Ipswich's Future Leaders collage.
Ipswich's Future Leaders collage.

FUTURE LEADERS: 14 of Ipswich’s young leaders

IT has been a difficult year to say the least.

COVID-19 has caused havoc in every part of society and life will never quite be the same again.

For our young people just about to step into the unknown and away from the familiarity of school life, it seems more daunting than ever.

We know they are more than up to facing the challenge ahead of them; they are smart, resilient, creative, adaptable and tenacious.

The QT asked Ipswich high school students what they want to achieve in the coming years, what they are most proud of and what they believe to be the biggest challenges their generation is facing.

Here's what they said.

 

West Moreton Anglican College

West Moreton Anglican College captains Rupert Lupton and Jennifer Hoare.
West Moreton Anglican College captains Rupert Lupton and Jennifer Hoare.

Name: Rupert Lupton

Age: 18

Suburb of residence: Newtown

Proudest accomplishments so far?

My proudest accomplishment thus far is likely my continued dedication to, and success in, my academic pursuits. I am proud that, despite often experiencing setbacks and facing unexpected challenges, I have been able to maintain my motivation and work ethic throughout this year, and have, so far, achieved the results I had hoped.

What you want to do after school?

After graduation, I intend to attend university, potentially to study in a medical field, while also working part time.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Within the next ten years, I hope to have completed my tertiary education and have moved into the career of my choosing. Through this, I hope to have taken opportunities to extend my learning and service to others far beyond the immediate path before me, such that as I reflect on those years in later life I will feel proud of my decisions and my actions.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

Although our generation faces many unique and complex challenges, I believe, as with all generations, our greatest issue is that we may become apathetic towards the challenges we face. If we are able to avoid this, I feel it's unlikely there is any great issue we will be unable to overcome together.

 

Name: Jennifer Hoare

Age: 18

Suburb of residence: Willowbank

 

My proudest accomplishment to date is being a successful applicant in the Queensland Theatre Youth Ensemble for three years now. When I graduate, I plan on studying law in hopes to focus my career in family law, but I also have a very keen interest in all things acting and performing. In the next 10 years I hope to achieve a lot of great things in both my own personal and career development but a major goal I'm striving towards is to achieve happiness within a successful job that positively impacts the people around me. Our generation struggles with a lot of global issues especially after the events of this year; however it is almost apparent to all that our biggest problem that our generation will ever face is the environmental safety and future of our planet.

 

Australian Industry Trade College Ipswich

Australian Trade Industry College Ipswich student Jilleigh Grieve.
Australian Trade Industry College Ipswich student Jilleigh Grieve.

Name: Jilleigh Grieve

Age: 17

Suburb of residence: Peak Crossing

Proudest accomplishments so far?

My proudest accomplishments so far are passing my learner test and getting accepted into the AITC.

What you want to do after school?

When I graduate from the AITC, I would love to become a full-time diesel mechanic and one day own my own business.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

In the next ten years I want to finish Year 12, and get my QCE, get an apprenticeship, complete my apprenticeship, and become a full-time diesel mechanic

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

The implementation of newer technologies into the trade industries.

Australian Trade Industry College Ipswich student Jaden Carvolth.
Australian Trade Industry College Ipswich student Jaden Carvolth.

Name: Jaden Carvolth

Age: 17

Suburb: Peak Crossing

Proudest accomplishments so far?

Passing my Ps test and buying my first car

What you want to do after school?

Become an apprentice boilermaker and finish my apprenticeship

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Have a well-paying job that I enjoy doing.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

Lack of motivation and work ethic.

 

St Peters Springfield

St Peters Springfield school captain Zac Hyde.
St Peters Springfield school captain Zac Hyde.

Name: Zac Hyde

Age: 17

Suburb of residence: Bellbird Park

Proudest accomplishments so far?

•School Captain (This is probably my life's achievement. The opportunities I have received to give back and grow as a person have been extraordinary.)

•Leichhardt Captain (I've always enjoyed inspiring motivation and spirit at house carnivals. It's been amazing to receive this chance in an official position.)

•To-be recipient of the Long Tan Leadership Award (I'm honoured to be receiving this, in recognition of my service to the school and the wonderful community.)

