Community / alumni
Growing our Maranatha Community: Connect with Us and Others.
At Maranatha Christian School, we believe in passing on our vision and remaining connected with our community. We want you to feel connected with us and others, and there are several ways to do so. To start, check out Maranatha Christian School’s Facebook page and connect with past students.
You can also join Maranatha Christian School’s Reconnect, which offers opportunities for former staff, students, and parents to stay in touch with each other and the school community. Through Reconnect, we aim to facilitate lasting relationships, ensure our past students remain informed on the school’s progress, create networking and social events, support alumni in their professional endeavors, and encourage alumni to contribute to the current school community. Whether you are a former student, teacher, parent, or friend of Maranatha Christian School, we would love to hear from you and invite you to connect with us.
Send Us Your Story
We are eager to hear about your journey and share it with others in the Maranatha community. Please update us on where life has taken you since leaving Maranatha.
Jesse Dutlow, Class of 2013
Contestant on The Voice 2017
As a student, Jesse was always passionate about Art and expression. After he graduated in 2013, Jesse moved to Sydney to study Song Writing at Hillsong College. Inspired by the many experiences, friendships and God encounters over the course of his life, Jesse recently released his first song, ‘Powerless’ as the debut single for his EP, ‘XX’ which came out on August 20.
The message of ‘Powerless’ focuses on how as people, our own strength runs out but when we rely on God, our lives open up and our spirits become free. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
‘XX’ is a five-song project that simply celebrates God’s faithfulness and marks a milestone for Jesse, having just turned 20. You can buy ‘XX’ featuring ‘Powerless’ on iTunes and Google Play or stream the EP on Spotify or YouTube.
Jesse is excited to be back in Melbourne, to continue creating music that can reach people with the message of the Gospel, and to branch out into other creative art forms including film and dance.
Gracie Grime is a children’s picture story about a girl you collects time and learns how to use it well. The combination of clever rhymes written by Nicholas Ling, and colourful mixed-media illustrations by Maranatha alumni, Grace Fraraccio results in a heart-warming story that you can read countless times.
At the time of illustrating her first children’s book The Crooked Trees, Grace was approached by Nick with the story Gracie Grime. The ideas for characters in the story such as giraffes in scarves and unicorns made from ice-cream cones travelled through Europe in Grace’s sketchbook as she brainstormed and reworked ideas for the story. Twelve months after her return, Grace and Nick submitted their final work to the publisher and celebrated in early January 2017 as they held their first hard copies of Gracie Grime.
The story is simple yet meaningful and will inspire you and your little ones to learn to see the value of sharing the precious time you have been given.
Class of 2012
Grace has always loved creating things and from very early on wanted to become a children’s book illustrator.
After graduating from Maranatha in 2012, Grace relocated to Byron Bay for a year to study in a Christian ministry school called, Deep End School. Surrounded by creative friends up north, Grace began to develop her own business, Dancing Fox, and joined an artist collective which ran a shop called The Little Seed. She sold art prints, t-shirts, greeting cards and other hand made goods and responded to commission work throughout the year. On returning to Melbourne Grace began her Bachelor of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Arts at Monash University and continued to grow her business by exhibiting artwork in local cafes and galleries such as The General Food Store, Brunswick Street Gallery, Little By Little, Providore Patisserie and Little Rogue. She has enjoyed connecting with local store and café owners and sending out packages to a store in New South Wales too.
In early 2015, Grace and Jamie caught up to discuss collaborating over some children’s stories. Grace very excitedly began the process of illustrating which she soon realized was a lot more challenging than she had expected. The process of illustrating is full of problem solving. Unlike her studies of fine art at university, Grace now had the challenge of working with words to create an artwork. While words can sometimes create limitations on the artwork, Grace’s love of literature and the meaning of words makes this process an exciting journey which she hopes to continue to grow in.
Currently, Grace enjoys responding to commission work for clothing, tattoos, logos, invitations or framed art pieces. She is also currently working with a friend on another Children’s Book, and looks forward to keep working alongside Jamie with his company Trade Winds Publishing House in the future.
Class of 2013
Since graduating in 2013, Jamie Crock has enrolled and studied Science and Law at the Australian National University, as well as taking a summer course in Literature at Oxford University. In 2015, Jamie founded a small publishing house, named Trade Winds Publishing House. Under this umbrella, he has released a children’s book written by himself this year, as well as working on young adult fiction and children’s literature with a number of artists. In his spare time, Jamie reads avidly, loving a wide range of novelists, short story writers, and poets. His hall of fame, un-exhaustively, includes C.S. Lewis, W.B. Yeats, John Wyndham, Martin Amis and W.H. Auden. A longtime admirer of art, Jamie was pleased to have had a children’s story he wrote, illustrated by an artist he has admired for a long time. Jamie attended school with Grace in prep and recalls admiring her artwork in grade four and five. The overarching interests of his first book, The Crooked Trees, reflect Jamie’s interest in both the sciences and the arts. Central to the book is scientific mystery and creativity — telling the story of playful solutions to a real mystery. That mystery being a forest in Poland called The Crooked Forest. Jamie hopes to publish further works in the future in a range of genres.
