Year 10 Perspective by Arnetta Wijaya
On Friday the 27th of April, students involved in the Access Monash Championship program were invited to Monash University to partake in various leadership workshops. The aim of these workshops were to empower students to become Champions for Education within their schools and local communities. The program is designed to prepare students to become active community leaders, by giving us a platform in which we are able to design and deliver a project that will make a real difference for our community. The program encourages students to have a voice by helping us develop essential teamwork and entrepreneurial skills.
Throughout the day, we listened to Jessica Brown (one of the inspirational speakers of the day), and participated in many fun activities. One of the most memorable activities was the "develop your own monster" challenge. The Year 10 students had to draw a monster, incorporating characteristics that we thought best represented the qualities that a good leader possesses. Not only did we have a blast during this activity, letting our imaginations run wild and drawing to our hearts' content, we also gained valuable skills in teamwork, communication, project design, and time management as well.
Overall, the experience was truly enlightening. We can most definitely say that all of us came out of the program with a new outlook towards being a good leader. As one of our inspirational speakers, Jessica Brown (training manager of Robogals), told us, "If you don't like it, change it", which explores the idea of how everyone one of us, no matter of race, gender, sexual orientation or position of power we may have; all have the potential to make a difference. It is more than ever crucial for students of our age to step up, as we are the next generation of leaders, who are capable of making a greater change for our society. I would like to acknowledge Mr Tahos and Miss Armstrong for organising and guiding us throughout this program, the Monash Access Championship staff, mentors and presenters for the wonderful day we had, as it would not have been made possible without their dedicated contribution towards this program.
Year 9 Perspective - by Nicholas Rusmin
On Friday the 29th of April, the Year 9 access Monash champions went to Monash University to gain a new insight on leadership and to further develop our skills in that area. We also learned about what it takes to be a Monash champion. We started off with an introduction which explained the year-long program. We will have to create and design a project which promoted tertiary education. With that out of the way, we had an inspirational talk by Jessica Brown, regarding the Robogals' journey and volunteering. Jess reinforced the message of making a change by volunteering, no matter how big or small it is, to the community. We should find our passion and use that as a way to help others in need.
After the morning tea, we split into our groups and went to 4 different workshops. The first one being "Peer Leadership". We were given quotes/meaningful images from inspirational leaders and had to choose one which we felt most connected with. We decided with 'Equality vs Equity'. We believed that a leader should know how to cater to different individuals depending on their circumstances (equity) instead of giving everyone the same thing (equality). Moving on to workshop 2, which was based around "Creative Teamwork". The goal was to work cooperatively and give our different perspectives to make the tallest structure using spaghetti noodles and marshmallows that could withstand a pen. Although we didn't win, we still had lots of fun working together and sharing our ideas!
We then had a delicious lunch which was followed by workshop 3; "Creative ways to show what you know". The workshop was focused on displaying our ideas using certain techniques. Our issue was reducing school absences and we had to pitch an idea to solve this. Since we expect our audience to be 12-16 year olds, we decided to make a short video to release on social media. Our video would include lots of humour with relevant pop culture so it would be appealing to our generation. However, it would have a clear and strong message regarding the importance of going to school. Our last and final workshop was about "Information Search Strategies". In this workshop, we learned some key points to look out for on websites by checking it with C.R.A.A.P. It's an acronym which stands for Currency (timeliness of the information), Relevance (importance of the information for your needs), Authority (credibility of the author), Accuracy (truthfulness and correctness of the content) and Purpose (reason the information exists).
Overall, the experience was an eye opener. We gained a new insight on leadership. My mind is more open towards different ways to display my work and how much of an impact it will have on the result. I look forward to the challenge of designing and creating our project with my fellow peers!