Leadership Training Day Forges an Exciting 2019

Post assessments there is a little breathing time to plan for next year. Student leadership is one of our largest and most complex programs in the school and therefore requires military precision, coordination, logistical support and targeting of when, where and how campaigns and events take place. Ms Kenehan (Leadership Coordinator), in conjunction with a range of teacher mentors, ran a full program of activities on the final Monday of term. From the moment the Acknowledgement to Country and first words were spoken during the plenary in the Stephen R Smith Hall, the energy and excitement was palpable. There is an infectious optimism and a joy when working with our student leaders!

The first session reflected on the achievements of all teams for 2018. Far too many to list here, it was a catalogue of good work, promotion, raising awareness, fund raising and crucially, looking at ways complex issues that confront us may be improved or solved. Students then moved to three rotating training activities, acknowledging that leadership is not simply activity, but an understanding of leadership and how to best work towards achieving goals.

Michael Roffe (Captain 2018) ran a session on how to use advocacy, individual and group voice to promote and prosecute a campaign. It was a sophisticated approach to essentially understanding how we all think, what motivates us, and the ways in which we can cut through a ‘noisy’ world in order to be heard. The maturity required of our student leaders far surpasses what may be considered traditional learning by some.

Mr Scott (Deputy Principal) also ran a session on Effective Leadership, drawing on a wide range of notable figures and world leaders to pose the question: why are these people considered effective? Such insight of course moves way beyond the notion of position or title, and looks at the personal qualities, interpersonal skills, and effective practices that start to motivate, influence and attract loyalty from others. These qualities, regardless of personality, can be learnt and within all of us.

The third session was run by Ms Botros, Ms Barden and Ms Farmer and involved a number of PERMAH (Positive Education) activities and games in order to break down barriers, build team work and the esprit de corps that strengthens teams. It acknowledged that our own mental health and positive outlook are keys to leading others, role modelling and running effective campaigns. The bottom line, in everything we do, even around serious issues, we can always have fun!

As a large cross-section of students they were also given the task during this day of taking our current list of school rules and values, reducing them to three values statements that would be posted into every room in the school. What are the most essential ideas by which we should live flourishing lives and work cohesively with each other? The suggestions were perceptive and powerful and will be now collated for final decisions and publishing in early 2019. Given our move to an e-news format, these students were asked to come up with a name for the newsletter. There were many great suggestions: The KHS Herald, Keepin’ Up With Kirrawee, Koala Feed, and In the Kirra. After much deliberation however, the Kirrawee Chronicle won through, the name now proudly at the banner of this fortnightly newsletter.

After many pizzas were quickly devoured – the Library smelling like a fine Italian Restaurant – the students moved into their individual leadership teams and planned for 2019. This then moved to coordination of calendars with Mr Munsie and a satisfied close to the day’s proceedings. Group Coordinators mentioned above and including Ms Falconer and Mr Olovich played a valuable mentoring role throughout the day. It was a fabulous team effort…. a secret of good leadership!

An overwhelming bravo was passed on by Kirralee Smith (Captain 2019) on behalf of the students to Ms Kenehan, a standout role model and leader in our school. Her incredible work in conceiving and organising the day was the first reason for its success.

Congratulations to all involved and without a doubt, 2019 is going to be an exciting year.