Published on: 11 October 2013

The Year 11 Leadership Days, held in the final week of Term 3, took boys on a journey of self-exploration. The students were exposed to the lives and stories of some of the State’s leaders, who work from strong moral foundations.

The program began on Tuesday 24 September with an address from Akram Azimi, the 2013 Young Australian of the Year. Akram, who addressed both the Senior and Preparatory Schools earlier this year, discussed his difficult but ultimately redemptive journey through Warwick Senior High School after arriving as an Afghan refugee just after the 9/11 attacks.

Director of Service Learning and Leadership Richard Pengelley said over Wednesday and Thursday, the boys rotated in house groups through four activities. Father Richard said throughout all the sessions, the boys were reminded that there were many leadership roles and ways of being a leader.

The first group stayed at school to have conversations with old boys, Heads of Houses and senior staff about the material covered in the booklet, Get Ready to Lead, by Dr Philip Cummins and Dr Ian Lambert. Another group, led by Father Frank Sheehan, went across the road to Christ Church parish for a chat with Father Peter Boyland, followed by a yoga session in the parish hall with leadership day stalwart Susie Ascott.

A third 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 talks and conversations with the Anglican Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft, young peace activist Jarrod McKenna as well as Father Richard.

The leadership days concluded in the Chapel with music and reflections from professional musician and high school chaplain Andrew Winton. Andrew played his lap-slide guitar, which was built for him by a company in Alabama and is the only one of its kind in the world.

“We reiterated throughout the program that all Year 12s were required to lead at some stage and that servant leadership was the most long lasting and transformative,” he said. “Examine your values and lead consistently from them and build support around yourself for the challenge of Year 12 and leadership.”