Big thinkers

Over 70 Year 10 students from Catholic colleges around the state recently gathered at St Mary’s College to participate in a student leadership Think Tank. St Mary’s Year 12 prefects created the event to share experiences of leadership from a student’s perspective and provide other student leaders with the opportunity to build a strong student leadership network, share ideas and build skills together.

“Student leadership is one that requires a sense of the ‘greater good’ and common good and a willingness to be of service to others,” said Catholic Education Director Mr John Mula during his opening address to students. “Schools need positive student leadership as they have the capacity to influence student values, attitudes and behaviour which in turn enhances the overall effectiveness of the school and its curriculum.”

Keynote speaker Mr David Bartlett, former Premier of Tasmania, spoke on directions of the future particularly technology and its ties with the economy and cultural and emotional considerations, and how this ties in with developing one’s leadership intelligence. Ms Melanie Irons, Administrator of the ‘Tassie Fires – We Can Help’ Facebook group also shared her ideas on what it means to be a leader and how to identify individual gifts.

Principal of St Mary’s College, Mr Tom Dorey, said the St Mary’s prefects showed great leadership in coordinating this event for the benefit of fellow peers, which demonstrated a central leadership value of a Catholic school in the Presentation tradition, “A key quality of the Catholic Presentation order which guides the mission of the College is the concept of service leadership which focuses on the welfare of others in the College and wider community.”

Students also spent time engaged in workshops ranging from understanding the charism, public speaking, planning events from concept through to action, and tips of the trade. The students gained valuable leadership knowledge through a program designed for them by their peers and also through being guided by adult mentors who are well-respected leaders in Tasmania.