Captaincy and Leadership | 7 basic principles

Mr Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School

At last week’s Assembly, we announced Captains of respective College teams and I wanted to reflect a little on leadership and captaincy. In fact, there are many who argue that the most crucial ingredient in a team is the character of the player who leads it. However, there are many who would argue the importance of the coach who oversees the team, its selection, and its strategies, but once the team crosses the sideline and the first whistle or siren sounds, the coaching staff are sidelined and the real work of captaining and leading begins. Or so we think.

A recent study into leadership revealed the following seven traits of outstanding leaders, which I have incorporated with some of the 15 principles of being an All Black, arguably one of the most successful teams in any code throughout history. I challenged the students to reflect on how many of them they could identify as part of their own lives.

  1. Outstanding leaders are extremely resilient – it is easy to lead and motivate when things are going well. However, your team will look for you to remain positive and lead them when things are not going as well as you had hoped. This is when you revert to your training and the patterns and sequences you have worked on. Trust your basic skills.
  2. They play to the limits of the rules – great Captains know the rules and are respectful when speaking with the referee or umpire. Australian, Queensland and Melbourne Storm great, Cameron Smith was seen as manipulative by many opponents and their coaches when speaking with the referee, but his relationship was always respectful, and I believe that sometimes, he was able to influence a referee’s decision.
  3. They do the thankless jobs – legendary All Black players Dan Carter and Richie McCaw swept the dressing shed clean after every match. Outstanding leaders are never too big to do the small things that need to be done.
  4. They communicate clearly with all the members of their team and always encourage their players. If a team member drops a catch or misses an easy goal or pass, that person does not need to be reminded of this. They already know that they have let their team and themselves down, do not put them down. Encouraging words will resonate in their heads when the next opportunity arrives rather than dwelling on the negative ones. I always watch a team that has been scored against behind their try line with interest. Who is speaking, what are they saying and most importantly, in what manner are they speaking to their players?
  5. They motivate through nonverbal displays – always pass the ball to a teammate in a better position and play for the name on the front of the jersey and not on the back of it. In the world of professional sport, too often we see individuals like Ben Simmons choose individual pursuits rather than representing their country, the dream of so many.
  6. They have strong convictions and are not afraid to be different. Good leaders do not tolerate poor performances as individuals and strive to maintain the highest standards in all aspects of the sport. Good is not good enough. They train as they mean to play.
  7. They have total control of their emotions – keeping a cool head is vital in any contest. The moment you lose control is the moment you lose focus, and your opponent gains the upper hand. Rechelle Hawkes, one of our greatest Hockeyroos in the 1990s when Australia led the world, was stoic in all her dealings with umpires, opponents and even her coach, who dropped her as Captain in her last game. She did not respond because she knew it would be detrimental to the team.

Unfortunately, even at a school level, there are messengers running onto the field during water breaks conveying instructions from coaches throughout the match.  The sideline no longer acts as a barrier for the game to be played by the players.  Many are losing sight of the importance of captains being able to lead their team and the players learning to adapt to the game unfolding in front of them. But if we continue to foster the seven traits of outstanding leaders in all our students, it will hold them in good stead both on and off the sporting field.

 

From the Junior and Middle Schools

Engaging with Year 8 at SCOTS PGC Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools SCOTS Engage is a program unique to SCOTS …

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From the Junior and Middle Schools

Engaging with Year 8 at SCOTS PGC

Ms Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

SCOTS Engage is a program unique to SCOTS PGC.  Now in its second year of implementation, SCOTS Engage is an opportunity for our Year 8 students to connect with who they are as individuals, as a group and as members of our community.  It is a program that is designed to complement our existing Pastoral Care and Wellbeing sessions run by Year 8 Tutor Teachers.

We know that the years that span from childhood to adolescence are a time of change for our young people.  This includes physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral change.  There are changes to the brain and cognitive development that coincide with significant physical and hormonal changes.  It is a time that requires us to be responsive to the full range of needs, interests, and capabilities of our Middle School students.

During these years, young adolescents often have a desire to be more independent, yet at the same time seek meaningful interactions with their peers and with significant adults.  They crave freedom and support simultaneously, whilst also navigating social, emotional, and physiological changes.  It can be a time of ‘shifting sands’ – changes in relationships, changes in expectations and a change in understanding who they are and their place in the world.

The SCOTS Engage program has been developed with these understandings in mind.  Throughout the year, we explore a range of topics and themes, ranging from ‘BIG’ concepts like trust and bravery to more practical skills such as how to study for an exam or what subjects to select as an elective for Years 9 and 10.

