Welcome to Country
Turrbal Songwoman Maroochy performing the Welcome to Country

We were beyond proud to officially open our new learning facility in early May 2021. The opportunity to gather and celebrate our community and all that it has taken to get us to our new space was one we won't soon forget. Beginning with a powerful Welcome to Country by Turrbal Songwoman Maroochy, setting the atmosphere for a thoughtful and wholesome evening. We were delighted to have current Co-Principal Frances Missen, founding member Paul Toon, current student Kira Nelson, and board member John Cox, join us for a Q&A panel; Looking Back and Looking Forward. 

The evening was a beautiful opportunity to reconnect with past students, teachers and community members. While giving our current students an opportunity to learn about our history and showcase their talents and community spirit. The evening was made complete thanks to the contributions of local caterers Nundah Good Food Project, cakes by Alphabet Cafe, Coffee Supreme tea and coffee, and music by Travis Jenkins.

In unveiling this new space we are reminded of all the extraordinary work and all the wonderful people that have helped us get here. When Ken Morris and the then board members of our parent organisation saw a gaping hole in the education system for an amazing and diverse group of young people, they set out to do something about it. Jabiru Community College started from very humble beginnings; an old shed in a public park; but we placed our diverse young people at the heart of all we did. We committed to meeting young people where they were, providing learning opportunities that were flexible and responsive to their realities and their aspirations. This vision continues to guide us today.

Panel Discussion
Panel Q&A with Frances Missen, Paul Toon, Kira Nelson, and John Cox

When our founding principal Paul Toon turned that vision into reality he laid the groundwork for our future. Leaving behind an aspiration he called ‘Project 2020’, to find Jabiru Community College a new, more permanent home by 2020. While we have only just been able to hold our official opening, this new space was indeed finished and ready to launch in early 2020. The COVID-19 postponement led to a fortuitous culmination of opening the new facility and our ten year anniversary.

That funding bodies have trusted us enough to invest in us and help us move up is just one testament to all the wonderful work our community has achieved. This space, of course, wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our dear friends, the Northside Wizards who back in 2017 knew this space would be perfect for our community. 

Naturally, the journey of turning an old warehouse into a vibrant learning facility that feels like home to our diverse community has been so much more than just a building project. From our early beginnings our students have shown a degree of resilience and determination that has inspired us throughout our journey. A handful of these students, Frank, Aiden, Sonja, Kate, Katie and Hannah, worked with our architect, Dr Phillip Daffara, to develop the ideas and concepts on which the design for our new facility is based.

Official plaque reveal with Bart Mellish MP and Co-Principals Frances Missen and David Powell

Phillip helped us to dream bigger, to keep our young people and their hopes at the center of those dreams, and then turned those dreams into reality. He helped us harness the energy and commitment of our staff, past and present. A deep and infectious love for learning permeates the foundations and the walls of this new space permeates because of them. While the space itself is illuminated by the artwork of our students.

Student artworkStudent artwork on display at the college

MC giving his thank you speechDavid Powell making his acknowledgements speech

Students preparing foodStudents Sam and Drake preparing food

Frances cutting the cakeFrances and Kira cutting the cake