What you want to do after school?

I plan to study law at university, hopefully to then pursue a career in law.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

I'm hoping to complete my studies, further develop in my legal career and continue to strive for self-improvement. If possible, it would be an aim to start a family and achieve a secure financial situation. Beyond this, I want to expand my knowledge across a range of topics, particularly around social and political issues.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

The coronavirus has been a large impact on my generation lately, affecting our families, lives, schooling and mental health. More persistent problems for those around the same age are severe issues with mental health, developing levels of stress and anxiety especially around school, and a feeling of helplessness to issues such as climate change.

St Peters Springfield school captain Minna Hood.
St Peters Springfield school captain Minna Hood.

Name: Minna Hood

Age: 17

Suburb: Jindalee

Proudest accomplishments so far?

This year we've done a lot of things with the leadership team. We went above and beyond trying to connect communities together online, which wasn't easy but we persevered and tried to connect people from primary school, secondary school, teachers, students, families. We were connecting them through different activities and we coined it 'virtual leadership'. That's one of the things I'm proud of from this year. Being a school leader, school captain it's such a great opportunity to be a voice for students and I feel like I'd be letting the community down if I didn't take that opportunity and run with it. I think the leadership team is proud that we preserved and that's what anybody can be proud of at the end of the day is to try your best and bring the community together.

What you want to do after school?

In the future I would like to do a number of things including volunteering at different not-for-profit organisations, such as UN Youth, or the One Woman Project after university. That's looking at workshopping, teaching young people about global issues and politics and that's a passion of mine. At university my first choice is psychology, other interests include international relations and journalism as they're all connected.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

That's a big question, if this year has taught us anything - we don't know what's going to happen in the next few months. As long as I focus on where I want to lead - which is helping people wherever I can, whether that be in psychology in a counsellors room, in print journalism, or whether that's in international relations or in policy and development where I'm helping people get through issues - whether that's internationally or in Australia. I have no idea what's going to happen in 10 years, we could have several more waves, or be clear of COVID and travel freely again, anything can happen in the next 10 years. However, I know I want to help people wherever I can.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

The biggest issues facing our generation now is the pandemic, everything affecting us will be as a result of the pandemic. We have changing work places, work environments, how we are going to work, how we are going to be employed, who will employ us and what we want to work as. There are so many different opportunities that will be presented to us over the next few years. We will have to work a little bit harder to get there. As well as COVID, we've seen racial injustices, we've seen different issues with climate change, we've seen what happens when cities are shut down. We need to be aware of the world around us and economic challenges. We know it's going to be harder than our parents' generation. The one thing that cannot be bought is resilience - we have that. We have spent the past few months being aware that this is what our new normal is going to be like and it's not going to be easy. However, if we keep working as hard as we do then I think we can rise past these challenges.

 

​​​​St Augustine's College

 

St Augustine's College captains Katelyn Smith and Lachlan Holter.
St Augustine's College captains Katelyn Smith and Lachlan Holter.

Name: Katelyn Smith

Age: 18

Suburb of residence: Collingwood Park.

Proudest accomplishments so far?

Being voted school captain, implementing the Six Hours of Power (fundraising activity for local charities) and "flipped the script" in the COVID -19 year.

What you want to do after school?

Study a bachelor of pure mathematics/secondary education teaching hoping to do a PhD in theoretical physics.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Have a positive impact on the world.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

I believe that there are major deficiencies in compassion and awareness. Currently the climate crisis and systemic social injustice are major sources of concern amongst youth. David Attenborough said "we are witnessing society walking through a series of one-way doors, bringing irreversible change." Additionally, we are consistently witnessing blatant discrimination on many fronts. In order to address these issues, we need to exhibit more compassion and to become more aware. It is my belief that the generations to come will foster a greater sense of compassion and awareness.

 

 

Name: Lachlan Holter

Age: 17

Suburb: Forest Lake

Proudest accomplishments so far?

Being able to represent my cohort by being voted as a student leader.

What you want to do after school?

