Dance Academy Contemporary
  • Our indigenous dance group also performed and did a fantastic job. 

Across vocals as well for Mia Reilly: First place in 10/12 Years Animated Film Song, 12 years Australian Song, 12 years Vocal Solo, 12 years Sacred Song and second place in 10/12 years Popular Song, 12 years Classical Solo and a Junior Vocal Excellence Award.

Rock Performances

Another great performance by the BDC Rock Band who performed at their very first rock gig on Saturday night at the Hoey Moey. They loved getting dressed up and with VIP passes to wear with free food and drinks! Congratulations also to The Crets (Finn Reedy and Oli Caesar) and Blind Pretty (Della Baldwin) who also performed. 

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams in Year 10 has been selected to represent Australia at the Youth Commonwealth Games to be held in Trinidad and Tobago early next term. Daniel will compete in the 1500m. He will be representing the U18 age group. Daniel is a model for his peers in class and all that he does at BDC and this was seen recently at our athletics carnival. Congratulations Daniel, we wish you well in your training and competition ahead.

National Laser Run Championships at Sydney

Four students over the weekend each had a podium finish that secured them a position in the Modern Pentathlon Australian Team travelling to Bath, UK in August.

A huge congratulations to Max Clarke (10) who competed in the Senior Men's category and came away with a Gold medal. High Performance Program Student Indigo Harris (10) achieved a silver medal with a PB in the U/17 Women's Event, Peyton Lee competed in the u/15 Women's event and came home with a Gold Medal and Finn Clarke (7), the youngest in the field by 2 years, took home a silver medal in the U/15 men's section. Well done on joining the Australian team.

Rugby Union

Four students have been successful in selection for the 2023 NSW Country Rugby Union Representatives: Taj Butcher, Karl Turner (U15), Flynn Hyndman (U16), and Tom O’Connor (U18).

Equestrian Success

BDC Equestrian Members competed at the Horse Expo in Coonabarabran. This is the biggest Inter school event and hosts over 100 schools and up to 600 horses. Congratulations to Olivia Hoare (10), who performed well coming 2nd in Hack, 1st in pairs, two 4ths in Dressage, 8th in Combine Training, and made it top 10 for her rider class.

Winnie Mills (10) achieved U/15 Champion Novice Dressage, 1st and 3rd in novice Dressage, 8th in Freestyle Dressage, 9th in Dressage of the Combined Training section, 2nd in Hack, 1st in Pairs and Jessica Sykes Eventing - 6th overall, Pentathlon - 14th Overall, Polocrosse - 1 win of 5 games, 6 bar - through to the second round. Overall 3rd for the team and thank you Julie Schofield for your work as Equestrian Manager.

Mountain Bike Trials

Mr Patrick Galvin and Joel Davis have coordinated trials for the Term 3 competition at Woolgoolga.

2023 Athletics Carnival

Thank you especially to Ms Reinhold, Mr Kelleher, the PDHPE team and Heads of House for the 2023 athletics carnival. The day had large numbers of participants, bright house colours and a friendly competitive spirit. Congratulations to each house for their chant and the result for the chant this year was Murray 1st, Sutherland 2nd, Cottee 3rd, Kngwarreye 4th, Hollows 5th, O’Shane 6th. The overall carnival winner will be announced next term.

2023 Ski Trip

We wish Mr Tim Chapman, supervising staff and our snowboarders and skiers bluebird ski days and plenty of snow for the week ahead. It is sounding promising at the moment, although we expect the ski slopes to be busy.

BDC Badging

We have launched our digital badging for our staff and students and they are a digital representation as a credential that demonstrates an outcome or experience or achievement or competency that can be verified in real-time based on a standard. Badges provide information about the issuer, earning criteria, and verifying evidence. A badge may be a one-off Experience, an introduction or form part of a pathway of learning or build towards a microcredential at an advanced stage.

BDC badges will identify a range of opportunities beyond the classroom, soft skills, and general capabilities. Once a student or staff member has earned a digital badge, they receive an email notification where they accept the badge and can then share it with other people (or add it to a resume). It will help our students stand out from other candidates.

Current Badge Data

Further information: 

2024 Curriculum Handbooks for Year 8 and Year 10

In 2024 the college is planning to offer new courses in World Options for Year 9-10 and Year 11 2024 for Agriculture and Entertainment (VET). We believe these two areas will complement the courses on offer at BDC. 

