We are proud to present The Leadership Series for aspiring Fintona leaders in Years 9 to 12.
Our two presenters for this event will be Olivia Collins, Principal at Olivia Collins Art & Design, and Judge Amanda Chambers, judge in the Criminal Division of the County Court.
Both alumni are strong and passionate leaders from whom our aspiring student leaders can learn a great deal.
The Leadership Series is an integral part of the Senior School Leadership Program. Sessions feature leaders closely associated with Fintona who have made a difference across varied spectrums of society.
Speakers will share their personal leadership journey before receiving questions from the floor, allowing our students to focus in on personal perceptions, understanding and skills whilst supporting them in their leadership goal setting. This series is designed to enhance and grow our developing leaders and support their future applications for leadership positions at Fintona.
All students in Years 9 to 12 are invited to attend. Girls who are aspiring to formal leadership in Year 12 are especially encouraged to attend.
Registration is for Fintona families via Consent2Go
Why did you volunteer to present at The Leadership Series? Because inspiring young women to take on leadership opportunities is important to me and more broadly.
Can you share more about your career since leaving Fintona? I worked as a lawyer specialising in industrial relations, employment law and discrimination law for twenty years before being appointed a Magistrate in 2006. As a magistrate I supervised the sex offence list of that Court for three years. I was also appointed to a part-time position on the Victorian Law Reform Commission. In June 2016 I was appointed a Judge of the County Court. I held the position of President of the Children’s Court of Victoria for six years and now sit as a trial judge in the Criminal Divison of the County Court.
What is your current role and what happens in a typical day?
As a judge in the Criminal Division of the County Court, my typical day involves hearing cases in Court involving allegations of serious criminal offending, conducting trials before a jury and sentencing offenders who either plead guilty to a crime or are convicted following trial. The County Court hears all serious indictable crimes, with the exception of murder/manslaughter and certain other serious offences. The County Court also hears appeals from the Magistrates’ Court.
What is the best leadership advice you have been given? Not to expect to have all the answers. Listening to other views can be the most important thing you do as a leader.
What did you value most about your time at Fintona? The friendships made, without doubt.
What were the most important skills you developed when you were younger that now support you as a leader? The value of hard work. Nothing important ever comes easy.
Principal - Olivia Collins Art and Design
Why did you volunteer to present at The Leadership Series? My year as School Consul, and the leadership skills gained during this time have proven to be fundamental skills in business and in life. I am looking forward to hearing how current students expect they will spend their time and energy post school, both in their careers and in pursuing various other life goals, and to find out what have been the key experiences and opportunities that have shaped their time at Fintona.
Can you share more about your career since leaving Fintona? Since leaving Fintona and graduating from the University of Melbourne with BComm/Arts (Hons), the three most notable highlights of my multi-faceted career have been;
1. Managing an Aboriginal Art Gallery (I was 23 years old at the time) which exhibited the paintings of indigenous artists from the Irrunytju Community, the most celebrated being Tommy Watson whose work adorns the ceiling of the Musee du quai Branly
2. Building a successful piano teaching studio from home whilst I had my babies (from not much more than word of mouth referrals and a sign on my front fence!) and
3. Most recently having my own large-scale resin artwork Commissioned for and showcased at Crown Sydney – Australia’s most exclusive resort and casino (an expansion on the design and interiors functionality of my current business).
What is your current role and what happens in a typical day?
Principal – Olivia Collins Art & Design. My day always starts at 5:45 when I wake up to exercise – either run, swim in the Bay, boxing, pilates , tennis – you name it, I do it! It’s my ‘me’ time, and energises me for the day ahead. After dropping the girls to school (I have a 4, 6 & 10 year old) I check e-mails, do admin and get through my to-do list. Right now I’m in the process of designing my first homewares collection and preparing for the FIND! Design Fair in Singapore this September so my day can entail painting, marketing, meetings, logistical admin and everything in between. Once I pick up the kids from school we’re off to dance, swimming, stage school, tennis or any one of their many activities but I wouldn’t change the rushing around for anything. I always loved being involved in extra-curricular activities as a child and it is precious to see your own children also thrive in their pursuits. Being a hands-on mum is important to me so I feel fortunate to be able to work for myself, and prioritise my family at the same time.
What is the best leadership advice you have been given? Lead by example, and believe in yourself. Great leaders are inherently strategic and are constantly striving for improvement, both within themselves and for others.
What did you value most about your time at Fintona? The opportunity to try everything, and nurture various passions within a supportive environment. Individual and group achievements were always celebrated at Fintona and the old adage ‘Age Quad Agis’ – do what you do well – has always stuck with me!
What were the most important skills you developed when you were younger that now support you as a leader? Communication skills, teamwork, persuasive writing, public speaking, analytical and strategic thinking and problem solving.