Macquarie College is pleased to announce the new Senior School leadership group for 2018.  College Captains Adam Mitchell and Emily Coles will be supported by Vice Captains Jye Pickin and Hannah Coles.  During a special Chapel event recently, the full leadership team were presented to College Principal, Dr Bruce Youlden, and Head of Senior School, Mr Marvin Anderson.  We were privileged to gain some insights into the next generation’s approaches to leadership and their perspectives of leadership, service, and community-building.

2017/2018 Prefects
Philippa Amos, Emily Coles (Captain), Hannah Coles (Vice-Captain), Caitlin Fitzgerald, Adam Mitchell (Captain), Alexander Morgan, Jye Pickin (Vice-Captain), Cooper Verstegen, Emma Wellham, Louis Wellings, Jasmine Anderson, Isaiah Broad, Allegra Hillyard, Max Kozlik Selina McCloskey, Channae O’Hern, Ryan Rowe‭ ‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬

2017/2018 House Captains
Charlton: Hannah Coles, Emily Coles, Samuel Holding, Jye Pickin
Dobell: Emma Jones, Chloe Jones, Cooper Verstegen (Sport Captain), Ryan Rowe
Shortland: Bernice DeJager (Sport Captain), Nakita Jackson, Thomas DeJager, Philip Hosken

When asked “What does it mean to be a true leader?”, Prefects Alexander and Philipa gave the following responses on behalf of their peers:

Alexander: Instead of reading a definition of what a leader is, we thought we would give you a moment to think about the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word leadership. For many of us, it is probably that leadership is all about power, influence and followers and that to be a leader you must be some kind of professional, advisor or someone who is in charge or above others. In reality true leadership is something else. Being a true leader isn’t necessarily a person who flashes a badge, has a fancy title, stands on stage or makes the rules it is the people who provide support and encouragement for those around them that are that ultimately the true leaders. True leadership essentially involves four characteristics; courage, humility, responsibility and the ability to empower and uplift other.

Philipa: True leadership includes the ability to have the courage to stand alone, to have integrity and lead by example. Leadership by example is the only kind of real leadership as it sets the standard for others around us. Leading by example should mean that our actions no matter how great or small, influence others in a positive way and create a culture that is centred around respect, service, empathy and above all love. In order to achieve this a leader must be someone who follows up their words with actions. It is often one of the most difficult aspects of leadership as it is quite easy to talk, but not so easy walk. Ultimately there are three main types of courage. Firstly, the courage for initiative and action, to make the first attempt, pursue existing efforts and step up to the plate. Secondly, the courage to have the confidence to let go of the need for control, to have faith in the people around us and be open to change. Finally, the courage of voice and communication, the ability to raise difficult issues, provide tough feedback and share unpopular opinions. As leaders it is not only our responsibility to express these types of courage but instill our own courage inside of others.

Alexander: A true leader not only strives to better themselves in all that they do but strives to bring out the best in others and empower them to reach their full potential. Everyone in this room has a unique set of skills and gifts to offer and each and every one of us has the ability to influence others and let their light shine. As mentioned earlier, leaders aren’t just the ones who wear a badge or are behind the microphone, a true leader is one who can utilise their own gifts and talents effectively and share them to bring out the best in others. Leadership is also the recognition of other’s abilities and the willingness to let others have an input. The flying V formation of birds and geese is relevant to many aspects of leadership. Initially, you might think that the bird at the front is the most noticeable leader, however, when the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into formation and allows another goose to take the leadership position. Through this example, we can learn that the act of leadership isn’t about a solo effort and we can empower others to also lead.

Philipa: Another aspect of leadership is humility. Acting aloof or above your peers does not make a leader. When we think of humility we often imagine an individual who lacks confidence, is weak or unsure of themselves and that if a leader demonstrates any of these traits they will be a pushover. In fact true humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. In leadership it can be tempting to become obsessed with status and power however, it is important that as leaders we focus on others before we focus on ourselves. The best leaders are those who lead with humility and are willing to remove their ego from any situation, have no job they are not prepared to complete and are not afraid to seek help from others.

Alexander: Even though we can all be leaders in some way or another, the act of leadership involves the willingness to take on responsibilities and the confidence to make decisions that may impact others. A true leader also acknowledges and takes ownership for their mistakes and strives to amend them without compromising others. Throughout our everyday lives, each of us takes on some level of responsibility. These responsibilities may be small or great but for a person to act in a way so that they are stepping outside their comfort zone, reveals a sense leadership in itself and ultimately success in life. Neal Boortz’ quote “The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices are leading you to either success or failure,” highlights the importance of responsibility and the significant role it plays in being a leader.     

Philipa: As we all strive, in some way, to grasp our own meaning of what true leadership is and become better leaders within our communities through courage, empowerment, humility and responsibility, I will leave you today with a verse from 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”