Students will receive their handbooks and information pack this week before the holidays. We ask that students sit down with parents and carers and read through the choice and start to narrow down what they hope to do in 2024.

Students should choose based on their interests and what could be needed for a future career or further education and not on what their friends or siblings have or are doing. This exciting time has lots of choices and discussions on the final selection. Unfortunately, there are times when courses clash or do not run due to student choices. However, we hope these are kept to a minimum. For information and questions on subject selection for 2024, please contact Mr Craig Verbruggen

Important Dates

  • 22nd June Year 8 receive 2024 World Options Handbook.
  • 22nd June Year 10 receive their Excelsior Journey Handbook for 2024-25. (Year 11-12).
  • Term 317th July, Monday, Day 1. All students return for Term 3.
  • 18-19th July Year 10 Career Days at BDC.
  • 20-21st July Year 10 HSC Taster lesson days in normal school periods.
  • 20th July K-12 Service and Leadership handover and induction for 2024 Leaders.
  • 20th July HSC 2023 Seen ya’s On Show.
  • 24th July to 2nd August Year 10 commence interviews for Year 11 2024 (more information to come).
  • 26th July Wednesday, Year 8 and Year 10 course information afternoon and evening. Web preferences are open for online selections.
  • 3rd August Thursday Year 8 and Year 10 courses due online 1pm.
  • 20th September Wednesday. Year 12 Valedictory Service and Assembly.
  • 22nd September Friday. Year 12 Valedictory Dinner.
  • Term 4 Week 2 -Subject lines and courses confirmed for Year 11 2024.

Thank you for Semester 1 and we wish all students and staff a fun-filled holiday and a chance to recharge ready for Term 3.

Simon Doyle
Assistant Principal (Head of Secondary)

iHUB News

Renowned Author - Isobelle Carmody visits BDC 

On Friday 9th of June Isobelle Carmody, best known for her science fiction/fantasy writing, held a wonderful question and answer session with a very enthusiastic group of BDC students from years 7-12. Isobelle has published over 40 novels and received a host of literary awards and accolades from all over the world.

Also a guest author at the Bellingen Writers and Readers Festival on the following weekend, Isobelle discussed how she develops characters, her influences, and some of the incredible details of her writing process - and was a true inspiration to our BDC students. After a wonderful Q and A session, she gave out signed copies of some of her novels to a few happy students - rewarded for their insightful comments and questions!

After the lunchtime session, Isobelle held workshops for our Year 11 Advanced English, and Year 12 Extension English students - assisting them with practical elements of the writing process that should be a great advantage to them for their HSC studies! 

Will Bursle (Year 7), Mia McPherson (Year 7), Samantha Acedo Andrades (Year 7), Isobelle Carmody (Author), and Rose Driscoll (Year 9).

Amy Dal Pozzo (Head of English), Isobelle Carmody (Author) , Ali Dare (Library Manager), Andrew Walker (Library Technician)

NAIDOC Week Display

In Week 9 BDC is celebrating NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee). This usually occurs each year in July, and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians all over the country. 

In recognition of NAIDOC Week, the BDC iHub has mounted a display of books on Indigenous culture, history, and a selection of fiction titles. This year’s theme is ‘For our Elders’. The 2023 theme was chosen to reflect the important role that elders play in the lives of Indigenous Australians. 

Some of the many ways that you can celebrate NAIDOC Week 2023, and engage with the NAIDOC Week 2023 theme ‘For Our Elders’. These might include: reading stories of The Dreaming, or perhaps read the poetry and literature of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples. (the National Library of Australia has a wonderful online resource!) 

Seeking volunteers to act as readers and writers for HSC exams

Students with disabilities who are sitting the Trial HSC exams are able to access support known as Disability Provisions. Disability provisions are a practical arrangement that helps students access the exams on the same level as those without disabilities. For example, a student with dyslexia who struggles with reading and writing may be able to access support through a reader or writer. This support removes the reading and writing barriers to ensure the student is able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in that subject area

The Learning Resource Centre is looking for volunteers to act as readers and writers to support students during their trial HSC exams. The exams start on Monday 31st July and finish on 14th August. The role of the reader and writer is to sit with the student during their trial HSC exam and read the test paper to the student and/or write their answers. If you are interested in this role and would like to find out more information please contact Pam Moran K - 12 LRC coordinator via email or phone (66515644 ext 235).