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The Queensland Education Department assumed responsibility for the Primary School at the Aboriginal community at Hopevale in 1972 mainly due to the inability of the Lutheran Church to supply teachers. From this move, the possibility of a Lutheran school in North Queensland was discussed informally in many circles. It was at a Far North Queensland Lutheran Mission Committee meeting held in conjunction with the Hopevale Mission Board in 1988 that this suggestion first received serious consideration. At the 1988 Annual General Meeting of the Trinity Lutheran Congregation a Lutheran School Investigation Committee was elected. These members were Greg Wharton, Frank Jacobsen, Julene Lander and David Spanagel. The official process had begun. Ken Albinger from Queensland Lutheran Schools’ Department outlined the process to be followed.
Aub Muller (representative from the Lutheran Church) and David Spanagel (Investigation Committee) searched for suitable sites and areas considered were at Mooroobool, Clifton Beach, Edmonton and Kamerunga. The preferred site was Kamerunga and was purchased from Lusalda Pty Ltd at a cost of $500,000 …. $20,000 per acre and settlement was requested by 28th February 1991. This seemed achievable, however there was a six month delay concerning an objection about an adverse effect that the flow of flood waters might have across this area brought about by any development. Other set backs included advice from The Queensland Department of Transport that they required a portion of our prime land for the construction of a roundabout to cater for the intersection of Kamerunga Road and Harley Street. By October 1991, eight months past the agreed settlement date settlement for the land on which Peace now stands occurred at 4.44p.m. on 4th October 1991.
In the Cairns Post on August 6th 1993, an article appeared stating that a multicultural school funded by the Lutheran Church, Hopevale and Wujul Wujal Aboriginal communities would aim to reach out to students in PNG and SE Asia attempting to address the issue of racial tension and incorporate multiculturalism in a positive manner. What a task and yet one that we started boldly trusting God always.
The First Office
The headquarters of the Far North Queensland Lutheran Mission at 30 Upward Street, Cairns also became the first office of Peace Lutheran College. It was from this hub that founding parents made their first contact with Peace. The first 50 enrolment enquiries were made from this office.
Appointment of the Founding Principal
College Council took the decision to employ a principal six months prior to the opening date, allowing sufficient opportunity for involvement in the first stage of the building and development of the necessary policies, acceptance of enrolments and interviews, and the regular planning for a new school development. The position was advertised in “The Lutheran” (the official monthly magazine of the Lutheran Church), “The Australian” and “The Courier Mail”. From seven applicants, the credentials and subsequent interview resulted in Mr Michael Gladigau being appointed unanimously as the founding Principal. In July 1993 he started his mammoth task.
The College opened its doors on 1st February 1994, amid red mud and tropical rain, but with infectious enthusiasm, a clear sense of direction and rows to hoe.
The Official Opening occurred on Sunday 12th June 1994. Sir William Knox, Chairman of the Association of Independent Schools Queensland performed the official opening ceremony with a crowd of approximately 250 in attendance. Pastor John Vitale, President of the Lutheran Church of Australia Queensland District performed the official ceremony dedicating the College to the Glory of God.
Peace Lutheran College today is a testimony to a task that has had many hands to the wheel developing every aspect of the College into its current niche in the Cairns Community. Peace Lutheran College provides the Cairns community with a further choice for the education of children.