Good leaders stand out because people want to work with them, they are inspiring to be with, they make us feel that our quests are possible, and they help us achieve our best.
Fintona has a long tradition of strong school leaders; women and girls who recognise the strength and companionship of a united community.
At school, as in the wider community, there is a need for people with wonderful ideas who can inspire and help others to unlock their potential.
Throughout Junior, Middle and Senior School, we teach our students to understand what qualities make a good leader and immerse them in situations to develop these skills. Apart from specific leadership opportunities, students explore a range of co-curricular activities, develop positive relationships with peers and donate their time to charitable causes
Junior School Leadership
In the Junior School, leadership opportunities are integral to daily life.
Through the modelling of empathy, communication, negotiation, vision, persistence and determination, the Junior School encourages all girls to engage in leadership opportunities.
Beginning in Prep the girls take turns to be the ‘VIP’ (Very Important Prep). This girl is responsible for special tasks during her turn as VIP. Class Captains are elected each term in Years 3 and 4 when girls also take on whole class duties. In Year 4, every girl holds a position of responsibility. The girls undertake the roles of House, Environment, Aerobics, Community Service and Library Captains. Each role encourages the girls to take on a whole school responsibility. These experiences hold the girls in good stead for future leadership opportunities.
Middle School Leadership - Aedile
In the Middle School leadership program, girls develop their leadership skills in preparation for the Senior School’s Ad Senatorum leadership program.
There are many leadership opportunities in the Middle School, both formal and non-formal. The official positions in Year 8 include two Consuls and a Deputy Consul Co-curriculum and Deputy Consul Environment. Our Middle School Leaders foster and encourage the Fintonian spirit and ethos and represent their fellow peers at official events and celebrations. They also run regular Assemblies for the Middle School and support the Head of Middle School with Open Days, Information Evenings and Orientations.
Each Tutor group votes in two Tutor Group representatives each semester (each term in Years 5 and 6). The role of the Tutor Group representative is to foster the spirit of the Tutor Group. They report back to the Tutor Group on Student Forum matters. They are also expected to encourage students to get involved in co-curricular, sustainable projects and events.
Fintona encourages all leaders to make the role their own by using their initiative and imagination and drawing on their strengths.
Senior School Leadership - ad senatorem
Fintona’s formal Leadership Program offers students, from Year 9 in the Senior School, a safe environment in which every girl is encouraged to adopt strong leadership roles and develop confidence in her personal abilities.
In Year 12, all students are given the position of School Senator, taking a pledge to uphold the ethos of the School and to act as role models for their younger colleagues. Two girls become the School Consuls (or School Captains) and one Deputy Consul for Junior School is appointed.
Other leadership opportunities are available in areas such as Debating, Public Speaking, Community Service, STEM (Science, Technology, Environment and Maths), Art, Music, Resource Centre as well as through the House system.
Since starting at Fintona in Year 9, Marianna has engaged in a wide range of co-curricular activities on offer. Last year she was fortunate enough to act in the annual School play of ‘The Red Shoes’, participate in Tour mornings, and play netball for the School each Saturday morning. Additionally, she has enjoyed performing in the annual Cabaret concert, as well as participating in a variety of GSV sports including Swimming and AFL.
In Year 12, Marianna will be studying Mathematical Methods, English, French, Chemistry and Art. In Year 11 she completed Units 3/4 in both History Revolutions and Greek. It has always a dream of Marianna’s to study Medicine, and eventually specialise in paediatrics. She hopes to be accepted into Biomedicine at Melbourne University, and from there, go on to receive a Doctorate of Medicine.
“I believe that any leadership position is an opportunity for service. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities that Fintona has presented me with and being a Fintonian has filled me with pride. It is a community that has truly made me feel welcome, and during my time here has made me feel as though I am part of a family. I hope that through this leadership position I am able to do good things in service of this community and School,” said Marianna.
“I hope to make the students, teachers and members of the Fintona community proud; I hope to continue the work of the previous School Consuls in fostering a community which promotes compassion, respect, individuality and inclusion.”
Marianna believes the cornerstone qualities which leaders must embody are honesty, integrity, and resilience: every leader must be honest, accountable for their actions, and not be discouraged by hardship or failure. But most importantly, overarching all of these, there must be an approachability and a willingness to learn. “A leader will never have all the answers, nor should they be expected to. I think the true measure of a good leader is found in the way in which people in positions of leadership foster and encourage the creativity and successes of those around them,” said Marianna.
Kara started at Fintona in Year 7. Throughout Kara’s years at Fintona, she has been involved in many co-curricular activities including GSV sporting carnivals, the School play, and music ensembles. Each year she has also participated in community activities such as Relay For Life.
Kara has always wanted to become a leader at Fintona and aspired to be a School Consul ever since Year 7. “I applied because the role is a privilege and an honour and I wanted to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after my six years at Fintona. This School is so nurturing and inspiring and I love that everyone wants to do well, succeed and do the best they can. I would love to continue the feeling of ‘sisterhood’ and safety here, knowing that I can lead by example and take on the many challenges, and that is why I chose to apply for Consul,” said Kara.
As Consul, Kara hopes to bring a sense of togetherness, security and trust amongst her peers. “After such challenging times in 2020, I want to help everyone readjust and kick start a new year in 2021. It has been a year of uncertainty and greater separation from each other, so I envisage a greater emphasis on creating a holistic community that is Fintona,” she said.
When asked about what qualities make a good leader, Kara said that a leader is someone who can lead a team comfortably and respectfully, and remain organised and motivated to do their job to the best of their ability. A leader also listens to others and acknowledges everyone’s ideas, showing initiative and stepping forward to do the right thing.
Kara has completed Units 3/4 Physical Education and in Year 12 will study English, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, French in 2021. After Year 12 she hopes to study a Science Degree with a focus on Health Sciences.
Neroli attended Fintona’s Early Learning Centre and then later returned in Year 5. Neroli’s mum also attended Fintona and as she had loved being a student at Fintona, the family always knew Neroli would be a Fintonian too.
Neroli enjoys being involved in the School’s annual Cabaret Night, vocal soirees and debating. In her spare time, she enjoys baking because she’s able to relax and listen to music at the same time. She also enjoys spending time on the family’s farm where they have 13 miniature cows and a dog.
Neroli believes a leader should be an approachable and kind person, forthcoming and determined in their pursuits to benefit others. “I applied for a leadership position because I have always loved the community that is Fintona. I constantly feel unconditionally supported by the staff, teachers and families of our small community. I felt my passion for Fintona would be beneficial and I knew I would not be alone with any endeavours that I was to take within my position. In the end, it was the support of various members of staff and students that urged me to take the final plunge of applying. The leadership process was extremely rewarding by providing me with important skills,” said Neroli.
When asked what she hoped to achieve as Deputy Consul, Neroli said a further strengthening of the bond between the Junior School and Senior School campuses. In Year 11, Neroli studied Units 3/4 Legal Studies and in Year 12 her subjects are English, Music Performance, Psychology, French and Mathematical Methods.
Over the years, Neroli has changed her mind about what she hope to pursue after her time at Fintona. Currently, she would like to pursue a career within emergency healthcare such as Paramedicine and she is very excited to take that next step in her studies.