Can you believe we are in week six? Time goes by so quickly in the life of a school. Our College is a very dynamic place with many moving parts. My reflection this fortnight centres on effective leadership.  

Thus far, I have been asking a lot of questions, such as how the College functions, relational dynamics, team structures, how we communicate and reflecting on how we respond in challenging situations. From a leadership perspective, what is critical to success is an understanding of self, as this is where leadership begins.  

Leadership at our College is not confined to those in positions of responsibility. All members of staff lead in some way; support staff, teachers and those in formal positions have leadership responsibilities. Successful Leadership of the College must exist at all levels – not just at “the top”.  

Exercising in constructive thinking and behavioural styles will help us achieve the best possible outcomes as we work together; students, staff and parents, bringing “life” to one another.  

Have you worked with others who predominantly demonstrate healthy styles of thinking, behaviour and “ways of being”? These people often strive for high levels of personal and professional satisfaction, ability to develop healthy relationships, work effectively with people and are proficient at accomplishing tasks. These people are generally optimistic, creative, visionary, working collaboratively and constructively with others to achieve positive outcomes.  

Others may predominantly exercise in self-protective thinking and behaviour that illustrates insecurity in their way of being. In this circumstance, individuals may be prevented from performing effectively by their need for acceptance by others, self-protection and a need to avoid threatening situations and people. In this situation, issues can be ignored or smoothed over without resolution new ideas are deemed to be too risky initiative and creativity may be absent and a dependency to follow rules can exist without taking common sense approaches when they present.  

There are others who predominantly reflect a concern for maintaining their status or position. These individuals tend to over-emphasise the quality of the tasks they are completing and pay little attention to the needs and concerns of others.  Again, ineffectiveness comes from a place of insecurity as opposed to satisfaction and a healthy balance between people and tasks. Atmospheres of blame, conflict, combat, over-assertiveness and ignorance may exist. This style of operating doesn’t sound very positive does it?! 

I would like to thank families for the positive interactions I have had to date. Whenever we meet to discuss the needs of the College, staff and/or our students, you are invited to join us to work together constructively to achieve the best outcomes together. How do we make this work? It can simply look like this: 

Discussions are relaxed and open 

People take the time to listen to one another 

Alternatives are explored with shared goals kept in mind 

Communication is supportive and constructive 

There is a willingness to demonstrate humility, particularly when we can do things better 

Conflicts and differences are used to demonstrate better ideas 

Problems are viewed positively as interesting and challenging tasks. 

Do you consistently see this style of interaction, behaviour and attitude in the College?  

Earlier in this piece, I have been asking some questions internally, but it is also very important that we are asking all members of our community questions in relation to where we have been, where are we going and how will we get there?  

In 2018, Marist Regional College undertook a community survey. A lot has changed in this time. An important point in relation to these changes include the 17 new staff we have this year. Another consideration is that the life of our Strategic Direction is coming to an end and we need to reflect on what we want for the future of our College.  

I challenge this community to be creative, daring and imaginative as we explore future possibilities together. We have an opportunity to build and advance the College to our choosing.  

In coming weeks, you will have an opportunity to complete a community survey. Please do not think “oh no, not another survey!”  Please try to see this as an opportunity to have input into crafting a new vision for Catholic Secondary Education in the state’s far north-west.  

 In partnership


Gregg Sharman  

Acting Principal