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Life in the Senior School - stepping out to step up

Georgie West, Head of Senior School

Most recently, the Year 12 Formal Committee delivered a first class event aftet months spent planning and negotating with external providers and staff at Adelaide Town Hall. One of the committee members, Ruby Bone, shares her experience below:

“As a member of the formal committee, having the opportunity to work with staff at Adelaide’s Town Hall to organise the invitations, menu, decorations, and the construction of a special archway was both an educational experience and incredible opportunity. The communication skills developed and applied throughout this process enabled me to deliver an exceptional and memorable evening, with the help of those around me. The experience has informed me about future organisational and influential roles that I might one day assume in the community and workplace.” 

In addition to Ruby’s experience, our students also have the opportunity to develop greater awareness and face some of the most challening social and political issues of relevance to their peers. This is best illustrated through the involvement of our Student Council with St. John’s Youth 110, as decribed by Harriet Hewitson below:

This year's lent campaign involved raising awareness and funds for St. John’s Youth 110, an organisation which provides a crisis response service to homeless youth in South Australia. Initiating the campaign involved meeting with staff from St. John’s to learn more about the social and economic factors that contribute to youth homelessness as well as the services provided to support youth in gaining autonomy, accessing education and securing housing. Over the course of Lent, the Student Council initiated various activities to promote student engagement and participation in this campaign. Throughout the fundraising process, not only did the student council further develop the capacity to work as a team, we also recognised how fortunate we are to belong to a community like Walford and be provided with opportunities for personal and social growth each and every day. In times of difficulty we also discovered the support network of our teachers and friends. This experience has enabled each of us to develop a strong sense of gratitude and a nuanced perspective about the challenges teenagers like us experience.

Dana Paitaridis is one of our foremost senior debaters and has, this year, taken the challenge to engage in the Lions Youth of the Year Quest, advancing to the District round of this competition after being awarded as the zone and regional finalist. Dana chose to speak about the importance of educating women, below is an excerpt of her speech:

Almost a quarter of young women today aged 15-24 in the developing world have never attended any form of schooling. These women have missed the chance to learn the basic skills necessary for work and, tragically, with each new generation of women who do not attend schooling, the likelihood of their daughters attending school also plummets.

Educating women has a huge impact on societies all around the world. Educated women are less likely to die in childbirth, thus resulting in more children surviving infancy. Furthermore, educating women can also improve the quality of the lives of their children. If all women had just a primary school level of education, it would save 1.7 million children from stunting from malnutrition; and if all women had a secondary  school education, 12 million children would be saved from stunting from malnutrition. Girls with higher levels of education are also less likely to have children at a younger age; thus the birth rates in developing countries would drastically decrease, as the quality of life for these women and their families would improve.

Furthermore, higher education for women has resulted in great strides for women in closing the gender gap. The difference in wages for women and men has decreased dramatically in the last 50 years, and not just in academic professions but in all workplaces. Women are now being appointed for roles that were not even dreamt of  50 years ago. Pioneering women such as Christine Lagarde as head of the international monetary fund a traditionally male dominated area, Indira Ghandi the first female prime minister of India, Golda Meir the first female prime minister of Israel, have proven themselves capable of filling these male dominated positions. These important strides in gender equality are the direct result of education, improvements that mean that girls like myself have the opportunity to go into the world confidently knowing that we can achieve whatever we set out to do.

These vignettes offer only a brief window into the life of our senior students but indicate that our girls have an appetite to take on the exciting and complex challenges that exist in our broader community. We see this as an important part of their development and as always, look forward to seeing the steps 

26 May 2017  |  0 Comments  |  Tags:


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