One of the most encouraging events on our Secondary School calendar is the Leadership Camp that I took part in last weekend. Over a quarter of our secondary students attended.
The camp takes place at Nanga Bush Camp at Dwellingup and involves team and adventure outdoor activities, as well as workshops around the subject of leadership. The Year 12 students organise and lead the flow of activities.
This year I hosted a session that involved students in year groups recognising areas where they could contribute to helping their peers. It was a tremendous time of identifying matters relevant to them and providing first voice, and in the future, opportunity to be effective leaders by bringing change. Some exciting initiatives were raised: Preparatory leadership school sessions, building personal responsibility and organisation, developing year group integration and friendships, building dialogue forums with parents, organisation and orientation sessions to prepare for future years.
As a Christian College, our perspective on leadership is unique and anchored in biblical understanding. Leadership is not the exercise of power but of influence. This enables every student to see themselves as a leader, able to influence others for good and build the positive spirit of our College. Leadership is not a checked box on a resume, but motivated by truly caring for others: selflessness rather than self-aggrandisement, character over celebrity.
It is wonderful for me to see young people eager to consider and embrace principles of servant leadership, engage in forging good relationships and want to be a positive influence in their world. As I often comment, there is a lot of bad press that teenagers cop through various media that depicts their world as one of rampant bullying, cyber-abuse, and entitled self-interest.
I’m a realist, and understand that we work with young people facing real challenges as they grow up. However, I’m proud to report that I am inspired and encouraged when I work with young people of the calibre and passion that I see in our College.
I particularly want to thank Mr Anderson for organising the camp; Mr B for the wonderful food and fellowship; Miss Vander Ros, Miss Sargent, Mr Rosolin and Mr Pethick for their sacrificial contribution to the camp. Thank you to the Year 12 students for their leadership and to all that came and were involved.
Mr Rod McNeill