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On Leadership: An interview with the the Outgoing and Incoming Leaders

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Compiled by Gian Ellis-Gannell, Nicola Rakuljic and Sophie

With our 2018/19 leaders graduating in just a few short weeks, we asked both our outgoing and incoming student leaders a few questions surrounding their thoughts on leadership.

Outgoing Captain and Vice-Captain: Evelyn and Anastasia

What does leadership mean to you?

We don’t know if we are qualified enough to define leadership. For us, it’s less about the grand gestures and more about the personal way in which you choose to interact with people each day, and model the Loreto values as you do this. Another really important aspect of leadership is teamwork, and we have been lucky to be surrounded by a cohesive student council and great teachers and staff who help us manage all the daily hurdles which we encounter.

How will/do you apply your leadership skills outside of school?

We have learnt a lot about ourselves and how we work best through leadership, but also much about how important it is to be organised, keep up a healthy balance and surround yourself with people who support you. These lessons are most certainly going to help us in various ways once we leave school.

How is leadership linked to sincerity?

At Normo, we are given the freedom to be the School Captains through being our true selves. We have never felt that we have had to be anyone but ourselves and we are so grateful to all the Normo girls, teachers and particularly the Year 12s for trusting us with the leadership of the school and always supporting us.

What have you learnt through your experiences as a leader?

We are both the formal leaders of the school, however our roles mean nothing without the Student Council and Year 12. They are the reason that any of our ideas actually happen and are the brains behind so many initiatives. We don’t know how we could’ve made it through the year without them.

What has the Loreto community meant to you?

They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and we’re sure this is true for Normo. Our Normo journey has been filled with many highlights, from trips to FNQ, to competitive sporting matches (even when you’re in a peer team), many tutor group cakes and music festivals. As much as we appreciate all of the sincere, felicitous aspects of the Loreto Community, we won’t fully appreciate everything the community has given us, done for us and how much it has shaped us until we walk out of the gates on Pennant Hills Road for the last time.

What advice do you have for people looking to step up in leadership?

Leadership isn’t just about big gestures, while we love speaking at assembly and getting to represent Loreto at functions. For us leadership is about the little things you do in small moments such as taking the high road, or reaching a compromise despite how hard it can be. It’s about looking out for all people in the community, chatting to someone if they’re sitting alone, despite having a group of friends waiting for you, making sure that people realise how grateful you are when they help you to do things. For us we have tried to think of all the little ways to make someone feel proud to be a Normo Girl or to bring some happiness to their day.

Moving towards graduation, how do you feel about the leadership handover?

Lead by Phil and Maria, we know that Year 11 will embody everything it means to be Loreto Leaders and will do an amazing job… we are so excited to hear everything they get up to and we can’t wait for the whole Normo community to get to know them.

Incoming Vice-Captain Maria:

What does leadership mean to you?

To me leadership means standing up for what you believe in; always having your values and beliefs at the front of everything you do, being a positive role model, being able to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be willing to help others no matter what. Leadership is not for a certain person; everyone is a leader in different ways. Leadership is also something that is taken into everyday life, not something that is on and off.

What do you expect for leadership in the future?

I am hoping for leadership in the future to continue to bring new things to the school community and also make a good change to the wider community outside of school.

How is leadership linked to verity?

Verity means truth. This is linked to leadership as it is an important value to have; it is the foundation of what makes a true leader. Truth builds a strong relationship with not only yourself, but also with the others around you, which is something that is needed to be able to work alongside others.

· What does the Loreto community mean to you?

The Loreto community is a very important part of my life; it always will be. I see everyone as being one big family, we all share the same experiences with school life, and we all contribute different talents and ideas that keeps everything fun and exciting. The Loreto community makes being away from home for whole terms a lot easier.

How are you feeling going into the new year, being a part of the student council?

I am feeling so good; pretty nervous but excited at the same time (a mix of emotions). I am looking forward to the upcoming year and am absolutely honoured to be going into it being in this role.

Incoming Captain Phillipa:

What does leadership mean to you?

For me, leadership is about being somebody that other girls can look up to, not necessarily because of special achievements, rather for being kind, compassionate and inclusive towards others. Loreto leaders are filled with pride, passion and dedication towards everything they do, whilst maintaining humility. I also think leadership is about recognising everybody's unique contributions, always valuing the insights of others. However, everybody will have different ideas of what leadership means, and this is something I love! Each person is able to bring their own talents to leading, which I can't wait to witness over the next year.

What do you expect for leadership in the future?

Over the next year, I am excited to lead alongside the rest of the Class of 2020, as I know it will be an awesome team where everybody contributes their unique talents, however big or small. While leading can be daunting as it comes with such responsibility, the opportunity to lead is also super exciting and one that I can't wait to begin with all of my peers. I also know that all of the leadership skills we develop over the next year will be ones that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

How is leadership linked to verity?

Verity is closely linked to leadership, as it encourages speaking the whole truth and acting on it, which is something that over the next year our cohort will strive to do,

leading with authenticity and courage.

What does the Loreto community mean to you?

Being a part of the Loreto community continues to be the biggest privilege of my life, and is one which I am so incredibly grateful for. This community is one that embraces unique talents, and allows people to take risks and try new things. When I think of the Loreto community, I think of being part of a family, whether that’s in tutor group, your year, or the entire school.

How are you feeling going into the new year, being a part of the student council?

SO EXCITED!!! I am super keen to go on this journey with my peers, as I know that while leading won't be easy, it will be something that we will all do with passion and love for the school. I hope that over the next year we will inspire younger girls and continue to build on the Loreto environment that has been fostered since Mary Ward began her leadership journey all those years ago.

- A heartfelt thank you goes out to Evelyn, Anastasia, Phillipa and Maria for taking the time to answer these questions.-


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