Our History | Flinders Christian Community College

The importance of storytelling in the life of a community should never be underestimated. One of the great storytellers of the 20th Century, Walt Disney, noted that stories could restore order to the imagination and inspire hope again and again. As we begin the journey into our 40th-anniversary publication, we are entering into a narrative of hope—a story emanating from humble beginnings inspired by the love of God. The early pioneers of the College dreamt of a school that would see the Gospel of Christ and excellence in Christian education combine to bring hope and purpose to students across the generations. The passion and the vision of those early beginnings are best captured in the words of our former Chairman of the Board, George Buchanan (1993), who prophetically noted:

It is one thing for a small group of people to have a purpose and a vision; it is another thing for others to capture that purpose and vision so that all can work together effectively. At each critical point along the way, the College has seen the faithfulness of God in raising up the right people to go forward and continue the work…If FCCC is to be truly Christian, it must continue to seek the glory of God in everything it does.

The following pages testify to this very faithfulness and the people that God has raised to continue to live out the story that began all those years ago. From its foundation, Flinders Christian Community College was missional in every sense of the word. Generations of families, teachers, leaders, and governors have sacrificially given of themselves to see young people flourish in their educational pilgrimage. The fruit of such service has been realised in the life of the students. We are blessed with endless testimonies that speak of the transformative influence of the Flinders' journey. The quality and the character of the students that walk the campuses across the College today talk to the realisation of these aspirations through time.

Over the years, we have witnessed the incredible expansion of the College as God continues to bless the devotion and heart of the community. The growth of Flinders is symbolic of the enlargement of Christian education across the country over the past four decades. Families continue to be drawn to the humble yet dedicated opportunities that come with Christian school education and the holistic formation that emanates from such contexts. Flinders has been and continues to be an essential contributor to the broader development of Christian education with a desire to see the light of Christ reach all aspects of society. As our current and future generations read this history, they will come to recognise that just as the impact of the Flinders story shapes their journey, the story of our community is a part of a much bigger narrative. The history of God's redemptive grace captured in the Gospels speaks to a hope that defines the core of Flinders and the responsibility to live that truth within the life of the College. Former principal Reverend John Johnston (1993) once stated:

Let us resolve that the privileges so presented to each generation of students will not be squandered by the current population, and that which can be known of God will indeed be known and will create lives that are strong and effective for him.

May this 40th-anniversary publication be a testimony that honours the aspirations of Reverend Johnston and inspires those who follow to continue carrying a baton of hope. Following this sentiment, gratitude must be expressed to the authors of this publication. They epitomise our community's culture and love with humble hearts and tenacious commitment. As former Heads of Campus, Valerie Mason and Jeanette Woods have exceeded their scope to bring vitality to the history of the College. In the wake of their transformative legacy within the College, they have captured the intricacies and given words to a narrative that speaks of God's grace in all its forms.

In the generations to come, may Flinders Christian Community College continue to be a source of hope and purpose through Christian education by bringing glory to God and ensuring that which may be known of him will indeed be known.

In Christ’s service,

Cameron Pearce
Executive Principal

Of Faith and Vision

by Valerie Mason and Jeanette Woods

This project has been both inspiring and daunting. We, the authors, aimed to pay due tribute to Flinders Christian Community College and the many people who have helped, under God, to shape the course of its history. If, as Percy Bysshe Shelley claimed, ‘history is a cyclic poem, written by time on the memories of man’, we wanted to ensure that those memories were reflected faithfully and that this record of the past forty years gives sufficient account of all the stanzas in the poem. There was a trove of material to sort through, so part of the task became to decide which pieces of information to include to honour the industry, dedication and professionalism of so many people. It was impossible, given word constraints, to chronicle every event that shaped the course of the college, so we aimed to give an account of those seminal events that would tell the story of an institution that set out to walk in God’s ways. We trust that those who remember the events recorded will find that there is a concord with their memory of a school that has shaped so many lives.

We invited current and former staff, parents and students to offer their personal reflections and we have used their anecdotal memories to complement the histories we found in the yearbooks and other sources; we recommend to the reader to find further depth and detail in the yearbooks produced each year. While the story presented here is positive and celebratory, it is important to acknowledge that hidden between the lines lie the struggles and challenges, failures and disappointments of our flawed humanity. We stand on God’s grace, forgiveness and leading, trusting that in our selection of past events, the heart of Flinders College is revealed. We started the story by giving a brief account of the college as it is today, before travelling back to document the genesis of Flinders, when on 20 June 1983, with an enrolment of fifteen students, it opened its doors to offer Christian education to students on the Mornington Peninsula. The latter chapters present vignettes of the many activities that operate across all campuses.

We believe that this story celebrates both faith and vision.

Valerie Mason and Jeanette Woods (co-authors)

Interview with Dr John Fisher

Inaugural Principal 1983 - 1990

We had the privilege of talking with Dr John Fisher in September 2023. He graciously shared his experiences with us as the first Principal of Flinders Christian Community College - an invaluable insight into our College History.