School Leaders: Macarthur Girls High

Macarthur Girls High Motto: Vis Viva – The Living Force.

1. What is unique about your school?

Divya Shah, C: Each and every single person who wanders its halls – I think sometimes as people we get a little bit too caught up in our own worlds, we forget just how brilliant and amazing each of the people who surround us are. The most unique thing about almost any place is the diverse range of people who constitute it, who give it life and energy, who animate it and populate the memories you have of it. This is most true in a place like MGHS where we have such a diverse range of people in terms not only of ethnicity but interests and passions – just taking a few moments out of each day, to talk to someone new, can change your perspective and if nothing else make you more aware of the fact that everyone has something to say; that everyone has a unique voice that deserves to be heard!

Michelle Sin, C: Our school has students from a range of diverse backgrounds in which we value and recognise each culture. We appreciate and understand their cultural differences and acknowledge this especially during our biannual multicultural week, in which we display the every culture within our school, through fashion parades, food stalls and cultural performances.

Rayanne Alameddine, VC:

·   The diversity of nationalities, as well as the schools ability to cater for them. 

·   The vast range of facilities provided for the students such as sports ovals, pool, farm, gym, art rooms, dance studio etc...

·   Endless amount extra-curricular activity available e.g debating, theatre sports, choir, dance ensemble etc...

·   The support which the school gives the students.

Angel Rauniyar, VC: There are many factors that make Macarthur Girls very unique, but I think the greatest factor would be our school’s diversity. As a student, you get to be surrounded by people from various backgrounds and cultures, allowing you to learn about things that you wouldn’t normally know.

Another aspect that makes the school unique is our school values, PRIDE. MGHS promotes and encourages students to uphold these values in everything they do, allowing students to learn and appreciate the importance of pride, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence. By doing this, these values become instilled in the students allowing the students to apply these PRIDE values in all parts of their life and not just in the school environment,

2. What do you want to do when you leave school?

Divya Shah, C: I want to be an archaeologist/palaeontologist/geneticist. I mean who doesn’t love Indiana Jones, and when you add dinosaurs and a lab coat, well I’m definitely all for it! But in all seriousness, I’ve wanted to be paleo-archaeologist since I was six years old, the notion of discovery fascinates me and the opportunity to see something that hasn’t been witness for millennia is a feeling I can’t even begin to describe *geeks out*. The idea of being a geneticist is relatively new found for me, I’ve always loved science, but my particular gravitation towards the field of genetics stem from the fact that it’s a field full of potential – the potential to not affect one life or two, but hundreds of thousands; inherited diseases affect millions if not billions of people, and their decisions can have no effect upon the ultimate outcome of their existence, as an advocate for freedom in almost any sense, I think that is an incredible injustice, and if I am able to shed some light on the genetic sequence and develop a solution for even the smallest fraction of people affected, it would be worth slaving over a microscope for the entirety of my existence, and I would love every minute of it.

Michelle Sin, C: Most likely go on a gap year and tour around Africa and Europe before settling into University and doing a course around politics.

Rayanne Alameddine, VC: I want to go to University of Sydney and become a PDHPE teacher.

Angel Rauniyar, VC: When I leave school, I want to be involved in the health sector. I’m hoping to pursue a career in medicine or medical research where I have the opportunity to help people and reduce the health inequities and issue that many face in our communities.

3. Why do you think being a school leader is important?

Divya Shah, C: Personally I believe being a school leader is important because it gives you the opportunity to truly connect with a large sum of people. You have the potential to positively impact an exponentially large number of people and as Spiderman so eloquently puts it “with great power comes great responsibility” – as a school leader I think its paramount that you strive to truly voice the concerns of your peers and aim to make their schooling life both the most educational and enjoyable it can be. In my eyes the truest aim of leadership is to advocate or inspire leadership in others, being a leader is about setting a positive example, but one that’s human too, it’s not about appearing perfect, it’s about being human and making mistakes, but learning from them. Leadership is particularly important when considering the high school context as it is a time when a preponderance of people are discovering who they are and how they fit into the world, so basically it’s a time where as people we need as much help as we can get, but have no desire whatsoever to actually ask for it, which is the reason I believe that being a school leader is so integral, because you have the capacity to improve the day to day routine of someone’s life, to guide them and support them in a way that they know best how to respond to, as they know you’re in the very same boat as them – cruising the seven seas or sinking like the titanic, it’s all about empathy and using the power of communication to truly help others.

Michelle Sin, C: Being a school leader is important because, the peers around me look up to me as I am a role model for them. It’s good to know that I am able to have the potential to influence those people around you me, and the benefit of this personally, is being able to feel good about myself for doing that. I love that feeling i get when i know I've contributed within the school and had made a significant impact and difference to those around me. Overall, being the school captain of such a diverse range of girls, it is important to understand each student as I believe that every student is of utmost importance. Furthermore, I take every student’s concerns and ideas seriously and do the best as i could to implement them into actions. It Is important to not be only their school leader, but as a  mentor and friend.

Rayanne Alameddine, VC: 

- Because sometimes in life we need guide, a role model, someone there we can talk to on the same level as the rest of us – not a boss, but someone to take our hand and walk down the right road with us.

- A school leader is a representation of the student body; they are able to work with the executives of the school to find harmony.

Angel Rauniyar, VC: I think being a school leader is very important as it makes you aware of the needs of a range of people and not just your own. You make decisions on situations and events that can impact the whole school, where you learn to cater to the needs of the student body. Being involved in leadership roles from an early age and now holding the position of Vice Captain has taught me to deal with challenges effectively; a skill which is very important in everyday life. By being a school leader, you have the opportunity to make a difference in another’s life, something that is makes you feel wonderful and provides a unique sense of satisfaction that you only get by helping make a difference is your fellow student’s life, no matter how big that ‘difference’ might be.

4. If you were the principal what would you introduce?

Divya Shah, C: The real question is what wouldn’t I introduce! Where to begin, well I guess to start with it would be “Magic Mondays”, if you’re thinking Harry Potter you’re on the right track – basically picture this; it’s a boring Monday lunch time, you struggle to keep your eyes open, but then wait! All of sudden there is a puff of smoke, was that an owl?...okay maybe not that theatrical, but essentially think of it as a day to escape, giving the students the opportunity to dress-up as their favorite book or film or comic character and play games, essentially just to let loose and enjoy – a little bit of positivity can go a long way to form friendships and an overarching spirit of happiness that can flow into classrooms to. Another idea I would love to implement is little “chill” zones or sessions – certain parts of the school grounds could be sectioned off as “Calm zones” that the students could go to and listen to music or participate in little stress busting activities, maybe even a little hippie garden with beanbags and fairy lights after all what sort of chill zone doesn’t have bean bags. Programs that encourage friendships between grades also seems like a brilliant idea, so that students have a wide ranging support network, activities that foster friendship between individuals who don’t generally get the chance to interact so that everyone has the opportunity to branch out.

Michelle Sin, C: Make it ‘Pyjama Day’ everyday!

Rayanne Alameddine, VC:

·   I would have gym equipment that was accessible to students before school, at lunch and after school.

·   I would make the canteen really healthy so we have no temptations.

·   I will have 3 mufti days each semester

·   I would have a machine, when pressed a positive message will come out, and the message/quote is NEVER repeated twice.

·   I would have a school sleepover – where everyone sleeps in a classroom, e.g. roll call or subject. 

Angel Rauniyar, VC: Honestly, there isn’t a lot I would introduce as our school offers so much already. But in saying this, if I were the principal, I would definitely introduce more mufti days. School is just more enjoyable when you get to wear casual clothes!

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