What a wonderful privilege it was to watch our Year 11 girls deliver their leadership speeches this week. All students from Years 5-12 were present in McKeague Hall on Wednesday when the girls spoke about their aspirations to be our 2022 prefects. The speeches were humorous, sentimental and clever, but more importantly, authentic.
This week I have had numerous conversations with our students around staying true to themselves. What do I mean? Michael Jordan defined it very simply when he said, “Authenticity is about being true to who you are, even when everyone around you wants you to be someone else.”
I do not mean being yourself at the expense of others but being honest about who you are and what you stand for i.e. knowing and living your values.
School can sometimes be a difficult environment to navigate with some students experiencing anxiety related to perceived academic and social pressures. Whilst academic pressures are more tangible and solutions can be straight-forward, perceived social pressures are often more nebulous and potentially destructive to a student’s sense of self-worth.
Our girls will experience situations in school and more broadly life that challenge their self-perception and values. As parents, guardians and educators, our role is to help steer them through these challenges with courage, compassion and self-respect. As adults we know that even a happy life can be riddled with obstacles, but with support, these situations can also be the stepping stones that make our values clearer and grow our self-confidence.
Lance Secretan said that ‘authenticity [staying true to ourselves and our values] is thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing consistently’ and added ‘this builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust’.
After watching our Year 11 girls deliver their speeches this week, I am confident our younger students identify each and every one of them as a potential leader. Well done girls and I know you have inspired our future student leaders to develop their own leadership path.
Acting Deputy Principal - Students