The choices we make profoundly shape our future. The Life Choices Foundation stands as a guiding light, offering educational resources and programs aimed at empowering individuals to make informed and positive life decisions. 


Founded on the principle of providing information, education, and a voice of reason, the Foundation’s mission extends beyond conventional boundaries, reaching areas often left unexplored. Andrew Fisher is the advocate for change and empowerment, leading this movement in presenting the Life Choices Program to students nationwide. 


Excelsia College proudly stands as a key supporter of the Foundation, emphasising its commitment to holistic student development and personal growth through impactful sponsorship. The Foundation’s programs, rooted in evidence-based practices, extend beyond conventional boundaries, addressing crucial aspects such as personal values, self-discipline, addictive behaviours, and self-perception. 


With a few dedicated ambassadors passionately representing the Foundation, the message of informed choices and empowerment is carried far and wide. Their tireless efforts are complemented by the invaluable support of volunteers, who through their dedication have collectively as a community contributed almost 518 days to the operational success of the Foundation.  


One remarkable collaboration is with Brett Murray’s ‘Make Bullying History’ program, a testament to Fisher’s dedication to empowering young minds. This joint effort has shown significant results particularly with Year 10 students, as evidenced by a remarkable 99% acknowledgement of the program’s relevance from staff members. 


Excelsia College’s sponsorship of The Life Choices Foundation aligns with the Foundation’s commitment to social causes and the program’s positive feedback from both students and educators underscores its impact on student empowerment and wellbeing. 


As the Foundation continues its impactful journey, Excelsia College remains an integral part of this transformative movement. This year, we anticipate ongoing success reinforcing Excelsia’s enduring commitment to shaping a future where students make informed and positive life choices. 

The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) at Excelsia College are for students who would like to prepare for living, studying and working in Australia. Without English language skills it can be difficult to express oneself, or be successful in higher education and a career while assimilating into a community in Australia. In obtaining entry into an ELICOS course, students not only boost their English language proficiency but also form new connections, discover Australian culture and develop their sense of belonging in a fun and lively environment. 

The courses also help international students to develop learning strategies and critical thinking skills that can be applied to higher education contexts, as well as in the workplace. International students will develop the ability to better understand language nuances and subtexts. By the end of the course students will be able to write well-structured and formatted texts of various types and understand academic texts. High proficiency in English leads to a multitude of opportunities for students that exist locally and globally.  


The College offers three levels of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) equivalent is mentioned below.  

  1. EAP 1 (4.0–5.0 IELTS equivalent) 
  1. EAP 2 (5.0–6.0 IELTS equivalent)  
  1. EAP 3 (6.0–6.5 IELTS equivalent) 


Students are placed in their proficiency level and the program is designed to continually assess the students progress and adjust according to their needs. Upon successful completion of EAP 2, students are eligible to transition into their undergraduate program, and upon achieving EAP 3, they are eligible to transition into their selected postgraduate program – excluding the Master of Teaching (Secondary), Master of Counselling, Master of Social Work (Qualifying) and Doctor of Philosophy (Organisational Leadership).  


For example, for students who do not meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) entry requirement for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5), with an overall IELTS score of 6.0, but do meet all other entry requirements and have one of the ELP bands at 5.5, they have the option to undertake a 5 week EAP 2 program starting on 10 June, 2024. If they successfully complete EAP 2, they can commence the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5) on 24 July, 2024. This option is also available to those with an IELTS overall score of 5.5 and no band less than 5.5. 
Besides having a multi-level course structure, the ELICOS program will be delivered by highly experienced and qualified Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teachers. These teachers are dedicated to empowering students and instilling confidence in all aspects of English language proficiency, specifically spoken and comprehension abilities.   


Dr Daisy William is the ELICOS Program Director at Excelsia College. She has a PhD in Financial Management and Corporate Governance from the University of New England. Daisy’s experience spans from management, teaching, lecturing, course coordination, business management and development, private consulting, and ministry.  
In addition to benefiting from experienced academics, students will enjoy access to our excellent facilities, engaging in cultural excursions, participating in language clinics, and labs specifically designed to address language nuances, including pronunciation and context. 
Khanh Linh Pham, a current ELICOS student at Excelsia said: 

‘I love Excelsia College. The friendly teachers are always ready to assist, and the clean, beautiful classrooms create a comfortable learning atmosphere. We also enjoy participating in the various activities like language clinics.’  


