STEPHANIE RATCLIFFE 12G. - SPORTS CAPTAIN
When did you start your studies at Doncaster Secondary College?
I started my studies in 2013 as a year 7 student.
Tell us a bit about your family.
I have a very caring and considerate family who devote a lot of their time to helping both my younger sister and I. It is largely because of them that I have been able to achieve my academic aspirations and be heavily involved in various extracurricular activities.
Tell us about some of your interests.
Most of my time outside of school is spent either at the athletics track or in the gym where I am continually training to improve myself in the track and field event of Hammer throw. I have been extremely passionate about hammer throw for the last couple of years and so have dedicated countless hours towards the sport. Not only has this allowed me to develop as an athlete beyond what I could have imagined, but it has additionally taught me important lessons in time management which I can apply to all aspects of my life, especially being a secondary school student. I also enjoy coaching others in athletics as it allows me to pass on the invaluable knowledge I have been privileged enough to learn, to those who share my passion. I have been lucky enough to have had an opportunity to do so both at my local athletics club and primary school. Although school and athletics take up the majority of my time, during term breaks I love to spend time outdoors whether it be camping, hiking or pretty much any activity that involves an adrenaline rush – you can be sure that I enjoy!
What did you study in year 12 this year?
I studied English Language, Maths Methods, Chemistry, Psychology and Human Biosciences as a University subject at Latrobe. I also completed Year 12 Biology and PE as a Year 11 student.
What have you been involved in throughout your school years?
At Doncaster Secondary College I have been involved in many programs and activities. I have always participated in many of the inter school sports DSC has to offer with athletics, cross-country, volleyball and AFL among them. I was also part of the LEEP program from Years 7 to 10 as well as the music program where I learnt both clarinet and trombone and was a member of various school bands. In 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Borneo with a small group of students from DSC. In Borneo, we not only were able to explore the country, immerse ourselves in the culture and climb Mt Kinabalu but additionally, we were able to spend some time in a local village helping renovate their small community church with the money we had fundraised prior to the trip.
What gave you the confidence to apply for this role?
When I first saw the opportunity to apply to be a school leader I was hesitant about applying simply because I believed there were so many other amazing leaders in my year level who deserved roles. I eventually gave in and applied anyway as I had nothing to lose, and I definitely do not regret this decision! Being a school leader and part of the SRC has allowed me to create new friendships and be among students who continue to inspire me, all while working towards creating a better place for students to learn and grow.
What advice would you give to those students who aspire to be future leaders?
For those looking to become future school leaders, there are many opportunities within Doncaster Secondary College that can assist you in your aspiration. The Year 9 Peer Buddy system is one great opportunity that can allow you to mentor Year 7 students through their transition to high school. Additionally, you can get involved with some of the various student-run groups within the school, such as SRC, Interact Club or the DSC Connect Group. Above all I would recommend participating in as many college activities as possible, whether it be joining a sports team, playing an instrument or even joining the school debating team!
I CAN AND I WILL
What does this mean to you?
‘I Can and I Will’ is a very empowering statement to me addressing that simply having the ability to do something is not always enough to lead to success. This statement reminds me that when you actually do something with your ability, an endless array of opportunities may arise.
How will you live by this statement throughout the year?
I will live by this statement by changing my thought processes from just simply saying “I can” or “I could” to “I can and I WILL”, eliminating any chance of opting out to ensure I make the most of what I have the ability to achieve.
What are your goals for 2018:
For yourself in your role?
As one of the sport captains this year I would not only like to represent the thoughts of my peers and assist in further improving the DSC school environment, but I would also like to be someone students feel as if they can talk to for advice if they have an issue or even if they just want someone to talk to.
For yourself personally and as a Year 12 student?
I am not going to lie, as a Year 12 student my ultimate goal this year is to get good grades. However, I am not the kind of person who can spend hours upon hours of studying without getting a little bored. This year although I understand the time commitment required to my studies, I aim to keep a balanced life as I have throughout all my high school years. I want to continue to compete competitively as a track and field athlete, I want to continue working my part-time job and most importantly I still want to spend quality time with my family and friends.
What are your long-term life ambitions and aspirations?
Thinking ahead, I aspire to represent Australia as a hammer thrower, ultimately at the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. Next year I want to attend University and hopefully study biomedical engineering as a student-athlete at an American college. I would also like to spend time in the future assisting communities in less fortunate circumstances, both in Australia and internationally.
What would you like your legacy to be for Doncaster Secondary College?
I would like my legacy for Doncaster Secondary College to be to always take every chance because as I well know, most of the time you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
In one sentence, what would you like to say to your fellow students about your pride in Doncaster Secondary College?
I am a proud student at Doncaster Secondary College and what opportunities they have been able to provide me in all aspects of my high school life, from opportunities in the classroom to be able to compete on the sporting field to providing incredible international travel experiences, I believe Doncaster has definitely set me up for a very successful future.