The overview for SCOTS Engage is:

Term 1: ‘Knowing Yourself and Others’ – character strengths and leadership qualities

Term 2: ‘Learning to Learn’ – understanding how we learn, organising ourselves, study skills and strategies

Term 3: ‘Our Community’ – serving others and developing life skills

Term 4: ‘The Next Step’ – preparing for the journey to Senior School

In recent SCOTS Engage lessons, the Year 8 group has been exploring the concepts of trust and BRAVING, as described by professor and social researcher, Brené Brown.  The acronym BRAVING is a checklist of the seven elements of trust identified by Brené Brown and is a way of exploring the vulnerability and courage it takes to trust ourselves and trust others.

BRAVING is described in this video by Brené Brown and stands for:

BOUNDARIES: Setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay, and why.

RELIABILITY: You do what you say you’ll do.

ACCOUNTABILITY: You own your mistakes, apologise, and make amends.

VAULT: You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share.

INTEGRITY: Choosing courage over comfort; choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and practising your values, not just professing them.

NON JUDGMENT: I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.

GENEROSITY: Extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others.

As a group, we explored the concept of trust and how it is built slowly over time through small moments or actions, with our behaviours and words being able to build up or break down trust.  We also recognised that to trust someone or even to trust ourselves we have to be brave, we have to take a risk and we have to accept that those ‘micro-moments’ we have with others may be seemingly insignificant but are incredibly powerful in our relationships.

The conversations we have had about these ‘BIG’ concepts have been mature and thought-provoking.  The students have shared their ideas, had the courage to speak up in front of their peers and have taken time to reflect on themselves and their relationships with others.

There is no doubt that these early years of adolescence can be challenging for both the young people and the significant adults in their lives, but it is also important to remember how wonderfully empathetic, hilarious, surprising and insightful teenagers can be.


2022 Middle School Leaders

After delaying the process due to the number of students absent throughout Term 1 in Year 8, we have now been able to appoint our Middle School Leaders for 2022.  In a special Middle School Assembly this week, our 2022 leaders have been presented with their badges.

The Middle School Leaders for 2022 are:

  1. Rory Farrell
  2. Bayden Tink-Fenn
  3. Amira Duffy
  4. Emilie Miller
  5. Elliza Moore-Kirkland
  6. Emma Corke
  7. Hugh Holden
  8. Belle Meek
  9. Sarah Morris
  10. Phoebe Bryant
  11. Sophie Flick
  12. Gabrielle Newing

To be selected as a Middle School leader, the students submitted an online application and then attended an interview with Mrs Stephenson and me to discuss their application further.

It was lovely to spend time speaking to all of the students who applied and all were impressive in their ability to share their thoughts and ideas and also their understanding of themselves in terms of their character strengths and leadership qualities.

The selected group of leaders possess diverse talents, leadership qualities and strengths.  They are both day and boarding students who embody our College values in the classroom, in co-curricular pursuits and in the wider community.  This term, they are working closely with Mrs Stephenson in a leadership development program as a way of enhancing their ability to connect with their peers, be ambassadors for the College and grow individually.

Also as a part of the Assembly this week, a number of Middle School Awards were presented to students across Years 6 to 8.  These awards were nominated by staff for a student’s achievements inside or outside of the classroom, the way they conduct themselves each day and the character strengths and personal qualities they possess.  It was lovely to see such a wide range of students being presented with an Award for their individual progress and achievement.

Congratulations to the Middle School leaders and all those students who received an Award.

From the Co-Curricular Desk

2022 Captains of Activities Recently we finalised and announced our Captains of Activities for 2022. All candidates went through the application and interview process to …

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From the Co-Curricular Desk

2022 Captains of Activities

Recently we finalised and announced our Captains of Activities for 2022. All candidates went through the application and interview process to attain their positions, and I am pleased to advise that these students stood out amongst their peers. Below are those selected for higher leadership duties this year and we wish them well as they set the standard for their peers and junior students.

