School Captains' Blog

Published on March 13th, 2014 | by Darcy and James


2014 National Student Leadership Summit

How the year has flown by!

Somehow, it’s mid-March and we find ourselves at the end of Week 7 of Term 1, just four weeks away from the first of the beloved holidays.

Several events have happened since our first post. New boys have been introduced to inter-house competition, with Summer House Sports Day occurring in Week 3 and the Swimming Carnival just last week. It was pleasing to see over 700 boys wearing their House colours with pride on both occasions. All sports except for Cricket have been decided, and we have seen a spread of winners, indicating the diversity of our Houses.

Another of the major events that we have been heavily involved in is the organising and running of the 2014 National Student Leadership Summit. The Summit is in its third year, and is an entirely student-run day designed for school leaders to come together and share their ideas on leadership.

On 21 February, over 100 School Leaders from around Adelaide and Australia came to St Peter’s College for the 3rd National Student Leadership Summit. A total of 35 schools were in attendance, and 12 delegates came from interstate. Catholic, Government and Independent Schools were represented, and this year we were fortunate enough to have a near equal spread of delegates from each.

The day itself ran from 9:00am to 4:30pm, and was followed by a dinner from 5:30-7:00pm.

The day was structured using Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a discussion-based methodology aimed to get the best thinking out of leaders. It consists of the 4D model: Discover (appreciating the best of what is), Dream (imagining what could be), Design (determining what should be) and Destiny (creating what will be). Through this, we enabled a logical progression for the thinking of the delegates. The morning session was focused on appreciating the best of ourselves using Character Strengths, and as the day progressed, we followed the Appreciative Inquiry method and moved to round table discussion. Each leader was asked questions about their school, their peer group and themselves, aiming to find out what they cared about and were most proud of.

Discussion then shifted to the Dream stage of the AI method, and each leader thought of the best possible outcome of their year, and how they can achieve it. At the end of the day, schools sat together and created their Vision and Mission statements, as well as their goals for 2014.

Our guest speakers, Brigadier General (retired) Rhonda Cornum PhD MD and Mr Paddy Steinfort, High Performance Manager of the Adelaide Crows, were engaging and thought-provoking, speaking from their experiences about the importance of resilience and learning from life events.

This day would not have been possible without the tireless work put in by Dr White and Ms Margaret Pullen, and we are extremely grateful. They encouraged us and kept us on track as well as calm through stressful times. We would also like to thank Kelly Bray from Da Costa, Bill McInerney in Memorial Hall and Mrs Coussens for their support, Mr Murray and Mr McKinney for allowing us to organise the day and the Prefects for their enthusiastic participation. This day would not have been possible without the incredible support we received from everyone. Thanks must also go to the delegates themselves, as without them, there would be no-one to discuss with. We sincerely hope that each leader came away from the day with something positive.

Before the day, we sat down and brainstormed several measures of success for the day, and we both feel as though we achieved then. We feel students left with a further understanding of their roles, the AI method and the cultures of their school and others. Most importantly, they were able to meet other leaders and form new relationships. Although we left the day fairly drained, we feel the experience was invaluable and will help us for the year ahead.

Now, we switch to the upcoming summer fixture intercollegiate matches, where School pride shines through above all. The first of these is the Head of the River, occurring this Saturday, much earlier before any others. We would love to see as many boys out at West Lakes as we can to support the Mighty Blues!

Go Saints!

Until next time,

James and Darcy.

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Darcy and James

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