Student Leadership Initiatives

Our Leadership Program starts a lifelong conversation about citizenship, social responsibility and community-mindedness.

Leadership in the Senior Years

In Year 11, boys build on their earlier leadership roles and formally prepare to take over from the current senior student leaders. Those boys selected to attend the Year 7 camp as senior leaders never forget the opportunity to proudly introduce the young students to the Newington community.

After completing five years in High School at the College, we believe that all our boys are leaders in their own right. For this reason, at the end of Year 11 in the model of ‘participative service leadership’ all students are automatically made into House Prefects. Under this System, all Year 12 students are required to contribute to the daily operation of the school through House Prefect duties and to offer themselves as an example for all younger boys to follow.

From the Year 12 student body one boy is chosen to lead the school as Senior Prefect, acting as a dynamic exemplar for the whole school to look to and emulate. Two Deputy Senior Prefects are also appointed as well as one Captain and two Vice Captains for each of the School’s eight houses. Together, these young men form the exceptional team that guides and unites the school’s student body.

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Senior Prefect Leaders 2020

Woojin Lee (Senior Prefect), Max Langford and Nicholas Yule (Deputy Senior Prefects) are the student leaders for 2020. Their motto is "Look up, Lift up."

Look up, Lift up

On Wednesday, 29 October 2019 the Newington College’s Senior Leaders revealed the motto for 2020 during Assembly. “Look up, Lift up”. It aims to promote the themes of optimism and unity across the College. Senior Prefect Woojin Lee addressed staff and students to provide context around their decision. His speech is below.

Most of the boys sitting on the bleachers, the Year 12 cohort of 2020, started high school together here in Year 7 in 2015.

2015 seems a long time ago, a time when Mr Canning was still here, a time when we had to change back into full school uniform after sport, and perhaps most relevant to this speech, a time when the motto was:

‘Strive, thrive 15.’

It was memorable. Perhaps not only because we were Year 7 at the time, but because it was short, to the point, and most importantly, it rhymed.

Before I reveal the motto for 2020, I would like to talk about the themes of optimism and unity.

We believe that these two themes go hand in hand, not only in our Newington experience here but for our future, out there.

Firstly, on optimism.

Positivity, open-mindedness, optimism are things we constantly encourage at Newington. But what do they actually mean?

When was the last time you looked forward to something? Maybe you looked forward to the holidays, maybe you looked forward to camp or maybe you looked forward to seeing your mates again. I know some of you are looking forward to when I stop talking so you can go to lunch. But when was the last time you looked forward to something because it challenged you, it scared you, it was something that you never tried before, something completely new?

Too often we get so stuck in this shell of comfort that, if we ever consider doing something different, we hesitate, we’re reluctant. We tell ourselves that there’s no use, or that it wouldn’t happen anyway. It is much easier to convince yourself of why something won’t happen than of why it might succeed.

Optimism simply means having the confidence and trust in yourself to believe that you can succeed. Optimism doesn’t mean being naïve, being carefree and expecting good things to just flow your way. While clichéd, it is important to acknowledge that life is difficult. If we don’t have confidence in ourselves, or we can’t learn from mistakes, we can never progress.

Secondly, on the theme of unity and progressing together, everybody here knows of all the great and wide-ranging opportunities we have. But instead of celebrating this diversity – the wide range of sports and co-curricular – we mock each other. We get divided into labels, ‘the rowers’, ‘the musicians’ or ‘the cricketers’.

While having a sense of identity is important, it is only when we stop thinking that we’re different from each other, because we do a different sport or activity, or we’re in a different year or different team, that we can finally progress as a school rather than individuals.

Because we’re not just ‘the rowers’, ‘the musicians’ or ‘the cricketers’ – we’re the New boys.

It is only when we realise that everyone has the right to feel supported, not just the 1st XV or the 1st VIII, but the 13Cs or Stanmore Strings, that we will achieve something far greater than what a scoreboard or a point score can tell us.

Band these two themes, of optimism and unity together and we get our motto for 2020, which is:

‘Look up, Lift up.’

I hope everyone is not too disappointed we didn’t go with a 2020 vision pun, and I hope we as a school embrace the message of our motto, of positivity when faced with adversity and progressing as a school. Never forget to look up at the stars and always lift your mates back up when one falls down.