Australian Cricket legend and The Leadership Playground founder Belinda Clark AO says, “leadership is a journey”, and this year she has passed on her wisdom as Melbourne Girls Grammar’s next generation of leaders start their journeys.
In 2022, our Year 4 Grammarians have worked with Belinda on developing their aptitude for leadership and team building, a key part of our Junior Years program at Morris Hall, across four workshops.
The former Australian Women’s Cricket Team captain and Cricket Australia administrator initially spoke at the Year 4 Leadership Assembly in Term 1 about what makes a good leader. Since then, she has run three workshops, focusing on topics such as mindset, empathy, listening, service, teamwork and collaboration.
“The sessions are essentially anchored under the theme of leadership,” Belinda said of the work she is doing with our Year 4 cohort.
“The aim is for them to understand how they lead themselves, build strong relationships, work in teams and, ultimately, what they are trying to achieve in their lives.
Everyone can always be learning more about leadership and how they react to it and what they do to help their mates actually be their best.
“We’ve worked on a range of relevant issues for them at this age.
“In the process, they’re developing a personal coat of arms that they can think about what they want to do with their lives and what strengths they bring to the table.”
At the end of The Leadership Playground workshops, the completed personal coats of arms will represent the students’ values and attributes as leaders, something they can refer to as their leadership journeys continue.
Belinda said the students were very open and participatory in the workshops. She also praised the work of Year 4 classroom teachers Ella Stephenson, Nick Amato, Mandy Edward and Kate Nicolacopoulos.
“The classroom teachers are doing an amazing job of picking up the concepts and continuing them,” she said.
“That’s been really helpful. When you’re trying to create change like this, you need multiple people making sure there is the reinforcement of it.”
Year 4 students Adele and Elise said they enjoyed Belinda’s visits to Morris Hall.
“It’s really cool because we get to learn new stuff about the School’s values, and she (Belinda) puts it into outdoor and fun activities,” Adele said.
“In the last session, we were put into six groups, and we had our eyes closed and had to hold on to a skipping rope with one person leading us.
“Another session, we had to get out of our comfort zones, and she got us to juggle and do a lot of other things we haven’t done before. We had to do it in partners, so it was even harder.”
Elise said she discovered new perspectives on being a leader, which helped grow her confidence.
“I didn’t know how hard it was, but when Belinda showed us how to manage it and what to do, it made it easier,” she said.
“She taught us that we should always get out of our comfort zones; if we don’t, we won’t grow as leaders.
She also taught us that sometimes we don’t need to know everything; we always need to be a good leader and fill each other’s buckets and make people happy.
Elise said after attending the workshops, she wants to be a leader “who helps people and someone who doesn’t let her problems interfere with other people”.