ECC’s new face in Student Services – Sarah Berhanu

There are a lot of attributes that could label Ellenbrook’s Sarah Berhanu.


Former Head Girl of Mercedes College.

Qualified Biomedical scientist.

While all of these are true reflections of Sarah, she sees herself differently from these labels.

“I want my identity to be found in Christ,” says Sarah as she attends to primary school students at Ellenbrook’s Santona Boulevard campus.

“I have found that striving for anything that is not eternal is really stressful, and not where your energy should be spent.”

Sarah (pronounced SAA-RA) was born in Perth to Ethiopian parents after they gained refugee status and moved from their home country to a new life in Australia.

As one of the only Africans in her school in Perth, Sarah stood out in her school for a number of reasons. Her mother’s strict upbringing brought academic success and accolades that many of us could only dream about, and Sarah channelled this into her studies and her striving for excellence in the schooling environment.

The yearning for something long-lasting and deeper really hit home for Sarah when she gave her life to Christ in Year 9. At a critical time of life when she was seeking an identity, this saving faith enabled her to see the world around her in a different light. Now, she is seeking to provide that clarity for students in her role in Student Services. The more she opens up about her life, the more you see the servant-hearted nature of this young lady who is seeking to be a listening ear for the young people who call Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC) their home during their schooling years. 

“I know for me, during my teenage years, there was a crisis of identity. I want to make this schooling experience as smooth as possible for our students here.”

Sarah previously worked in health recruitment before a conversation with a church friend led her to the position at ECC.

“I love the face-to-face nature of this role, and I hope that in these small instances of time that I see students I can provide a positive experience for them,” says Sarah as the never-ending stream of students requiring hats and band-aids continues.

Sarah studied Biomedical Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and was an integral part of the Christian Union (CU) there. She attends Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bull Creek and enjoys the fellowship of working with Christians in this new environment. With 37 different nationalities at the campus, Sarah’s chances of meeting students from an international background in her role are very high. That happy smile (even behind a mask) is sure to be a welcome relief to any young person who needs a late note, a bandage or just a quick chat before the lunch bell rings.

Keep an eye out for Sarah (remember, its SAA-RA) when you’re around Ellenbrook Christian College.

Ellenbrook celebrates 20th Anniversary with songs of praise

Friday, September 3rd marked a historic day for the Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC) community as they celebrated 20 years of history since their opening in 2001.

The evening commenced with a celebration event for families with hamburgers, a coffee stall run by ECC students, wonderful music and face-painting for the crowd, before the formal Thanksgiving Service started at 6.30 pm.

The service included a video from founding Principal Mr Jack Joyce who recalled the early years of ECC, before Principal Mr Mike Pitman addressed the 200-strong crowd in the gymnasium. Multiple student choirs and the Staff and Student Worship Band sang Christian songs to celebrate the momentous occasion, and ECC alum Ms Jasmine Nguyen (2015) gave the Bible reading.

Other notable tributes came from Mr Greg Wells (Principal from 2004-2013) who emphasised the community aspect of ECC, and Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer of SCEA) who noted that ECC was the first SCEA school to be established as a true ‘open-enrolment’ Christian school; meaning all families were invited to enrol, regardless of their faith background.

‘By opening in this way, we were saying ‘you’re welcome!’ to everyone in this community,’ said Dr Cross.

The night concluded with long-time staff members Miss Sharon Hird and Mrs Leigh Harris reflecting on their time at ECC, each sharing from the Bible.

Special thanks to Ms Marisa Streeton and Mr Steven Wellbeloved for organising such an enjoyable and cheerful evening.

Oliver Production Success for ECC

Ellenbrook Christian College celebrates its 20 year anniversary this year (2021) and the ‘Oliver’ production gave the Ellenbrook Christian College (ECC) community the opportunity to rally a band of staff, students, and alumni (ex-students) to celebrate with a musical production of the highest calibre.

What an experience it was!

The cast, crew, production staff and a number of community volunteers worked tirelessly to bring this story to life for the audience amidst laughter, excitement, and the pure joy of working together! Throughout this process, the amazing ensemble showed passion, resilience and a real gift for making theatre.

The success of the show was not just in the quality of the performance alone, but also in the creative process. Every person involved should be proud and excited to have been part of the production.