At the end of 2016 and at the beginning of our captaincy journey, we (Aria, Abel, Mel and Ben) were excited and expectant of the year to come. We had three main goals: to strengthen inter-year level relationships, to promote wellbeing within the Nossal community and to remain true to and promote the values of Nossal as a school, to respect and to protect its identity. Here’s how we achieved those goals.
Nossal Time Mentor Groups
Coming into the year, one of our shared focuses as the School Captain Team was to encourage and sustain positive inter-year level relationships. Taking advantage of the existing infrastructure of the vertical tutorial groups, we developed a simple, yet effective means of promoting the development of inter-year level bonds through the establishment of tutorial buddy groups that were to be utilised for Nossal Time Sessions. With the opportunity to design some of our own lessons, our goal was ensure that SEL (Social, Emotional Learning) sessions could be used effectively to create meaningful bonds between year levels to promote a more respectful and appreciative school culture.
As a means of integrating the SRC into the student community, the SRC initiated their own SRC awards. These awards were created with the aim of recognising all the good things that the student body does outside the academic sphere and other achievements that are officially recognised. The idea behind this was to further promote the positive aspects of the student culture by having the student body themselves recognise all the amazing things that their fellow students do. The awards were split into three categories; Nossal Spirit, Environmental and Miscellaneous. Across these categories, a total of 10 people were chosen and presented with awards in the form of a serenade by our very own SRC band! We hope to see this initiative continue into the future in order to continually support the little things that make our community the amazing one it is.
State Schools’ Relief
In Nossal’s past years of philanthropy we raised and donated money to well established charities, but this year we wanted to shift our focus to a charity closer to home. The State Schools Relief (SSR) is an organisation based in Dandenong that works to help students of all socio-economic status' to participate wholly in the experience of schooling. This year was the first year of our House based fundraiser for this incredible charity and with great success we raised just over $1500. Mel had the pleasure of organising and running this series of events at school and we are excited to see how much we can improve on this in coming years. Our goal is to make this an annual event, and we hope to develop a close relationship with the SSR in the future.
This year, Aria had the pleasure of leading Formation into its second year. Formation is a group of girls who seek to empower other girls and encourage them to defy the stereotypes pitted against us. Last year, Formation received a mix of critique from the cohort, especially from the boys, because the events we ran were girls only, since our focus was on empowering and inspiring female leaders. This year, we improved Formation’s reputation through the school by allowing anyone and everyone to attend our events, and received heaps of good feedback from everyone, even running our first out-of-school event: our summit Women In the Developing World with Feel.Think.Flow. Formation’s growth these past two years has exceeded my expectations and I look forward to what the 2018 team will bring next year.
In an environment where students have high expectations for themselves and each other, one of our goals as School Captains was to communicate the importance of student wellbeing and to promote positivity within the school. One of the more creative solutions that arose from discussion was to make a light hearted song with a music video titled Perspect Yourself, “perspect” being an amalgamation of the words “perspective” and “respect”. The music video involved various students and the brilliant vocals of Abel and Ben. We released it during a period of the year where workload began to rise, and our efforts intended to serve as a means to alleviate any tension and stress, to remind to students and friends to keep things in perspective, and to respect themselves and the environment and people around them. With the wonderful response we received, hopefully our work can last for successive generations to enjoy.
Another major focus of ours was to uplift and maintain the Nossal culture; to remind students of what it means to be a Nossalonian; to encourage pride in identifying as a Nossal student and upholding the values of such. This was embodied in the “respect” component of our Perspect Yourself campaign - a reminder to students that the facilities and opportunities given to us are to be respected, just like we must respect our peers and ourselves. We hope that the 2018 captains will continue to promote this amongst students and staff, and that all future Nossal cohorts will embody the true identity of a Nossalonian.
We have had the pleasure of working closely with the executive team of Mr. Page, Ms. Harrap and Mr. Butler, as well as Mr. Labrooy and Mrs. Ansalde, who have tirelessly engaged with us in our ideas for the school and supported us in all ways possible, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. To the SRC of 2017: it has been wonderful to work and be a part of the exponential growth that you all have created in this year. And most of all, to the Nossal students: we thank you for your faith and support in our actions and in return, we hope we have served you to the best of our ability.
Aria Sunga, Abel Muller, Melania Iskandar and Ben Tran
2017 School Captains