Words of Wisdom from Gladstone’s Young Leaders

By Lauren Grace

2017 Student Leaders - Tannum Sands High School

As the school year comes to an end, Primary School and High School Student leaders of 2017 share their advice and experience with their successors….

As the state election result is finalized, local Primary School and High School students have held their own elections for 2018 student leaders.

This year’s 2017 student leaders from Tannum Sands State High School, Chanel College and Gladstone West Primary School have successfully endured this process and offer valuable experience, skills and advice built up along their leadership journey in 2017.

Tannum Sands State High School Captain Riley Deaken explains, “Leadership has made me more aware and understanding towards different people and situations. It has taught me how to address situations more professionally and effectively.”

School leadership positions require the students to embrace public speaking, conflict resolution and organisation. These are among the many positive social, educational and personal benefits that aid the students in their growth towards success:

“I feel I have gained a whole new dimension of myself after my captaincy experience,” recently graduated Chanel College School Captain, Samuel Romagnolo reflects, “It has left an indelible impact on my life and has inspired me to peruse further leadership roles in the future,” he said.

As in any role requiring teamwork, problem solving and leadership; student leadership consists of its own ups and downs. Year 6 school captain of Gladstone West State Primary School, Finlae Harris said, “it’s definitely been a challenge especially because I’ve got all these high goals and peer critiquing can put me down; I don’t really let it affect me anymore.”

She continues, “I go to my Mum to talk to, a lot. I talk to a lot of my other leaders as well.”

Meredith Schultz, high-achieving Tannum Sands State High School leader said, “The bond you build with your team is one of the greatest tools you can have.” Similar to Finlae and Meredith, other leaders have found that their greatest instrument in leadership has been the support of friends, fellow leaders and teachers.

“Embrace the trials and tribulations. Not everything will always go to plan. Your teachers and principals can aid in balancing your workload if it becomes overwhelming.” Samuel said.

Samuel’s co-captain Samantha Green agrees:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help, students and teachers are always nearby when you’re struggling.”

The departing leaders speak highly of their experiences. They advise students striving to be leaders themselves not to be afraid to “put yourself out there.”

“Let people know who you are and what you have to offer. Remain humble, be ambitious and strive for excellence,” she said.

Whether student leadership applications end with success or failure, Finlae expresses everyone’s potential to be a leader. “People may have been nominated and not have gotten enough votes, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a leader.”