Propelled into colour fun

It was a colourful end to specialised leadership training for St Stephen’s School Carramar Year 12s when they hosted a whole-school colour run last week.

The event was the final element of the inaugural 12-month Propel Leadership program undertaken by students in 2020. Around 30 students collaborated to develop initial ideas for the final project before four were elected to take on the challenge of leading groups to bring the event to life.

Year 12 student and event organiser Tegan Shirdon said putting all of the theory she learnt during the leadership program into practice organising a real-life event was rewarding.

“To see everything come together and use concepts we learnt in class, from guest speakers, our leaders at school and each other was a really memorable part of the process,” Tegan said.

Year 12 Tahlia Beckett said teachers and heads of the school guided students through the process of organising the event.

“School leaders met with us regularly and helped us with tips to deal with different issues as we went along. It was great to work with leadership and learn from real-life situations during the process,” Tahlia said.

“It was challenging for us to keep students accountable for their roles and jobs from time to time. We didn’t have a structure or timetable to start with, so we worked to develop key steps – getting the idea then slowly building it up,” she said.

Fellow organiser and Year 12 Cameron Kiss said the Propel program involved classwork on elements of project management and leadership the team used to organise the event.

“We organised a colour run that’s a bit different. There are activities for students around the oval – limbo, sack races and others – in between getting covered in colour. So, we’ve been planning who is running each activity and making sure we have enough student volunteers to keep the whole event running smoothly,” Cameron said.

The scale of planning an event like this did not deter Year 12 Jiyona Jipson from volunteering to be part of the student leadership organising team.

“I’ve never been part of a project like this before. It’s been great hands-on experience and having the opportunity to have practical experience has given us confidence in our skills for future projects,” Jiyona said.

Carramar Head of Health and Physical Education Craig Thomas said the Propel program aimed to develop key leadership skills in students to use in the classroom setting and beyond.

“Students learnt a range of skills throughout the year-long program in Year 11 last year and organised the colour run across the campus as their final project component of the program,” Mr Thomas said.

He said the program included sessions with guest speakers and a lot of practical work, developing students’ communication skills, abilities to work in a team dynamic, negotiation and conflict resolution skills as well as project management.

“It been fantastic to see our students applying the theories they learnt during the leadership program during the organisation of this whole-school event,” he said.

“The Propel Leadership program was designed to give students insight into real-life situations, how to manage, how to lead and how to work together to achieve set outcomes and it’s been a great success in its first year.”

 St Stephen’s School Principal Donella Beare said the Propel Leadership program was one of a range of leadership opportunities available to students across the School’s campuses.

“Last week’s colour run was a wonderful example of the hard work by the Year 12 students in particular,” Mrs Beare said.


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