Get to know our 2018 School Captains, Stephanie Ferrali and Annabelle Motteram.
Stephanie and Annabelle share their thoughts and plans for the year ahead and their leadership roles as School Captains.
What are some of the duties you will take on in your roles?
Stephanie: In addition to our public speaking and formal commitments, one of the most important tasks for School Captains is to represent St Catherine’s and its values to the highest standard. We must be able to express the purpose of these values so the entire community can be proud of the School. This generates leadership amongst all the girls.
We will take the opportunity to connect with and mentor students across all Year levels. Part of our role will be to work collaboratively with teachers, other staff and all of the girls. We are having exciting conversations about all sorts of initiatives and activities.
We believe we should do our very best to generate inspiration and action and are looking forward to encouraging and supporting the girls to embrace all aspects of life at St Catherine’s. This is particularly important for those of us in our final year.
As one of the representatives of the cohort, I will be sure to listen carefully, consider alternate views and foster a sense of unity. I hope we can embrace this very special time together with strength, courage and humour.
Annabelle: Over the coming year, Stephanie and I aim to be student leaders by discussing and organising fundraisers and initiatives with the Student Executive. We will engage with as many of the students as we can by interacting with other Year levels. We hope to inspire other girls to do the same. But most importantly, the core duty that we will take on is working with our Year 12 cohort to engage, not only with the St Catherine’s community, but interacting with the wider community to create change in a positive and constructive way.
What attracted you to a position on the Student Executive?
Stephanie: I commenced my journey at St Catherine’s as a three-year-old in the Early Learning Centre so I have had a strong and long-standing involvement with all aspects of School life.
It occurred to me that I had a great deal of knowledge and experience to pass on. Coming close to the end of my time here, I also had a strong desire to connect with the younger girls and to serve as a symbol of how we can develop, adapt and take intelligent risks – we always have the capacity to be better. Each Year level writes a new chapter in the history of St Catherine’s and I relish the possibility of offering some direction and guidance. For the class of 2018, this is the moment; right here and right now!
Annabelle: The opportunity to be a member on a committee that meets regularly in order to create initiatives that will benefit both St Catherine’s and the wider community. I believe the process of organising events and coordinating people resembles everyday adult work life that we will soon be entering.
What makes a good leader?
Stephanie: A leader is someone with whom the girls can identify. She must be able to establish a rapport with adults and students alike and also to communicate well. A leader can have both a leading and supportive role but the key is to always be present. I believe a good leader inspires and motivates others without it necessarily being apparent.
Annabelle: A person who offers guidance and acceptance in the hope that the people they are leading will tackle their ambitions on their own with the knowledge that someone is supporting them. To me, a leader is someone that resolves conflict by compromising in the hope that each voice, not matter how soft, is heard.
Is there a high profile or community leader that you admire?
Stephanie: History has been shaped by some extraordinary leaders who have both inspired and challenged us to see the world in a way that may not have been readily apparent. They all have remarkable individual qualities but I very much admire courage and a refusal simply to settle for what is expected. There are also quiet and unassuming leaders who are admirable precisely because they don’t seek the limelight.
Annabelle: The St Catherine’s Old Girl Dr Wainer who I read about to prepare a speech to become School Co-Captain. Her contempt for injustice and her unfaltering resilience in order for women to have choice over their own bodies are things that I find very admirable.
How would you like to be remembered as student leaders of St Catherine’s?
Stephanie: I hope I am remembered as a School Captain who was a leader all of the time and lead by example. I hope I will have shown myself to be a Captain who understood what kind of approach a situation called for and was able to adapt.
If the girls across all Year levels were to see me as a School Captain who had been honest, inclusive, and kind, I would be absolutely thrilled! I would also like to think I had been available to the girls and that I had listened well. I would be so proud if I were to leave a legacy of positivity and inspiration.
Annabelle: As leaders who strived to do the best they could, even if it is not perfect. I think if we can pass that message on to girls in younger Year levels – to just be as fearless as they can and try their best regardless of what the outcome may be – is the first and most important step to achieving their goals.
What do you enjoy about St Catherine’s School?
Stephanie: St Catherine’s is a very special School. It has a big heart and I love everything it stands for. Because of its size and strong sense of community, nobody is overlooked or left behind. The teachers are generous with their time and always approachable. St Catherine’s is warm and relaxed, despite its strong focus on academic excellence. It can be formal but only when appropriate and necessary. It is very inclusive. One of the fundamental aspects of our School is people really care about each other.
The opportunities are endless. Sport has been an enormous part of my journey at School and has inspired me to work hard, strive for excellence and believe in myself. We are always encouraged to try something new and to be unafraid of failure. The very strong message we are given is that it is the process, rather than the result, that is important. Ironically, the girls always seem to achieve extraordinary things! That is the truly wonderful part of St Catherine’s spirit.
Annabelle: The opportunities that lie beyond the gates of Heyington Place. I’ve always thought of St Catherine’s as a strong foundation, in which a girl can go anywhere they want to if they are committed.