Student Leadership Workshop

Student Leaders Workshop – Wednesday 2 September 2020

On Wednesday 2 September, our College Captains hosted the Student Leadership Workshop for Term 3. In unusual conditions, the students were able to prepare an engaging workshop with a focus on the development of leadership skills and qualities with the assistance of seven guest speakers who also double as Clonard Old Collegians. 

The seven guests are all professionals in their field of work and they kindly donated their time to speak to groups of students about their time since Clonard. This included study, work and all experiences which helped develop them personally and professionally. We thank them for their time and wisdom.

Guest Speakers:

Emma Day, Class of 2009 – UK Government policy advisor in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Cecily Jones, Class of 2008 – Strategic Adviser to the General Manager at Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Dr Katrina Neville, Class of 1999 – RMIT Lecturer, School of Engineering – Electronics and Telecommunications

Amber Smith, Class of 2009 – Curator at Platform Arts, Geelong

Sheryne Price, Class of 2002 – Senior Engineer, Barwon Water

Liv Penning, Class of 2017 – Sports Leadership & Management

Laura Burge, Class of 2001 – Student Experience Manager, Deakin University

During the workshops, one of the common themes discussed was the uncertainty of what to do post-school but the experience of trying different things is what guided them to their place and passion. 

Our keynote speaker, Emma Day was quick to point out that although her journey since Clonard sounds like one success after another it is better summarised as an undulating set of hills with those successful moments punctuated by uncertainties and rejections. 

With a focus on leadership, our guests outlined the skills they thought were essential to successfully lead. Communication, organisation, honesty, integrity and determination were all strongly encouraged with these transferable skills sometimes being more valued than job-specific knowledge. 


Feedback from our student leaders:

Three key ideas about leadership that were discussed today were:

The importance of communication within your team, perseverance through challenges and openness to unexpected opportunities.

Be honest, its okay not to know what you’re doing yet, say yes to any opportunity that’s passed your way, “collect people”.

Connecting and networking, knowing what your goals are, not being disheartened and learning from your mistakes.

Being accepting of mistakes, being vulnerable, communicating.

Two ideas that stood out for me were:

How life can always throw up unexpected challenges/opportunities + how you should embrace them, as well how fundamental leadership skills can be applied in nearly all careers.

it’s okay to not know what you’re gonna do in the future – I needed the reassurance. But also the idea of collecting people and keeping a network.

That it’s okay to go against your original plans, travelling is a great way to expand your opportunities.

One thing I would like to put into practice is:

Being able to step out of my comfort zone and try things I would not normally do.

I want to start volunteering more and say yes to more things and have more opportunities.

Not being afraid to network with others.

Determination and persistence to make my own future.