Mitchell and Murrindindi youth build leadership skills

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Primary school students across Mitchell and Murrindindi shires bond with the captains and leadership team of Wallan Secondary College last month. ​

Primary school students across the Mitchell and Murrindindi shires connected with their older peers at Wallan Secondary College last month as part of the primary school young leaders program.

The Department of Education student support services team in the Southern Goulburn area have operated the program for several years, and this year engaged its largest group – up to 15 primary schools.

Over four terms, with four sessions at different schools, the program has helped students enhance their leadership and presentation skills, as well as build communication and teamwork skills among their peers.

Wallan Secondary College hosted the final day, with the school’s college captains and leaders presenting activities and games that aligned with the program.

Primary school students heard from several guest speakers, including Wallan’s college captains and leadership team and Mitchell Shire Youth Council on topics such as leadership.

Student support services team leader Sharon Blackwell, who provides services to schools across the shires, along with psychologist Alana Codling and social worker Kaylee Wellington, said it was heartening to find secondary students who were once in the program in leadership roles.

“The students that actually spoke and the students that are actually running the activities here for Wallan Secondary [College] have all been through this program when they were in primary school,” she said. 

“It’s really heartening to see that they continued their journey in taking on leadership roles.”

Ms Blackwell said schools jumped at the opportunity for students to adopt important life skills after a couple of years of the program being in hiatus due to COVID.

She said the students developed confidence in socialising and interacting with students from other schools, forming friendships and stepping outside their comfort zones.

Wallan Secondary College executive principal assistant and international student co-ordinator Lauren Mozina said the school was proud to host the 2023 young leaders day.

“College captains, Wil Rice, Alexis McGuane and Jayde Waddell revelled in the opportunity to speak with the primary school students about their leadership journey and their hopes and wishes for the future,” she said. 

“The experience gained by our leaders in facilitating activities and promoting leadership to the next generation of high school students is invaluable for all concerned.”