Athletics – Alexandra Rickert, Tom Denny

Basketball – Erin Keogh, Mantaj Brar

Cattle Club – Grace McIlroy

Creative Arts – Hannah Myer

Cricket – Jack Ragh (Year 11)

Cross Country – Eliana Jones, Mika Repo

Equestrian – English Disciplines | Hanaka Parker, Felicity Hodges

Equestrian – Campdrafting | Chloe Paganin

Futsal – Toby Callaghan, Kaysan Miles

Hockey – Millie Groves

Netball –  Alexandra Rickert

Pipes and Drums | Drum Major – Grace McIlroy

Pipes and Drums | Pipe Major – Nicholas McGahan

Pipes and Drums | Drum Sergeant – Kweller Manfield, Joshua Hullock

Pipes and Drums | Pipe Sergeant – Fraser Collins, Rosalie Mauch, Rory Macfarlane

Rugby 7s – Niamh Fender

Rugby Union – Peter McFarland

Sheep Club – Abbey Brown (Year 11)

Swimming – Nicholas McGahan


QCIS FUTSAL

On Tuesday 26 April, our Futsal teams ventured to USQ for the QCIS Futsal Titles. This is the first such event  held in Toowoomba with its predecessor being the QCIS Indoor Soccer hosted by Ambrose Treacy College some years ago.

The facility was magnificent and the competition was intense across all grades. Our teams more than held their own with significant success. We congratulate the winners and placegetters listed below.

U12 Boys 1st

U12 Girls 1st

U14 Girls 1st

U16 Girls 1st

Open Girls 2nd

We topped off the evening by also walking away as the Champion School with SCOTS PGC accumulating the most points across the evening.

This was a great lead up to the South West Titles held later that week for all teams.

 SOUTH WEST QLD FUTSAL TITLES

Over the last fortnight, the College Futsal Teams competed in the SWQ Schools Futsal Titles at USQ in Toowoomba.

The best of our teams were the U12 Boys, U14 Boys and the U19 Girls who all made it through to the Semi-Finals where they were beaten into 3rd/4th place. The Competitions were incredibly close as realised by our U19 Girls who narrowly lost to eventual winners Harristown SHS 2-1. The U14 Girls narrowly missed the semi-finals by just 1 goal and a series of draws by the U16 girls was not enough to see them through to their semis. The U19 Boys went close but ill discipline hampered their final push for a spot in the top 4.

Following the SWQ Futsal Titles, we are pleased to announce that the following students have been selected for QLD West to attend the National Titles in September.

U19 – Emma Bradbury, Stephanie Dunnett, Erin Keogh, Kaysan Miles and Toby Callaghan

U16 – Zara Kruger, Krystal Petersen,

U15 – Eleanor McFarland, Claire Eckersley, Phoebe Sellick

U14 – Madelon Weir, Ellyse Kruger, Amira Duffy,

U13, Mylie Caldwell, Oliver Swift, Innes Nowlan

U12, Harrison Grayson, Colby Miller,

U11 – Cooper Keogh, William Grayson

Congratulations to all our participants but particularly to these young players who have caught the eye of the selectors. We wish you well for the Nationals in September.

DARLING DOWNS TRIAL SUCCESS!

Over the past two weeks, we have had several students attend Darling Downs Trials in their respective sports. We congratulate the following students on their selection to these Darling Downs Teams to attend State Championships later this year.

U12 Netball – Chloe Harm

U15 Basketball – Briana Groves

U15 Rugby Union – Tyler Caldwell, Ryan Bohm, Nelson Madua

U11 Rugby League – Will Grayson

U12 Rugby League – Harrison Grayson

 

BOYS TEENAGE RUGBY

Last week SCOTS under 13s Rugby Union team took on USQ Saints Rugby Union Club in a high scoring affair. Both sides showed scintillating attacking rugby, with defence being nothing to write home about.

In the end, USQ’s backline was too strong running in a final score of 44 – 22. Best on park included the ever-consistent Innes Nowlan with his strong ball running, Doug Lawlor and Angus Bauer showed great leadership steering the boys around the park.

Under 15s had their first real challenge last week after winning their first 3 games on the trot. They took on the ever-strong Bears Rugby Union Club, in a heated contest. Running in 2 early tries, was the difference for Bears setting off a domino effect, that our boys were unable to halt. Despite their determination, the boys were served their first loss of the season going down 42 – 7. Performances that shone through this outcome, included Charlie Bergeman and Tanner Henley and their solid defence on the edges and Ryan Bohm who never game up, putting his body on the line at every opportunity.

SOUTHERN DOWNS AND BORDER DISTRICT CROSS COUNTRY

Eliana and Mika receiving the Border District trophy from Mr Brett Pollard Principal of St Mary’s Goondiwindi (guest presenter)Last week the College hosted the Southern Downs and Border District Cross Country events in perfect running weather.