I want to join the defence force and start a career in the army. I am not yet sure what I want to fully commit to as of yet but I'm hoping to find a certain field I can take interest in.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Stable job, a good balanced lifestyle and to still be able to play footy.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

We aren't connected the way we should be. Technology has obviously advanced to a point where we don't have to speak or communicate face-to-face. I believe we need to take more time to check in on each other through real life conversation. Obviously COVID is something every generation is feeling at the moment so seeing our world change in many ways so quickly is a big learning curve for not only our generation but the world at large.

 

Ipswich Girls' Grammar School

Ipswich Girls' Grammar School head girls Charlotte Andersen and Ashleigh Richardson.
Ipswich Girls' Grammar School head girls Charlotte Andersen and Ashleigh Richardson.

Name: CharlotteAndersen

Proudest accomplishments so far?

I must admit that one of my proudest accomplishments as head girl would have to be the co-ordination of pride month activities such as an interactive pride flag where students could write messages of love and support, and the creation of a wall of famous LGBTQIA+ individuals. For me, it was incredibly important to celebrate every single girl at our school through the promotion of unreserved acceptance and a sense of inclusion. To be able to foster a welcoming and supportive environment for all was an absolutely wonderful experience.

What you want to do after school?

After school, I plan to complete a bachelor of arts degree, majoring in both ancient history/modern history and Russian. I hope that this leads to either a career as a university lecturer or a diplomat. But, I would also adore working as a research assistant for some sort of news network or hosting a series of documentaries like Louis Theroux or Stacey Dooley.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

In 2030, I'll probably still be completing my PhD if all is going to plan. I would also love to spend some time on exchange in Russia or Japan, and hopefully go travelling across Asia and Europe to visit some of the extraordinary places I would be studying in my history classes.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

One of the biggest issues facing my generation pertains to misconstrued public perceptions regarding feminism, femininity and power which often hinder female empowerment. Within both our local communities and federal politics, there exists an unhealthy and incorrect reinforcement of the antiquated notion of a dichotomy existing with being a feminist and possessing femininity. Often in the media and general society, women are far more likely to be scrutinised for appearance, or marital status. We are criticised for both fitting in with and rejecting traditionalist ideals of femininity. Whilst studies have often attributed a lack of female empowerment within fields such as the workplace and politics to be due to a lack of self-esteem or confidence, this merely places the blame on a woman's own image of herself- rather than directing accountability towards the system that disproportionately suppresses a woman's ability to succeed.

 

Name: Ashleigh Richardson

Proudest accomplishments so far?

In December 2019 to January 2020 I completed an exchange where I lived and attended school in Germany during my two-month Christmas holidays. It was an incredible opportunity but challenging to say the least. I spoke German (which I was not particularly proficient in) almost exclusively during my stay and while this was beneficial for my language skills, it was extremely difficult and draining. It was also challenging because of the social isolation and severe homesickness I experienced, especially while the bushfires were raging in Australia. Despite those difficulties, I learned a lot from the experience, and I am proud of how I handled the situation. I am also very proud to have served my school this year as head girl, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic provided us with a unique combination of challenge and opportunity, which was daunting but fulfilling and rewarding as a leader. During our lockdown period, we had to lead from home and consider what that was going to look like for us - and our answer was communication, positivity and lots of creativity!

During our online learning period, we emailed the girls twice a week with fun riddles, quizzes, virtual scavenger hunts and various challenges. The idea of this was not only to strengthen the sense of community and unity, but also just to have a bit of fun amidst the seriousness of everything! The girls also heard from us every week on our online assembly, IGGSTV, and this was a key forum for us to communicate with the girls. One benefit of this was the girls knowing that we would be there every week and that was, if nothing else, a bit of regularity and normality. It also allowed us to spread messages of positivity and optimism, and to build a sense of connection, although we were physically distanced. It has been a very memorable year and I have learnt so much - personally, academically and in leadership.

What you want to do after school?

