Education Today Logo


Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Program to keep young stars in school

News Image

Izellah Connelly, Year 6, is a busy young lady, she’s been the lead role in Tim Minchin’s musical Matilda, performed in three other stage productions and is touted as the country’s next pop princess. And she’s still a good student thanks to an innovative new program.

She attends St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast who have firmed up their new Athena Program which lets students with exceptional extra-curricular lives keep up with their schoolwork.

Izellah’s father, Rahman Connelly says “St Hilda’s support of Izellah has been wonderful. It’s great to see a school having such a forward-thinking approach in valuing more than just academic performance.”

“There is the challenge of how to keep up-to-date with the academic curriculum when Izellah has commitments that take her away from school, but the Athena Program gives us the unique opportunity to work Izellah’s schedule and passions in with her education.

“Izellah has really benefited from being able to stay in school and maintain her friendships and it has helped her to feel grounded in an industry which is often not.”

St Hilda’s Director of Pre-Preparatory and Head of Athena, Lisa Cleverly, is proud the school offers a program that helps students balance their schooling with other commitments.

“We are passionate about supporting our girls and believe there should be no barriers to achieving both academic and extra-curricular success,” Cleverly said.

“Eligible students, particularly those competing in elite sports or performing arts programs, benefit from the program’s personalised flexible learning plans, extra pastoral care and support for parents.

“Being able to support Izellah in her academics, and pastorally, to manage her commitments to her performance opportunities and schooling has been very rewarding. Izellah has such an amazing talent – proving to all that age is no limit.”

Izellah Connelly’s new single, If Every Day Was Christmas, will be released on the 29 November and proceeds of the pre-sale are being donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation which assists in brightening the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children.

Pre-sales for Izellah’s new holiday single If Every Day Was Christmas is available now at or go to iTunes and search “Izellah”.

17 May 2019 | National
Cyber attacks on education down 26% News Image

Cyber attacks on Australia’s education sector have dropped to 18% (down 26% from 2017) which saw the sector leave the top spot of most targeted.
Read More

16 May 2019 | NSW
1000th PEF Scholar recognised News Image

Since the inception of Public Education Foundation’s (PEF) scholarships program 10 years ago, over 1000 students have been supported with scholarships.
Read More

16 May 2019 | National
Seek says it’s good to be an educator News Image

The latest SEEK Employment Report showed that it’s good to be an educator. Job ad growth in industries related to public service continues to outperform other sectors, this includes Education and Training. Read More

16 May 2019 | National and Qld
QELi and NESLI join forces to boost professional development opportunities News Image

Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELI) and the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI) have a new partnership to further strengthen educational leadership collaboration. Read More

16 May 2019 | VIC
Melbourne Girls’ School joins the fight against gynaecological cancer News Image

Ruyton Girls’ School made a step to address the problem of gynaecological cancers, which are all too common, inviting Dr Pearly Khaw from The Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG) to host an assembly. Read More