The Southern Downs Championship went off first with the U10, U11 and U12 Boys and Girls events traversing the College Course. We had a small team of participants in this event and the following were successful in gaining selection to the Southern Downs Team…

Matilda Hawtin – 10yrs, Bethany Moore-Kirkland and Hannah Bourke – 12yrs

These three girls will contest the Darling Downs Championships on Tuesday 17 May in Toowoomba

In the Border District Championships, our band of keen runners came away with the trophy once again with some outstanding efforts from our students as listed below…

13yrs Boys – Lachlan Groves 4th, Angus Bauer 9th

14yrs Boys – Declyn Wren 1st, Rory Farrell 2nd

14yrs Girls – Elliza Moore-Kirkland 4th, Jasmine Young 6th

15yrs Boys – Samuel Bourke 3rd, Tanner Grant 7th, Nicholas Hughes 10th

15yrs Girls – Briana Groves 2nd, Anna Brown 7th

16yrs Boys – Benjamin Carey 2nd, Hamish Swift 3rd

Open Boys – Mackenzie Mayall 5th, River Taylor 7th, Mika Repo 8th

Open Girls – Eliana Jones 4th, Erin Keogh 6th, Elyse Maidment 8th

All these students have been invited along with our top 15 placegetters at this event to represent the College at the Darling Downs Titles in Toowoomba along with our Southern Downs representatives.

A reminder to all that training for those intending to participate at Darling Downs continues Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and a program for training has been emailed to the relevant students.

ARRANMORE ACTIVITIES UPDATE

With the commencement of Term 2, we see the following Arranmore activities for Year 1-6 taking place – Cooking Club, Netball, Craft Club, Rugby, Athletics, Roleplaying and Dance. A wide and varied list of activities that are very well patronised at this time. Vacancies do exist in Athletics, Netball, Rugby and Dance but are limited. Contact Mrs Beverly Hobbs to register.

Cooking Club – This past week saw Years 3 & 4 students put their patience to the test as they managed to create scrumptious sausage rolls, just in time for the cooler weather. All students enjoyed tasting their delicious creations whilst sharing their afternoons connecting with other like-minded Masterchefs. Who knows what they will create next.

 

 

 

 

 

Craft Club – With Mother’s Day just gone, it was timely that the Craft Club students spent their time designing special keepsakes to surprise their beloved mothers on Sunday 8 May. We hope our mums enjoyed the unique handmade creations. Mrs Krause and Mrs Maraun are working very hard with these students and having a great time whilst doing it.

Netball – This commenced Week 2 with students engaged in activities challenging their spatial awareness. With the help of Mrs Deanna Naughten, and two of our Year 12’s, Alexandra Ricket and Abigail Skaines, all students are heard laughing and enjoying their afternoon in JMSC learning the fundamental skills of Netball.

Rugby – Due to a delayed start with Arranmore Rugby, Rugby will start on Thursday 5th May where we look forward to seeing students in Years 1-6 learn the basics of rugby from a Queensland Rugby Representative. More updates and images to come in the coming weeks.

Athletics – On Wednesdays, students can show their natural athleticism where they are challenged to use their strength, speed and agility in various events. This week provided students with the opportunity to practise their throwing skills on Briggs Oval.

Roleplaying Games – On Thursdays, our Roleplaying group spends their afternoon immersed in cognitive pathways.

Dance – Our Arranmore Dance program is underway where students are enjoying being physical to challenge their rhythmic coordination and balance under the supervision of Mrs Mel Stephenson. Students are heard laughing and singing as their groove along to various songs where they are learning small sequences each week, ready to be combined into a small routine in their last week of term.

 GIRLS TEENAGE RUGBY

Friday Night saw a great improvement in both our U14 and U16 Girls Teams in the Downs Rugby fixtures held at Gold Park.

Liz Caton and Elyse Maidment continue to be standout performers in the U16 Team whilst Sarah Morris is improving all the time and shows great leadership in the U14 team. Summer Jacks really got amongst it and was ferocious in both defence and attack.

The girls will be back in action on Friday 20 May. Our Senior girls will commence training this week and all interested players are invited to attend.

EQUESTRIAN EXTRAVAGANZA

On Sunday we hosted Day 2 of the SCOTS PGC Equestrian Extravaganza. Showjumping and Show Horse events were the order of the day and we had a wonderful turnout of competitors from a range of schools.  Thank you to our amazing band of parent supporters who organised the day and all it entailed.

