Masterclass for South Auckland school prefects

Issue: Volume 96, Number 4

Posted: 13 March 2017
Reference #: 1H9d6x

Senior students from local secondary schools received a lesson in leadership at the first South Prefect Summit.

More than 40 school prefects from Papatoetoe High, Manurewa High, Sir Edmund Collegiate and Mangere College gathered recently at Auckland University of Technology’s South Campus for the first South Prefect Summit.

“The Summit aims to help year 13 students realise their leadership potential and develop transferable skills that will serve them well as school prefects and beyond,” says Janet Akeripa, On Campus Relationship Manager at AUT.

The full-day programme was developed by AUT in consultation with schools to target three specific areas – leadership, presentation skills and project management.

Auckland councillor and Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board member, Tauanu’u Nick Bakulich, shared his personal journey of leadership.

He reminded students that as school prefects, they are ‘people of influence’ with the opportunity to make a real contribution to their families, schools and communities.

“Learn as much as you can from experienced leaders. Surround yourself with knowledgeable mentors – observe them and always ask questions,” advised Bakulich.

Presentation skills and leadership coach Maggie Eyre, former media advisor to Helen Clark, led a session on public speaking.

Afterwards, the Director of the Pasifika Film Festival Kalo Fainu schooled students on project management.

Akeripa says she was impressed by the students’ maturity and awareness.

Deputy principal at Papatoetoe High Barry Williams says the greatest leadership quality that he sees in students is resilience.

“I am constantly impressed by their ability to face and overcome challenges,” he says. “Their positive attitude, frank honesty and determined approach to problem solving is inspiring to see. Also, the special ways that they celebrate their success with one another."

“These young people have a lot to offer our community and we should be open to their opinions.”

William Latu is a year 13 student prefect from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate who attended the South Prefect Summit.

He says it was a most enjoyable day that opened his eyes to different forms of leadership in his community, and he particularly enjoyed the presentation from Maggie Eyre.

“She explained how we can present ourselves and speak clearly, and I loved that one because it’s helping me to feel more confident with talking to other students,” he says.

“She gave us some great advice about public speaking, so that will help with tasks we do as prefects such as leading assemblies.”

William wants to be a good role model for his fellow students.

“My goal as a school leader is to help guide the younger students, showing them how they can respect themselves and others, and helping them to reach their goals,” he says.

William loves school, and wants to pass his enthusiasm for it on to his peers in his prefect role.

“I love school – just the variety of the subjects and what we are offered to try and do,” he says. “At year 13 we get so many interesting opportunities – I really like it.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 8:11 pm, 13 March 2017

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