Excelsia College seeks to equip students to be successful in their higher education studies by collaborating with academics to provide the best support so that they can seamlessly transition from ELICOS to their degree program.  


Find out more about the ELICOS program here. 

Pursuing a Master of Counselling, Sasha Miloslavskaya was led by more than just academic excellence – it was the quest for an inclusive and warm community that drove her. In her endeavour to juggle full-time work commitments with study, Sasha found the perfect fit at Excelsia College. The appeal was found in weekend classes and face-to-face learning within a relational and human-centered course, marking the commencement of her academic journey.


‘Being at Excelsia felt like home. I really enjoyed being both a student and a staff member. Excelsia has a wonderful atmosphere; one always feels supported, heard, and loved. The spirit of Excelsia is that of generosity, kindness, inclusiveness, and possibility. I have made friends for life and met many like-minded people, amongst both students and staff. I miss Excelsia dearly and look forward to the opportunity to give back in any way I can, when I can.’


When describing Excelsia, Sasha uses the words ‘future, love, and friendship’, emphasising the unique qualities of Excelsia College, including smaller class sizes and the different journeys each student undertakes. Studying counselling encourages individuals to assess not only others but also themselves, fostering vulnerability – a lesson Sasha holds tightly. ‘The most important thing I have learned was that it’s okay to ask for help. I have also learned that it is important to have the right support – people you can depend on in your life. And last, but not least, I learned the value of friendship and treating people with kindness.’


Since graduating, Sasha has established a private practice and founded HERE4U Counselling & Psychotherapy, dedicated to helping those in need of guidance and support, particularly from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Identifying as a CALD therapist, Sasha purposefully offers a sliding scale to assist those less fortunate and takes pro-bono cases when appropriate.


It is evident that Sasha has a genuine passion for meaningful work. ‘I would love to find a rewarding job where people are what matters, and a person-centered approach leads the way. My dream is to have a rewarding job helping children and young people learn about who they are and how they can feel safe and regulated in everyday life,’ she explains.


Reflecting on her time at Excelsia, Sasha finds it challenging to pinpoint one defining moment, given her roles as a student, employee, and counselling intern. ‘My experience at Excelsia was so important, so valuable, and so fulfilling. I have belonged to the Excelsia family in different capacities, and within all these roles, I have always felt loved and supported. I feel like I want to give a special mention to the student lounge area – for such a small college, Excelsia went out of its way to make students feel relaxed, at ease, and able to balance work and play.’


Excelsia thrives on making sure our students feel at home and supported, so why not explore our Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Master of Counselling and start your journey today? *hyperlink the courses*


Caption: Excelsia’s spirit, rooted in generosity, kindness, inclusiveness, and boundless possibilities, became the drive for Sasha’s pursuit of a Master of Counselling. Now, as a dedicated therapist and founder of HERE4U Counselling & Psychotherapy, Sasha extends her passion for meaningful work, focusing on aiding culturally diverse communities. Her commitment to offering a helping hand is a testament to her time at Excelsia.

Excelsia college News | Sasha Miloslavskaya’s Inspiring Journey at Excelsia College

Changing careers is a significant life decision that can be both exciting and challenging. Whether you’re considering a change due to personal interests, job satisfaction, or other reasons, there are several important factors to consider. Here’s what you need to know when contemplating a career change and what to expect during the transition.

