On Wednesday 20th October, the Senior School gathered for a special Chapel service, during which the 2017 Leaders were announced.  

Dr Bruce Youlden, Principal, greeted the 2017 Leaders and congratulated them on their appointment, and expressed pride in them for their values demonstrated throughout the year which have earned them the opportunity to represent their peers and the College in their final year of Senior School.  You can watch Dr Youlden’s speech here

The 2017 Leaders are Carl Gearing and Holly Kozlik (Captains) and Belle Smith and Damon Tually (Vice-Captains).

Student Representative Council members Sarah Ottoway and Harrison Lyddiard gave a wonderful speech during Chapel, which is shared below.

SO: Leadership is defined as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.”  However, this definition only scratches the surface of what true leadership is.
HL: Sarah and I, asked some teachers to sum up what they believed to be the most important aspect of leadership, in one word.  Here’s what we received:

  • Courage, Example, Service, Strength
  • Selflessness, Patience, Guidance, Transparency
  • Considerate, Humility, Vision, Empathy
  • Integrity, Influence, Authenticity, Empowerment
  • Not one answer was identical.

SO: So how can leadership mean so many different things yet sound so simple. Leadership can be recognising a problem and finding a solution to it. It could be helping others with a selfless heart. It could be acting as a role model to help guide those around you. Leadership revolves around kindness, respect and initiative.
HL: So who is a leader? Leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way. Leaders can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, school captains, the list goes on.

SO: In other words, leadership is complex and means many things to many people, depending upon the context. For instance, some lead by example and take a hands on approach such as in sporting teams, while others are more authoritarian, taking a hard line approach and delegating as we see in the military. Either way, a leader cannot lead without followers. Followers need to respect their leaders.. What therefore engenders respect?
HL: Respect must be earned through both actions and words. Great leaders such as Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela demonstrated time and time again that respect must first be earnt. Integrity, fairness, compassion, and consistency all come to mind. However, sometimes respect is earned by making difficult decisions that aren’t popular. Jesus Christ, a great leader, acted in ways that were clearly not popular and paid the ultimate price.

SO: In a more current setting, we see the opposite unfolding in the soap opera of the US presidential campaign. One of the candidates appears to have issues with integrity and judgement, but is at least consistent. Opportunistic popularity does not necessarily make a great leader.
HL: School leadership is unique. Its sharing your gifts, abilities, talents, dreams and ideas with everyone around you. But there is more to it than that. Leaders model, connect and involve. They act as role models for the community, they connect with the people they want to lead, and they involve people whenever they can.

SO: We lead by example, and one of the most difficult parts of leadership is showing people that they can do better even if they doubt themselves. Leaders put time and effort into those around them, they aim to give people a better experience and try to produce the best results possible.
HL: They don’t give up, and they strive to always be their best, regardless of their circumstances. Leaders talk, show and share in order to learn, inspire and encourage others to make better things happen.

SO: So what kind of leader will you strive to be? One whose authentic and patient? Or one who serves, guides and is empathetic?
HL: What about integrity, respect and strength? Or selflessness, transparency and consideration?  Why not be all at once.