From the Senior Years

In the past fortnight, all VCE students have or will enter their first round of assessment tasks for the year. This is an important time when consistency over the Step Ahead program and the first three weeks of the 2024 academic year will be required. VCE requires an ongoing focus on consistent and measured effort. In the recent Year 12 Level Assembly, I spoke to Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, where the consistent measured pace of the tortoise leads to winning the race.

For Year 12 leaders, there were two major external events in the past week. Firstly, the Leadership Conference held at St Leonard’s College – an initiative instigated by their College captains. Our College Co-Captains (Abbey Luke and April Tammilehto) and two selected Prefects (Ruby Blaney and Yasmine Wong) were fortunate to attend this high-caliber event and hear from a range of engaging and experienced leaders from various fields – business, academia, human rights law, entertainment, not-for-profit organisations, and federal politics.

Below are reflections from our St Aloysius College student leaders on their experience from the day conference.

Having the opportunity to attend the Leadership Development Conference hosted by St Leonard's College on the 23rd February provided me with an opportunity to talk to students with similar ambitions and goals to mine, allowing rich discussion of our plans and what we would like to achieve for our respective schools and peers in the year ahead. One of the most impactful keynote speakers for me was Rotarian and community leader, Jo Kwok. In her own personal reflections on leadership, Ms Kwok commented: 'You have to make the most of the moments.' This really stood out to me as this year will go by very quickly. It has made me take a step back and realise that having this position of leadership provides me with opportunities to create different moments for everyone, that we will all be able to cherish forever. It made me realise that we will experience both little and big moments throughout our journey, that we will be able to step back and enjoy that will last forever.
Abbey Luke (College Co-Captain)
I was fortunate enough to attend a leadership development conference held at St Leonard's College. The day offered many collaboration opportunities with other school leaders, as well as hearing from a group of keynote speakers and panellists who have excelled as leaders in our community. The day structure was underpinned by three key concepts: Leading as service, Leading for change, and Leading with Joy.
For the Leading with Joy session, we were fortunate enough to hear from comedian Ryan Shelton, a co-director, and producer for numerous award-winning shows. He talked about his experiences while being a leader and how it doesn't always lead to feeling and being successful. His overall message was about how important it is to have a purpose, and the importance of creating a purpose statement, which can help guide yourself and your goals.
Yasmine Wong (Prefect)
For me, a significant key speaker was the former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins who spoke to us about her role as a commissioner and with her inquiry into sexual harassment in workplaces. What I took away from her keynote address was her persistence and determination that were key aspects of her leadership. This definitely inspired me about my future as a leader.
Ruby Blaney (Prefect)

Secondly, selected Prefects (Alexia Pantazis, Bethany Johnston, Sarah Barravecchio, and Alyssa Jandayan) attended the two-day Mercy Hub Student Leadership Conference. This was another rich opportunity for student leaders to develop their own authentic leadership style and deepen connections with the Mercy charism and with students from fellow Mercy schools. Below is a reflection from our Alexia on her experience of this two-day Mercy leadership conference.

The Young Mercy Links two-day program taught us multiple skills about how to become better leaders not only at St Aloysius but also in our day-to-day lives. All activities were framed around Catherine McAuley’s vision for ‘Mercy’ and the Mercy pillars of leadership that allowed us to form our own St Aloysius College ‘leadership action plan’ that outlined ways for us to bring out the best in each other as Mercy leaders. The keynote speakers were inspiring in their story of service through the United Nations. It was a rich and empowering experience for all of the St Aloysius student leaders, allowing us to form strong partnerships with fellow Mercy student leaders and to compare and contrast our leadership experiences in our respective schools.
Alexia Pantazis (Prefect)

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader