Educating Girls, Empowering Young Women

More than ever before, the education of girls must focus on equity, with the goal to empower each student to speak with courage … to be credible, find a community, listen for all voices, be a leader, and above all to strive to make a difference in their world. I witness this occurring every day at St Margaret’s School.

To speak with courage; four brave young women were chosen to present at the TEDxCasey Innovation Summit. Naomi Drego, Yebin Yang, Priya Walker and Xingtong Huang presented their ideas and solutions to some of the questions of the 21st Century. Their exemplary critical thinking skills, wonderful communication and presence established them as the perfect ambassadors to represent the youth in our community.

To find a community; our Social Service Leaders teamed together with FareShare, an initiative aimed to raise awareness and food donations to provide for more than 115,000 individuals who are homeless in Australia. The students generated a food –drive competition and in true House spirit, nearly 600 food items were collected, to feed Melbourne’s homeless.

To listen for all voices; the recent Unicorn Series, Flourishing or Floundering- lead by the acclaimed author Ms Robyn Treyvaud, provided a platform for our School Captains to participate in a panel discussion to engage parents, educators, psychologists and the general public, to consider the challenges and opportunities for young people in the online world. The panel discussed the question ‘How do we assist our young people to not only survive but thrive in this digital world?  The evening focused around strategies for survival as well as how this digital era has affected each of these representative stakeholders.

To be a leader; Year 12 Media Studies student Phoebe Sinclair demonstrated outstanding leadership as she realised her goal to be a part of the Channel 31 TV crew, broadcasting the 2019 Victorian Swimming Open Championships. Phoebe initiated this opportunity herself, showed commitment, perseverance, and demonstrated what is possible with passion and belief.

Our amazing Year 12 Leaders have started their mentoring sessions with our Year 4 students. Such leadership in action involves empowering the younger folk to feel valued by offering them ones’ time. The older girls have reported that these friendships often last well beyond their St Margaret’s journey.

To make a difference in their world; the Certificate of Global Responsibility was launched in 2018. This award acknowledges student leadership, contribution to community and outstanding communication and general excellence. It is encouraging that students are already applying for consideration.

I am consistently reminded of the rewards of my job; of how privileged I am to work with and alongside such amazing young women. I want them to be Curious about their world, to confront issues with Courage, all the while growing in Respect for each other and the world in which they live. I want to nurture good Character and empower each student to strive to make a small difference in their world, which for now is fortunately, St Margaret’s School.

Mrs Deborrah Francis
Head of Senior Girls, Wellbeing