Student Leadership at Walford

11 June 2024
Our girls are making an incredible impact outside of the classroom.

Student Leadership at Walford is about positioning students to understand what matters to them and their community, identify and act on opportunities, take risks, fail forward, collaborate with others, solve problems, make meaning and commit themselves to the service of causes greater than their own.

This year, the Student Council led an 8-week Lent Campaign in support of the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy. The Student Council exceeded their own expectations, garnering strong support from the community, raising awareness about the importance of proton therapy, delivering new initiatives to promote community engagement while raising over $10 000.00.True to the strong sense of community spirit, the Campaign was launched with Pancake Races led by House Captains within their Houses and Valentine’s Day sing-o-grams led by ChanterElle.

The Student Council planned a series of events across the remainder of Lent, including:

  • The Student v Teacher Debate which featured witty quips from Ms Thomas and Ms Scott about the virtues of supporting students to take naps during the day!
  • Students versus the IT Department Mario Kart: we knew the IT team would be hard to beat but we discovered some genuine e-racing talent within our student cohort!
  • Walford versus St Peter’s College Netball Showdown
  • Walford v Prince Alfred College Battle of the Brains
  • Bake Sale in The Heart of Walford
  • Platters for Protons – a parent event held at our Parks Pavilion
  • SuperHike along the Heysen Trail

A highlight of the Campaign was Platters for Protons which was led by the Student Council with the support of their parents. The Student Council aspired to reach the parent community in promoting the important work of the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research, organising for Radiation Oncologist Associate Professor Hein Le to speak: he drew on the importance of advancing medical technology, noting that the Bragg Centre is the only form of Proton Therapy in the Southern Hemisphere. Associate Professor Le also brought a distinctly human element to his address, making a clear connection between the rates of cancer (which has a prevalence of 40% within the general population) and the vital importance of promoting access to lifesaving treatment. The audience were enlightened to learn that Proton Therapy has minimal side effects, allowing patients to undergo treatment without enduring the severe symptoms often experienced with other forms of treatment. This event featured a live auction along with service of food and beverages, generous donations and significant behind the scenes support from Ashley Sierp, Mark and Heather Rickman, Madeleine McGowan, Molly Moore, House & Garden on Unley Road, Kenneth Abraham and Melissa McDonald, Chris Kneebone and Libby Bamford, Wayne and Robyn Richardson, Steve and Lamia Loucas, Sean Murphy and Melanie Clarke, Con and Maria Kassapis and Al Jawhari and Angie Shafei.

This event was attended by Walford parents across the Middle and Senior School, forming testament to the power of our community: coming together in this way says something about who we are – that we place great value on Student Leadership as a form of agency in action and as a potent source of shaping and influencing our community.

The Lent Campaign concluded with a hike along the Heysen Trail which was supported by Ms Heading, Ms Lamming, Ms Proctor and myself. Commencing from Mylor, we ambled through this beautiful town and ventured out along the trail which led us through wild scrub, beautiful farmland with open vistas, rainforest terrain and an old mine site. It seemed a natural opportunity for the Student Council to reflect on their journey as leaders, the privilege of leading in our community, the power we each have to make an appreciable difference through hands of service and our capacity to form deep connection with others through service to a worthwhile cause.

I commend this group of young women to you as a torchlight in our community, setting themselves up to lead an ambitious campaign, be authentically human, support each other at each step of the journey, to draw on their resources and demonstrate courage and commitment in serving a cause greater than their own.

Ms Georgina West
Head of Senior School

Members of the Student Council 2023-2024 include:

  • Freja A
  • Zeina A
  • Dimi K
  • Alana K
  • Madeline L
  • Molly M
  • Alanah M
  • Emily R