  1. Qualifications you need
  • Assess your transferable skills: Begin by identifying your skills, experiences, and strengths that can be applied to your new career. Many skills are transferable and can bridge the gap between your current and desired professions.
  • Necessary credentials: Research the qualifications, certifications, or degrees required for your desired career. Some industries may demand specific educational backgrounds, while others may prioritise experience and skills.
  1. What to expect
  • Learning curve: Expect a learning curve as you adapt to a new field. It’s common to encounter obstacles and uncertainties, but perseverance and a growth mindset can help you overcome them.
  • Networking: Building a new professional network can be essential. Attend industry-specific events, join relevant online communities, and connect with professionals who can guide you in your new career.
  1. Where you can work with your degree
  • Research career opportunities: Investigate various roles and positions within your desired field to determine which align with your skills and interests. Some careers may offer remote or freelance opportunities, while others may require you to work in a specific location.
  • Job market: Assess the job market for your chosen career. Consider factors like demand, salary, and job stability to ensure it aligns with your long-term goals.
  1. Places you can go for assistance:
  • Career counsellors: Seek guidance from career counsellors or coaches who specialise in assisting individuals with career changes. They can help you identify your strengths, set goals, and develop a plan for your transition. At Excelsia, we provide free career counselling for our students.
  • Online resources: There are numerous online platforms and websites that offer valuable information, job listings, and resources for career changers.
  • Networking: Leverage your existing network and reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who may have connections in your desired field. They can provide insights, referrals, and support.
  1. What to study
  • Academic programs: If your career change requires a new degree or specific qualifications, research academic programs and look for options that fit your schedule and budget. Check the various options Excelsia has to offer at,
  • Industry-specific knowledge: Stay up-to-date with industry trends, news, and best practices through industry publications, online forums, and professional development opportunities.
  • Online courses and certifications: Many online platforms offer courses and certifications in various fields. These can be cost-effective and flexible ways to acquire the necessary skills.

Excelsia College is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Ryan Daniel as its Chief Academic Officer. Professor Daniel brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Excelsia and is excited to contribute to the College’s mission in Christian higher education. His vision for the role is to support the College’s aspirations for growth, develop its offerings, and to enable staff and students to thrive in their work.

‘It is a great privilege to join such a welcoming community of staff and students who are passionate about all that they do.’ – Professor Ryan Daniel, Chief Academic Officer

Professor Daniel holds a PhD in music education, a Master’s in Music Performance, and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching. His academic journey includes over 60 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, establishing him as a respected figure in the academic field. Notably, he has been honoured twice with the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence from James Cook University, showcasing his dedication to advancing education.

As Chief Academic Officer, Professor Ryan Daniel provides strategic leadership at Excelsia for teaching and learning, scholarship, research, course portfolio development and associated community engagement, aligned with the mission and vision of the College, and achieving optimal outcomes for students.

With over 30 years of experience in higher education, Professor Daniel has held diverse roles encompassing teaching, lecturing, and both operational and academic management. His time at James Cook University, where he served as Professor of Creative Arts and Creative Industries, as well as Head of School, reflects his commitment to academic growth and development. With multiple research publications in tier one journals and with globally reputable publishers, Professor Daniel understands what it is to produce quality research and scholarship.

‘I much prefer quality over quantity, and set high expectations for myself, leading by example, and doing as much as I can to support students and educators to succeed.’ – Professor Ryan Daniel, Chief Academic Officer

Beyond his administrative and research roles, Professor Daniel has a genuine passion for postgraduate supervision. Currently overseeing an Excelsia alumnus, he actively contributes to the academic development of future scholars. His commitment to Excelsia’s faith, community and mission is grounded in his strong Christian values, making him a valuable addition to the college’s leadership team.

Outside the realm of academia, Professor Daniel embraces his status as an NRL and Maroons fan, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to cheer on Queensland teams and aiming to secure a win in the Excelsia tipping competition one day. He is incredibly proud of his children Maria and Lachlan and looks forward to the opportunity of one day sitting behind the wheel of a Formula One car!

Excelsia College is excited to welcome Professor Ryan Daniel as its Chief Academic Officer, confident in his ability to steer the institution towards new heights of academic excellence with his extensive experience, leadership skills, and passion for education and community engagement.

Rest remains one of the most underestimated activities for personal wellbeing, despite its proven ability to enhance productivity.
According to Dr Sarah Eyaa, Head of the School of Business, rest should involve taking a step back from our usual activities to reflect and review. It entails giving the mind and body the time to rejuvenate, ensuring overall wellbeing. During periods of rest, it’s advisable to break away from routine and engage in activities that bring joy and refreshment. Rest doesn’t necessarily mean halting all activities; it can involve engaging in pursuits that bring calmness or contribute to personal growth. Engaging in prayer and dedicating time to dive into the teachings of God contributes to self-care by reinforcing the understanding that the intricacies of our lives hold significance to a higher power. Exercise serves as a break from routine, enhancing both physical and mental health. Reading books or watching documentaries offer similar benefits by providing relaxation and opportunities for learning and gaining new perspectives. Different individuals find rejuvenation in various activities, such as indulging in spa treatments, taking scenic drives, catching up with loved ones, going on holiday, or dancing. Since different activities resonate with different people, individuals should discover what works best for them. Engaging in preferred relaxation activities can subsequently contribute to an overall enhancement of wellbeing.

