From the Head of College, Ray Paxton
This week we commissioned our College Student Leadership Team for 2016-2017. It was moving event, held in the Br Lacey Gymnasium in the presence of students, staff and parents. Our 2015-16 College Captains and Vice-Captains were also present. In keeping with our newly formed Student Wellbeing Model, for the first time our Prefects were elected by members of their House. We have also extended our Leadership Team to include a College Captain and three Vice-Captains. During the ceremony, we invited the parents of our leaders to pin on their leadership badges. At the conclusion, outgoing College Captain, Lachlan Drew-Morris passed on the leadership candle to incoming College Captain Tyler Von Der Heyden. In my address to the community, I focussed on three questions which are central to the way leaders should think.
1. Are you prepared to be a servant?
Our Gospel reading during the ceremony told of Jesus washing his disciples feet as an act of service and a sign of leadership. In these times, the washing of feet demonstrated hospitality, welcome and respect for the traveller. The reading is often used at leadership ceremonies to highlight the model of Servant Leadership. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organisations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.
2. Does your life plan include “self-determination?
During our Acknowledgement of Country we reflected on the inspirational leadership of Gough Whitlam in moving government policy in relation to Indigenous Australians from “assimilation” to “self-determination”. Self-determination is the process by which a country determines its own statehood and forms its own government or, in relation to our event today, the process by which a person controls their own life. A leader must be concerned with determining his or her own future, in collaboration with others, if he is to build a capacity to be proactive in determining the future directions of his community. The “self” must be solid if the community is to be led well.
3. Do you have the capacity to liberate others?
At Waverley College we are challenged to a liberated way of living. This is a way of describing our deepest hope for each student; the hope that he will be freed by his learning journey, unconstrained by fear, and energised by courage so that he may achieve liberation for himself and others. This philosophy highlights the connection between lifelong learning and leadership – the interaction between thinking, listening, speaking and acting – as central to the cause of leadership. Each of us are called to these values in every dimension of life, every leadership moment.
Congratulations to our newly elected leaders and best wishes for 2016-17.