Preparing today’s students as tomorrow’s leaders

On International Women’s Day, Billy Kos meets a group of young women who are helping shift views on gender equality.

Image: Future leaders: From left Bella Angel, Alishba Salah, Azka Chaudhry, Jade Neale, Sabeeka Shakeel, Shaibah Hussain, Abia Khan and Mareyah Maroof.

As schools across the state celebrate International Women's Day, one school in Sydney’s West is using the occasion as an opportunity for its senior female students to develop their business skills and leadership abilities.

At Plumpton High School, 10 female students from the School Executive Council’s (SEC) inclusion team developed and implemented a project management plan focused on promoting unity, connectedness and empowerment within the school.

Students in the SEC all undertake training in Gazelle project management being mentored and coached by one of the school’s corporate business partners.

The training, completed after they are inducted in Term 4, enables the students to develop and implement high-value, strategic projects and valuable skills for school and beyond.

Principal Tim Lloyd said the team’s impressive business proposal included various fundraising initiatives as a way of educating young women to believe in and develop their own capacity.

As part of the program the students held a fundraising cake stall today, promoted International Women’s Day around the school and spoke at an assembly earlier this week about women in leadership.

“This project is exactly what International Women’s Day represents,” Mr Lloyd said.

“Through its Student Leadership, Agency, Voice and Community Engagement Framework, the SEC Team Inclusion has developed a project that not only increases awareness, but also enables them to influence our community to continue the shift that sees women as equals.

“The framework enables our young women to engage in authentic leadership within the global community by making real contributions that increase their opportunities.

“It’s about them building their capacity as leaders and encouraging our other female students to achieve their full potential,” he said.

Team Inclusion includes 10 students in years 11 and 12 - Jade Neale, Shaibah Hussain, Azka Chaudhry, Alishba Salah, Abia Khan, Isabella Angel, Mareyah Maroof, Abigail Dixon, Sarah McDonald and Sabeeka Shakeel.

Some of its members shared their thoughts about International Women’s Day.

School captain Azka Chaudhry said International Women's Day was about acknowledging and appreciating the women that had played significant roles in their lives.

“For me, this day is all about reflecting on the many positive changes that have occurred to create equality, while advocating and striving towards making the changes that are still required for women to have full equality of opportunities,” Azka said.

This day is about sharing our stories, supporting each other and empowering women of all ages to continue to achieve their full potential.”

Student Executive Council member and ABCN Scholar Sabeeka Shakeel said IWD helped educate people about gender equality.

“We recognise the many roles a woman can and does play in society, as mothers, as leaders, as doctors, as politicians, and the list goes on,” she said.

Sabeeka singled out her mother as her female role model.

“She is an exemplary leader and has inspired me to be resilient, courageous and how to persevere through challenges faced by young women today.”

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