As we enter the new year, prioritising your wellbeing is essential. Dr Dion Khlentzos, Head of the School of Counselling, emphasises the significance of initially identifying sources of undue stress. Evaluate the extent of control you have over those situations and make small changes where feasible. Consider incorporating these strategies into your daily and weekly routines. Sarah also provides valuable insights. Firstly, she advises to choose battles wisely, reviewing incoming challenges to discern their importance and directing energy toward what truly matters. Secondly, conduct a review of activities from last year that did not contribute to your wellbeing and eliminate them from your ongoing to-do list. Thirdly, embrace gratitude – acknowledging that although things may not always be perfect, there are daily blessings. This shift in focus towards the positive aspects of life lightens the challenges we face.


Lastly, recognise that taking rest is not only acceptable but also beneficial. It’s perfectly okay to slow down during certain seasons to refocus, ultimately contributing to improved wellbeing.

A number of Excelsia staff recently attended the Higher Education Provider – Quality Network (HEPP-QN) National Forum (20–21 November) and Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Conference (22–23 November) which were both held in Melbourne. In addition, the College’s SRC Co-President, Kirti Punjabi, attended the TEQSA Conference as the College’s student representative. 


The theme of this year’s HEPP-QN National Forum was Self-Assurance in Higher Education. Excelsia’s Provost, and HEPP-QN Founding Convenor, Professor Jane Fernandez, invited participants (both in person and online) to step up to self-assurance and work to build greater trust in the sector, especially between institutions and regulators. These themes were revisited in a series of presentations, workshops and panels over the course of the two days, with participants discussing a wide range of topics including the Australian Universities Accord, Generative AI, self-accrediting authority, and the current threats and opportunities within the sector. One of the many highlights was a presentation and Q&A session by TEQSA Chief Commissioner Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, and his vision for the sector. Other key presenters were Professor Andrew Norton, Dr Michael Tomlinson, Dr Lindsay Heywood and Dr Paula Kelly. The HEPP-QN National Forum keynotes received strong commendation from HEPP-QN participants. A big thankyou goes to all HEPP-QN institutions who attended and a special thanks to survey respondents. 


Many of the topics from the HEPP-QN National Forum were also featured at the TEQSA Conference, which, for this year, had the theme Reshaping Higher Education. Workshops and presentations covered assessment in the age of AI, contract cheating, support and safety for international and First Nations students, the Australian Universities Accord,  skills for the future, QILT insights, and current issues for regulation in the higher education sector. As well as staff from within the sector, over 100 students were in attendance, both as participants and panel members, which provided valuable insights and perspectives. 


Both the HEPP-QN National Forum and TEQSA Conference provided participants with a wealth of knowledge and many opportunities to network, and although there are clearly many challenges facing the sector, there are also many opportunities and an exciting future ahead. 


Further Reading: 

The Australian Universities Accord 

Assessment reform for the age of artificial intelligence 

Draft Higher Education Provider Amendment (Support for Students Policy) Guidelines 2023 

As a Christian higher education provider, Excelsia College is paving the way for aspiring educators, artists, and professionals through its Early Offer Program for HSC students. If you’re in Year 12 and eager to start your journey towards a rewarding career, Excelsia offers a supportive learning environment and an easy transition. Aligned with our dedication to academic and spiritual growth, the Early Offer Program offers a pathway to an academic qualification for your desired career.


As part of the program, Excelsia understands the importance of securing your future and offers a 20% scholarship applied to the first-year tuition fee. The eligibility criteria are straightforward: applicants must be currently in Year 12 and working towards completing the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) or its equivalent by the end of the year.


Peter McKeon, Chief Executive Officer, states, ‘At Excelsia, we honour the dedication of Year 12 students. Our commitment is to offer an early pathway to their chosen course and tangible support through scholarships. We value academic achievements, ensuring integrity by conditioning offers on successful HSC completion.’