Show Jumping

Special 2 phase –

50cm

Charlotte Kielly (KARMIC PRODIGY) – 3rd

Ivy Westly (HEZA HUMPHREY) – 4th

70cm

Phoebe Sellick (Leroy) – 2nd

Mac Sanderson (Hes Pablo) – 3rd

Hannah Lawlor (Secret Account) – 4th

Scarlet Hart (LADBROOKS GOLDEN WEAVE) – 8th

80cm

Hanaka Parker (Little Grey Celebre) – Elim

90cm

Phoebe Selick (Rockin Party) -4th

100cm

Gabby Sellick (Passila) – 4th

110cm

Tom Brasch (BRADUN PARK GEE WHIZ) -1st

AM5

50cm

Ivy Westly (HEZA HUMPHREY) – 2nd

70cm

Phoebe Sellick (Leroy) – 1st

Hannah Lawlor (Secret Account) – 2nd

Mac Sanderson (Hes Pablo) – 6th

Scarlet Hart (LADBROOKS GOLDEN WEAVE) – 9th

80cm

Hanaka Parker (Little Grey Celebre) – 6th

90cm

Phoebe Selick (Rockin Party) -11th

100cm

Gabby Sellick (Passila) – 4th

110cm

Tom Brasch – Elim

Show HorseSenior Show HunterHanaka Parker (Little Grey Celebre) – 5th

Upcoming Trials

  • Friday Boys and Girls Rugby Fixtures continue Friday evenings
  • Warwick Interschool Hockey Fixtures continue on Tuesday evenings
  • Years 7-12 Basketball Fixtures commence Monday 9 May and continue every Monday evening in Term 2
  • Darling Downs Cross Country | Toowoomba | Tuesday 17 May
  • Southern Downs 11-12 Years Rugby Union Trials | Wednesday 18 May
  • DD&SW Equestrian Championships | Toowoomba | Friday 20 May – Sunday 22 May
  • SCOTS PGC Cross Country | Briggs Oval | Thursday 26 May
  • QCIS Cross Country | Downlands College | Wednesday 1 June  (Team selected from our College event)
  • SCOTS PGC Junior/Senior Athletics Carnival – 1500m Events | Tuesday 7 May (after school)
  • SCOTS PGC Junior Athletics Carnival | Thursday 9 June (Periods 5-6) and Friday 10 June (all day)
  • SCOTS PGC Senior Athletics Carnival | Tuesday 14 June (all day) and Wednesday 15 June (all day) – (Pre-events on Monday 13 June) – program pending

 

From the Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding  It has been another busy start to the term with various activities and …

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From the Boarding Houses

From Boys’ Boarding

Mr Stewart Bailey | Head of Junior Boys’ Boarding 

It has been another busy start to the term with various activities and co-curricular pursuits both before and after school such as dance practice leading up to Deb Ball season and our own Cardinal, gym and other sports training, work or even just a stroll down to the servo for a cold drink after a long day. With so many different distractions available it can be easy to lose track of the main focus and both Mr Marriott and I stress to all the boys that effective time management is critical whilst a student. Not only is it important now, whilst at school, it is an essential life skill that we all utilise in every aspect of our lives.

Last week, I began with a series of one-on-one discussions with the junior boys, my Year 5 first to begin with, then onto my Year 7s, regarding their goals for the year and aspirations for the future. Whilst it is true that at this young age, many students may not have a clear idea of what they want to do, I think it’s definitely a worthwhile exercise to begin the discussion and the boys in Cunningham House have responded in a  mature and thoughtful manner. At this early stage, the most important message I wish to convey to the boys and to you, their parents and carers, is that both Mr Marriott and myself, as well as all the boarding and academic staff, are here to help and that communication is the key.

As these discussions continue with the boys, I am looking forward to hearing more about them, especially what aspects of boarding they find rewarding and ways to enhance their boarding experience. As I have mentioned many times before boarding should be “enjoyed not endured”. Watching this process unfold and seeing the boys gradually mature and develop into young men is a highly rewarding component of my position here at Boys’ Boarding and whilst each new year brings new challenges, I am certain that the boys in our care are up to the task.

 

From Girls’ Boarding

Mrs Susan Everson | Head of Girls’ Boarding 

The boarding house has been very active with girls attending and being actively involved in our Co-Curricular activities, from representing the College Cattle Club at agriculture shows to playing rugby in Toowoomba on a Friday night.  The boarding house encourages all our girls to be active participants in at least one or more Co-Curricular activities that the school supports.  Please contact the College or Boarding House if you require further information about the wide array of activities on offer.

