Girls who lead – Junior School Head Girls

Posted 14 February 2020 11:08am

Meet the three Junior School students who are set to change the world! If their collective energy is anything to go by, 2020 will just be the start of their quest to make the world a better place. Working closely together to inspire and lead by example, these young women are a force to be reckoned with and wise beyond their years.

Holly Jones (Year 6 Mackellar) started at CGGS in the Early Learning Centre and has been aspiring to lead the school ever since.

“I’ve been here so long, I watched the school evolve and I’ve watched all the other Head Girls come up and do the assemblies and I always thought how cool that was,” Holly said.

“One of the reasons I went for [Head Girl] is because all these people have helped me so much and being Head Girl, it would be great to give back to them. Having that sense of empowerment, and making a difference is really, really nice.”

Deputy Head Girls, Olivia Ryall (Year 6 Bates) and Tess Shanahan (Year 6 Gilmore) are equally thrilled to have their chance to stand alongside Holly as part of the student leadership team for 2020.

“I actually always wanted to work together with them, because we work really well. We’ve already come up with a few ideas of how we want to create an impact on the School and leave our mark,” Olivia said.

With two younger sisters in the School, she knows the role of Deputy Head Girl is something many students aspire to.

“I remember sitting in Assembly and watching the Head Girls talk and I’d be like, ‘I want to be like them one day. My sisters (Claudia, Year 5 and Jessica, Year 1) are really supportive and I think they want to try and be a leader as well.”

Tess draws on inspiration for her cousin Jacqueline Davis (Year 10) was Deputy Head Girl in 2016.

“Being announced Deputy Head Girl was just amazing and I never thought it would happen. My cousin was Deputy Head Girl and I always look up to her and think ‘Wow, she’s done that along with all these other things that she’s amazing at and I want to be like her,’” Tess said.

Fresh from their Girls With Grit program in Year 5, the Year 6 cohort are embarking on Girls Who Lead, the signature program for our Year 6 students at CGGS.

They’ve already attended their first ‘leadership day’ where every Year 6 student was involved in ‘revamping’ the Junior School committees, which this year, will be replaced with Action Groups.

“The Action Groups are a big change to the school…it’s also going to be a good opportunity and help us learn how to uphold the School values, to lead the School, and to show others what it is about leading and being a Year 6 student,” Tess asserts.

Holly and Olivia value the opportunity they have had to be involved in bringing about positive change.

“It’s been amazing to have the opportunity and to be part of it, to shape those new groups,” Holly said.

Olivia acknowledges that being an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) school, “we get to have our say in everything that we do and I think that just really helps us to shape the future for the future generations.”

When asked what small piece of advice they would each give to encourage people to make the world a better place, they all deem action as the most important place to start:

Olivia – If you really feel strongly about something then just think of ways you can really achieve it. And then just do it. If it doesn’t work, just reflect on it and see what you could do differently and keep going.

Tess –When you think of something that could be amazing, just keep trying and trying to get what you want. It will be amazing when you achieve it.

Holly – I’d say, it is the little things. Making a huge difference isn’t always the best spot to start. And everything starts somewhere, so I would say, ‘start now’. Ms Whitaker once told us, ‘be the change you want to see,’ and it got me thinking about being the first person, so that I can make a difference.

Sally Wagnon
Communications and Engagement Manager

Photo at top: (L-R) - Tess Shanahan, Holly Jones and Olivia Ryall.