My goal is to become a secondary music teacher, as it combines my passion for sharing knowledge and supporting the social, personal and academic development of young people with my deep love of music. I absolutely love to learn and hope to pass that enthusiasm on to future students, making my own positive impact on the world. My current plan is to study a bachelor of music and followed by a master of education.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, I want to complete my tertiary studies and make a difference in the lives of my students. I hope that my teaching career will include a wide variety of schools in rural and low socio-economic areas and may even include volunteer teaching abroad. COVID permitting, I would love to travel either to study or to work, particularly where I know I can make a positive impact. Teaching overseas would be personally and professionally beneficial, as it would further my knowledge of global education and the challenges faced daily by the students and teachers.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

I believe mental health is one of the most prominent and pervasive issues facing my generation. Not only is mental illness unfortunately extremely prevalent in my age bracket, but the overall mental wellbeing of teenagers is also constantly declining. Resting levels of stress and anxiety are increasing, not helped by increased academic and social pressure, packed schedules, and the necessity to depend on technology. Intervention and support are essential to support the many young people who struggle with poor mental health and mental illness.

 

Woodcrest State College

Woodcrest State College student Leilani Sauvao.
Woodcrest State College student Leilani Sauvao.

Name: Leilani Sauvao

Age: 17

Suburb of residence: Springfield Lakes

Proudest accomplishments so far?

Being selected for Queensland Volleyball and playing internationally in Singapore and Malaysia.

What you want to do after school?

Go to university and study and work part time and continue playing volleyball competitively.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Graduate university and start work

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

Challenges of societal expectations.

 

Woodcrest State College school captain Sarah Duncan.
Woodcrest State College school captain Sarah Duncan.

 

Name: Sarah Duncan

Age: 18

S uburb of residence: Gailes

Proudest accomplishments so far?

My proudest accomplishments so far are becoming school captain and winning a Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork award.

What you want to do after school?

I want to go on to study a degree of psychology at university and conduct influential psychological research about mental illness and mental wellbeing.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years I would like to become a community psychologist and help solve pressing social issues such as addiction, homelessness and youth crime before pursuing a degree in law or politics.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

To me, the biggest issues my generation is facing are the COVID pandemic, environmental pollution, exploitation of social media and the challenge of continuing the fight against prejudice of all forms.

 

Springfield Central State High School

 

Springfield Central State High School student Makayla Finch (right).
Springfield Central State High School student Makayla Finch (right).

Name: Makayla Finch

Age: 14

Suburb of residence: Spring Mountain

Proudest accomplishments so far?

My proudest accomplishment so far is creating a business that can make a difference.

What you want to do after school?

After school I would like to continue to run my business and potentially study psychology.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years I would like to be continuing to help make an impact in people's lives and making a difference in the sphere of mental health.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

I believe that the greatest issue that our generation is facing is mental health and the issue of negative self-talk.

Springfield Central State High School captain Brooke Hargrave (second from right).
Springfield Central State High School captain Brooke Hargrave (second from right).

Name: Brooke Hargrave

Age: 17

Suburb of residence: Springfield Lakes

Proudest accomplishments so far?

Becoming a Springfield Central State High School 2020 school captain, receiving early entry to university and receiving the 2019 Violet Jordan Leadership Award.

What you want to do after school?

After school I would like to study occupational therapy, and possibly medicine afterwards.

What you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Within the next 10 years I would love to be working as an occupational therapist and potentially starting my career in medicine. Ideally I would like to have purchased my first house and car and be well on my way to setting myself up for the future.

What you believe are the biggest issues your generation is facing?

I believe the three biggest issues my generation is facing are climate change, mental health issues and the cost of living. Although these issues affect all generations, in my opinion the younger generation of our society will continue to be heavily impacted by these three particular issues in our lifetime. With ongoing destruction of finite natural resources across the planet we are severely damaging and destroying our planet. The average global tree cover loss has risen by over 10 million hectares per year since I was born. Secondly, Generation Z has seen a dramatic increase in mental health issues, with the constant pressure of exams, social media and societal expectations our generation physically doesn't know how to manage their mental health. Lastly, rises in the cost of living is something that has begun to cause us stress as we've aged. House prices, fuel prices, rates and student debt, all seem to be increasing, however wages are not. This increase in the cost of living creates a stigma in our generation. A large majority of us believe tertiary education is the one of the only options to earn the wage we need to comfortably live the way our parents are.

 

Do you know a young person who deserves to be recognised? Email

lachlan.mcivor@news.com.au

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.

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