Published on: 17 October 2014

In the final week of Term 3, Year 11 boys spent three days developing their understanding of leadership. Throughout the program, they were reminded that all Year 12 boys were required to lead at some time and that servant leadership was the most long lasting and transformative.

The Year 11 Leadership Days program began with an address from Arne Rubinstein, author of The Making of Men. Dr Rubinstein has worked with teenagers and families for more than 30 years as a doctor, counsellor, mentor and facilitator. He is an expert in adolescent development and coming of age rites of passage, specialising in supporting boys and girls through the critical years.

Head of Senior School Roger Bayly said Dr Rubinstein talked about life as an adventure to be embraced and how boys needed to reflect on their day-to-day experiences to reduce their chances of making poor decisions. “A little thinking can save a whole lot of grief,” he said.

Dr Rubinstein discussed threats to a young man’s well-being, such as marketing, technology, pornography and no defined rite of passage, and how society had desensitised people to find their true sense of who they are and the values they should embrace.

He also emphasised the importance of mothers and fathers to adolescent boys and the significance of having a father or significant older male who they could share regular experiences with and to appreciate the nature of manhood.

Over Tuesday and Wednesday, the boys rotated in House groups through activities – reminding them that there were many leadership roles and ways of being a leader. The first group stayed at school to have conversations with Heads of Houses about the material covered in the booklet, Get Ready to Lead, by Dr Philip Cummins and Dr Ian Lambert.

A second group, led by School Chaplain Frank Sheehan, went across the road to Christ Church parish for a chat with Father Peter Boyland, followed by a yoga session with Susie Ascott. Another group went to Irwin Barracks for an Army–led leadership experience including personal and group physical challenges and problem solving. The fourth group attended Wollaston College for small group workshops with Dr Rubinstein and other senior staff.

The leadership days concluded in the Chapel with a summative session with Dr Rubinstein where he asked boys to reflect on their experiences and how they would impact their lives moving forward.