On Monday February 6, new student leaders at Merimbula Public School were inducted into their positions during a formal Leadership Induction Ceremony within the school hall. After stating the school pledge they were awarded their representative badges and were congratulated on demonstrating exceptional leadership skills, resulting in their peers voting for them to be their student representatives.
Merimbula Public School students experience democratic processes and develop effective leadership skills, citizenship and problem solving strategies through participation in peer support programs, student conferencing, leadership camps and through participation in the Student Representative Council (SRC). Students are encouraged to have discussions and make decisions as individuals and as group members. Leadership positions within the school include Class SRC Representatives (2 per class per Semester), Junior House Captains (two Year 4 students per sporting House Group); and Year 6 House Captains, Vice Captains; Library, Technology, Bus and Flag Monitors. Other class based leadership positions are also available to students.
Five School Leaders work with these student groups and coordinate regular SRC Meetings to support student participation in school improvement, fundraising and presentation initiatives. These leaders also represent the school within the community by presenting at community events such as those held on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. They also coordinate school assemblies, fundraising discos and presentation days, developing their public speaking skills.
"Our school has exceptional leadership programs that develop the leadership ability of all students" shared Principal Mrs Michelle Hulme. "One of our 2011 School Leaders, was recognised as having exceptional leadership skills at a regional level last year and one of our Aboriginal students was also recognised for her outstanding leadership skills at a regional level".
Kiah, who gave a memorable speech at last year's ANZAC Day Service in Merimbula, was awarded an Illawarra South East Region Award for 'Excellence in Student Leadership'. She was one of only 3 primary aged students who received this award throughout the region in 2011. Kiah was presented her award at a regional ceremony held at Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts. She attended the ceremony with two teachers from the school who were also being awarded for their contributions to public education and students within the school and wider community.
T'Leah, a Year 5 student at Merimbula Public School, received an Illawarra South East Region Award for 'Culture, Courage and Commitment' at the Aboriginal Education Awards Ceremony in Batemans Bay that was held in November. She received her award from special guest Troy Cassar-Daley. T'Leah was nominated for her award after demonstrating leadership skills when collaboratively coordinating the school's NAIDOC Week Celebrations in 2011, where she displayed a web site of her own digital Aboriginal art works, and for displaying excellence in performing arts. "T'Leah is an outstanding student and role model to her peers" said Mrs Hulme "She has represented our school in dance when performing at the Sapphire Coast Learning Community's Performing Arts Festival and when performing recorder at the Festival Of Instrumental Music that was held in the Sydney Opera House last year".
This week all Year 5 students within the school are participating in a Leadership Development Camp. The camp supports students to develop their leadership capacity, learn team-building and survival skills and how to cooperate. Students began their camp at the Hobart Beach Camping Ground at Bournda before walking 10 kilometres to Wambiri Camping Ground in Tathra for the second part of their camp. Throughout the week, students complete a number of tasks in preparation to become the school's 2013 leaders and future leaders of our community.