Head of House – Mulhall
At this point in the year, there are lots of thoughts about leadership floating around at school. Throughout the year, we regularly discuss the concept of leadership and the many styles and examples of strong leaders around us. From global figureheads to philanthropic leaders, from celebrity trendsetters to student captains, our students have many examples to consider in shaping their own style when contemplating the position they will take within the community.
When watching the news at night, or opening the front page of the newspaper, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the immense tasks facing leaders at all levels. Challenging the ‘doom and gloom’ narrative of the mainstream media, social researcher Hugh MacKay has recently released his new work, The Kindness Revolution, which calls for a revolution in kindness to revitalise our society from the bottom up.
Looking around at the students and staff in Mulhall House, there are daily examples of both leadership and kindness which, act by act, help to build a strong and united community within the school.
On Friday, our Year 11 students were a force to be reckoned with as they helped the entire community to learn more about their selected Loreto Day cause. The Mulhall Year 11s have been busy running awareness-raising activities, encouraging younger students to contribute to the cause and showcasing their own talents in painting banners, problem-solving with fishing rod/rubber duck designs and demonstrating ice cream mashing techniques for our stalls. It was wonderful to watch them come together as a group, with each student contributing in their own way and giving what they were able to support one another and the broader cause.
Year 12, on the other end of the school leadership journey, have provided strong role models for the rest of the House, working alongside one another as true examples of felicitous leadership. The Mulhall Year 12s are regularly to be seen having conversations and checking in on younger students in the House and are always ready to work for the good of others in tribute to the role models who have gone before them. At any time, Year 12 can be found sorting through banner and dress-up boxes, transforming our House space into a choir rehearsal room, planning House time activities and checking in with their buddies during Friday Year Time. Never ones to promote themselves, Year 12 have been a steady and compassionate force driving the House this year.
In preparing for the Athletics Carnival, Year 10 were challenged to lead their Tutor Groups to pitch a theme for the House. The Year 10s rose to this challenge and each Tutor Group presented their proposed theme with costume suggestions, a war cry and a justification of how their theme fit the House values and identity. The final decision, determined democratically on Photo Day, was Mulhall 3’s proposal of ‘Men in Black (and Red)’. The Year 10s also watched on eagerly on Loreto Day, suddenly realising that in a mere twelve months it would be them leading the school.
Alongside these examples of leadership modelled by whole year groups in the House, there have also been many individual students who have recognised moments of need and have stepped into leadership positions. We have been challenged to consider topics and experiences which largely remain unacknowledged, called to consider how our values match our actions, and inspired by students who make difficult choices to support one another.
Despite the many challenges and adventures ahead of us, the strong leadership and kindness revolution called for by MacKay has, I suspect, already begun here in Mulhall.
Ms Patti Taaffe
Head of House – Mulhall