Student leadership

Student leaders 2024

Left to right: School Vice Captains - Karly Snow and Nina Van Ravenswaaij. School Captains - Jade Bowell and Hunter Castree

At Kew High School, we are committed to ensuring that students at all year levels have the opportunity to actively participate in meaningful leadership roles. Leadership positions are clearly defined and carry significant responsibility. Students are supported in their positions through training and development offered by senior students, internal staff and external providers. Various processes are taken into account when appointing student leaders: a written application, interview, speech to peers, student vote, staff vote, and student record.

In addition to the practical elements of these leadership roles, such as the organising of house and other school events, student leaders play a key role in supporting the school’s culture, through modelling school values and promoting the student voice.

Students are encouraged to represent their peers and contribute to discussions regarding school policy by becoming a House Captain (eight from each year level). House Captains in the Junior, Middle and Senior Sub-Schools provide a link between Sub-School and Year Level Coordinators and the student body. Captains meet regularly with Coordinators to discuss issues and undertake planning of presentations for year level assemblies, which they often co-facilitate with Coordinators.

The Year 12 Leadership Executive is comprised of the two School Captains and the Year 12 House Captains. A key part of the Executive’s role is to build school pride and house spirit, and to foster a strong sense of school connection among the student body. The Year 12 Leadership Executive meets regularly and oversees the organisation and implementation of all house-based sport, cultural, and community events and initiatives within the school. They mentor and work with House Captains in Years 7–11, setting up multi-level teams to support their projects.

Leadership Executive representatives also attend School Council meetings, and have the opportunity to provide student commentary on policy issues relating to areas of student concern.

Year 12 Specialist Leaders have specific portfolios in the areas of:

  • Art
  • Debating
  • Drama
  • Environment
  • International students
  • Media
  • Music
  • Social justice
  • Sport
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

They work with staff mentors and liaise with the Year 12 Leadership Executive to lead a range of student committees and initiate activities relevant to their portfolios. Projects run by Year 12 Specialist Leaders include Clean Up Australia, Kew’s Got Talent, Cultural Diversity Week, Science Week, and Mental Health Week. A local, national and international focus is encouraged, to raise student consciousness of the world around them and the challenges that face many communities.

Henry Habben, 8D

My name is Henry Habben and I decided to become a student leader for the Wilsmere house in 2022. I decided to take on this responsibility to make an impact in the school community. I realized that the best way to try and make a positive change in the school was to enlist in this position and access the resources that were required. This positive change can be a result of fundraisers or raising house spirit in school sport days.

So how did this task become a possibility? First, there was a written application. Anyone who wanted to become eligible for the job completed the application. There were the basic questions but one question asked for what we could do to make a change. I talked about fundraising and motivation for my school, and how I wanted to create something unique. This basic part was only 150 words or so, but it set a tone and expectation for what the leadership team were expecting from me. The next stage of the process was a group interview. I was invited to a room with 8 of my peers to talk about which values were the most important. We collaborated and all decided that every value was important but we all concluded that respect was the biggest value we needed to focus on. We elected this value because we all believed that respect was the stronghold of all the other values of ASPIRE. We knew that respect held up all the other values because it is a sign of acceptance towards one another, and a sign that you won’t let the other person down. Another one of our chosen values was participation. We chose this because a lot of the other values, such as excellence, can’t happen without participating first. The next stage was the speech. In this stage, I presented to the students of our year level why I was the best candidate for role. The speech was important because it let the students know who they could come talk to, if need be, and who will be representing them if elected. This was the basic leadership process and how I became a student leader.

What I am looking forward to next year as a student leader is helping in the community, and encouraging my house in school and extracurricular tasks.

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