Heathdale flower 23rd February 2024

Reflecting on 10 Years in Melton with Carol Beale

As we mark 10 Years in Melton in 2024, we recognise and celebrate individuals like Carol Beale, one of our devoted Learning Assistants who has been here since our Melton campus' beginning. Carol has played a diligent role in the campus's growth, and we are delighted to share her reflections on our Melton campus' journey.

Heathdale flower

As we celebrate 10 Years in Melton in 2024, we acknowledge the people who have been there to help it blossom by God's grace. Carol Beale, one of our incredible Learning Assistants, has been a dedicated staff member at our Melton campus since the beginning, and it is our pleasure to share her reflections on how far the campus has come.

Carol Beale at our First Day Assembly for 2024

How does it feel to be part of Heathdale Melton as it celebrates its 10th Year milestone?

To be part of Heathdale Melton Campus as it celebrates its 10th year milestone is for me, a time of great thankfulness, gratitude and pride in all that God has done in those10 years. I believe that God had His hand on this campus, and out of the ashes that was previously Mowbray, He made something new and beautiful which is now Heathdale's Melton campus. God has nurtured us and provided for us, and we are a vibrant Christian community ministering to the Melton area. I am grateful, inspired, thankful and humbled to have been part of the foundation and development of Heathdale College here in Melton and celebrate 10 years of watching it grow.

Can you reflect on some of the changes and growth you've witnessed at the Melton campus over the past decade?

When we first came to Melton, the school was not in a very good state or condition. However, gradually and over time and with much effort, each room was slowly tidied, sorted, cleaned and made ready for new classes. There was an enormous project of repair and painting in each room, amongst many other tasks to prepare for a new school in these old unmaintained buildings. In spite of these initial setbacks, the staff had a vision of a fresh new start for the school, the grounds and buildings. 

The handful of staff who worked here worked with a willing heart and gladness, knowing that they were a start of something powerfully new that God had in store. There was a sense of great excitement and joy being at the beginning, and the birth and foundation of the new campus.

What are some standout moments or memories from your time at Melton that you hold dear?

Some standout moments or memories for me are how the staff, parents, families and community all joined together in working bees, painting, gardening, tidying, etc. Everyone knew that the hard work needed to be done before everything was in place. We celebrated our first year at Melton campus with a barbecue for our families, knowing that God was at the heart of it all. 

I remember how a student fell and broke his arm and how we, as only a handful of staff, had to navigate that with no sick bay or first aid at the campus then. There was excitement as Heathdale started to become known and seen in the community and people began to see the potential in our growing school. 

It should be noted that many families that came originally had been part of the Werribee campus and were involved in the Melton birth. The Moffetts, Hingstons, Wells and other families, in faith, sent their children by the school bus each day, believing that God had great purpose and something very special happening at Melton.

I also remember how our little handful of staff began our day with prayer times, similarly to how we run devotions daily now.

How has the campus evolved in terms of its culture and community spirit since its early days?

The small handful of staff who began in 2014 and the next handful that came in 2015 all worked closely together with faith, understanding, patience and goodwill. As the school has grown, the staff and parent body continue to work closely together to celebrate all that is happening in the school.

In what ways have you seen the students and staff contribute to the success and vibrancy of the Heathdale Melton community?

The staff and students have a solid belief in the purpose and importance of Heathdale's Melton campus as a place of faith, community, education and growth. There is a willingness and gladness in all activities and areas to continue to build and grow the school in both its place in the community and also as a stable, steady and productive environment for the students' education and spiritual growth.

As someone who has been a consistent presence, how do you think the campus has positively impacted the lives of students and the broader community?

The steady commitment of staff over the 10 years of our Melton campus's existence has meant that the whole school has grown incredibly positively in the community.

Are there any challenges the campus has overcome that you find particularly noteworthy?

The state of the school when we first came in was an enormous challenge to overcome. However, over time, all these issues have been slowly and steadily addressed and overcome, and we now have a beautiful new campus that is filled with light, new technologies, buildings that are being refurbished each year as we as a campus continue to grow.

How would you describe the unique qualities or strengths that make the campus special after a decade of existence?

Heathdale Melton has developed its own individual and unique character and strengths in a way that makes it very accessible to the community around Melton. Structures are in place that support children of all abilities and needs. Opportunities to understand and learn about the history of Melton and surrounds builds up a sense of pride and delight in being part of the school.

Can you share a story or experience that symbolises the spirit and values of the campus?

As the years have progressed for Heathdale at Melton, it is clear that there is an ongoing commitment by many of the staff and families. It is clear that there is a strong belief of belonging and an inherent value of this Christian College in the community of Melton. I am proud to be part of this very special community which I have seen grow and develop throughout my 10 years here at the Melton campus and for the wonderful staff and families that I have had the privilege to work alongside and get to know throughout my time here.

Looking ahead, what is your prayer for the future of the campus, and how would you like to see it continue to thrive?

My prayer for Heathdale Christian College's Melton campus is that it continues to grow and thrive and be able to meet the needs of the community around it. By planting itself centrally in the area, our Melton campus has shown a deep belief in the people and community of Melton. I pray that that this would continue, and that families would feel very supported and be able to access education at Heathdale. I pray that Christian faith would grow amongst the students and reach out and touch their families. I pray for faith and stability and for a community that will embrace us and accept us with love and grace as we look forward to how God will continue to bless us here at Heathdale Melton over the next 10 years!