‘As leading women of the future we have a lot to look forward to.’

‘Our gender doesn’t define us, or prevent us from achieving goals, but empowers us.’

‘Dare to be a true woman of the future, not the woman you are told to be.’

‘Today the landscape for women is changing; however there is still progress to be made for equal opportunities for all women.’

You could be forgiven for thinking that these are the words of worldly women, with years of experience up their sleeve. Instead, these are the sentiments of our future School leaders. Listening to Emma Rodgers, Samara Gill, Stephanie Ferrali, Juliet Grant and Annabelle Motteram last week in assembly left me feeling inspired, not only as their Dean but also as a female. The girls were given the topic ‘Women of the Future’ and asked to reflect on the achievements of a St Catherine’s Old Girl. Each student spoke passionately about female leaders and how the future for women was encountering a major shift. I felt incredibly proud of each student and know the cohort, as well as the School, are in very capable hands next year. I am looking forward to working with this inspiring and dedicated School Executive. I would also like to congratulate all girls who applied to be School Co Captain. As Year 12 students in 2018, each girl has a leadership role to play.

Earlier this Term, a group of Year 11 students took part in the Mentor program, visiting various workplaces and meeting with professionals from a range of sectors. Isabel Gray, who visited NAB reflected, “Having a large interest in finance, the opportunity to visit such an established business was extremely valuable. A tour of the new Bourke St building that incorporates a ‘flexi-desk’ system of work, demonstrated to us the way that businesses are rapidly adapting to modern demands. Talking to our mentor Claire, whose job focuses on the use of technology throughout the corporation, we gained an insight into the ways in which technology will govern the careers of the future. Seeing the widespread demand for women in IT was very interesting and made many of us consider future careers in this area. Overall, being exposed to a workplace like NAB was a great way to experience a taste of what a career in IT would look like.”

The Mentor program, unlike ‘work experience’, provides the girls with an opportunity to have a more robust conversation with professionals – allowing them to gain an insight into particular careers. Michelle Libreri was fortunate enough to be placed with Bruce Henderson Architects, where she heard designers talk about International projects, such as the leaf building in Dubai. Michelle has said, “what once seemed like just an interest, or good backup course has turned into a career path I want pursue.” This program, in addition to the Career’s Breakfast held earlier this Term, can be the moment where future pathways are shaped. I am starting to hear more conversations about University courses and career prospects. This is an exciting time for the cohort, and already I can see they are prepared to take on the challenges that next year will bring.

Ms Lilly Dusting, Dean of Year 11