Leading in lockdown

Posted 22 May 2020 9:00am

The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia called on student leaders to participate in their webinar:  Reimagining 2020: Leading in lockdown. Boarding Co-Captain, Sarah Walker, and School Captain, Lily Hall, ably represented CGGS and engaged in the conversation around 2020 not being what student leaders envisioned. With many of their plans turned upside down and change and uncertainty still ahead, the Alliance invited like-minded girls to connect and navigate these changes together.

Sarah was the only boarding captain who participated and she cherished the opportunity to learn from day students.

“It’s pretty cool that people from all around Australia, and [Australasia], can come together on one platform to share ideas,” said Sarah.

“I can use the different strategies they have been using at school and incorporate them into the Boarding House community.

“Having a sense of community has been really difficult, especially in the Boarding House, where we are now socially distancing at dinner and other times…trying to stay connected with a maximum of 10 people in a room is very difficult.”

Working with the Head and Deputy Head of Boarding, Mrs Tina Twigg and Ms Lisa Parolin, Sarah and her Co-Captain, May Stuckey, have been working hard to ensure boarders are finding a balance between following healthy guidelines while remaining connected to the ‘family’ around them.

“It’s very easy, during this time, to self-isolate from everyone – especially in a Boarding House where it’s what we actually have to do.”

Sarah and May have enjoyed developing challenges their fellow boarders can get involved in, it definitely helps foster sisterhood and connection.

“We’ve been doing Just Dance, and what are those singing things? Karaoke! Heaps of karaoke nights, and we’re hoping to do pizza nights with year groups spread around the boarding house so they can interact with each other – I think that is going to really help.

“It has been difficult, but we’re going to get there.”

School Captain Lily Hall also participated in the webinar found the experience reassuring.

“As a student leader, maintaining leadership initiatives during a pandemic has proven a difficult task. Participating in the webinar was a comforting experience where other female student leaders shared ideas to maintain school spirit, events and a sense of community,” said Lily.

“The webinar encouraged me to focus on student well-being initiatives, where I found my greatest take-away from the webinar: ‘It's okay to do less when you're coping with more’. In an attempt to recreate a sense of community and leadership, this quote has been the core of all activities.

“2020 has birthed unprecedented events, where hearing from other students in the same position was extremely comforting and inspiring for the return to school.”

Photo at top: Sarah Walker and Lily Hall.
Photo below: Head of Boarding, Mrs Tina Twigg with Boarding Co-Captains, May Stuckey and Sarah Walker.