Student leaders keen to set the tone for a good year

MOTIVATION was not lacking among a group of senior students who went back to school a day early to work on a vision and action plan for their school in 2014.

The group of Year 12 Gladstone State High School students want to see teachers and different aged kids helping each other and feeling confident and included in their school community.

School executive committee member James Owbridge is also passionate about the role of youth in the wider community.

"We want to unite everybody, not just our school community. Together we shine brighter," he said, in reference to the school motto which imagines everyone as stars.

Year 12 student and executive committee member Hannah Gregory was excited to be back at school for the first day of her final year.

"I'm nervous, excited, it's the last time," she said.

Vice school captain Michael Eiser was pushed outside his comfort zone at a recent leadership camp, but in a good way.

"I don't think I would ever have danced in the middle of a crowd, ever, but now it's like, let's go!" he said.

Members of the group agreed the leadership training was invaluable.

"It was very much about finding out inner drive and inspiration and finding what we have that can improve everyone else's lives," Michael said. "It's not only about goal setting, but staying on top of that goal and not letting it beat you."

Student leaders Michael Eiser, Hannah Gregory, James Owbridge and Taylah Crosbie.
Student leaders Michael Eiser, Hannah Gregory, James Owbridge and Taylah Crosbie. Mike Richards

Leaders taught to set high hopes for 2014

YOUNG leaders are worth investing in - that was the message from Gladstone State High School on Tuesday when its halls were filled with Year 12 students attending a leadership workshop.

The program was led by not-for-profit leadership education organisation yLead and helped students discover motivation and inspiration, with students devising a vision and mapping out an action plan for what they will achieve in their school community.

"Leadership is any action that makes our world a better place," yLead's Bel Yorston said.

"I guess even as adults these days we don't actually acknowledge and take enough time out to start to discover who we really are and what difference we personally want to make."

The students enjoyed group exercises that helped them realise how co-ordination with others helps achieve goals, and worked through ways of meeting their hopes for 2014.

Some of the students attending Tuesday's workshop had recently been to a camp with hundreds of other young leaders.

Teacher and Year 12 co-ordinator Kim-Maree Lambert said the motivational work was valuable for achieving both personal and study goals.

"The leaders who attended the camp mixed with other kids and heard their goals and that could make them think 'hang on a sec, am I selling myself short by what I've set as my goal?

"If I really knuckle down on this maybe I could get whatever it is I really want'," she said.

The school has changed the structure with which it recognises leadership in the student body, with 61 of about 230 Year 12 students designated 'leaders'.

"We create a synergy in this group to motivate their year level and the rest of the school and to make a bit of a difference," Ms Yorston said.

"We help them with a bit of motivation to start the year on the front foot and to make the most of the really great opportunity that they have."

Ms Lambert was also inspired by the training.

Leadership pathway:

  • Year 10 students attend Gladstone area leadership conference sponsored by industry
  • Teachers foster motivational messages in classroom
  • Year 12 school captains attend three-day leadership conference in Brisbane
  • In 2013 the four Brisbane conference participants from Gladstone State High School won a yLead session that enabled a workshop of 60-plus students to be run at the school

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