As you will have seen from the front page of the Bulletin, last week was “election week” in Senior School and we now have our Prefect body for 2015. In order to be named a Prefect, the girls have been through a rigorous process.To begin with, they participated in the Year 11 Leadership Camp where there were many workshops and activities to help them to decide if leadership was for them. They also were required to participate in afterschool classes about leadership development if they wanted to run for a position. Girls then put themselves forward through a self-nomination process, submitting an expression of interest in a specific Prefect position and also handing in a Curriculum Vitae highlighting their relevant experience. They attended a Saturday interview with Ms Healy (Deputy Principal – Head of Senior School) and me where they were asked questions about their goals for the position and had an opportunity to discuss the demands of the role they had applied for. In election week, each girl was required to make a 2 minute speech in front of the whole Senior School, outlining why she would be an appropriate candidate and her vision for the role. Highlights of each candidate’s CV were displayed to the student body during their speech and at the conclusion of each assembly (one for each Prefect position) the students voted in a silent, preferential secret ballot. Staff have a vote too, but this carries no more weight than a student vote and all student votes count equally. For House Captain positions, only girls in the relevant House vote for their captain but for other Prefect positions the whole Senior School cast a vote. Once votes are tallied, there is no tinkering or tampering by the teachers! It is important to us that the student body have responsibility for electing their leaders, in the same way that they will eventually take responsibility for their vote for our State and National leaders when they leave school.
As you can imagine, this is a challenging experience for all involved – with a high level of emotional investment in the process by every girl who puts herself forward. There are tears of disappointment, tears of joy, debriefs, congratulatory hugs and words of consolation. I am so proud of each Senior School girl who participates in this election experience and puts herself forward with a desire to represent and lead our School. I reflect on how privileged we are to have so many wonderfully accomplished young women willing to stand up and take on a position of responsibility. I would love us to be able to elect them all!
This morning in Senior School we officially farewelled our Japanese exchange visitors who have just 2 more days left at Lowther Hall before returning to Osaka. This cultural language exchange with our Japanese sister school enriches our School community each year and this year has been no exception. I would like to thank the many families who have hosted Shin-Ai students and also to express my appreciation to the staff who have facilitated the program.
Wednesday 13 August at 7.00pm
The Parent Forum scheduled for next Wednesday 13 August will be a Coffee, Cake and Conversation evening event where you can come and discuss questions or issues in a relatively informal environment. For the past 18 months I have been hosting these informal parent gatherings during the afternoon once a term, however I realise that this is not a suitable time for all parents. An evening time slot will hopefully afford those who work during the day to attend. There will be no set topic for next week’s gathering, however, it will be helpful to me if you can RSVP to the School and let me know any questions or topics you would like to raise. Please RSVP to Reception (9325 5000). This event will be held in the Forum. I hope to see you there.
Annual Music Concert
Tickets are selling very fast for the forthcoming Annual Music Concert at the Recital Centre. We have selected this larger city venue this year as a trial and because we are expecting very high attendance at the premiere of our newly commissioned choral work for Lowther Hall which Paul Jarman has worked with the girls to compose. I know that there is great excitement amongst the girls who are preparing for what I am sure will be another outstanding evening of Lowther Hall music! The placement of the Music Concert on a week night is not ideal, however this was the only option available at the Recital Centre. For 2015 we will be reviewing both the venue and the placement of the Annual Music Concert and parent feedback after the event will be welcomed. Thank you for your support of this event and for working with us to ensure the girls have a positive experience.