The Northside Community

Starting a new school year has prompted me to ponder why NCC is such a special place. The answer is both simple and complex: simple because it is easy to think of reasons and complex because there are so many reasons.

Our community is people – students, parents, staff, alumni, extended families, church families…

Our community was established as a Church-Home-School partnership.

“Together, we are able to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for authentic faith, transformative education and Christian character development.” College website

The foundation of the community is Jesus. On Monday mornings the weekly staff worship time sets the tone for the week – this is a time when we declare that God should be honoured first and that we need His enabling. A quote on the website from the College Principal says it well. “At the centre of everything we do as a community is a love for Jesus Christ. He is the reason the College exists and following Him is the unifying force among our staff and families”.

The spiritual aspect takes the community beyond relationships that are merely social or professional and strengthens the connections at a deeper level. Being able to pray together with a shared faith is one of the ‘special’ factors in the community.

Watching the returning students as they greet their friends and the staff highlights another aspect. The ‘supportive and nurturing environment’ referred to on the website enables these relationships to grow. The most common comment that alumni share is exactly this – the care and support they received at the College from the staff and fellow students is what meant the most to them. Teachers are often told by alumni about something they did many years ago that made a positive difference to them. The special action or comment isn’t always remembered by the giver but it is by the receiver. This builds community.

Alumni give back. Alumni regularly speak at a special assembly, like ANZAC Day or a chapel, they serve on committees, they use their professional expertise for the College, they return as staff members and/or parents, they volunteer, coach sports teams… The list is long.

Volunteers build community. Parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends give generously of their time and talents to help the College community flourish. Every year, there are more than 300 volunteers who support staff and students with a long list of varied programs and activities. These include Maths and Reading support, libraries, the café, excursions, special events such as musicals and Open Days, making meals for families in need and much more. When the Secondary Musical comes around every second year, there seems to be an army of wonderful people assisting with production, costumes, sets, and every other aspect of this huge team effort.

From the very beginning of the original school, volunteers have been an integral, and valuable, part of the community.

A healthy community needs a foundation and the NCC community is rooted in shared faith. From that faith grows shared values, shared mission, fun, friendship, fellowship and the myriad of events, activities, and moments that, together, are Northside. 

- Mrs Bev Starrenburg, College Archivist.