Weekend activities have been enjoyed by all the girls in the house.  It’s safe to say ‘the Maze’ at Stanthorpe was lots of fun. This weekend we have scheduled a trip to Toowoomba and we encourage all girls to let us know if they will be staying in or on leave as early as possible.

Ms Hamilton has commenced fitness (box fit) classes on Thursday night for all ages and Miss Osborn has offered to take any interested girls to join her at Park Run on a Saturday morning.

 

Community and Service

Thank you, St George and Gundy! We had a wonderful time out in our western boarding communities at the recent Agricultural Shows for Goondiwindi and …

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Community and Service

Thank you, St George and Gundy!

We had a wonderful time out in our western boarding communities at the recent Agricultural Shows for Goondiwindi and St George.  The trip provided an opportunity to connect with our families in these communities in addition to supporting their local show.

In Goondiwindi, it was great to see our Cattle Club out in force and dominating the ring.  We picked up numerous awards across the categories of parading, judging and breeding which was a great achievement for our Cattle Club enthusiasts.  Our visit to the neighbouring town of St George allowed us some downtime with our boarding families before setting up shop at the St George Show the following day.  We were grateful to spend some time with some wonderful company which included meeting new students who will be joining us next year.  Thanks for taking the time to share your weekend with us!

 

P&F Junior School Disco

We are pleased to be hosting our first Junior School Disco this Thursday which incidentally aligns with the completion of NAPLAN testing – a great way to celebrate the end of the week.  All details are in the enclosed poster.  It would be wonderful to see as many of our College families come along – this event is just as much for the adults as it is for the children!

We look forward to welcoming you all along!

Upcoming P&F Meetings | Date Claimers

P&F meeting dates for 2022 have been set to take place once a term on the Monday of Week 5 in the LRC.

Each meeting will start with a casual catch up and drink at 6 pm, followed by the meeting start at 6.20 pm -7 pm

Please lock these dates in your calendar:

  • Mon 16 May
  • Mon 8 Aug
  • Mon 31 October

Hens for sale

The College Agriculture Department has approximately 10 Isa Browns ($15) and 10 Barnevelders ($20) layer pullets (about 9 weeks old) for sale. Please call the College Reception to place an order and pay. Pick up from above the gym straight after school at 3:10 pm on Thursday or Friday. Please bring a cardboard box or cage suitable to transport them in.

Pademelons Playtime

From our Student Leaders

Mr Daniel Kuhn | Head of Years 11 and 12 Aristotle once proclaimed: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, …

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From our Student Leaders

Mr Daniel Kuhn | Head of Years 11 and 12

Aristotle once proclaimed: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Anybody who has had any semblance of a leadership role in life realises that with leadership comes the opportunity to guide, direct, inspire, create… and to be criticised. We tend to do this awfully well in Australia; think of our sporting crowds, booing at the mere mention of a politician’s name, or the local politics at play in nearly every junior sporting organisation in the country, where some family feels slighted because their brother’s sister’s aunt said something to the club President last year that was taken out of context and they are yet to live it down…

And yet, we choose to put ourselves forward for leadership positions, despite the insatiable appetite of the “Tall Poppy” slayers in this wide land of ours. Our Student Senior Leadership team at SCOTS PGC have been doing a wonderful job as they navigate the complexities of Year 12 studies and leadership responsibilities. I would like to go on record and state that this leadership group is leading with gusto, with pride, and with conviction. It is always pleasing to see the College values lived in daily life, and, in all my interactions with this group, I see these values shining forth, setting the standard for others to follow.

That’s not to say that leadership is easy. Just last week the comment was made to me by one of the Prefects after fulfilling their morning tea duty at the Dining Hall: “Sir, I don’t feel like we did anything then – maybe we’re not needed here.” In the moment my response was fairly flippant as I tried to reassure them that their presence was valued but, on reflection, I realised that I needed to take a step back and allow these leaders to do just that: lead. My approach to dining hall duty has changed, because one of our leaders spoke up and voiced their concern, rather than keeping quiet: that’s leadership.

Cardinal is fast approaching, and then there will be exams, holidays, exams, holidays, a “Festival of Leaving”, final exams and then… in the words of Dr Seuss:

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”

The 2022 Senior Leadership team is doing wonderful things, as are the majority of the Year 12 cohort. I am indeed fortunate to work with such wonderful human beings, your children, and I look forward to their continued contribution to the College this year, as they prepare themselves to move their own mountains in years to come.