Last week, a group of ten Siena students participated in a Christian Leadership Day - an experience of deep learning about leading and embedding social justice action in schools. The following are reflections of two students who attended virtually on the day:
Last week a group of students participated in the Christian Leadership Day. It was a day filled with learning skills and knowledge on how to better ourselves as leaders. We began with an image of Jesus on the cross in front of a crowd and we discussed our hypothetical position in the image. It was really interesting to hear others’ opinions on what they would have done and where they would have been. We were then put into groups with students from several other schools to discuss human inequality. I found listening to my peers’ thoughts and ways to tackle in equality extremely insightful. We then heard from two tertiary students studying Politics and Law with helpful advice for us as future leaders. I made a personal connection to these lectures as I plan on following a similar path and studying International Relations. The advice of listening to your peers, using all the resources available to you and to use your failures to further your learning will definitely influence my future thinking and leadership. All in all, the Christian Leadership Day workshop was very interesting to participate in, and helpful for my future learning.
Alex Woolridge (Year 11)
I was able to develop a deeper understanding of big world issues such as human rights and climate change, and as emerging Dominican leaders, learning about different ways we are able to find solutions to these issues. I enjoyed collaborating with students from other schools and hearing everyone's opinions and ideas on the issues and their suggested approach to tackling the problem. This experience enabled me to further improve my people skills and it gave me a fresh perspective about how I see the world. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about global issues and learning more about the importance of leadership, and the opportunities that are available to us through the leadership program. Renata Fanthome (Year 10)
The Pillars Student Leadership Program has continued with the commencement of the Leadership Program for students in Years 7 to 9. So far, a group of over sixty students have participated in two sessions, focusing on Dominican Leadership and Effective Teamwork. Below are reflections of several students involved:
My key take-away message from Session 1 was that if we all play to our strengths, together we can make a huge difference. This will influence my leadership approach as now I can work on the strengths that I think I should improve on and work together to understand everyone's strengths to work together more effectively.
Sagan Bhalla (Year 7)
The key take-away message from Session 2 for me was how we can all actively contribute as a team when making decisions, to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. We should always consider everyone’s take on the situation and promote strong discussion methods. This will influence my leadership approach through considering everyone’s opinions, building on the character strengths of teamwork and inclusivity.
Indianna Honrado (Year 8)
My key take-away message from Session 1 was that as a leader, it is important to acknowledge both your character strengths and weaknesses in order to grow. This will influence my leadership approach as it will encourage me to ensure I contribute my strengths in team environments, and seek assistance from other team members on the areas I’m still working on.
Amy Duffy (Year 9)
The key take-away message from today's session was that collaboration and delegation are of utmost importance when working in group settings. These tools ensure that every voice and opinion have a chance to be heard and that every person's individual skills can be put to work in different ways. This means the group will work more effectively as a whole as each person is playing to their strengths.
This will influence my leadership style as I will try to make sure that each person I am working with has a role that will help the group collectively and suit their personality.
Shreya Kapitan (Year 9)
Following their participation in the Pillars Senior Student Leadership Program, our senior students were invited to take on the role of Senior Student Leadership Mentor, and involve themselves in the facilitation of the Pillars Leadership Program for Years 7 to 9 students. This has provided our students an opportunity to apply their skills, build relationships with students, share their own knowledge and experience of leadership with their peers. Below are the reflections of two students involved in the program:
After participating in the extremely valuable Senior Pillars leadership program, I decided to volunteer as a Senior Student Leadership Mentor. This was to apply what I have learnt and guide the younger year levels in developing their leadership qualities for their future endeavours in leadership at and beyond Siena. So far, the experience has been very exciting and rewarding. It has also allowed me to communicate with and connect with girls I haven’t met before to build relationships and add my own individualised advice based on my experiences with leadership. Furthermore, it has been a great learning experience for me as I have been able to revise and consolidate my learning from the senior Pillars Leadership program and put them into practice through guided group discussion and reflections. It has been interesting to see new perspectives from younger students that I may not have thought about, and therefore, the program has greatly enriched my leadership approach.
Carly Walsh (Year 10)
I really wanted to volunteer to be a Senior Student Leadership Mentor because I wanted to encourage younger students to get excited and involved in wanting to become a leader. By drawing on my experiences as a leader and as a team member in Siena, I can get them excited for all the projects and leadership opportunities that they get to be a part of at Siena, as well as outside school. I really enjoyed the workshops with smaller groups of students and getting to know a couple of them personally, as it helps us to connect to others and what they see in themselves in leaders with the strengths that they have as a person, and what they can personally bring to leadership. There was also an opportunity to practice my public speaking in groups, communication skills, build my confidence, use of effective feedback, patience, empathy and active listening. Being a Senior Student Leadership Mentor also helps me to be able to think about how I am as a leader and how I can improve and strive to be better.
Amelie Nikolovski (Year 11)