Class of 2013
Meet the Model Duckie – Oyster Magazine Interview
Nyadak Thot aka Duckie is all about family. She’s one of seven kids and her older sister Nicki was a model in New York before inspiring her little sister to audition for Australia’s Next Top Model last year. While on the show, she missed her sister’s wedding. You might say she’s made up for it now though, having gained local and international attention. She starred in our Jo Duck shoot just last week, and now she’s back to answer some questions!
Where did you grow up and where are you currently living?
Duckie: I’m born and raised Aussie, although most people assume I was born in South Sudan. I grew up in Melbourne and I’m currently living here.
What’s the most surreal thing to have happened to you in your modelling career so far?
A lot has happened so fast, but I would have to say going on Australia’s Next Top Model. That started up my modelling career. I’ve always been interested in modelling, but I was too nervous to go to an agency. My sister basically forced me to audition the season after Charlotte Dawson scouted me in the crowd.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Do you stick to it?
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. It’s not advice that someone’s given me, but this verse in the Bible has helped me along the way and I try and stick by it as much as possible. It’s always a nice reminder that anything’s possible 🙂
What would you be doing right now if you weren’t modelling?
If I wasn’t modelling right now, I’d want to play basketball professionally. Basketball has been a big part of my life the last few years and it always will be. I only started to become serious about the game 3 years ago when I started playing for New Stars. My coach made me see the game in a way I hadn’t noticed before and that’s something I’ll never forget.
Class of 2017
- Kirsten enrolled in a double degree course – Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Secondary Education and Bachelor of Science.
- Kirsten completed secondary school studies last year and achieved an ATAR of 98.1
It was little surprise for Kirsten’s family and friends when she selected Monash education as first preference. The top scoring student with an intuitively helpful disposition was known as the go-to pupil for math solutions amongst teachers and classmates at school.
Why have you chosen to study a teaching course?
“I have chosen to study a teaching course because I can think of nothing better than being able to share my love of learning with others and encourage them to be passionate about their own learning! Becoming a teacher feels like the perfect occupation for me as I will have the opportunity to use my communication skills and love for social interactions to help the next generations discover where their skills lie and all the awesome things they can achieve.”
Kirsten praises her previous school environment and teachers for supporting her achievements to date and who recognised her propensity for methodology and formulas. Sharing her spare time to offer math tutoring was an early indicator of Kirsten’s outlook as a future educator.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
“The idea of pursuing education as a career first dawned on me in year 7 but it was year 10 that I really made my mind up. I was incredibly lucky to be able to see my dream job in action every day and because I love the whole school routine so much I never considered doing anything else after my experiences in year 10 doing both work experience at my primary school and also having countless opportunities to help out my math teacher in my own class.”
An enthusiastic, supportive and nurturing learning environment are reoccurring teaching virtues throughout Kirsten’s own education background. Inspired by this experience it was easy for Kirsten to see how her skills and abilities could be applied to her own future professional endeavors in education. She further provisioned her teaching passion recently in Cambodia as part of a volunteering group teaching basic English to local children through learning games.
Was there someone who inspired you – a teacher, family member?
“My year 10 math teacher held the key role in encouraging me to pursue my love of teaching as a career. He always gave me opportunities to help out my fellow classmates and sometimes told people to “go ask Kirsten” when he was busy to help me grow in my skills as a teacher. He and all the other teachers at my school showed such a passion for their work and I couldn’t help but be further encouraged by the obvious fulfillment they got from their work. What else more could you want from your lifetime job?!”
Kirsten attended several open day events, touring universities to compare courses maps, facilities and general campus vibe with Monash creating a positive impression. In particular, the Monash double degree learning structure and desirable course map suited Kirsten’s expectations. As an added incentive she was also in favor of Monash’s close proximity to home.
Why did you choose Monash?
“As soon as I walked onto the Clayton Campus on open day I could see and feel the communal and welcoming environment that is so present and really felt at home. Monash’s high-ranking in education and the friendliness of all the students and staff I met really left me with no doubt that this was the university I wanted to go to. I had a bit to do with some other universities with a more academic-focus and even though I love being around people I know will push me, I was more so looking for a place where I will be able to excel as well as making friends who want to succeed in a somewhat less competitive environment.”
Kirsten is eager to begin her Monash education course and looking forward to interacting with like-minded peers with a similar passion for teaching and conquering the challenges of a double degree course structure.
What are you most looking forward to in your studies?
“I can’t wait to meet some fellow education nerds! Coming from a relatively small school the only people I’ve been able to relate to in terms of my passions was my teachers. I’m looking forward to meeting other young people who are just as passionate about education as I am; the prospect seems somewhat far-fetched for me though especially after being constantly labelled as “crazy” by my peers for actually wanting to return to school after already being there for 13 years, but how can you not love it?!”
Kirsten is looking forward to the upcoming Monash orientation week in mid-February and we wish her the best of luck throughout her course with Monash.
Class of 2017
MCS Class of 2017 student, Bryce Gibson was awarded a performance in ‘Top Class Music 2018’ in the Voice — Contemporary Popular category. Bryce, who was accompanied by Mr Craig Minty, performed the Ray Charles classic, ‘Drown in my Own Tears’ at the Melbourne Recital Centre.