Girls Leadership Forum

Two Junior School students Ruby Woods (Year 8) and Brier McLean (Year 7) attended a Leadership Forum in 2015.

Here are highlights from both student's reports.

Brier:  "As soon as we arrived we were welcomed warmly by everyone there. Matti Clements, Director and Senior Psychologist of Mental Edge Consulting, opened the forum with a small speech. There were 150 different Year 7 and 8 females, all from different places and schools in Victoria, with different personalities, chosen for a variety of reasons, and yet we all had one thing in common. We were all there to learn, be inspired and discover the true meaning of being a leader.

We participated in three different workshops focused on aspects of leadership. The first one was about Getting the Most Out of a Mentor run by Kristen Beams (Vic Spirit leg spinner). With a range of interesting questions, we were able to discover who would be a suitable mentor for an area we felt needed improvement or encouragement.

The second workshop was run by Sarah Elliot (Vic Spirit all-rounder) and was based on Building your Resilience. We all rated ourselves on how strong we are in different situations. Then we worked out a way to push through our weakest areas by setting goals and trying to develop our bounce back. I could relate to things that had happened to me recently and thought back on how I had reacted and how I could have reacted. I found learning about resilience really helped me.

The final workshop was Getting Balance Right. This session was organised by Briana Binch (Vic Spirit fast bowler) and Tamara Mason (Community Coach Development manager). We first rated ourselves on how important we were treating certain things e.g. school or family life. Then we rated how we should be treating the situation. We had to make a goal to improve the category with the biggest difference of rating. Every girl in the room had different goals and ideas and I believe we all got something out of it.

I think this forum was definitely worthwhile and I gained lots of knowledge."

Ruby: "The day was run by Cricket Victoria and School Sports Victoria, and was designed to supply 150 girls from around the state with knowledge on leadership, particularly in sport. Matti Clements (former Australian cricket player) spoke to us about how possessing a ‘growth mindset’ is very important in order to learn and embrace change, understand how to develop a skill, and maintain confidence when making decisions. We split off into three groups, each in turn completing different workshops. 

There was also a panel discussion including Meg Lanning (number 1 ranked female batter in one-days and T20 matches in the world), Steph Prem (First Australian female to represent Australia in snowboard cross at the Olympics) and Mel Jones (International cricket player, who also went to Elwood College). Matti Clements was the facilitator for the discussion and asked the panel about past and present mentors, challenges they faced because of being women athletes, and what leadership meant to them. I found this the most interesting part of the whole day, as we got to understand how far these sports women had come and how they had pushed through so many discriminating barriers in order to get to the top of their sports. 

Finally, we headed down to an oval and set up 10 miniature cricket grounds. We played in teams of eight. I found this to be a really great opportunity to get to know some other girls, as well as having a fun time in the sun. 

The day was a brilliant opportunity to get to know lots of new people, meet successful women athletes, and most importantly, learn leadership skills that will continue to assist us for the rest of our lives."