Principal’s Desk – 18 September 2017

Celebrating student leadership

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”   Keely O’Halloran, Leadership Speech, August, 2017

Over this past week, we have been privileged to celebrate and witness the fervour of young people seeking and expressing leadership aspirations in a variety of ways.

It was a delight to welcome the families and students of Year 7, 2018 for their first Information Evening.  Although a busy hour of introductions, explanations and questions, nervous excitement was clearly evident behind the focused attention given to the presentations from current Year 7s and College leaders. “Some of our best experiences at Mater Christi have been because we took up an opportunity and gave it a go”

A few nights later, prospective students for 2019 came along for interviews, wearing badges and carrying bulging portfolios as evidence of learning achievements.  These younger students are consistently wanting to follow the example and words of current students, whether as neighbours or via College tours and Taster Days.

At this week’s College Assembly, it was a proud moment for many as student leaders for 2018 were announced, General Excellence Scholarships were presented, individual awards acknowledged for Language Perfect, Chemistry and Spaghetti Machine Competition and current leaders provided reports of the term’s activities, including celebrating the six wonderful performances of Mary Poppins.

Gifts and words of advice and encouragement were handed over from this year’s student leaders to the following student captains:

College Captains:  Sophie Clarke, Emily Clarke

Faith & Liturgy:  Sian Janke, Caitlin Pearce

Social Justice & Stewardship:  Saasha Burby, Molly O’Bryan

Arts:  Clancy Box, Sarah Smedley

Chisholm House:  Lauren Hussey, Terraize Bonner

Gibbons House:  Keely O’Halloran, Tess Bekkers

Lyons House:  Jessica Horner, Hayley Mettes

Mackillop House:  Tess Horton-Crundall, Maddison van Twest

International:  Sona Zhou

Sports:  Nicki Cormack, Elyse Richards-West

STEM:  Rithika Muddagowni


Congratulations also to the following recipients of this year’s General Excellence Scholarships:

Tess Bygraves, India Griffiths, Molly Milnes, Lillie Park Jenkinson, Vanessa Mackey and Sarah Prass.

Our Assembly ended with an address by two College leaders of 2017, who acknowledged “the ideas, support and hard effort” of the 2017 student leaders as they prepared to “handball the responsibility over to next year’s captains” especially urgent given only 17 days of classes left for Year 12 students!!  And so some advice, “now is the time to knuckle down and put your best foot forward for your exams.  Enjoy your well deserved break, and come back prepared and ready for term 4.”

Finally, as highlighted in a recent Staff Reflection, there are two essential ingredients for going forward, leaders and followers.  One without the other cannot meaningfully exist.  As Benedict in his Rule identified, listening to young voices is a key element for effective leadership.  Most certainly, over this past week at Mater Christi, these have been as articulate as they are inspiring.  May God bless all these efforts to grow in faith, hope and love.

It has indeed been a busy term, interrupted somewhat by higher than usual occurrence of winter ills.  However, as the weather surely signals warmer times ahead, I hope that we will all take time to relax and refresh over the break ahead, in readiness of course, for the final term…and for those anticipating VCE exams, I encourage a balanced but determined approach of appropriately measured doses of rest, study and play!

Mary Fitz-Gerald