Political leadership in Australia at the moment could generously be characterised as somewhat mystifying at best and deeply embarrassing at worst. The backstabbing, power playing and internal bickering detracts from the truly important business of policy development and governing. It would be understandable for us to feel disillusioned about the future of the country and its politicians. As a person who spends every day with 800 emerging leaders of the next generation, however, my hope remains high that our future is in good hands.

I was immensely proud of the group of Year 5 students who addressed the National Council of Women at the “My Voice My Vote” event in Victorian Parliament last week and who, at such a young age, demonstrated the capacity to think deeply and undertake research about the issue of gender diversity. Similarly, in Canberra this week, I have enjoyed observing our Year 6 students engage with programs at the High Court, Old Parliament House, the Electoral Education Centre and the National Library to talk about democracy and the political and justice systems in Australia. I have been impressed with the girls’ knowledge and their thoughtful questions and contributions.

I was also moved to attend the “Last Post Ceremony” at the Australian War Memorial with the Year 6 girls where the Raymond House Captains laid a wreath on behalf of our school and we heard the story of a soldier who had lost his life in the First World War. Meanwhile, back at school, the Senior School Student Council are continuing to work hard to sell the “keep cups” they have designed in House colours in order to raise funds for more furniture.

Reflecting on all of this, I feel incredibly positive about the capacity of our young people to understand their world and to shape it positively. I hope that many of them will be running the country in time.