Co-curricular Captains Induction

This week at the School’s Co-curricular Captains Assembly, Dean of Co-curriculum, Ms Ellena Papas, delivered the following address. 

Good morning Ms Euler, staff and students. It’s wonderful to be here at the third and final of our Leadership Induction ceremonies—our Co-curricular Captains Assembly.

When I think of why I value our Co-curricular Program so highly, I’m drawn to our Guiding Principle of Life-wide learning. If you recall this Assembly from last year, you may remember I encouraged you to ‘set your goals and strive’, and together we discovered that so many of your teachers are exceptional examples of what it means to be a ‘life-wide learner’.

Currently, there are 115 co-curricular activities on offer at Girls Grammar, designed to inspire you to grow into your best self, through life-wide learning.

Now, while that vision of ‘best self’ will look different to each of you as individuals, we do want you, the collective, to be courageous. We dare you to dream, without fear of failure, and to test the unfamiliar.

These co-curricular activities—be they sporting, musical, theatrical, cultural, an extension of your academic work, service, repartee, or simply of interest—these activities support you to develop enduring life and leadership skills, and encourage you to become resilient and adventurous in spirit.

I want you to embrace the challenge of stepping beyond the classroom in strengthening your mind, body and character, to become adaptable, agile, and experience all the highs and lows of life along the way. To grow through performance and participation, develop grit and determination, and embody the indomitable Girls Grammar spirit.

I want you to be able to look back on your time at Girls Grammar, from wherever life takes you, and to say that the education you received here, both in and beyond the classroom, not only impacted you, but was pivotal in shaping the women you will one day become.

Last week, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ms Julie McKay, spoke to us about authenticity, courage and kindness, and the week prior, School Psychologist, Dr Alix Vann, spoke of compassion. A 2015 OECD study identified that children who are conscientious, motivated, goal-driven and collegial are more likely to weather the storms of life, perform well in the labour market and achieve lifetime success.

So the skills you develop and refine through your co-curricular activities—the ability to work in a team or adopt a global mindset, the cognitive flexibility of appreciating a different perspective, respect for others, cultural diversity and yourself, the development of empathy, identity, curiosity, tolerance or justice—these skills will help you develop not only a positive view of yourself, but an aptitude for hope, and a deep appreciation for human dignity.

That’s a powerful way to be launched into this world—to bear the responsibility of creating your own, unique and lasting legacy. So empower yourself, and empower others, to bring about good, wherever you see there is need.

Speaking of ‘good’, I would like to take this moment to lead you in offering thanks and share our deep appreciation for our teachers, each one of whom contributes to the Co-curricular Program at the School, giving of themselves, and their talents, to enrich your life with learning.

Today we especially recognise the work of our Co-curricular Directors and Coordinators: Ms Duffy; Mrs Dron; Mrs Mungomery; Ms Byrne, Mrs Riveros; Mrs Lee; Mr Martineau and Mr McGrath.

So to conclude, I thought I would share an old saying that came to mind when I opened an invitation recently. In 2020 my hope is you will find joy in:

  • something old: return to an activity you’ve done before, continue with an activity you were thinking of dropping—build on those skills you have already been working on
  • something new: the days are long but the years are short, so jump in, and take advantage of the opportunities in front of you
  • something borrowed: join your friend in that activity they’re always talking about, or find a way to develop in yourself an attribute that you’ve always admired in someone else
  • something blue: let that indomitable Girls Grammar spirit shine, wherever and whenever you are.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, all things blue. Thank you.

A full list of 2020 Leadership Positions is available on Parent Portal.