The College values your commitment to your future and aims to make it count. By applying early, you not only secure your place in your chosen course, but also enjoy the benefits of a scholarship offer. If needed, our ELICOS foundational language skills course is available to prepare you for undergraduate study, ensuring a smooth transition into undergraduate studies.


Take advantage of securing your place now in courses like Bachelor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Information Technology, and more. Apply by 13 December 2023 to be a part of a community that nurtures and supports your growth as an educator, artist, or professional.


For further details about the Excelsia Early Offer program, please visit:

Are you a budding actor, director, or stage manager with dreams of making it big in the entertainment industry? With Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Dramatic Art and Bachelor of Screen Production courses, not only will you be learning skills for the profession but you also have the opportunity to engage in an immersive three-month experience with the Oz to LA unit, taught in the heart of Hollywood.  


The elective unit Oz to LA stands as an intensive training initiative hosted at the distinguished Los Angeles Performing Arts Conservatory. This unit transcends conventional classroom learning, providing unparalleled access to the inner workings of the entertainment business.  


Standout features of the Oz to LA unit include the engagement in audition and casting sessions, participation in exclusive meetings with industry professionals, and attendance at conferences that provide insights into the inner workings of the entertainment landscape. This unique exposure sets Excelsia students apart, equipping them with practical knowledge and real-world experience. 


Joss Chalmers, an alumnus of Excelsia College and former Bachelor of Dramatic Art student, attests to the unit’s impact on her journey. She emphasises the value of being taught by experienced professionals genuinely invested in the growth of their students, both as artists and individuals. Joss reflects on her time in Hollywood, stating, ‘Studying and training screen acting in Hollywood was a super inspiring experience.’ 


The Bachelor of Dramatic Art at Excelsia College spans three years full-time, offering two specialised strands: Performance, and Theatre Practice. This unique structure allows students to tailor their education to their specific career aspirations, be it acting, directing, stage management, or producing roles. 


Excelsia College understands that pursuing dreams sometimes comes with financial challenges. To alleviate this burden, FEE-HELP is available for the tuition cost of the Oz to LA unit. For more information visit Oz to LA (  

Luke Edward Smith undertook a diverse educational journey at Excelsia College, commencing with a Bachelor of Theology in 2004. However, midway through his studies, he transitioned to a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama) and successfully graduated in 2007. 


Expressing initial uncertainty about his path, Luke shares, ‘I was drawn to theology but wasn’t entirely sure where it would lead. Having enjoyed drama in high school, the unique blend of creative arts at Excelsia intrigued me. I harboured a hope of getting involved artistically at some point, and Excelsia seemed like the perfect place for that to happen organically.’ 


Describing his time at Excelsia College, Luke characterises it as a blend of ‘faith, fun, and growth.’ The Student Centre and grassy knoll served as a central hub for students, fostering a sense of community and belonging. ‘It was always a very welcoming and inclusive place to study, with everyone being encouraging and supportive. The Gathering was also a great place to see the other departments do their thing.’ 


Luke fondly recalls the late-night rehearsals and show preparations as the highlights of his college days. ‘There was something exciting about knowing we were about to open a production and being in the car park late, chatting before we went home. The creative excitement and nerves and that feeling of having come together and created something with like-minded people.’ 


Post-graduation, Luke, along with some peers, founded Twisted Tree Theatre, a venture well-supported by the College and the Head of Drama. Reflecting on this experience, Luke notes, ‘It was incredibly well supported by the College and by the Head of Drama at the time. I think after working at our craft for three years, it was a tremendous stepping stone to producing and exploring work outside of a classroom environment. I think the discipline I learned during our study was really cemented when we were creating theatre together afterwards.’ 


In his current role as an actor in New York City and as actor, director, writer, and producer for Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble, Luke still uses the diverse skills acquired during his Excelsia days. Collaborating with other companies and film productions, he remains active in the performing arts. Luke was credited this year on ‘Playbill’ for his show at the Gene Frankel Theater with his ongoing work at the Actors Studio.  


Luke acknowledges Excelsia’s impact on countless lives and hopes for its enduring spirit. ‘The friendships I made and the training I received will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope the spirit of the College endures and that the students coming through are able to enjoy their time there as much as I did.’  

Excelsia College News | From Theology to Theatre Luke Edward Smith's Transformative Journey at Excelsia College