The start of the year has brought with it, myriad opportunities for our students to shine! As we begin the year, we invite our students to offer their gifts and talents in service to the College Community through leadership. Not all leaders wear a badge – they see a need and meet it with the people and the resources around them.
We challenge all our young people to be leaders in their own right. Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes. When we choose to do the right thing, when we reach our hand out to someone in need, when we take a brave step forward towards our future – these are all acts of leadership. As a Catholic College, we call our students to Servant Leadership where we immerse ourselves in the life of our community, our College, and choose to act in ways that will build people up, that will create space for people to be their best, that will ensure all may live authentically.
As I write this, over 60 students are spending time learning how to lead with empathy, with passion, with intelligence, with courage. They will share their experiences with you in the next Beacon.
This year, we have been blest with the inclusion of new staff members who are here to work closely with our young people. Ez Deng is our Youth Liaison Officer whose focus is in working with young people to help them better engage with their learning and connect strongly with our community. We also have Dalia Acechak joining us as our Family Partnerships and Youth Liaison Officer. Dalia will be working with families to help navigate their child’s learning journey, and will be working with our students to empower and connect them as well. Nathan Williams, one of our amazing teachers, will be mentoring Student Leaders, offering them not only a space to be a voice but will teach them how to be agents of change. We are so excited about the possibilities of having greater student agency with a few dedicated staff to guide and mentor them along the way.
This year we have begun the journey to greater Cultural Competency. Thomas Carr College has over 60 different cultures represented in our community and this diversity bring a richness beyond imagination. Our diversity is our strength and we are embarking upon a learning journey as a school to better access the beauty and the strength of each of these cultures. Mohamed Samra from Endeavour Youth and the Centre for Multicultural Youth will be collaborating with staff, students, and families to grow stronger cultural competency. Along with Ez and Dalia, Mohamed will be upskilling our students to lead the community, staff and students alike, towards a better understanding of our diverse cultures, and a capacity to harness the gifts each culture brings to our College. We will keep you updated as we work through this together.
One of the great modern challenges for our young people is how to navigate the myriad e-platforms available to them. Social Media is an integral part of our lives, and good e-citizenship is vital to ensure our young people’s wellbeing and safety as they engage with the cyberworld.
This is where family partnership with the College is vital. Many of the challenges young people face on social media platforms occur both at home and at school. Almost every student has a smart phone, a laptop, a tablet, a smart watch, a gaming console … it is a part of our every day. Just as families are limited in what they can do and see, so too are schools. It is an unfortunate reality that young people’s online activity spills out into their home and school lives. The e-Safety Commission has a number of fabulous resources for families to support them with this challenge. I encourage you all to take some time to click the link and visit the site for these resources.
Multicultural Youth Leadership Convention
On Wednesday 8 February a group of students attended the Multicultural Youth Leadership Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre. I will leave you with a reflection from one of the students who attended, Busola Bello in Year 9:
The Multicultural Youth Leadership Conference was an innovative experience; we were lucky to have access to such amazing stories and be gifted with advice. The moment we entered the room, fantastic music played, and the energy levels were just high.
We started with the Sports Panel. A highlight I could take away from this discussion was by the athlete, Fadima Aden; she shared that to be motivated, you must accept that first step and act, and that action will lead to results which will direct you to motivation. She shared her belief in dedication and determination. The following discussion was the Politics and Governance Panel. I was highly interested in this panel. We were privileged to hear brief stories from the enthusiastic and energetic Anthony Tran, Jasmine Nguyen and Betty. They shared the importance of youth amplifying their voices to cater to current needs and worries.
The Women in Leadership Panel discussed how important it was for women to open doors for themselves and not look behind in fear. After a delicious lunch, we heard the fantastic Angelica Ojinaka, the Youth Australia UN representative. She was clear and powerful on how vital her sense of identity was to her, and through many messages she shared, the one I took to heart was “shake the table.” It is essential to get out of your limitations because of how you identify. Shaking the table and destroying it comes a long way to making the change. Following this theme, Mohammed Ahmed shared his story and left us with a quote “To advocate, you will agitate.” He shared how important it was to give yourself a second chance, accept your past, take in life lessons and not hold yourself back because of history and forget who you used to be, but look forward to who you want to become.
Busola A.Bello 9 Jade
Deputy Principal Student Engagement and Wellbeing